Review: “Age Of Defiance” EP by Prong

Tommy Victor, Aaron Rossi and Jason Christopher might be of the opinion that no-one wants to hear new music from Lower East Side residents Prong and everyone just wants to hear their classics like “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” but we beg to differ. 2007’s “Power of the Damager” and it’s remix follow up were both damn good so while the classics have their deserved place in history, we’re always going to be happy to listen to anything new that they have to offer and see how it stacks up in comparison. After all, legends only become legends by consistently releasing good s*** you want to hear over time. Twelve studio albums since 1989’s “Force Fed” speaks for itself. Unfortunately this new Extended Play produced by Chris Collier only only includes two new studio songs.

Opening with the title track “Age Of Defiance” which sets the tone for the EP with a classic chugged riff and industrial tinges, Tommy Victor’s voice has aged incredibly well. The sing-a-long chorus is a joy and there is a distinct Fear Factory vibe to the track with the programming that underpins the track giving it that something else while being buried in the mix. Upping the aggresive tendencies “End Of Sanity” rushes though like a runaway train though a station with some modernized Old School riffs rooted in New York Hardcore with hints at Biohazard in places. It’s a necksnappingly headbangable cut that will go down well live and was written by Tommy Victor for a tour run with Agnostic Front. So that’s it for tbe new material. Then we get a trio of live in the studio cuts. The first being “Rude Awakening”.

The title track of their 1996 album was as the other two recorded on tour at Berlin club Huxleys Neue Welt in April 2015. If you’ve not heard it before, it’s a classic example of mid nineties Metal with flashes of Hardcore Punk with decent pacing and sing-a-long ability. “Another Worldly Device” was our first introducing to Prong back 1994 when their major label debut “Cleansing” dropped. Big into “Punishment” by Biohazard, this one shares the same proving grounds with a high tempo groove, bass heavy breakdown and ripping solo. Not sure they needed to re-record it but it this version benefits from the updated guitar tones and modern production nearly 20 years on at the time of recording. From the same album, “Cut Rate” is another forefather of the current Metallic Hardcore sound with a blistering set of riffs at Juggernaut pace. A lot of re-recorded versions fail to capture the live energy or the atmospheric of the original and come off sounding flat. This trio are the polar opposite and each one takes full advantage of the improvement in technology since the originals were released. If anything “The Age Of Defiance” proves just how relevent Prong are today [8/10]

Track listing

  1. Age Of Defiance
  2. End Of Sanity
  3. Rude Awakening
  4. Another Worldly Device
  5. Cut Rate

“Age Of Defiance” by Prong is out now via Steamhammer

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