Prong - X: No Absolutes Review

Prong - X: No Absolutes
Prong - X: No Absolutes. SPV/Steamhammer Records

Tommy Victor is a busy man. With his involvement with Danzig and also with his primary vehicle in Prong, he has nary a second to take a breath. Fresh off of last year’s covers album Songs From The Black Hole, Victor and company return with the band’s proper tenth album X – No Absolutes. The album’s predecessor helped to renew faith in Prong and Victor. Their brand of heavy metal is one that is sure to hit home with many different types of fans.

Way back when the band put out their most balanced album Cleansing in 1994, the radio metal scene was awash with the likes of White Zombie, Ministry and Fear Factory. Yet with a song like “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” Victor and his crew had already begun to eschew their previous crossover thrash leanings in favor of something much different.

The breakneck speed of thrash is still present in their music as showcased in album opener “Ultimate Authority” and “Sense of Ease,” which also has Victor’s now distinctive vocal style. The combination of the shouted vocals and heavy guitars might not be the most original combination, but the way in which Prong delivers it is. Art Cruz’s kick pedal is frequently in overdrive and it seems more than fitting to push along the rest of the bombast.

With catchy choruses abound, this album is going to be one in constant rotation. It is an exceptionally easy album to have playing early and often.

There are enough hooks on this album to put Bass Pro Shops out of business. You are going to be pulled back in by the thrash-centric songs at a moment’s notice; it might be those aforementioned choruses or a riff section of a solo that begs for air guitar worship.

This isn’t to say that this album is without its hiccups, though.

“Do Nothing” does add variety to the album, but it is kind of a clumsy song that is oddly anthemic and nothing if not forgettable. “Belief System” is almost a latter era Sepultura song without the speed and seems like a slightly sped up deathcore breakdown which is only recognizable as a Prong song for the sheer fact that this is obviously Victor on vocals. Luckily things get back in order shortly thereafter.

So how does X – No Absolutes shake out overall? It is a burner of an album when it wants to be, it can be melodic at times which gives Tommy Victor a bit more flash to his normally predictable repertoire, and also it is 2016 and a Prong album is more than relevant. For fans of the sounds of old or those who have been enjoying the band from and on, you will have nothing to complain about with this new solid Prong album. Even though it has its lulls, it is more than worth your time.

(released February 5, 2016 on SPV/Steamhammer Records)