Prong - Carved Into Stone review
|Album:||Carved Into Stone|
|Release date:||April 2012|
01. Eternal Heat
02. Keep On Living In Pain
04. Revenge... Best Served Cold
05. State Of Rebellion
06. Put Myself To Sleep
07. List of Grievances
08. Carved Into Stone
10. Path Of Least Resistance
12. Feuer Frei! [Rammstein cover] [Vinyl bonus]
After spending nearly a decade in various states of inactivity and mediocrity, Prong have got their collective butts into gear and released the album that 1996's flawed "Rude Awakening" should have been with a superb little monster called "Carved Into Stone".
First, a warning for the old schoolers: "Carved Into Stone" is certainly not a return to the crossover thrash of the late 1980's or even the faster predecessor "Power of the Damager." Instead this is mainly mid paced Groove Metal which can be thrashy at times.
The mid pace doesn't detract from the album due to some great song writing. Indeed this is the kind of quality song writing seldom seen since the 1990's. Songs such as "Revenge…Best Served Cold" happily sit up there with classics such as Pantera's "Walk," Machine Head's "Ten Ton Hammer" or Prong's own "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" in terms of riffy catchiness and memorable anthemic choruses.
A denser than usual production also helps support the generally mid-paced nature of the album, giving it a heaviness that balances the melodic parts. Though one does wonder what the album would have sounded like if Terry Date had worked on it.
The faster songs such as "Eternal Heat" or "Keep On Living In Pain" shine through as well with each being a distinct and memorable song in it's own right as opposed to the generic fast numbers practiced by so many thrash bands these days. And whilst they may not be as bottom heavy or as fast as more modern acts, they have their own brand of furious aggression.
Tommy Victor proves he has still got the ability to write some superb riffs and equally catchy vocal lines. He also crafts some killer solos, something which he wasn't necessarily known for and certainly not for the last few decades.
The industrial elements are still a no-show, though some of the drumming is at times industrial such as on "Revenge…Best Served Cold." However the lack of industrial elements does not make the album deficient in anyway.
Indeed, "Carved Into Stone" sounds remarkably fresh for an album whose basic style originates in the early 1990's. This is the album Prong should have released in 1996. It still doesn't reach the lofty heights reached by "Cleansing," but it is an excellent and memorable listening experience and great proof that the much maligned groove metal genre can still offer some quality music in the twenty first century.
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