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prong ruininglives
Artist: Prong
Title: Ruining Lives
Genre: Groove Metal
Release Date: 28th April 2014
Label: Steamhammer / SPV

Album Review

PRONG are still going strong after twenty six years of crushing, yet very catchy music. They've gone the route of crossover, groove metal, industrial rock, and even nu-metal. Each era has its own distinct sound, but ultimately PRONG. With their latest album, vocalist Tommy Victor notes that he felt it was the "culmination of all of PRONG's eras together." One can hear the more raw crossover Hardcore sound that was from albums like 'Force Fed,' the more groove oriented 'Rude Awakening' where PRONG touched industrial, and a lot of people rejected it. There isn't so much nu-metal from the 'Scorpio Rising' but at heart listeners can say that compared to 'Carved In Stone,' 'Ruining Lives' definitely continues the more groove metal oriented tradition. This album isn't as raw as some of the previous efforts - in fact there is a lot of melody going on when it comes to tracks like ‘Remove, Separate Self.’ Fortunately, the entire album is still very catchy. ‘Absence Of Light’ has some excellent riffs going on here that definitely herald back to the 'Rude Awakening' days, but don't feature the thumping industrial elements so purists shouldn't be too upset by the musical reference. ‘Chamber Of Thought’ is fast, heavy, and definitely more in the vein of those who really liked albums like ‘Power Of The Damager.’ Relentless and yet not mindless blasting like heard on some Hardcore or Grindcore bands.

One thing PRONG fans will notice as over the years the vocal department has gotten clearer. In PRONG's earlier days they were faded or gritty to match the rawness of the crossover style on albums like 'Cleansing.' Here on 'Ruining Lives' they sound perfect - pushed to the front but not so much they seem separate from the music itself. On tracks like ‘Remove...’ they are clear, more rock oriented and definitely warrant a “hit style” on this track. Others like ‘The Book Of Change’ they are a bit grittier and feature more a more angry side that is more akin to thrash. Part of this is due to the bringing of Jason Christopher of technical melodic metal powerhouse SEBASITAN BACH on the guitars and Arturo Cruz formerly of Deathcore WINDS OF PLAGUE on drums. It seems that every era PRONG keeps changing their line up, and the result is something a little different every time.

As a result, those who are hoping for the industrial age of 'Rude Awakening' or the gritty 'Force Fed' will find traces here, but there is not much chance that the group will return in full force to the sound of those albums. '... Damager' basically set the tone a few years ago for what PRONG has developed towards now, and probably will set the tone for many years to come. PRONG definitely sets the right course with 'Ruining Lives' as far as staying the course of groove metal, but compared to previous releases it doesn't deviate too much, though the tip of the hat to other eras are nice to hear on some of the tracks. Those who are die-hard fans of PRONG will find this quite enjoyable, and those who are new to the group will find the album a bit of a surprise of how aggressive and melodic it can be at the same time. It doesn't quite rage like 'Damager...' but doesn't soften up like 'Scorpio Rising.' It falls right in the middle, which isn't too bad of a niche to be in when considering a group like PRONG.


01. Turnover - 3:35
02. The Barriers - 3:31
03. Windows Shut - 4:02
04. Remove, Separate Self - 3:59
05. Ruining Lives - 4:41
06. Absence of Light - 3:42
07. The Book of Change - 3:23
08. Self Will Run Riot - 3:51
09. Come to Realize - 3:49
10. Chamber of Thought - 3:45
11. Limitations and Validations - 3:36


Tommy Victor - Vocals, Guitar
Tony Campos - Bass
Alexei Rodriguez - Drums


Cover Picture

prong ruininglives


Music: 8
Sound: 7
Total: 7.5 / 10

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