Prong - Ruining Lives (2014)
Prong have been on and off since 1986, with a development in sound that reflects that length of time. They’ve covered hardcore, thrash, groove metal and industrial, all underpinned by the heavy guitar work of the only original member left, Tommy Victor, who has worked with Glenn Danzig and Ministry during his time away from Prong. The band’s early material is responsible for influencing nu-metal acts such as Korn, sharing the genre’s bass heavy riffing and groove. Nu-metal has come and gone, however, but Prong remain, and they’re back with a new album – ‘Runinig Lives’.
Prong - Ruining Lives (2014)
Groove Metal, Industrial, Crossover | Steamhammer Records
320 kbps | MP3 | unmixed | 2014 | 46:01 | 108 Mb
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01. Turnover 3:34
02. The Barriers 3:31
03. Windows Shut 4:04
04. Remove, Separate Self 3:59
05. Ruining Lives 4:40
06. Absence of Light 3:42
07. The Book of Change 3:21
08. Self Will Run Riot 3:50
09. Come To Realize 3:48
10. Chamber of Thought 3:44
11. Limitations And Validations 3:33
Opening track ‘Turnover’ is familiar, featuring Victor’s signature guitar sound in the pounding introduction, which eventually gives way to a melodic chorus, giving a much needed break from the machine-gun-like instrumentals that dominate the rest of the song. ‘The Barriers’ is equally as relentless, with high energy, hard hitting drums that don’t give up their assault for the entire length of the song.
The verses of ‘Windows Shut’ provide a much needed change of pace, rolling off the distortion on the guitar and adding more groove. It would be nice for the drums to follow suit. Instead, they keep an over processed, artificial sound, and as a result lack any real sense of dynamics. It’s a problem that thwarts the entire album, and a listen through of ‘Ruining Lives’ from top to bottom can be headache inducing. It’s a sound that fans of the band, and the genre, will be used to, and perhaps 28 years into his career, they’re the only people Victor is interested in appealing to.
There are some great moments on the album, however, ‘Come To Realize’ delivers with some variation in rhythm, as does ‘Absence of Light’, which offers a refreshing change of pace at the mid-point of the album. Generally, though, there isn’t anything here that wouldn’t have sounded at home on the rest of the band’s post-millennium albums. It’s a shame for a band that spent a ten year period from 1986 to 1996 developing, shape-shifting and defining genres to be satisfied churning out another album that shows little progression from the last. Fans of the band’s more recent output will be pleased, if it’s more of the same they’re after, but newcomers might be best served by checking out the band’s 90s albums.
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