Review: Prong - Power of the Damager
Label: 13th Planet Records
Released: October 2, 2007
In their prime, Prong established a sound that was so unique and intense, that it's influence can still be felt today. In doing so, they also set their own standard fairly high, making post-prime albums even more difficult for them.
Power of the Damager won't hold up to an album like Cleansing. It doesn't show Prong's ability to mix the technical with the visceral, a feat that few bands have been able to copy. In the past, Tommy Victor and company's prowess has been rightly obscured by their ability to mix heavy crunch and lots of pinch harmonics with an undeniable groove. They simply rocked so hard that it didn't matter that they were fantastic musicians to boot. On their latest album though, the heaviness and the fine playing is obscured by Victor's poor production. The album's weight is muted into a thin shell of itself and fails to bring out the separation that exposes what almost certainly is top-notch playing. On top of that, the songs, while attempting to move in the same direction, generally lack the groove that remains memorable even over a decade later. There are moments where they really hit stride, but they don't maintain that over full songs let alone the whole album.
On Power of the Damager, Prong is actually a victim of their own success. While most of their followers would be thrilled to release an album this good, it just doesn't reach the bar Prong set themselves.
For a second opinion on this album, check out Metal Mark's review. For a third opinion, check the Metal Minute.