PRONG - Power Of The Damn MiXXXer

Prong - Power Of The Damn MiXXXer

13 songs
59:28 minutes
***** *


Prong were one of the seminal bands sculpting the face of modern metal in the early Nineties with their groundbreaking releases Beg To Differ, Prove You Wrong, Cleansing and Rude Awakening. But like every other trendsetter, their bone dry, heavy sound was considered not fashionable anymore towards the end of the last millennium, and they were dropped by their major label. Their comeback album Scorpio Rising (2003) was met with mixed reviews, and it was only with Power Of The Damager (2007) that they returned to form. Two years later, Prong release its companion album Power Of The Damn MiXXXer, which is nothing else but a remix album.

I don’t mind paying good money if the result is interesting, but somehow I get the impression that most remixers didn’t dare to deconstruct too much. Not that familiar with the international remix scene, I was still surprised to see members from popular metal bands (Pitchshifter, Anthrax, Dillinger Escape Plan) not only trying but even succeeding best with their interpretations. Unfortunately too many knob twisters shy away from giving a new identity to the source material, often settling for adding denser beats and maybe deleting a guitar track.

Comparing Power Of The Damn MiXXXer to Power Of The Damager, it’s weird how the revisited material often shines brighter, when for instance The Banishment, under treatment by Anthrax’s Rob Caggiano, gets a whole new dimension because of a supplementary acid bass line. Greg Puciato of Dillinger Escape Plan starts out boringly with Bad Fall but then mangles the second half into a psychedelic noise trip. Kourtney Klien’s 3rd Option, on the other hand, really gets on my nerves with its plastic snare sound.

Although Power Of The Damager couldn’t keep up with Prong’s early Nineties milestones, it was a welcome return to old virtues, but you still need to ask yourself if you want to invest the price of a regular CD for songs you bought two years earlier, just with slight changes this time. Tommy Victor is the only remaining original member and still trying hard to make his band sound like no other band, although the remixes somehow put Prong between Ministry and Killing Joke, two bands with which they shared relationships. Power Of The Damn MiXXXer is certainly not a bad album, but the practice of recycling old material leaves a stale taste in my mouth.

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