One full song and three audio clips from the forthcoming PRONG album, "Power of the Damager". are available for streaming on the band's MySpace page.
Due on October 2, the hard-hitting record — the band's first studio release since 2003's "Scorpio Rising" — is easily PRONG's finest. "Power of the Damager" maintains the razor-sharp signature riffs band founder Tommy Victor has perfected over the last 20 years while harkening back to the rawness of PRONG's pioneering years as industrial metal's native son. Most notable is the record's in-your-face production, which came courtesy of Victor himself. "It's no frills," said Victor. "There's two loud crunchy stereo guitars, rumbling growling bass, and real slamming natural drums. I kept any vocal effects to a minimum. We felt that if the vocal couldn't hold its own dry and decipherable, it probably wasn't any good."
Joining Victor in the PRONG trio is bassist Monte Pittman, a PRONG veteran who does double-duty as tour guitarist for none other than MADONNA, and drummer Aaron Rossi. Though PRONG has made a career of changing with each release, the common thread in each is reality, and that carries through on "Power of the Damager".
"Everything is to the point," Victor said. "There are no disguises. It's all about experience. It's about relating to what others feel and what they may be concerned about. I think people will relate to the themes encrypted on this record do, even if they are guarded and don't let them surface. A lot of the record is about denial and how we come to grips with it. I know people, if they get honest, will relate."
The mammoth record weighs in with a dozen tracks, highlighted by the title track, which Victor began writing during a crazed, manic night alone in PRONG's rehearsal space. "I was trying to review and write riffs, but I was too preoccupied," said Victor. "I was all bottled up, experiencing a good amount of pain, anxiety, fear, and general disgust about everything." He quickly scrawled a lyric on a nearby used envelope and shoved it in his pocket, carrying it around for days. "Even though it had a self destructive, violent, and nihilistic theme, I felt philosophical, accepting, and maybe even spiritual about the state of mind I was in," he said. "I knew it was good. I threw the riffs I was reviewing on that dark night up on my computer put it to a 203bpm click track, did some programming for the demo, screamed the lyric over it, and it all fit perfectly. From all that negative crap in me came something really cool that I enjoyed doing and helped me get through. It had to be the title track."
"Power of the Damager" is PRONG's first release for MINISTRY mainman Al Jourgensen's 13th Planet Records, a relationship that was kindled while Victor played with Jourgensen in MINISTRY.
"Tommy is En Fuego!" said Jourgensen. "I love this guy! We're like two grumpy been-there-done-that bastards, but when it comes to songwriting, performing, Tommy is the shit. Not only do I love working in the studio and touring with the guy on MINISTRY, I'm totally honored and proud to have PRONG on the 13th Planet roster. 'Power of the Damager' is top-notch PRONG at its very best. Way to kick ass, Tommy. Good job."
"Power of the Damager" track listing:
01. Looking for Them
02. No Justice
03. Third Option
04. Pure Ether
05. Power of the Damager
06. The Banishment
07. Worst of It
08. Spirit Guide
09. Messages Inside of Me
10. Can't Stop the Bleeding
11. Bad Fall
12. Changing Ending Troubling Times
PRONG will begin touring in support of "Power of the Damager" in October, kick-starting the tour in 13th Planet's hometown of El Paso, Texas.