Tommy Victor is a busy man. Balancing between Danzig and his own band, Prong, which he founded in 1986, he has had part in seven albums between the two since 2010 along with recording with Ministry in 2012. With the 10th studio release from Prong, X-No Absolutes, the band seems to get continually better with age and shows no signs of slowing. Prong has been incredibly influential in the world of metal since it’s inception with bands the likes of Korn and Slipknot acknowledging their influence. Prepare to get brutal and open up the pits!
“Ultimate Authority” doesn’t give you any time to ease into this album. Coming straight for your throat, claws outstretched and reaching, this track has plenty of heavy groove to go with Victor’s punk attitude which flows right into the thrasher “Sense Of Ease” and it’s dynamic tempo. “Sense Of Ease” is a great throwback to the days when thrash metal was at it’s peak and the speed of a song mattered as every metal band tried to outdo the others aggressiveness. One thing becomes clear after the first two songs, the seemingly lost art of guitar shredding is back as the solos simply rip down your spine leaving you with chills.
“Cut And Dry” straddles the thrash/hard rock line, easily going back and forth between the two. “Belief System” tunes it down to near sludge levels which make Victor’s vocals truly shine through. “Do Nothing” and “With Dignity” have rock radio potential and show a more melodic, potentially poppy side of Prong. “Ice Runs Through My Veins” showcases bassist Jason Christopher and his immediately catchy bass riff. Drummer Art Cruz is absolutely rock solid on every track. The bonus track, “Universal Law” finishes up the album with a heavy groove that we have come to expect from Prong.
Destined to become a classic among the Prong albums, X-No Absolutes, is ferocious and crosses genres without hesitation and with no apology. Mixing elements of thrash, hardcore, industrial and progressive metal, Tommy Victor and company have delivered a crushing album of music, (13 tracks in all) that rivals anything done in the past. Victor’s vocals have only gotten better over time and the big catchy riffs you have to come to expect from Prong shine through, occasionally with a little more polish than is really needed. While maybe a bit more commercial than previous releases, the album is solid and there is something here for everyone to sink their teeth into.