If Prong's 2 albums Cleansing and Rude Awakening, had a baby, and that baby grew up being babysat by Killing Joke, Carved Into Stone would be the result. Once again, Tommy Victor evolves Prong perfectly. Tommy takes the advice of a `real' producer this time and pushes his voice into new levels of clarity and harmony! Yes, there are harmonies!
Those of us that have been following Tommy since his primitive origins, will delight in the 1st run through listening of Carved Into Stone. Even though you have never heard the songs before, YOU KNOW when Tommy's classic harmonic guitar squeals are coming up. He doesn't disappoint you as he carefully and tastefully sprinkles them throughout the album. There is a real good one that is doubled in stereo with 2 squeals at the same time on the song Carved Into Stone at 2:06 for the real die-hards.
Filling in on drums this time around and in the live shows (and hopefully, forever), is Alexei Rodriguez. I believe he single-handedly pushes Tommy's writing to new levels. He has the balls to go from 4/4 disco beats into completely of the wall, out of the pocket footwork (ala the chorus of Carved Into Stone.) Taking a dude that can shred the drums with the best of them, yet isn't to `cool' to play for the actual song, is a rare thing.
Finally, the production is great. Make sure you crank this album, front to back, with no breaks, on a nice 5.1 household system 1st, before you squash it down into your crappy iPhone headphones. Tommy really creates some huge landscapes, when he switches into his big half-time break downs, throwing in his open G-string riffs ala Killing Joke.
This record will take you from Ride the Lightning type riffs (List of Grievances), to nearly dance-able, groovy as f#@k hooks (Put Myself to Sleep) into mud-drenched Sabbath sludge (Carved Into Stone) and then drop you off from a spaceship with the ending of (Path of Least Resistance). It's beautiful. Your favorite song will change each time you give it a listen. When is the last time a record has done that to you?
There is no filler on this bad boy.
Find out for yourself and support good music by purchasing this gem.
A gem carved into stone.