I absolutely loved Prong’s first few albums. Cleansing changed all of that. It was a sad attempt to cross over into some kind of “industrial metal” realm where Prong never should have gone. It’s overproduced and lifeless. Stick to their first few records or their Peel sessions instead.
Metal Album Reviews[RSS]
Oh my did I spin this disc a lot in college. In my opinion, Prong remain a step above the typical metal/hard-core band of the 90’s. I remember reading a review of this disc that criticised the songwriting abilities of the band. I just don’t understand that. This disc is packed full of amazing guitar riffs. The cohesion among the three members is amazing. In fact, there are few albums I have ever heard that are tighter than this (listen to the guitar work on ‘Cut-rate’). Almost every track here has a memorable lick, hypnotic almost. So perhaps the person who doesn’t listen to this type of music is not bringing an appreciation for true talent in this genre to the table. Those of us who have waded thru one [bad] metal disc after another know talent when we hear it. I was hooked from the first punishing track to the last. Tell me this is not one of the best sounding albums you’ve ever heard in the genre? What do you expect with a producer like Terry Date?
In the early 1990’s, grunge was the most popular genre. Bands like Nirvana and Soundgarden dominated the charts. But Prong were one of the bands that (along with groups like Biohazard and Pantera) kept releasing heavy metal albums (like “Cleansing,” which was released in 1994).
And even though they helped to keep heavy music alive in the Nineties, Prong are (and always have been) still a very underrated band. Even in their heyday, they didn’t fully get the attention they deserved. But, quite frankly, it’s inexplicable why their albums didn’t sell as many copies as other bands, because Prong are equally as talented, catchy, and original. Tommy Victor’s vocals may not be completely innovative, but saying “Cleansing” is a rip off of Metallica’s “Kill `Em All” is ridiculous. This album is industrial metal, and “Kill `Em All” was a much faster thrash record.
It’s also very confusing how any metal fan can give this album less than five stars, because, simply put…”Cleansing” rocks! It’s full of buzzsaw riffs, beeping bass lines, catchy, snarly vocals (and a few catchy grunts), and even an occasional guitar solo. Solos are very rare for industrial metal, but on some of these songs, like the first track, frontman Tommy Victor does rip one out.
All metalheads are–or at least definitely should be–familiar with this record’s third track. The staccato, rusty-sounding riff at the beginning of “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” is almost world renowned for being so irresistibly catchy. This song is doubtlessly Prong’s most well-known song, and it probably is the best and catchiest song on “Cleansing,” but there are many other good songs here, too, and even some great ones. The first two tracks, “Another Worldy Device” and “Whose Fist Is This Anyway,” are both very catchy; and, with rhythmic riffs, and the album closers (“Sublime” and “Test”) both have excellent, heavy hooks. Elsewhere, “Broken Piece” begins with wah-wah guitars before turning to a fast, churning rhythm and concluding with a wild solo. “One Out Numbered” has a Helmet-esque stop-start rhythm, and, even though “Not of This Earth” is slower, things pick back up for track ten, “Home Rule,” which has thunderous riffs and grumbling bass notes.
Even though it’s worth buying just for “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck,” all of “Cleansing” is completely solid, with not one bad song. You’re just not metal unless you own some Prong, and if you’re new to the band, start here (because this is probably their best work). And even if you don’t own it (for some odd reason), at least give Prong props for helping to keep metal alive in the Nineties.
How anyone could compare Cleansing to Kill ‘Em All is beyond me. But when they preface the only fast song on the CD with “slow heavy groove of…” then you know they must be listening to something else. Also calling it “noisy”. It’s only one of the tightest sounding recordings in all of metal. There is absolute zero studio excess on this CD. It’s very dry and slams at high volume.
This is an iconic album and along with Roots, Vulgar Display of Power, In The Meantime, Burn My Eyes will stand the test of time and never get old.
Prong are the evolution of Killing Joke into metal. Even though Killing Joke are still around and still great, Prong took the torch they dropped in the late 80’s and created a great mix of Metal and industrial like starkness.
I agree that at first listens the 2nd half of the CD doesn’t have the immediate fire and hook of the first half but over time those latter songs became undiscovered gems to me as they give the CD diversity that helps it last.
It’s interesting that in retrospect some of the best metal recordings to be made came at a time when the banners yelled metal is dead, long live alternative. No wonder metal is “mostly” lame now as it’s so prominent and popular that it’s fallen into the mass produced masses. A band like Avenged Sevenfold is no different to me than the Goo Goo Dolls or any female pop singer.
Prong will never be in the same show as Christine Aguilera. Metallica would though *sigh*
Anyone on this page will do well to ignore the editorial review from Amazon. Prong is just another one of the countless metal bands that had an extremely underrated career and never got the recognition they deserved; much like bands like Helmet, Faith No More, Corrosion of Conformity, Biohazard, etc., and while “Cleansing” isn’t perfect, it’s still exceptional metal listening. Laced with some jazz/blues-esque grooves, “Cleansing” is probably the best album to come from this band masterminded by Tommy Victor, with “Whose Fist is This Anyway?”, “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, “Cut-Rate”, and “No Question” being solid tracks, even if it does wear thin towards the second half of the disc and some of the songs outstay their welcome. Despite that, Prong was just one of the many ignored and underrated bands that deserved attention while pretenders like Korn and Limp Bizkit blew up, and if your a fan of Pantera, Slayer, Helmet, or COC, then you should definitely give Prong a try.