Prong: State of Emergency

State of Emergency

Steamhammer Records
Released 10/6/2023

Who has pissed off Tommy Victor? I mean this is one angry musical statement right here delivered with menace and anger and I love it. What is it with the old school bands of late producing great albums; Testament and Exodus spring to mind and they are currently in the writing stages of new albums so plenty to look forward to then. What can you say about the talented Tommy Victor with his ability to mix up metal, punk, hardcore and a sprinkle of industrial music and punch you in the face with his band's delivery of said songs.

State of Emergency delivers on a grand scale of guitar driven anger and aggression. Jumping right out and grabbing you by the throat is "The Descent" which once it's initial frenzy has you in a choke hold then proceeds to shake you with its aggressive heavy riff whilst Victor spits out the lyrics. State of Emergency has a great Beg to Differ vibe to it; in fact this album has a lot of the Beg to Differ and Cleansing albums feel to it. In my opinion those albums were the ones that really hit hardest and laid down benchmarks for Prong.

The onslaught of great riffs and that Prong vibe continue through "Breaking Point" with some more Tommy Victor trademark style of riffs and aggression. With a great pinched harmonic led riff that leads into some heavy groove riffing with a catchy vocal. The drumming on this album is top notch matching Victor's riffing and driving the songs along with power and precision. "Non Existence" is powered by that distinctive staccato palm muted riffing that Victor does so well. "Light Turns Black" is not only catchy with it's vocal led chorus but again has that distinctive feel and riffing that makes this band stand out from the pack. "Who Told Me" continues with the angst laden riffs and vocals leading up to my favourite song on this release "Obeisance" which has a riff that gets your head banging and your body moving with its irresistible main chug and groove along riff leading into big open vocal led choruses throughout. "Disconnected" gives the listener a slight let up with its punky style riff and more laid back vocal approach. "Compliant" continues the foot off the throat intensity of the opening 7 songs with some great groove driven riffs but retaining that Prong attitude. The last original song "Back (NYC)" lifts things back up with some great hardcore style riffing going on here.

All in all this is a great album and if you like the older style Prong this album won't disappoint you, it's a well written and executed album with great production and musicianship. It has enough of the old and new to make new friends and retain the old ones too. I leave the cover of Rush song "Working Man" til last as I'm not really familiar with the original. I checked out the original and can say it's a good reworking in Prong's vision taking the song and adding some down tuned heaviness to it. Once again Prong deliver the goods to a high standard sending out a message to the up and coming bands that they are still at the forefront of this genre.

Meathook Mike, HMS

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More band info here:

Prong is an American heavy metal band formed in New York City in 1986. The band is fronted by guitarist/vocalist Tommy Victor, Prong's sole constant member. To date, they have released 13 studio albums (including a covers album), one live album, four EPs, one DVD and one remix album. – Wikipedia