PRONG - State Of Emergency
New York's Prong has declared, State of Emergency, the band's 13th full-length release on Steamhammer/SPV out October 6, 2023. This is the band's first full release in six years since Zero Days (2017) and the most recent EP Age of Defiance (2019).
Prong was formed in 1986 by former CBGB sound engineers Tommy Victor (guitars/vocals) and Mike Kirkland (bass). Ex-Swans drummer Ted Parsons completed the formation of the trio. The first couple of years saw the band release their first EP Primitive Origins (1987) studio album Force Fed (1989). In 1989, Prong signed to Epic Records releasing Beg to Differ (1990), Prove You Wrong (1991), and Cleansing (1994) garnering critical acclaim and airplay in MTV's Headbanger's Ball. One of the band's most popular tracks to this day, "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" came off of Cleansing. The early sound was a mix of Metal, Hard-Core Punk, and New York City Noise Rock. Prong transitioned their sound to include Alternative Metal in 1996 with the release of Rude Awakening (1996). Prong disbanded in 1997 and reformed in 2002.
After Prong had disbanded in 1997, Victor toured with Ministry and Danzig. Prong was reformed in 2002 by Victor, along with Brian Perry (bass), Dan Laudo (drums), and Monte Pittman (guitars) releasing Scorpio Rising (2003) to mixed reviews. 2002-2007 saw Victor split time between Prong and Danzig as his goal of writing and playing on Danzig's Circle of Snakes (2004).
Prong became Victor's sole focus in 2007 (to now) releasing Power of the Damager (2007), Carved Into Stone (2012 & this reviewer's favorite album), Ruining Lives (2014), Songs From The Black Hole (2015), X- No Absolutes (2016), and Zero Absolutes (2017). Tommy's musical influences come from Hardcore Metal, Killing Joke, and Ride The Lightning era Metallica. The band has seen many drummers and bassists come and go over the years. The band roster is completed with bassist Jason Christopher (2017 to present) and new drummer Griffin McCarthy (2022 to present).
State of Emergency
Prong's newest slab has a runtime of just under forty-two minutes over 10 original songs plus a cover of Rush's "Working Man". Tommy Victor recorded together with producer Steve
Evetts (Sepultura, The Dillinger Escape Plan, among others). Marcelo Vasco created the album artwork. According to Victor, "It’s by far the best Prong artwork ever. Marcelo completely got the idea of the controlling power that mass media have over our existence and brought that out visually."
The album opens straight into "The Decent" with a full-out onslaught of Thrash style guitar riff mixing Speed and Hardcore. Marc Rizzo (Soulfly) plays a guest spot with lead guitar on this song. The song dwells on the descent of misery because of online mental manipulation. The title track, "State of Emergency" has a classic Prong Groove Metal feel to it as the song is about the media's use of propaganda to spread confusion, fear, manipulate, and lie leading to all-out hopelessness. "Non-Existence" will take you back to the techno-style sound of Rude Awakening sound infusing a more melodic tone and groove into the guitars. The song is about how existence is better than non-existence and how everyone contributes to life.
A Slight Shift in Sound?
Prong does take a slight shift into their Post-Punk sound with the song "Disconnect". The guitars have a happy and upbeat radio-friendly feel yet the subject deals with being disconnected from the truth as if to be sold on anything but the truth. "Who Told Me" takes on media gaslighting as saying something one day, then making the claim that they never said what was said. Wrapping up the album is Prong's cover of "Working Man" from the original power trio of Rush. According to Victor, "Working Man is so simple and it’s so heavy. I also love the lyric. I thought it would be great tuned down a bit and slowed down, and I think we nailed it.”
State of Emergency is a much stronger album compared to their last album, Zero Absolutes. There is a feeling of rejuvenation and renewed energy with the sound of the band. Tommy Victor and producer Steve Evetts hit all of the elements expected from a Prong album. The production sounds for the most part balanced, the mixing of the bass on the song "Disconnect" is not as prominent as in other songs while the bass thunders in "Working Man". State of Emergency (at least for this reviewer) will have staying power over time pleasing Prong fans.
- The Descent
- State Of Emergency
- Breaking Point
- Light Turns Black
- Who Told Me
- Back (NYC)
- Working Man
Tommy Victor (guitars & vocals)
Jason Christopher - (bass & vocals)
Griffin McCarthy (drums)
- American Thrash Metal
- Groove Metal
- Heavy Metal
- Industrial Metal
- New York Hardcore
- Post-Punk Noise
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/prongmusic/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/prongtheband/
Apple Music - https://music.apple.com/us/artist/prong/484949
Score 8.2 / 10
Release Date: October 6, 2023
GET SPECIAL MMROC SHOW UPDATES!
Become a part of a community of fellow metal heads who get updated on special episodes, interviews and and exclusive metal news.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.