State Of Emergency is lucky #13 for New York’s stalwarts PRONG. Judging by the photos accompanying the release, it seems the “band” is pretty much just Tommy Victor at this point. Of course, Tommy is so multi-talented that he doesn’t need anybody else. Except maybe when it comes to the live show.
The album will satisfy and delight anyone who has ever grooved or thrashed to PRONG’s mechanistic style of heavy metal. And if you hated and ignored PRONG before, this won’t change your mind. Will it draw new ears to Tommy’s pride and joy? Maybe, if you give it a chance.
It starts with great ferocity with ‘The Descent’ and this is a thrashier PRONG than we’ve heard in many, many years. An expression of piston-like rage that flies by like a raptor. Will the whole album blaze like this? Not really, there are more bone-breakers here, but this is the fastest. There’s also some of the more accessible, commercial side of PRONG…’Disconnected’ with its languorous, almost new wave vibe is almost a polar opposite to ‘The Descent’ and finds Tommy crooning pleasingly.
Most of the album is in between these two poles. The title track, ‘Breaking Point’ and ‘Non-Existence’ are archetypal PRONG tracks, sounding like they could have come straight off Rude Awakening or Cleansing. Choppy, brittle, to the point, almost machine-like in both riff and vocal. Having established its core sound, they then begin to experiment on tracks like ‘Obeisance’, ‘Compliant’ and the previously mentioned ‘Disconnected’. Aggression snaps back big-time with ‘Back (NYC)’, a propulsively grooving cut. The album ends surprisingly with a faithful cover of RUSH’s ‘Working Man’ and wow, this is maybe even heavier than the original. It’s faithful to RUSH and PRONG both.
There’s a couple of curveballs here, but State Of Emergency is pure 100% PRONG. If you’ve liked anything from them before, this will hit the spot.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
State Of Emergency