Prong: Ruining Lives review

Since their inception in 1986 NYC legends Prong have slowly and steadily risen to prominence in the metal community and deservedly so. Who would have guessed from his time as a soundman at NYC’s famed CBGB’s, that Tommy Victor would one day become one of the most revered and respected musicians in the world of heavy metal.

After over 25 years in the business, Prong are set to release their newest studio album Ruining Lives for SPV in May. During that time Victor and company have released an impressive eight studio albums, four Eps, a Live album and a two disc DVD set. Not to mention his time served as guitarist in both Danzig and Ministry, but the time had come for him to return to the beast he created with his own hands from the bottom up, Prong.

The album comes out strong with both barrels blazing on opener and lead single “Turnover” which is quite unlike anything they have done before and may put off Prong purists. Complete with mainstream, modern rock choruses it’s not until the brutal breakdown halfway through the song that you can even begin to recognize that you are listening to a Prong record.

“The Barriers” sounds like it was gang raped by Lamb Of God, As I Lay Dying and Shadowsfall. It’s unholy uterus gives birth to the demon spawn of Pro-Pain, Throwdown, Devildriver and Cavelera Conspiracy on “Windows Shut.”

The chunky bass lines, punishing riffs and vocal cadence of “Remove, Seperate Self” are similar to Static X while the furious riffs and menacing bass driven bottom end of title track “Ruining Lives,” is not far removed from what Metallica did on their epic return to form, Death Magnetic.

“Absence Of Light,” is the doppelganger of “Prove You Wrong” and the band’s monster smash “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” the latter of which has been covered by Demon Hunter, Six Feet Under, Dry Kill Logic and Grinspoon just to name a few. It is also the song diehard Prong fans have been waiting over a decade for.

Tracks like “Come To Realize” and “Chamber Of Thought” are old school thrash in the vein of Exodus or Testament, combined with the industrial edge of Fear Factory and subtle nuances of nu-metal. Their massive grooves help to sustain the albums momentum and at the same time, the  furious speed, blistering solos and turbulent double kick of “The Book Of Change” sounds like a long lost track from Slayer’s seminal masterpiece Reign In Blood.

Here’s the bottom line- While it may not recapture the former glory of landmark albums like Prove You Wrong and The Cleansing, Ruining Lives is still a force to be reckoned with.

Rating: 7/10

-Eric Hunker