Quality crossover thrash and groove metal from these veteran New Yorkers
Talk about a band absolutely on fire right now? New York City journeymen Prong. 'Zero Days' is the band's fourth album since 2014, an exclamation mark that is magnified by the band's consistent touring in the US and across the pond. The band pairs up with equally hot Chris Collier for production, a talent who's most recently been associated with the likes of Metal Church, Flotsam and Jetsam and Last in Line. Steamhammer is still dealing the goods, a collaboration that has seen the band market the last four albums through the German label.
"Oh, it's looking like a lost cause" is Tommy Victor's opening bellow, leading off album ignitor "However It May End". Victor's signature riffs bore into the lyrics with an impactful force. It's convincing and defiant, dressed to kill with tight production values. The album's title track is a grunt-truck of groove, punctuated by that odd punky chorus delivery that only Prong can pull off. Fretwork at the two-minute mark injects a good dose of melody amidst the apocalyptic message. While a lot of tracks work well being built on the thrash (or crossover) platform, "The Whispers" is hands down the best track of the album and a career highlight. It's this loose, accessible cut that rides Longworth's basslines with an addictive chorus. The melodic, ascending notes through the chorus works perfectly as it builds into this crushing, jackhammer riff and double bass.
I'm giving this higher marks than some of the reviews I've glanced at online. I'm not sure what they are missing that I'm cherishing, but a note for readers is that I haven't become overly familiar with the last decade of Prong albums. Hearing 'Zero Days' has prodded me to explore missing albums and events in the band's history. While some may have become jaded or even complacent with Tommy and the gang...I've got plenty of good days left to enjoy 'Zero Days'.