Published Feb 05, 2016Crossover thrash, hardcore punk, groove metal, industrial and the once-dreaded "alternative metal": name a subgenre, and Prong have probably covered it over the past three decades. After a stretch of lean years in the early aughts, bandleader Tommy Victor returned triumphantly to the brutality of the band's '90s output on 2012's Carved in Stone.
Now, after last year's Songs from the Black Hole covers EP — which featured excellent takes on Killing Joke, Butthole Surfers, and vintage Neil Young — Prong dial it in on the exceptional X – No Absolutes, showing they're equally adept at quick-paced thrash ("Sense of Ease," "In Spite of Hindrances," "Worth Pursuing"), Pantera-esque groove ("Ultimate Authority," "Cut and Dry," "Soul Sickness") and catchy-as-hell, Cleansing-era industrial rock ("No Absolutes," "Belief System," "Without Words"). Even the massive choruses of "Do Nothing" and "With Dignity" reference the balladry of John Bush-era Anthrax.
Prong have outdone themselves here, proving that they are still a force to be reckoned with and, ultimately, respected. Though it's impossible to rewind to the MTV-fuelled frenzy around 1994's Cleansing, this album shows that Victor, who turns 50 this year, still schools bands half his age with focus and mettle. (SPV/Steamhammer)