Published May 09, 2014No one expected a Prong comeback, so 2012's Carved Into Stone was a welcome surprise from the often underrated thrashers. Ruining Lives finds the band continuing along that same trajectory, sounding reinvigorated, but not doing much to build on that momentum. When Prong were at their peak in the '90s, part of their appeal was their unique ability to effortlessly marry thrash with groove metal and industrial. The material on Ruining Lives leans a little too heavily on the band's thrash influence, as they opt for familiarity and focus over eclecticism.
This approach works for the most part, as the majority of songs are direct and would sound overwhelmed if the group tried to cover too much stylistic ground. That said, Tommy Victor's lyrics are enough to dull a song's sharp, precise hooks, (like on "Absence of Light,") marring the album with a campy feel the group can't do much to shed. (Steelhammer/SPV)