Release DetailsLABEL 13th Planet Records
RELEASED ON 10/2/2007
Power Of The Damager
posted on 11/2007 By:
Recently, I had the chance to interview myself about my feelings on the new Prong album, Power of the Damager. What transpired is as follows:
DS- Do you have a history with Prong or is this your first experience with them?
ds- I started listening to Prong back in 1994 or so, whenever Cleansing came out. I had a buddy who was an outcast at school and he was listening to Fear Factory, Pantera, and Prong incessantly. Surprisingly, "Snap Your Fingers..." was not my favorite song of the disc; I pretty much skipped it whenever we got to it. I liked the artificial harmonics, grim overtones, Tommy Victor's unique vocals, and a production for what was then a pretty tight sound. Rude Awakening is my favorite, thick and heavy with some whammy pedal madness. Although I wasn't too sure if I liked the shift towards a more industrialized sound. Regardless, they are both discs that I break out several times annually to this day. I checked out their early stuff like Beg To Differ & Prove You Wrong, but determined that the heaviness and production values on them did not meet my expectations, being that I was accustomed to their current material, so being a young idiot I tossed them aside and never went back to reinvestigate.
DS-Did you enjoy Scorpio Rising?
ds- Eh ( shakes hands in a "so-so" fashion), I haven't gone back to it too many times. It had some trademark crushers, but overall too many choruses and shifts towards radio-friendliness. By that time their style had all but been copied by a lot of other newer bands who were implementing the same tuning and flying harmonics and were also sounding equally powerful. So it almost sounded like they had been left in the dust and didn't know it.
DS- Alright so you're not a Prong virgin, and you have a knowledge of their past work. What was your initial impression upon the opening notes of Power of the Damager?
ds- Well, the sound had its pros and cons. Its a pretty big production, but there are two things I didn't like about it right off the bat. The bass drum is extremely soft, and the guitar is really unrefined; almost like a live recording. I think it loosens up the sound too much. Maybe that's what they wanted, I don't know.
DS- Alot of bands are abandoning the polished sound. Are you able to get past this to see quality in the music regardless?
ds- Yeah, but after Rude Awakening, I thought that they had integrated the stop'n'start, airtight sound into their music permanently. It was something I liked about them. Now they seem to have discarded it as a priority.
DS- So what is your evaluation quality wise on Power of the Damager?
ds- Well, similar to the path of Scorpio Rising, Victor is laying down some "accessible" heavy riffs (that sound almost like they came right off a Static-X album), but there are some choruses and attempts at melody that just don't sit well with me. "3rd Option" would sound like Gothenburg tainted metalcore if it weren't for Victor's vox. Same deal with "The Banishment". Tommy sometimes sounds like he's leaning towards an older pop-punk vocal style.
DS- Well you know, he's a fan of that kind of stuff. Misfits, Bauhaus, Black Flag, etc.
ds- Yeah that's fine but it does absolutely nothing for me. If you can listen to "The Worst Of It" more than once, then you've got ears of stone.
DS- What do you think of "Spirit Guide"?
ds- It's really strange for a Prong song. Sounds like a mix between Pink Floyd & Corrosion of Conformity. Almost a classic rock song with pinch harmonics. The cowbell is a nice touch. But again, very radio-friendly.
DS- So you seem awfully critical mainly because you don't like the apparent mainstream sound of this effort, or the lack of "brutalness" (sarcastically). Are there any songs you DO like or approve of?
ds- Yeah, but there's no need to be a prick about it. I was hoping for a Rude Awakening Pt.2 and didn't get it so maybe that's where the jaded vibe is coming from. I'll admit "Power of the Damager" is a kickass song. It's got a stomp beat through the whole song that you can't help but expose the metal grimace to. It's a high energy tune. I also like "Can't stop the Bleeding". It's got a similar beat and numerous harmonic convulsions. They sound like old-school Prong more than anything else on here. And by "old-school", I mean circa Cleansing.
DS- Allrightythen I think we have a pretty good idea of what you think of the album. It's obvious that you won't push this on fans of Cleansing or Rude Awakening. Who WOULD you recommend this to?
ds- Definitely not for "extreme" metal fans. If you've been with Prong since their birth, then you're probably going to think they can do no wrong. But it's clear that the Prong I was rooting for is gone. This sounds somewhere between radio-metal and very standard metalcore at some points. I guess metal itself has evolved so much from the early-mid 90's to now, that it seems like what they're doing has already been done during their time off. It's good for what it is, which is something a common rock station would play to make them sound "more extreme" than their rival station.
DS- You still didn't answer my question.
ds- OK well, if you still have COC, early Fear Factory & Pantera in regular rotation or are a fan of the "Z-rock" era sound, than this will give you the same vibe. Remember Z-rock out of Dallas? Are they even on the air anymore?
DS- Who knows. Will you break this album out again?
ds- Maybe for the couple of tracks I mentioned, but I don't plan on it anytime soon.
DS- Thanks for your time. We know you are thoroughly busy watching pornography and sleeping, so we were glad you could fit us into your schedule.
ds- Fuck off. Don't ask me for another interview again.
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