Prong, ‘X – No Absolutes’ – Album Review
Most veteran bands become less prolific as time goes on. An album every year or two in the early days might stretch to three or four years, or in Metallica’s case, eight or nine. Not so with Prong.
During their first 20 years of existence, they released eight full-length albums. Since 2012 they’ve produced four studio albums and a live release. Less than a year after 2015‘s covers album Songs From the Black Hole they return with X - No Absolutes. Even though the pace of releases is quick, the quality has not suffered at all.
Prong keep things relatively simple, but change styles up to add variety. There are heavy, ominous groovers like the opening track “Ultimate Authority” and “Belief System,” while they crank up the tempo into crossover thrash mode on “Sense of Ease.”
Frontman Tommy Victor inserts a punk attitude and bite into the aggressive songs, and displays his melodic chops on more accessible songs like “Without Words.” His guitar work is top-notch on X - No Absolutes, whether it’s galloping thrash riffs, melodic grooves or pinch harmonics.
While Victor steers the ship and is the main focus of Prong, the rhythm section of bassist Jason Christopher and drummer Art Cruz are rock solid. Christopher is front and center on “Ice Runs Through My Veins,” one of stronger tracks on the record.
There are a couple songs that polish off the edges and are in the mainstream hard rock vein. “Do Nothing” and “With Dignity” have rock radio potential, without drifting too far from Prong’s core sound.
It’s a very efficient 45 minute album, with very little filler. The bonus track “Universal Law” is no throwaway, a melodic but heavy song that keeps the groove going until the end. It’s good to see an influential band like Prong showing no signs of slowing down this far into their career.
With X - No Absolutes, Prong continue to win over the younger generation that may have only heard their last few albums along with satisfying their longtime fans that have been with them since the ‘80s.