I guess this 5 tracker EP released as a stop gap between albums should really be in Dom’s monthly singles round up, but this 12” and CD release is by Prong brothers and sisters, so you’ll forgive me if I indulge you further.
It’s safe to say that since the revitalised band signed for SPV back at the start of this decade they have been in a rich vein of form and haven’t really put a motorcycle booted foot wrong. Even ‘Songs From The Black Hole’ their 2015 album of cover versions was a “must buy” simply because as Prong do…they made that oh so well worn format (are you listening Cleopatra Records) all their own…and by God it worked.
Even with things are not going exactly to plan (like their website recently getting hijacked by an ex-manager for example) it’s the strength of character and conviction that Prong main man Tommy Victor has in his band and its music that keeps driving the band forwards, and whilst their albums are now largely devoid of the short sharp punk rock blasts the band first started out playing, that all important punk rock heart is still very much beating under that post-apocalyptic industrial metal exterior that now pervades all, meaning it’s still just as easy for the band to slot onto bills alongside the likes of Agnostic Front and Hatebreed as it is any out and out metal bill.
Consisting of two new studio tracks and three live tracks ‘Age of Defiance’ sees Victor welcoming drummer Aaron Rossi back to the fold (alongside long-time bassist Jason Christopher) whilst once again co-producing the release alongside Chris Collier who has worked with the band since 2014’s immense ‘Ruining Lives’ album.
Having digitally released the chugging thrasher ‘End of Sanity’ back at the end of October (which kind of made me think what Jaz Coleman might sound like fronting early Exodus) I was wondering if this release might mark the return of Prong to their earlier crossover days, but a few bars into ‘Age of Defiance’ it’s clear that Victor isn’t going to be breaking with the winning formula he’s developed over the past three studio records. Underpinning the huge slabs of guitar set to stun with pulsating rhythms that the melodies deep into your brain, this is the sound of Prong in 2019 and it sounds absolutely marvellous.
Moving onto the live tracks then and this trio were all recorded in Berlin back in 2015 revisiting tracks from the band’s initial mid 90s surge into the mainstream with ‘Rude Awaking’, along with ‘Cleansing’ duo ‘Another World Device’ and ‘Cut Rate’ showcasing why Prong always was and always will be a band out of time.
Like Victor himself states” Prong isn’t something he does for fame or glory”, it’s something I have to agree with the man on when he also states “it’s something spiritual, and a God given gift”. Why does he think this? Well check out ‘Age of Defiance’ and you’ll soon understand.
Once again this is truly amazing stuff from a truly amazing band.
Author: Johnny Hayward
Buy ‘Age Of Defiance’ Here