Prong – Zero Days
Release Date: July 28, 2017
Those of us forced to suffer through the music of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I have some respite. I will lay the brunt of the blame at the feet of Prong. A group that smashed on the scene in 1994 with a catchy tune titled “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” Prong was a mainstay on Headbangers Ball and carved a niche in the flannel covered scene from the Pacific Northwest. Cleansing and Rude Awakening were musically different records but were both excellent and drivers for a unique but heavy style of music that were met with relatively significant commercial success. Then, just like that, they were gone and we were left with the dying remnants of grunge and “Tubthumping”. But fear not my fellow Metalholics! The boys are back with Zero Days and bringing just as much head-kicking energy as the good old days.
With their third release in the last three years and the fifth in the last six, Prong have successfully rejoined the metal world after multiple line-up changes. The only mainstay is the legendary Tommy Victor (lead vocals/guitar). In our own interview with Mr. Victor, he states that the riffs are the most complicated aspect of songwriting. If that’s true for him, the dude needs to get a more challenging hobby, because riffs flow out of this guy with the simplicity of breathing. With early roots in a hardcore-ish sound and as one of the first bands to be considered a little more industrial metal, Prong have always had a solid root sound in their rhythm section, with the thumping grooves opening the way for the endless stream of Victor riffs. Zero Days keeps that tradition alive and adds in a significant effort to clean up the vocals, giving the album a very clean but still rugged sound.
“Divide and Conquer” is the first single and is one of the more elaborate songs on the album. The lyrical clarity is noticeable instantly, as are the small musical interludes that are a bit of a new twist. “Zero Days”, “Forced Into Tolerance”, “Operation Of The Moral Law” and “Wasting Of The Dawn” all possess the speed elements closely associated with Prong, just as “Self Righteous Indignation” and “Blood Out Of Stone” pound away with the same effect as “Rude Awakening” and “Revenge…Served Cold”. And while those tracks will ring true with what their fan-base expects from Prong, “Interbeing” and “The Whispers” are mid-album tracks that will show the expanse of the riff machine that is Victor.
Flat-out hard rocking albums that roll from beginning to end are hard to find. Adding in the history and revival of the band, Prong delivers an album with Zero Days that glances back yet shows that they can and will be a force in metal for years to come. Keep the riffs coming, Tommy! We are ready for more neck snapping when you are.