With its fourth album since reuniting in the early ‘00s,
metal trio Prong finally blasts out a record to equal its early masterpieces Prove You Wrong and Cleansing. But Carved Into
Stone doesn’t merely emulate the band’s older work – it stands on its own
Boasting plenty of the chugging guitars, barking vocals and
hard-hitting rhythms that defined Prong in ye olden days, the album also adds
just enough of a sense of melody to make bruisers like “List of Grievances,” “Subtract”
and “Revenge…Best Served Cold” as catchy as they are deadly. Not that the band
was ever as forbidding as its hardcore-derived peers, but there’s a more
blatant nod to accessibility here, without any subsequent diminution of power –
guitarist Tommy Victor sings more than shouts, and his solos betray the influence
of classic ‘80s metal.
It’s analogous to Helmet’s post-hiatus reboot Size Matters – no coincidence, given how
influenced Helmet was by Prong. With its near-perfect balance of power and
tunefulness, Carved Into Stone rumbles with tracks that practically define heavy metal.
Into Stone,” “Revenge…Best Served Cold,” “Subtract” MICHAEL TOLAND