"Carved In Stone"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Every couple of years Tommy Victor pops up with a new Prong album. From the way each new album is described as "back to the basics" or "pure Prong", you'd think everything else he's done in 20 years is garbage. With "Carved In Stone", we again get an album that is touted as a "return to form". Gee, I didn't think "Power of the Damager" was all that bad.

But one thing's for sure and that's that "Carved In Stone" is definitely in the mold of past Prong triumphs. You simply can't mistake these guys for anybody else with their grooving. choppy minimalist metal. Victor's voice is just as distinctive as his guitar work...both are instruments that can sooth or pummel. The rest of Prong is a brand new bag...bassist Mike Campos moves over from Static-X and is the perfect guy to hold down the low-end here. I am stil waiting for National Geographic to send an expedition into his's the darkest, heaviest one I've ever seen. Drumming is now handled by Alexi Rodriguez, who has big shoes to fill with Ted Parsons' absence, but who handles the job well.

Here you get fast and angry tracks such as "Eternal Heat", "State of Rebellion" and "List of Grievances" alongside sludgy groovers like "Revenge Served Cold", "Put Myself To Sleep" and "Subtract". Some cuts like "Path of Least Resistance" and "Put Myself To Sleep" play with that jangly, droning guitar sound that Tommy's been fiddling with for years. The end result is a primal Prong album that does indeed deliver exactly what the fans expect but not a heck of a lot more. This will cause a buzz for a few months, simmer down and then Prong will return somewhere around 2015 with the next release.