Posted on November 13, 2009 -
With a new lineup and a first studio album in eight years, some old Prong fans are destined to be alienated and listen to “Scorpio Rising” with a closed mind. I, on the other hand, have NOT been a fan of the band for many years, so I listened to this album with an open mind…and I was quite impressed. No, it’s not as fast or intense as their past works, but that’s not saying that there’s no energy and no angst (because there is). Also, don’t be mislead that the riffs are slow or few and far between. The riffs aren’t slow, in fact they are often similar to past Prong songs. Tommy Victor plays one solid riff after another, and they’re all catchy, down-tuned, staccato, crunchy industrial-metal riffs (which churn and almost grind in places). Anyone who says differently hasn’t heard such songs as “Embrace the Depth” and “Regal.”
Next, some think that Prong made radio friendly songs because the vocals aren’t as intense, either. The vocals are no longer yells or snarls 100% of the time. Some crooning and almost proper singing are thrown in on such songs as “Embrace the Depth” and “Avoid Promises”. But I don’t think that is “selling out”; I have another word for it: growth.
“All Knowing Force” has circular riffs that chug and churn.
“Embrace the Depth” has vocals which go from soft and tuneful to almost monstrous, while the music makes a “boom-boom boom boom” sound.
“Regal” opens with almost machine gun riffs and a fast drum attack. It begins fast and just gets faster. More churning industrial riffs are found on this track, as well as a guitar solo. Industrial metal isn’t famous for good guitar solos, but Victor unabashedly rips one out here.
“Inner Truth” begins with a riff which is only audible in one headphone, but then the drums come on and kick start things with a thud. The verses are only vocals and drums, but the chorus has more hooky, rusty, throbbing riffs. Another Dimebag Darrell-esque guitar solo highlights this track, as well.
The beginning of “Entrance of the Eclipse” could pass as a “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck” sequel, except the opening riff is missing. Instead, it begins with a good bassline. As the song progresses, Victor spouts and occasional whisper alongside bobbing guitar riffs.
“Scorpio Rising” doesn’t have another “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”. But many of the songs are as catchy as that song, and the album as a whole is very solid. “Solid” is the perfect way to describe it, because it is consistent all the way through. Every song is very listenable. Prong are a very underrated band and, until they turn out another hit single, they will continue to be so. They are one of the best bands you’re not listening to.
On some of this album, Prong explore their past (with most of the riffs and all around heaviness remaining in tact), but with new vocal styles and guitar solos, they also branch out and show signs of growth.
Prong helped to keep metal alive in the early `90’s, and they are and have always been a good industrial metal band that is great listening for metalheads everywhere.