Prong Announces New European Tour Dates

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Prong has announced its latest string of live dates.

The veteran metal/industrial band will embark on a short European run at the end of August with Dew Scented on board as support.  The tour, which currently runs just over a week, launches August 24 in Sulingen, Germany and features primarily German dates save for one performance in Groningen, The Netherlands on August 28.

The tour is currently scheduled to run through September 1, winding down at Germany’s annual Rockpalast festival. Founder and front man Tommy Victor said he was anticipating the tour.

“Prong and Europe is always something special,” Victor said.  “What would a summer be if we were not returning, even for a more selective run of shows like this one in 2018, which has been a great touring year already.”

Victor added having Dew Scented along for the ride on its farewell tour will make the tour even more special.

“We are extremely excited to see friends old and new!. And to have Dew Scented along for their final run of shows is really awesome!”

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

PRONG with Dew Scented Zero Days 2018 Tour Dates:
08/24 @ Reload Festival – Sulingen, Germany
08/25 @ Hafenklang – Hamburg, Germany
08/26 @ SO36 – Berlin, Germany
08/28 @ Vera – Groningen, The Netherlands
08/30 @ Schlachthof – Wiesbaden, Germany
08/31 @ Jungle – Köln, Germany
09/01 @ Rockpalast – Bochum, Germany

 

Courtesy: Steamhammer/SPV Records

Prong’s latest tour schedule is in support of its most recent full-length studio recording, Zero Days.  The 14-song record was released July 28, 2017 via Steamhammer.

More information on Prong’s upcoming tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.prongmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prongmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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The Amsterdam Red Light District’s Latest LP Proves Again This Band Belongs In The Mainstream

Courtesy: Red Light Records

The Amsterdam Red Light District has finally returned. Early this month, the band released its latest album Sapere Aude. The band’s third full-length studio recording, this 10-song record is another solid new effort from the French four-piece and another work that shows the independent music scene has just as much to offer audiences as the mainstream realm. This is made obvious right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Nobody Moves Like You.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Carry On,’ the album’s mid-point — and possibly the album’s best offering –also shows what makes this record so strong. It will be discussed later. ‘Evil Stakeholders,’ the album’s penultimate track, is yet another example of what makes this album so impressive. It will also be discussed later. Of course it is not the last of the songs included in this album that shows its strengths. The other seven songs included in the album’s body are strong points in their own right here. Those songs, together with the works directly noted here, the whole of the album makes this latest effort from TARLD an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new independent albums and hard rock/metal albums.

Sapere Aude, the latest full-length studio recording from France’s The Amsterdam Red Light District, is easily one of this year’s top new independent albums and one of its top new hard rock and metal albums. It is another of those albums that shows — over the course of its 35-minute run — that independent bands deserve just as much attention and credit as their more well-known counterparts. This is proven in this album right off the top in the album’s opener, ‘Nobody Moves Like You.’ In regards to its musical arrangement, it wastes no time at all grabbing listeners. Rather, the band launches almost immediately into the guitar-driven opus and keeps the energy full throttle right to the song’s end. That energy is a great compliment to the song’s lyrical content. That’s because,as it would seem, the song is one of those works that centers on a woman. That is inferred as front man Elio Sxone sings, “I see a smile growing up on your face/You can close your eyes, but your whole body shakes/Stop looking at me like this/And let your body feel the heat.” He also notes at one point in the song, “Nobody moves like you/You used to be so cool/What the f*** happened to you/You don’t feel different/But you don’t feel the same/I’ll give you something you don’t want to forget.” Considering all of this, the song seems to come across as the song’s subject singing to a woman to whom he perhaps had a connection but maybe no longer does. The Sxone’s energy in his vocal delivery, coupled with that of the song’s arrangement, hints at some pretty strong emotions of frustration and sarcasm; sort of as if this is someone saying, look at what you lost. It’s really an interesting work and certainly a strong first impression from the band this time out. It is only one of the album’s strong points, too. ‘Carry On’ is another of the album’s strongest offerings, if not its strongest.

‘Carry On’ is such an interesting work because as with the album’s opener, the pairing of its musical energy and lyrical content creates yet another powerful overall statement. As with ‘Nobody Moves Like You,’ this adrenaline-fueled rocker is very much a guitar-driven piece whose foundation is only strengthened even more by its rhythm section and Sxone’s powerhouse vocals. It is a song that will certainly appeal to fans of Stone Sour and Buckcherry. That sounds like an offbeat comparison, but those are the first bands to come to this critic’s mind. Interestingly enough, those influences work quite well here in keeping listeners engaged and entertained. This time out, the song seems centered on someone who has just been absolutely beaten down by the world and is struggling just to keep it together emotionally. This is inferred as Sxone sings, “I’m not the man I used to be/I am the one you never wanted to see/It’s not that I don’t like you, baby/It’s just that I hate everybody.” The seeming frustration doesn’t end here. He goes on to sing, “It comes alive when I lose control/My state of mind is so unstable/The only thing I know/You have to stop yelling at me when I try to talk/If you think I’m in trouble/Have you ever felt so paranoid?/The only thing I know/If something strange happens to me/You’ve got to keep control/This world makes me feel like I’m losing myself/If you’ve got a solution/I don’t need your help/Carry on.” Again, this seems to hint at someone who has just been torn down emotionally and psychologically. This is inferred even more in the song’s final verse in which Sxone sings, “I promise I’m not as bad as you think/If I don’t know myself, how can you know me anyway/My clear mind is doomed/F****** locked in a room.” This is a pretty strong statement, and one that is certain to reach plenty of listeners. What makes all of this so much more interesting here is that it’s not one of those brooding, goth songs that it could be, considering this wording. Instead, Sxone and his band mates have crafted a song that captures the frustration of someone angry over dealing with this seeming instability, someone who wants some form of stability. This makes the song all the more engaging for audiences, and in turn all the more clear an example of what makes the album in whole stand out. Even as strong as it is, it is not the last example of what makes Sapere Aude another enjoyable effort from TARLD. ‘Evil Stakeholders’ is one more example of what makes the album so impressive.

‘Evil Stakeholders’ speaks for itself just from its title alone. This is a sociopolitical commentary on the current state of the world. It expresses both musically and lyrically, anger and frustration at what the world’s political and other leaders have caused to happen to the planet’s people. Sxone sings here against a metalcore style arrangement, “I try to understand what they’re telling me on TV/Remote control in my hand/Are they watching me?/Spending our time like a flock of sheep/Mind your step/Keep your head up and follow me/Can’t you see that they try to split the world/Spreading their words/Tell us we can’t live together/How can’t you see/Look at me/I cannot breathe anymore/Who is right, who is wrong/How many tons of evil stakeholders/Now don’t you feel paranoid?” He goes on in similar fashion from here on out, even indicting those leaders for trying to bribe the masses to get the votes. Once more, Sxone and company have crafted another powerful statement here, a statement that is just as relevant today as it has ever been. A statement that likely will be relevant for decades to come, sadly. That statement, when coupled with its musical counterpart, goes a long way toward showing even more why the song stands out in this record, and why the record in whole stands out. It is a work that both musically and lyrically is certain to appeal to audiences around the world, yet still not the last of the album’s notable works. ‘Need,’ with its Prong-esque arrangement and commentary on capitalism and consumerism is another stand out effort, as is ‘Over The Fence’ with its defiant call to action against those who control the world and ‘Wild Life,’ which seems to encourage individuality versus being just another drone in the masses. Between those songs, the works more directly noted here and the remaining four songs not discussed here, it becomes clear what makes Sapere Aude a strong new offering from a great independent hard rock band.

Sapere Aude, the third full-length studio recording from The Amsterdam Red Light District, is a powerful new effort from the French hard rock outfit. It shows over the course of its 10-song, 35-minute run that independent acts deserve just as much credit and attention as any major name band. That is proven time and again here, as already noted, beginning with the album’s opener, which seems to center on a broken relationship that is anything but brooding. Rather it is empowering. ‘Carry On’ is another of those works that could have been brooding as it seems to center on personal emotional and psychological strife. Instead of being that brooding work that it could have been, is another impacting work that is certain to give listeners their own strength. That is because it lets them know they are not alone in their struggles. ‘Evil Stakeholders,’ with its blatant commentary on what’s happened to the world thanks to its political and business leaders and its equally stinging musical arrangement, helps the album stand out, too. There’s also the commentary on consumerism in ‘Need’ coupled with its Prong-esque musical arrangement, ‘Over The Fence’ with its defiant, fist-pumping call to action by the world’s people and ‘Wild Life,’ which seems to encourage people to stand up for themselves rather than just being another number, that stands out here. These songs, and the album’s other offerings taken into consideration, make Sapere Aude a great new effort from The Amsterdam Red Light District and — again — more proof of why independent acts deserve just as much attention and credit as their more well-known mainstream counterparts. It also collectively proves this record to be easily one of this year’s top new independent albums and hard rock/metal offerings. It is available now and can be ordered direct via the band’s website. more information on Sapere Aude is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.tarldtheband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tarldtheband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tarld

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Prong Debuts ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ Video

Prong has unveiled its latest music video.

The veteran hard rock band on Monday, premiered the video for its latest single ‘Forced Into Tolerance.’  The video premiered via Blabbermouth.  Front man Tommy Victor said of the song in a recent interview that the song’s message is one of defiance against the powers that be.

“It’s our response to being told what to think and believe by everyone,” Victor said.

Courtesy: Steamhammer

He added the band appreciated partnering with Blabbermouth to debut the song’s video.

“Prong is happy to team with Blabbermouth to premiere the video for ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ from our latest album Zero Days!,” Victor said.  “It represents the no frills, in-your-face, relentlessness of the track.”

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The video’s premiere comes only days ahead of the start of Prong’s upcoming west coast tour.  That tour is currently scheduled to launch March 29 in Phoenix, AZ and to run through April 8 in San Diego, CA with additional dates in Seattle, WA; Las Vegas, NV; Portland, OR and a trio of dates in California ahead of those Pacific Northwest dates.  Powerflo will serve as support for the tour, whose schedule is noted below.

PRONG with POWERFLO & Special Guests:
03/29 @ Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
03/30 @ Slidebar – Fullerton, CA
03/31 @ Slims – San Francisco, CA
04/02 @ The Ritz – San Jose, CA
04/03 @ Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
04/04 @ Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
04/07 @ Backstage Bar – Las Vegas, NV
04/08 @ Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA

More information on Prong’s upcoming tour and its new video is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.prongmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prongmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Prong Heading West For New Tour

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Prong has announced a new string of live dates.

The veteran metal outfit will join hard rock super group Powerflo for a series of west coast dates running from March 29 to April 8.  The tour, which runs a little more than a week, includes performances in San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Seattle, WA; and a handful of other cities and is in support of Prong’s most recent record, Zero Days.  the tour’s current schedule is noted below.

PRONG with POWERFLO & Special Guests:
03/29 @ Club Red – Phoenix, AZ
03/30 @ Slidebar – Fullerton, CA
03/31 @ Slims – San Francisco, CA
04/02 @ The Ritz – San Jose, CA
04/03 @ Studio Seven – Seattle, WA
04/04 @ Hawthorne Theater – Portland, OR
04/07 @ Backstage Bar – Las Vegas, NV
04/08 @ Brick By Brick – San Diego, CA

Powerflo is a rock super group of sorts comprised of Sen Dog (Cypress Hill) on vocals, Rogelio “Ray” Lozano (Downset) on guitar, Billy Graziadei (Biohazard) on guitar and vocals and Christian Olde Wolbers (ex-Fear Factory) on bass.  The band will serve as support for Prong on the upcoming dates.

Prong front man and founding member Tommy Victor said in a recent interview that he was looking forward to Prong and Powerflo touring together.

“Prong is absolutely ecstatic about this upcoming, quick West Coast run with Powerflo,” Victor said.  “We are very happy to announce this run of shows with these guys.  It really makes a lot of sense; two hard hitting bands whose members have a great history together!  It seems to me that the shows are going to be high-energy and intense!”

More information on Prong’s upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.prongmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prongmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Project 86 “Among” Rock and Metal’s Best On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Project 86/TAG Publicity

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Yes, everyone knows that phrase from AC/DC’s classic song by the same name.  As popular as it is, it is more than just a song lyric and title.  It is a statement of honor for the acts and audiences who span the rock community.  This year, as with every year prior, there are so many bands to honor as the year nears its end, including hard rock and metal bands.  In case it hasn’t become clear by now, this article focuses on this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  As with every list before, compiling it was not an easy task.  New releases from Project 86, Arch Enemy, Iced Earth, and so many others made this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums very crowded.  That is putting it lightly.  Between well-known mainstream acts and their lesser-known independent counterparts, the two sides collectively offered so many impressive new albums.

Topping this critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums is Project 86’s latest album Sheep Among Wolves.  The band’s 10th full-length studio recording in 20 years, this record takes all of the best elements of the band’s past — both musically and lyrically — and uses them to craft a work that is just as memorable and engaging as its predecessors.  Also on this year’s list from Phil’s Picks are new albums from — as already noted — Iced Earth and Arch Enemy — as well as new offerings from Overkill, Act of Defiance, Prong, Adrenaline Mob, Blacktop Mojo and others. As with every list, this list presents this critic’s Top 10 titles plus five additional titles for a total of 15 records.  That being noted, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  2. Prong — Zero Days
  3. Act of Defiance — Old Scars, New Wounds
  4. Overkill — The Grinding Wheel
  5. Iced Earth — Incorruptable
  6. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  7. Adrenaline Mob — We The People
  8. Marty Friedman — Wall of Sound
  9. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  10. Dragonforce — Reaching Into Infinity
  11. The Haunted — Strength In Numbers
  12. Doyle — As We Die
  13. Demon Hunter — Outlive
  14. 36 Crazyfists — Lanterns
  15. Arch Enemy — Will To Power

That’s all for this list.  Again, it was not an easy list to compile.  Acts the likes of Eve To Eve to Adam, Marty Friedman, Sepultura, Annihilator, Mastodon and so many others all deserve their own share of credit.  With that in mind, it becomes easy to see why no disrespect was meant to any one act or another here.  Every noted act released its own impressive album.  Only so many spaces were available, sadly.

2018 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in its own right, with new material from Ministry on the way alongside new albums from Judas Priest, Saxon, Machine Head, Corrosion of Conformity, Tool, Clutch and lots more.  Stay tuned for all of that in the new year.  To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘The Grinding Wheel’ Shows Overkill Is Still “Grinding” It Out Successfully

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The countdown to the year’s end is officially on, and that means for the music industry, the push is officially on to start assembling those annual year-end “Best Of” lists.  One of the lists that this critic in particular has seen overflowing with impressive titles is that of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  New releases from the likes of Prong, The Haunted, Dragonforce and so many others have easily proven themselves deserving of a spot on that list by any critic.  No critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums would be complete without the inclusion of Overkill’s latest album the Grinding Wheel.  Released this past February, this 11-song, 64-minute album is an offering that reminds audiences once again why even after more than 30 years, Overkill is still one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal realms even.  That is even as the band continues to embrace the mantra of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  The old school thrash riffs that have made the band a constant fan favorite throughout its life combine with equally interesting lyrical content here to prove why this record is one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.

Anytime that Overkill releases a new album, it will find its way onto critics’ lists of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.  The New Jersey-based thrash outfit’s 18th (yes, 18th) full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is no exception to that rule.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘Mean, Green Killing Machine.’ The song’s arrangement boasts riffs in its verses that easily lend themselves to some of the greatest classic thrash works from fellow thrashers Exodus, Metallica, Megadeth and others of that ilk.  In the same breath, the combination of front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal delivery with those riffs also conjures thoughts of so many classic Judas Priest songs.  The inclusion of the song’s more blues-based hard rock arrangement in its bridge adds even more interest to the song.  The sudden change between those two wholly separate styles is, needless to say, stark.  Yet at the same time, it still is not enough to ruin the song, musically speaking.  It only makes it that much more interesting.  Keeping that in mind, it is only one part of what makes this song proof of what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another standout record from Overkill.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

Ellsworth sings here, “Somewhere out where no one knows/Rusts a cool revolution fight/Way out there where no one goes/And it’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it right/So here’s to the piston charged/Combustible delight/The single-minded supercharged/That’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it/A call to arms/A call right through the dream/A call to action/Blow up the in-between/Feed, feed your engine/Feed, feed the wolverine/Feed, feed the tension/Mean green/Killing machine/C’mon, C’mon say what my name is/Mean green killing machine.”  Ellsworth goes on in the song’s further verses to deliver what seems like commentary perhaps about the world’s religious and business leaders, leading to the belief that perhaps while not a politically charged song, it is a lyrical worked aimed at reminding listeners to not just give in to the things being force-fed to them.  That is just this critic’s own take and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Ellsworth could easily have been making a wholly different statement.  That ability of these lyrics to create so much discussion in itself is even more proof of the importance of the song’s lyrical content.  When that content is joined with the song’s rich musical arrangement, the end result is a song that clearly exhibits what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another solid offering from Overkill.  It is hardly the only of the album’s songs to support that statement.  The album’s title track is one more example of what makes The Grinding Wheel another standout album from one of metal’s true elite acts.

‘The Grinding Wheel’ proves just as much as ‘Mean Green Killing Machine’ what makes Overkill’s latest album so enjoyable in part to its musical arrangement.  As with the previously discussed song, this composition also boasts an arrangement that is pure thrash at its finest.  It lends itself just as easily to comparisons to works from Judas Priest as the album’s opener, too.  Considering this, it goes without saying that this song’s musical arrangement is just as solid as those presented in the rest of the album’s songs.  That being the case, the next sensible step here would be to examine the song’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrical content is just as intriguing as that in the album’s opener and the record’s other songs.  Ellsworth sings here, “A bed of nails/Cold, dark, deep refrigeration/I hear it calling me/A broken rail as he drools over the congregation/I hear it calling me/Now I won’t tell you how to live your life/I never saw the point in thinking twice/I turn the wheel by day, by night/Raise your flag/Here’s to the liberation.”  The song goes on in similar fashion with equally cryptic statements throughout that are just as certain to leave listeners talking and thinking as the song’s lead verse.  Again, that ability to so easily engage listeners, even just through its lyrical content, is another way in which the song proves an important part of the record’s whole.  When it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements in whole support that statement even more.  Even considering this, it still is not the last of the songs included in this record that shows what makes the album stand out.  ‘Shine On,’ which comes early in the album’s run is one more example of what makes the record stand out.

‘Shine On’ is another key example of what makes The Grinding Wheel stand out, as with the previously discussed songs, in part due to its arrangement.  The up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement.  The arrangement presented here is a polished composition that lends itself directly to comparisons to some of Metallica’s greatest thrash style works.  Even as the song turns more doom-sounding bridge, that slower–yet no less heavy–section is a perfect fit that gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breaths without losing them.  It is only one part of what makes this song another key addition to The Grinding Wheel.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Shine On’ is important to discuss because of its seemingly anthemic nature.  That anthemic nature is inferred, at least to this critic as Ellsworth sings in the song’s chorus, “We got no patience, but we get through/We got no patience, but we got you/All of the paraders shout no fear/All of the hurricaners with their fists up in the air/Someone else gave the order to the band/Someone else ignored us/Left the cat out in the rain/One more fire before I die/One more fire, get me high/Climb on down to the fire/Climb on down to the flame/Leave your battles behind you/Shine on Doomsday/Shine on Doomsday.”  This all comes across as the band paying tribute, lyrically, to its fans, inspiring audiences to never give up on anything in life as they thank their fans for their dedication.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Either way, this song’s lyrical content comes across as a loud, proud statement from the band.  When that seemingly loud, proud statement is joined with the song’s equally heavy, driving musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows why it is an important addition to the album’s whole.  When the song is joined with the other songs noted here (and those not noted), the album in whole shows clearly why it is another powerhouse offering from Overkill, and an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Overkills’ 18th full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is a presentation of a band that more than 30 years into its life is still successfully grinding it out.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.  That is due to the solid, heavy musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 64-minute run time.  The record’s arrangements are everything that the band’s legions of fans have come to expect from its records throughout the years.  What’s interesting about them here is how polished they sound in each case.  The album’s collective lyrical content will have listeners thinking and talking just as much as its musical arrangements. From seeming commentaries (of sorts) to fist-pumping anthems and points in-between, the songs’ lyrical content gives listeners plenty to be happy about, too.  Keeping thin in mind, The album in whole proves to be a work that any Overkill fan will appreciate and agree deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on The Grinding Wheel is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OverkillWreckingCrew

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Tommy Victor Is In His Prime On His Latest Prong Recording

Courtesy: Steamhammer/SPV Records

Later this month, Prong will release its latest album to the masses, and the record, Zero Days, is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  The record, the 12th full-length studio recording from Tommy Victor and his ever-rotating roster of fellow musicians, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Prong – heavy yet infectious riffs and grooves, and equally hard-hitting lyrical content. That is evidenced early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Divide and Conquer,’ which will be discussed shortly.  The full-on thrash riffs and social commentary of ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ shows just as much as ‘Divide and Conquer’ what makes this record another enjoyable offering from Prong.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ also serves, with its musical arrangement and lyrical content, why this record represents everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band.  It is hardly the last of the songs included in this record that serves that purpose, too.  The record boasts 10 other songs that could just as easily be used to show why Prong has crafted another solid offering in Zero Days and why it is.  The whole of the album’s 13 songs shows the album to be, again, one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Veteran hard rock outfit Prong’s latest album Zero Days is everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band and then some.  The album, Tommy Victor’s 12th album under the Prong moniker, utilizes a solid mix of musical arrangements and hard-hitting lyrical content to make it one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

That is evidenced early on in the driving composition ‘Divide And Conquer.’  The melodic hard rock arrangement at the song’s center harkens back to some of the best songs included in the band’s 1996 album Rude Awakening and its forebear, Cleansing (1994).  That is evidenced through the song’s straight forward guitar arrangement and Victor’s own vocal delivery style.  Drummer Art Cruz’s own work behind the kit adds to that feel even more as does that of bassist Mike Longworth.  The whole of those parts makes this arrangement one of the album’s best musical compositions.  The songs’ lyrical content builds on the foundation created by the arrangement and strengthens the song even more.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Divide and Conquer’ strengthens the foundation created through the song’s musical arrangement because it hits just as hard as the arrangement with its commentary. Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “There’s no relief/There’s just regret/Want to forget/Just can’t believe/Really don’t want any part of that/Just another bad experience/For what’s positive or negative/Maybe it’s all just relative.”  He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You can’t go through life without these conditions/Divide and conquer/You can always rely on opposition/Face the sorrow/You can’t go through life without some division/Divide and conquer…”  This comes across as a message about accepting the good and bad in life rather than just the good.  This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  That interpretation is made just as much as Victor sings in the song’s second verse, “You only see what you gotta get/You cannot get what you cannot see/Always forced into compromise/Always have to make the sacrifice/Things are not what they seem to be/Living in a false reality.”  From here the song returns to its chorus before making its way to its end, reminding listeners that negative will always come with positive, and that people should expect both sides in life; that only seeing one side is close-minded.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark of being right.  Regardless, it can be agreed by everyone that whatever the message, it definitely is hard-hitting.  When that message is coupled with the song’s driving musical arrangement, the urgency of understanding the message is driven home even more, making this song both musically and lyrically a work that so many people (especially in today’s world) should hear, proving why it is such an important addition to Zero Days.  It is not the album’s only stand out song.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ is another of the songs that serves to show why Zero Days is another solid offering from Prong, despite what some critics might have people believe.

‘Divide and Conquer’ is one of the best examples of how much Tommy Victor and company have to offer audiences on its latest album Zero Days.  Its driving musical arrangement and equally hard-hitting lyrical content couple to make the song a work that will entertain audiences while also leaving them thinking quite a bit.  The impact from the song’s musical and lyrical content makes it only one of the album’s best additions.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ hits just as hard as ‘Divide and Conquer.’  Just as with the aforementioned work, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which instantly conjures thoughts of Slayer, Hatebreed and others of that ilk.  That speaks for itself.  Considering that, the next step here is to examine the song’s lyrical content, which at least to this critic seems to be a commentary about the bigotry and racism that has become far too prevalent across the nation ever since the rise to power of the nation’s current “leader.”  That is inferred right off the top as Victor sings, “Forced into tolerance of what we disdain/Being irrational is how we exist/Someone goes around and it makes no sense/They are labeled and then disgraced/Caught in the ignorance and try to explain.”  He goes on to bring out the foolishness of the hateful views that are being expressed by singing, “I don’t care if you exist…Don’t f****** tell me it is what it is.”  He goes on in similar fashion from here with the same musical and lyrical fire, indicting those close-minded masses of the nation (and the world possibly) pointing out the dangers of their views, and the foolishness of those views.  It is a powerful statement both musically and lyrically that will be timely as long as such people and views exist in the world.  Considering this, it is clearly evident why this song is so important to the overall presentation of Prong’s new album. It is not the last of the record’s key compositions either.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important songs.

‘Divide and Conquer’ and ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ are both key additions to Prong’s 12th full-length studio recording.  That is thanks to the songs’ powerhouse musical arrangements and the equally hard-hitting commentaries contained within each song.  The whole of those elements within each song makes each song a clear example of what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  They are not the album’s only key works, though.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important works.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which can easily be compared to works from the likes of Fear Factory, White Chapel and other similar acts with its heavy, crunching, down-tuned guitars, pounding drums and equally heavy bass line.  Keeping this in mind, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out so distinctly from the record’s other tracks.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ seems to this critic at least as a commentary about those people who think themselves so much better than everyone else.  That is inferred as Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “A victim/Of the system/Who gives a damn about your needs/Won’t listen/To criticism/Disgust for everyone who cheats/My heart is cold/I cannot pray/I can’t look way/What may unfold/Your dismay/Just total disdain/Self/Righteous/Indignation.”  That seeming commentary continues in the song’s second verse as Victor sings, “No wisdom/So distant/A great sense of psychic grief/existence/Of symptoms/distaste for everything that’s cheap/It’s always known/All the demands/The helping hands/have no control/What you don’t have/Gets way out of hand.”  Once again, this is all just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  It only seems to this critic that this song, lyrically, addresses those people who have that unnecessary God complex of sorts.  Sadly, there are far too many people of this sort around the world, and if that is indeed what Victor is addressing here, he does quite the job of addressing the matter.  Keeping that in mind, the song’s musical arrangement expertly couples with the power in the song’s lyrics and Victor’s own powerhouse vocal delivery.  It delivers a message of pure anger aimed at those people in question; a message that, again if that is the intended message, definitely hits home in a big way, showing once more why this song is such a key addition to Zero Days.  It is hardly the last of the songs that could be examined to show what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  Any of the other 10 songs that fill out the rest of the album could be examined just as easily as this work and the previously discussed works.  Considering this, the whole of this record shows Prong at its prime; a work that will definitely impress any of the band’s fans new or old.  They make the record a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Prong’s latest full-length studio recording Zero Days shows Tommy Victor at his prime along with the band that he founded so many years ago.  It is a record that shows despite all of the band’s lineup and label changes, is still as relevant and powerful today as it was in its infancy.  That is exhibited from start to finish through the album’s powerhouse musical arrangements and its equally hard-hitting lyrical content.  The two elements together make the album in whole one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It will be available Friday, July 28 via Steamhammer/SPV Records.  More information on Zero Days is available online now along with all of Prong’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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