Much like Vision Of Disorder, Prong’s influence in the metal scene is very underrated. And just like V.O.D., Prong’s latest offering serves as a reminder of just that. As a whole, Carved Into Stone possesses the thrash-groove elements that made Prong fan favorites in its heyday. Tommy Victor delivers stellar riffs and solos on songs like “Eternal Heat” and “Put Myself To Sleep,” while the band’s first single “Revenge Best Served Cold” might be Prong’s catchiest anthem in years. In short, the album proves that after all of these years and numerous lineup changes, Prong is still a force to be reckoned with thanks to its leader, Victor.
I’m really tempted to make a bad joke about how Vision Of Disorder’s first album in over a decade could have easily been cursed or set to fail. But such an awful pun would downplay how V.O.D. has done more than simply make a stellar comeback album. The Cursed Remain Cursed finds the reunited group combining elements of metal and hardcore to perfection. Songs like “Hard Times” and “Be Up On It” serve as examples of this, possessing Tim Williams’ gut-wrenching vocals and the group’s hammering guitar riffs. In short, V.O.D. played a big influence in the metalcore scene, and The Cursed Remain Cursed serves as a reminder of that.
If there was an award for “MVP of 2012,” then drummer Gene Hoglan should at the very least be nominated. Case in point: Dark Roots Of Earth. Hoglan’s blast beats and groove give Testament’s tenth studio album an extra boost in adrenaline, as highlighted on “True American Hate” and the title track. However, The Atomic Clock isn’t the only performer on Dark Roots Of Earth who deserves accolades. If anything, it’s actually Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson’s guitar work that actually steals the spotlight, with “Native Blood” possessing arguably one of the most memorable riffs of 2012. Meanwhile, the album further proves singer Chuck Billy still has the chops even after so many years.