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Tommy Victor of Prong
Photograph: Hristo ShindovTommy Victor of Prong

NYC metal mainstay Prong delivers the goods with a crushing new LP

The veteran thrash-groove combo plays the Gramercy Theatre to celebrate Carved Into Stone


Note: Prong has canceled its Gramercy Theatre appearance on August 20.

Prong started out playing hardcore, about what you’d expect from a band founded by a CBGB soundman. But if Tommy Victor & Co.’s early work conformed to the title of their 1987 debut, Primitive Origins, later releases such as Prove You Wrong showcased an ingenious crosswiring of riff-happy thrash and improbably funky groove-metal. Yet while Helmet and other like-minded contemporaries flirted with alt-rock-stardom, Prong landed only a lone cult hit (“Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”).

So it’s a pleasant surprise that Carved Into Stone—the first Prong LP since 2007—sounds so focused, with Victor digging deep into his well of Killing Joke–style postpunk hooks and drummer Alexei Rodriguez laying down a steroidal, double-bass-heavy foundation. One would’ve hoped for a proper hometown headlining gig to celebrate such a potent release, but instead Prong opens here for industrial-metal also-rans Static-X. All the more reason to brace yourself: This underdog bites.—Hank Shteamer

Prong plays the Gramercy Theatre Monday 20.

Follow Hank Shteamer on Twitter: @DarkForcesSwing

Buy Carved into Stone on iTunes

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