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Scorpio Rising

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(29 Reviews)

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  • This is horrible. Prong USED to be on the cutting edge, ahead of their time, an unstoppable mutation of metal and industrial. With Ted Parsons and Killing Joke’s Paul Raven, Tommy Victor crafted two albums (“Cleansing” and “Rude Awakening”) that still sound sharp, fresh, and and energetic despite the fact that both are nearly ten years old.

    That being said, I was very excited to see a new album arrive. But upon examining the liner notes, I knew I was in trouble. When a band disappears off the scene for 8 years, is officially broken up, and then returns with only one original member, it generally indicates a greater need for cash than for creative expression. Check out the equally sucky “Danzig 5″ if you’d like another example of a great band that went to hell.

    I wish I’d never cruised the “Prong” bin at the store. Everything that was good about this band is gone. There’s no energy in the songs. No real angst. Even the signature Victor guitar sound is gone. And the only lyrics I’ve seen dumber than these were on that sorry Liz Phair disc. This is doubtlessly the single worst CD I’ve paid money for, and I have bought some bad ones.

    What a waste.

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • 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.

    Highlights include:

    “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.

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • What’s good about it? Victor lets out a commanding ‘Yeah!’ to start off the opening track “Detached.” There’s no doubt about it; Prong is back! It won’t be long before the throbbing guitar riff will have you smelling the sweet sound of industrial steel in the air. As usual, the vocals are delivered with all of the anger and emotion that Victor is known for. His vocals change from tuneful to down right throaty on “Reactive Mind.” A tuned down ‘chugga-chugga’ riff only enhances his emotions. Machine gun like guitar work and frantic drums highlight “Regal.” This track is sure to be a favorite in ‘the pit.’ Industrial metal is not known for its guitar solos, but Victor lays one down that invokes the work of his metal heroes. “Entrance of the Eclipse” is an apocalyptic anthem that draws its energy from marching drumbeats and driving rhythms. Wait just a minute. Did I just hear some rock radio friendly tracks? “Embrace the Depth” is heavy on bass, heavy on industrial guitar playing, heavy on the skins, but a little lighter on vocals. Don’t get me wrong, Victor is still brutal on the chorus, almost leaning toward a death metal delivery, but the verses are a little more melodic than Prong is known for. “Avoid Promises” falls into the same category; even more so. It has an unforgettable opening, followed by some smoothed over vocals. It’s as if Victor is saying, ‘You want radio friendly? Here’s your radio friendly!’ Anything bad? Nope Bottom Line: Industrial kept the metal scene alive in the early nineties when grunge was all the rage. Even though that time has past, Scorpio Rising is a solid metal album from beginning to end. Prong’s time away from the scene didn’t hurt their ability to write some of the most aggressive and powerful music. The songs are equally effective whether they’re delivered in familiar harsh vocal tones, or the more recent melodic vocal tones.

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Being a prong fan since Beg To Differ, i was both excited and worried when i heard of the reformation…. Much to my satisfaction, this cd is excellent. a few “small” complaints though.First off, the Vocals are a little irritating. Not having the sony budget didnt help this im sure, but also the fact that Tommy seems to have had a bit of Danzig rubbing off in this department. some of the Vocals remind me of danzig. not the voice itself, but the stylings. a prong/ danzig fan will notice this.also, a couple of the tracks are, dare i say, FILLER material? Especially letter to a “friend” which is just a boring song. with 14 tracks on the CD it is not much to complain about, but when listening in its entirety, it can definately ruin the “flow” of the cd.Now onto the good. The RIFFS! As always with prong its about the riffs! and they are both brisk and abundant. the pits accross america will be shaken up without a doubt! love the structures and speed of the riffs. even though the production isnt as sharp as “awakening” and “cleansing”. But that , im sure, is because of label and budget restictions. Overall a great and welcome comeback for prong! Very hopeful to see them in NYC soon… A must have for even the slightest prong fan…

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Prong has re-established themselves as rulers of the industrial metal genre with the this latest effort. Great production, monstrous riffs, excellent overall stuff to bang your head to. The cd is awesome from start to finish. Mix up a batch of your favorite juice and sit back and crank it up! To be totally honest with all you amazon maniacs, it’s really hard to sum up this cd in words. Words just don’t seem to do it enough justice. That’s how incredible this latest effort from Prong is. You just have to get it and see for yourself what all the buzz is all about! LONG LIVE UNDERGROUND METAL!!!!!!!!! F RADIO FRIENDLY MUSIC!!!!!!! Peace out,Scotty 2 Hotty

    Posted on November 13, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now