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Album Of The Month September 2007
Prong | ‘Power Of The Damager’

I had the pleasure once of playing some tracks out of a dodgy stereo to High On Fire. The point of this is for bands to guess what a batch of mysterious songs are, “with hilarious results”.

You know the score – and sometimes it’s pretty funny.

Anyhow, a track I chose to spin them was Prong’s classic ‘Another Worldly Device’.

After correctly guessing what it was, affable bassist Joe Preston said how he’d seen Prong play in Portland recently “to about fifty people”.

A far cry from their solid installation on the early 90’s metal map. There was a quiet moment when everyone looked at the floor wondering why the mighty have to fall.

That was last year. But it seems like a world away: because the new Prong album wipes that floor with even their hitherto best material.

There won’t be many more gigs to 50 people if this album gets the recognition it deserves. But then again, why should there be for a band that in their heyday toured with Faith No More and imprinted a generation of metallers with its unique industro-thrash-groove hybrid?

‘Power Of The Damager’ sees messrs Paul Raven and Tommy Victor return with what they’ve always done best, only better.

It’s as if they heard heavy metal these days and came back purely to remind us all what a riff is, so good is the crunching, tooth smashing, rock hard playing on here.

Remember when Pantera used to talk about ‘power groove’? Well this is it. Each of the many riffs is cold, crisp and brutal, with Prong’s classic Dimebag style solid state crunch and vocals filled with spitting charisma.

There are so many reasons to love it.

Opener ‘Looking For Them’ sums it up – classic icy riffing, those deliberately untuned vocals, and a walloping display of percussion that’s probably more intense than Prong have recorded to date.

Though double kick is everywhere, and speed apparent at many stages, it is of course their latent industrial chug that make Prong so appealing.

They’re a band with connections to all the important players – Killing Joke, Ministry, you name it – and it continues to inform their own style.

Best of all, there is cowbell. I cant emphasise how cool this makes tracks like ‘Spirit Guide’. But just hear that ultra cool riffing in ‘Messages Inside Of Me’, ‘Power Of The Damager’ and highlight ‘Worst Of It’.

It’s an album from a time of army bags, denim satchels, crap blow, Tipp Ex logos on your homework diary and cool new Therapy? albums. Which in other words means it’s fucking essential, doesnt it?

Buy it at once, and if you don’t like it then get your head showered. Get this on the walkman and swan around like you own the place.

That’s how good it feels.

4.9 / 5 – Earl Grey ::: 24/08/07

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