May 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Prong – Ruining Lives

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Prong

Ruining Lives

Steamhammer/SPV

Street: 05.13

Prong = Metallica + Fudge Tunnel + early Helmet

One might imagine following 2012’s Carved Into Stone—Prong’s most acclaimed and commercially successful album since the landmark 1994 record Cleansing—would put some pressure on the band. Tommy Victor comes out guns blazing with Ruining Lives. The first track, “Turnover,” is a hell of a song, and sets the tone for an album that chomps at the heels of classic Prong material. Since they began in 1986, the band has dabbled in post-hardcore/thrash, crossover and industrial. Ruining Lives, essentially, is a thrash record with some modern elements. It’s not really crossover anymore—fuck, it’s just metal. Victor upped his guitar chops tenfold here. There are some hellaciously fantastic riffs, not to mention smashing solos and leads that push the songs into realms that are completely original to metal. All that thrashing madness aside, the power of Ruining Lives is, equally, its lyrical power and the constantly changing dynamics, sounds and styles of the record. They keep listeners guessing at what’s next, and make for an interesting and head-banging listen. –Bryer Wharton

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