Tommy Victor, one of the hardest working people in metal, pens a love letter to the 90's with State of Emergency. Victor's Prong is able to mix and meld together punk, metal and East Coast hardcore to create a ferocious record that exhibits the exigency of the band's heyday. Back when you heard Prong on metal radio and saw them on MTV. Today FM Radio is nearly vanished and MTV just plays reruns of idiocy, yet Victor is still cranking out biting, aggressive and impassioned metal with the same zeal of musicians less than half his age. This is so very apparent on this newest record that's full of Victor's signature energy and zeal.
Victor, a legend in the Northeast metal scene, sticks to the usual formula on State of Emergency. Relatively brief tracks that are 100% guitar driven, that feature an array of repetitive riffs written in a manner the displays a heightened sense of urgency. This emblematic in the album's opener, "The Descent," which is a barn-burner that mixes speed with aspects of hardcore and a generous helping of low-end in the mix. This is the style that has yielded the band a great deal of success over it's impressively long tenure.
The title track, which is unmistakably Tommy Victor, sounds like it could easily be on a number of the band's records from the late 90's. It's Victor's legendary use of his signature pinch harmonics (also very prevalent the track "Breaking Point"). It's the heavy groove that gets your body moving. It's writing a heavy song without trying too hard to be heavy. These are the things that Victor excels at and, smartly, he never really strays too far from his comfort zone.
Cuts like "Who Told Me" hit you hard in a manner that will evoke shades of the heft and crunch of bands like Biohazard with their nasty riffs and hooks that you'll feel right in the chest. Songs such as "Obeisance" shake my woofers and annoy my neighbors. At the same time, however, Victor demonstrates that he's unafraid to get a get melodic and even a bit airy with the accessible "Disconnected" that could easily fit into modern rock radio if that was still really a thing.
Overall, this is really the strongest Prong record to hit the streets in the recent past. It's doubly impressive given the fact that Victor is also the current guitarist in Danzig. He has a lot on his plate yet he still can write a really mean, really direct metal song that doesn't sound stale. Prong fans will rejoice with this newest LP.