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  PRONG GET BLOOD OUT OF A STONE ON NEW ALBUM 'ZERO DAYS'
Prong: 'Zero Days'
Released 28th July 2017 (Steamhammer/SPV)


jeff kunze
Words: Jeff Kunze
14th July 2017



prong

Prong have been on a destructive path since 2012, releasing a slew of records as well as touring non-stop which has kept the band in overdrive and now, right off 2016s 'X-No Absolutes', the trio are set to release 'Zero Days'.

The band have endured various line-up changes over the years but Tommy Victor, founding member, has always been the centerpiece that runs the machine. Prong's catalogue is diverse; they draw elements from hardcore, industrial, groove, and thrash to construct their material.

The approach is very simple early on - keep it heavy and keep it moving and 'However It May End' pulls in a classic thrash riff that matches the aggressive path the vocals are set upon. The title track continues the auditory assault with breakneck speeds and incorporates a fist pounding melodic hook that ties the chaos together while the helter-skelter blazer, 'Off The Grid', keeps this album's pace at an unwavering level. It's a slice of hardcore punk mixed with a barrage of Metal and all three of these songs flex a lot of muscle and keep the intensity meter in the red.

'Divide And Conquer' takes a different avenue than the previous tracks as it's harmonic and rich in melody, contagious from the opening verse and it embraces your ear in the chorus. If you're looking for a sing-along anthem look no further as this one has all the components necessary. 'Forced Into Tolerance' pushes straight-ahead without much detour and slows enough to allow a gang vocal chant of the title before falling back into line. It's become clear that the lay-out of this album was going to be heavy on up-tempo thrash and 'Interbeing' is another song that carries that DNA.

After 'Divide And Conquer' the most memorable track may be 'Blood Out Of Stone'. The tempo curves down and the presences of big choruses and harmonized vocals layer this into a rock radio friendly song which feels like a throw-back to 'Cleansing' or 'Rude Awakening' era material. The opening groove on 'Operation Of Moral Law' is massive and gives this song a different texture. It's blended into more speed riffing but it returns enough to give the song its appeal. This one screams to be played live.

'The Whispers' is another song that harks back to the 90s Prong sound. This is where they are really good - throwing in momentous melodies against the pulsating riffs and capped off with distinguished hooks. 'Self Righteous Indignation' is a beast with a colossal groove, in the vain of nu-Metal, providing an unyielding crushing track moving in its own time and place. while the catchy 'Rulers Of The Collective' keeps things dulcet and is a song that stands out more with each listen. The album closes with the industrial laced 'Wasting Of The Dawn'.

Prong do not fit neatly into one single box. They blur existing boundaries between genres and incorporate various elements that create their genetic code and for me, this records strength lies in the middle where the most memorable songs, 'Divide And Conquer', 'Blood Out Of Stone' and 'The Whispers' are found.

It's difficult to rank a band's catalogue and trying to incorporate a new album into it takes time and only time will tell where 'Zero Days' will slot in.

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