Prong released their 12th studio album Zero Days on 28 July 2017 through Steamhammer/SPV. Zero Days is also the 4th album since 2014 for the band fronted by mastermind, singer and guitarist Tommy Victor.
Smitty Neal of antiheromagazine.com defines Zero Days “a well-produced blend of traditional thrash, New York hardcore punk, with a dose of modern heavy rock. An album for the masses,” which I agree with. As it is the case with the last few Prong albums, Zero Days sounds contemporary in terms of production. Maybe what’s different is the inclusion of what some might define pop-melodies, like in the chorus of Divide and Conquer – personally, one of my favourite songs on this album. Apparently, Dr. Fisting at angrymetalguy.com does not share my enthusiasm for that and notes, “Zero Days is a mixed bag at best, split between building upon past glories and making ill-advised grasps at pop accessibility.” I understand that position, and hey, whatever floats your boat. I actually like it, a lot!
Michael Christopher explains at loudwire.com, “On Zero Days, there’s […] melodic rock and groove metal, definitely some old-school thrash (“Operation of the Moral Law”) and roaring metal (“Rulers of the Collective”), but there’s not many echoes of the industrial which sort of defined the group in the ’90s.” To a certain extent, Michael is right, there is not much of the industrial vibe of the past in Zero Days in terms of songwriting. However, the production of the album still leans on the highly compressed instruments and brachial energy. Maybe the album sounds more polished than the average industrial metal album, but for me it completely does the trick.
The staff at invisibleoranges.com shares my sentiment to some extent and writes, “For fans of Prong, Zero Days is another in a long line of solid releases for the band. Zero Days is Prong in 2017: a solid thrash-heavy album with tendencies leaning toward the band’s salad days of industrial music. Victor shows no signs of slowing down, and if the release pattern and quality are any sign of his intent, then fans should continue to be excited.”
Robert Davis at sputnikmusic.com puts it well when he says that “Zero Days could well be a clone of every other Prong album released after 2007’s Power of the Damager, but it does confidently sidestep mediocrity thanks to Tommy Victor‘s inescapable presence and the band’s general well-balanced approach towards songwriting,” although I’d like to underline that Zero Days is far above mediocre.
After having listened to Prong’s newest effort Zero Days for the past four weeks almost everyday, I can honestly say it is already one of my favourite metal albums of 2017. I can listen to it without skipping a track, even when in repeat. Yes, it might carry more pop-melodies and yes, it might be less industrially brachial than other Prong albums, but Tommy’s fingerprint can well be heard and felt throughout the entire album nevertheless. In my humble opinion, Tommy did very well incorporating fresh ideas while keeping the signature Prong feel. Zero Days is a Prong album that will last a thousand years.
Check out an interview we did with Tommy Victor for #fhtz in 2016: