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Album Review: PRONG – X – No Absolutes + Interview with Tommy Victor

Heavy Metal Legends Prong featuring Tommy Victor return with X-No Absolutes

Metal legends Prong have returned with a bludgeoning new album, X-No Absolutes, and by all accounts this is Prong at their absolute best. Heavy, bludgeoning thrash with a mix of new to Prong fans, slowed down melodic tracks, “Do Nothing” and “Unwritten Law.” Co-produced by longtime Prong collaborator, and Tommy Victor cohort, Chris Collier, X-No Absolutes is chock full of the tasty Prong-style thrash we have all grown accustomed to. Leading off X-No Absolutes, is the track “Ultimate Authority,” a balls out, blazing thrash track, written quickly to be the lead-off track. In my interview with Tommy Victor, Tommy stated that, “That song just flowed out. Once I got the guitar riff done, the song just came together man, and it is a great album opener. Very heavy and pounding.

prongCo-produced and engineered by Chris Collier, X-No Absolutes, is Prong at their strongest – being tight, fast and heavy. Collier pushed them to make the best album they could, and it shows with stellar tracks, “Sense of Ease,” “Cut and Dry,” “No Absolutes,” “In Spite of Hindrances,” and the aforementioned opener, “Ultimate Authority.” Taking a departure from the normal crushing Prong sound, which some hardcore Prong fans may not care for is the track “Do Nothing.” Slowed down and melodic, and showing not only Tommy’s guitar chops, but his vocal range as well, is as close to a Prong ballad as you’ll find. A definite departure from the norm, this reviewer finds “Do Nothing” refreshing and a nice break from the audio assault on your eardrums. The bonus track, “Universal Law,” has a Pantera-style vibe, in style of Far Beyond Driven, no doubt influenced by Prong’s time spent on tour with Phil Anselmo and Superjoint Ritual in support of their previous effort, Ruining Lives. On Chris Collier’s expertise, Tommy stated, “Chris is the consummate professional man, and if Metallica was looking to have someone produce and engineer their new record, Chris could do it and they’d be happy with the result.” [columns] [column size=”1/3″]

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Artist: Prong
Album Title: X – No Absolutes
Release Date: 05 February 2016
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
[list style=”music”] [li]Ultimate Authority[/li] [li]Sense Of Ease[/li] [li]Without Words[/li] [li]Cut And Dry[/li] [li]No Absolutes[/li] [li]Do Nothing[/li] [li]Belief System[/li] [li]Soul Sickness[/li] [li]In Spite Of Hindrances[/li] [li]Ice Runs Through My Veins[/li] [li]Worth Pursuing[/li] [li]With Dignity[/li] [li]Universal Law (DigiPak bonus track)[/li] [/list]
[/column] [/columns]

Prong’s spot in the metal Hierarchy has never been questioned, and X-No Absolutes is their answer to the question, “Has Prong lost a step in the metal game?” That answer is a RESOUNDING “No.” Good on Tommy and the boys for creating such a good record. I give it a solid 8.5 of 10 stars.


Tommy Victor

Excerpts from my interview with Tommy Victor of Prong:

On the new record, and working with Chris Collier:

“Yeah man, Chris and I have been collaborating for a long time, and he pushes us to make the best music we can. Like, he’s not afraid to tell me if a guitar part is weak, and there are things that I need to change. He’s been my confidant and my cohort for along time, and I trust his thoughts on what the sounds need to be. I totally trust what Chris has to say, and If I came in with a track that Chris didn’t think was up to the sound and music we could make, we scrapped it.”


On working as a three piece band on X-No Absolutes:

“There’s not many three piece acts out there anymore, now that Motorhead is no more. It makes us work tighter and be better musicians. You really have to be on point because there’s no filler, no backing tracks, just me, Art and Jason playing our hearts out on every track. We know the tracks, and sometimes Jason doesn’t make it to rehearsal, but I know when he shows up he has his parts down.”

On the un-Prong-like tracks “Do Nothing” and “Unwritten Law”:

“They were a different approach to the Prong sound, but we thought, on this record, that they were appropriate. Maybe down the road we get back to that straight ahead Prong sound, but the time was right for these tracks. “Do Nothing” has a definite melody to it, and was something that we wanted to try out. Chris told us “Unwritten Law” definitely has that old school Pantera sound that I really dig.”

On the opening track, “Ultimate Authority”:

“That track was written very quickly because we needed a strong opener. That song flowed so quickly. The track really came together once we got the riffs written, and it turned out to be one of the strongest tracks on the album.”

On Guns N’ Roses playing Coachella and his favorite track from Appetite for Destruction:

“Man, I am not a big fan of big festivals like Coachella. The waiting around all day, and doing nothing. I prefer to play the smaller venues where we can be right up on the crowd. I think Guns N’ Roses are just going through the motions, I mean does Axl even have it in him anymore? As for my favorite track on Appetite for Destruction it would have to be ‘Mr. Brownstone.’”



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