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Prong - Scorpio Rising Review

by Matt Hensch

Back in 1876, General George Armstrong Custer led a group of American military troops to subdue a rebellion of Native Americans when they left their reservations. The Battle of the Little Horn (the conflict between the two) lasted a few days before the Native Americans killed Custer and his army. After Custer kicked the bucket, a few Indians apparently approached his body and rammed steel rods into his ear. This was done for one of two reasons:

1.) They did it to symbolize his poor listening to Native American threats, which basically means they told him to not f*** around and he did anyway.


2.) Even though the Native Americans hated Custer, they spared him the agony of hearing Prong's Scorpio Rising in the afterlife because it sucked terribly.

Yes, that may sound a bit wacky, but it makes sense. You see, I've been a Prong fan since I became a true metalhead and I owe the band a lot for expanding my musical perimeters. I loved hearing those crushing tunes like "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" and "Rude Awakening" that showed off so many elements of Prong's music. Prong was at the top of their game with 1996's Rude Awakening, but founding member Tommy Victor decided to leave and play in Danzig for almost a decade before returning to the band he once founded. Seven years passed before Prong was back with Scorpio Rising, but it wasn't what anyone expected. Instead of a glorious comeback that seemed likely, Prong somehow managed to destroy both their fanbase and image in less than fifty minutes with Scorpio Rising.

Thrash elements and industrial noises - some of the key parts of Prong's music - have been removed and the band now puts on a dull mask of mainstream feces. Easy, shallow, and moronic are all accurate words to describe the poor riffs that plague this record. The typical routine of sup-par groove riff after sup-par groove riff is the only formula Victor follows; not only that, but there are hardly any solos. Listening to the guitar playing is like having explosive diarrhea: you want it to stop, but it won't. The decision to abandon industrial effects was also a huge mistake because there isn't any hand to keep this album from falling. Samples allow music to remain fresh when interest is running low, but this idea was forgotten and it leaves this CD out to dry.

Fourteen tunes fight for survival, but only one succeeds. "Regal" is the sole song worth hearing due to the old-school thrash elements, blastbeats(!), and insane solos; everything else is generic and simple junk that belongs in a dumpster. Why did Prong take the time to write a decent track like "Regal" without perfecting the rest of the album? I guess some questions just can't be answered.

It's clear Victor and crew had the potential to make a decent comeback, but the poor ideas plus half-assed musicianship poisons Scorpio Rising beyond words. Besides being a cure for insomnia, Scorpio Rising is a disgrace to Prong's decent discography and gets nothing but the axe.

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Prong - Scorpio Rising


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