Crime Records

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prong - Ruining Lives Review

Band: Prong
Album: Ruining Lives

Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Genre: Groove Metal / Thrash Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: April 23, 2014

Fast, thrashed, and satisfying, listening to Prong's "Ruining Lives" I was attending a good local Metal show with a mix of genre's.Thrash was the #1 force but elements of progressive,alternative and technical metal were in evidence.The album improves as it progresses and you don't have to add alcohol. From the first track "Turnover", a thrashy, catchy tune with a technical flavor, to "Limitations", which is an alternative cookie with a thrash center.This album has to be their most commercially appealing since their return in 2002.
   "The Barriers" was Social Distortion on speed while "The Book Of Change" and "Come To Realize" alternated thrash with groovy choruses and verses. "Chamber of Thought" was classic thrash and even better,it had Prong's hardcore print all over it.These are the heavier songs, reminding me of Prong's hardcore days. The riffs appealed to my melodic sweet spot without forgetting the grit.
   'Remove and Separate Self", "Windows Shut", and "Absence of Light" were tracks where Prong explored a more catchier, alternative side with their guitar work while the title track "Ruining Lives" began with slower, dark minor chord progressions that moved into headbanging delight at the chorus. As for the clean vocals, I wouldn't sign Tommy Victor up for The Voice anytime soon, but his singing, as usual, fits the music Prong plays.
   'Ruining Lives" fulfills the promise made by "Carved Into Stone" and carries forward many of the elements I enjoyed about The Sacred Cow, "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck". Instead of following the industry's rules of sticking to type, bent them to suit what struts through each song. There is more variation in the melodies, a greater tension to the songs and more satisfying resolutions. "Self Will Run Riot" is the only song where a creative uncertainty peeked through.
   Prong's sound has changed over the years and it should.There is still evidence of their hardcore roots and the thrash ethos.Die hard fans will gripe about the new twist on an old formula and the slick production.Hearing it with fresh ears untainted by the "good 'ol days" of what I should enjoy to be cool, I can say that "Ruining Lives" is a continuation of the evolution of Prong's signature sound that shows a willingness to experiment and to commit to where this chosen path may lead.Prong is an acquired taste. You either like them or not.

1. Turnover
2. The Barriers
3. Windows Shut
4. Remove, Separate Self
5. Ruining Lives
6. Absence Of Light
7. The Book Of Change
8. Self Will Run Riot
9. Come To Realize
10. Chamber Of Thought
11. Limitations And Validations

Total Playing Time: 41:47


 Brownie \m/