Music Review-Prong-Carved Into Stone

Tommy Victor (Vocals, Guitars)
Tony Campos (Bass, Backing Vocals)
Alexei Rodriguez (Drums)

History-Tommy Victor was a sound-man at CBGB’s and met The Swans drummer Ted Parsons and CBGB coworker Mike Kirkland and in the late 80’s Prong was formed. In 1990. They signed to Epic Records and released a cd that would put them on the map called Beg to Differ. The following year the Prong door of interchangeable members would begin with Kirkland leaving and Troy Gregory coming in. Thru all this band turmoil at the time, and Victor’s projectionist attitude came Prove you Wrong which yielded the mild headbanger’s ball hit Unconditional. Then came the ep Whose fist is this anyway, which showed the direction that Prong has been in and where they are heading towards with the sound. Then, came the mild success of Cleansing, and another mild hit with Snap your Fingers. Then, Rude Awakening came out and Prong was all but forgotten. They tried to recapture the magic in 2000 with a live cd, but it also went to deaf ears. Tommy would land a gig as a touring musician for the likes of Danzig, Manson and Rob Zombie. Today with Campos from Static X and Alexei from Walls of Jericho, Tommy Victor is still trying to keep the Prong name alive.

Review-I am a huge Prong fan, and even seen them live once. The last 3 Prong cds, Scorpio Rising, Power of the Damager and now this Carved into Stone while they are good cds, they are not Prong cds. I miss the magic, the adrenaline and just cutting edge riffs of cds like Prove you Wrong and Beg to Differ. Now there are some songs on this cd like Revenge…served cold that makes me happy as a Prong fan, and clearly is one of the best songs they have put out since 1996 easily. Songs like Carved into Stone, you can clearly tell that Tommy learned a lot playing background to Danzig, this sounds just like old school Danzig. Reinvestigation sounds like Tommy did not forget his roots, and sort of took the old school Prong sound into a new dimension. The guitar sound in this song with Victor singing almost against it, shows that he has his ear to the ground to today’s metal. A pleasant surprise, almost a shock that they would have the nuts to go outside of their traditional sound this far. Eternal Heat sounds like it could have been restored from the Beg to Differ demos. While not a bad song, just seemed like a odd song to open this cd with. It really does not jump out at you and makes you want to listen to the rest of the cd. Again, not a bad song just a song that if you heard the last two Prong cds you are accustomed to. As a whole this cd is a step above the last two cds, but I would love to see Tommy Victor stop delving into this poppier Prong sound that he does very much on this outing just like the other previous two, and coming across almost like a poor man’s Helmet. I wish songs like Revenege, Reinvestigation awake Tommy and just get him back to the crunch and heaviness of what Prong is truly all about. This cd while not a headbanging masterpiece it still is a good cd considering what the last two cds were all about.

7 out of 10