Forever confined to “influential” status, Prong were always one of those bands people preferred to talk about, rather than actually listen to. Influential they certainly were: the New York-based trio’s driving, industrial-tinged sound was merrily purloined by a generation of nu-metallers. But (and this is the part no one ever dares admit), despite abundant promise and occasional flashes of brilliance, they never really came up with enough truly standout material of their own.
Now, after years of hiatus – which saw frontman Tommy Victor moonlighting with Danzig, among others – Prong are back and have even recruited a nu-metal survivor in the form of bassist Tony Campos (of idiotically-coiffured industrial troupe Static-X). There’s still a trace of the streetwise feel of old to Carved Into Stone, but it’s more like your scumbag Metallica-loving uncle than anything genuinely edgy. It isn’t a bad album as such: drums are powerful, riffs are solid, and production is heavier than ever before, courtesy of Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicide Silence); but, from Victor’s lethargic vocal delivery to the uninspired guitar noodling, little truly impresses.
It’s not an embarrassing addition to Prong’s back catalogue, but it is an overwhelmingly average one. Little but the shiny new production indicates it was made this century.