Released: 2009, 13th Planet Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
I’m going to take a lot of crap for this, but I really like this album. Remixes aren’t generally popular in the metal world, but a Prong remix is a different animal altogether. During the mid-90’s, Prong progressively incorporated industrial and electronic elements into their sound, garnering the band some of their most notable hits in the process. A spate of remix E.P.s and singles also surfaced during this period, featuring creative versions of “Whose Fist” and “Rude Awakening” among others. Since Tommy Victor resurrected the band in 2002, Prong’s been a pretty straight laced metal affair until now with POWER OF THE DAMN MIXXXER, a full on remix treatment of the 2007’s POWER OF THE DAMAGER.
Victor’s recent time spent working and touring with Ministry’s Al Jourgenson may have given him the courage to take some bold chances with the album. Some of the remixes are better than the original (“Worst of It,” “Can’t Stop the Bleeding,” “Power of the Damager”), some are completely removed from their original format and sound like new songs all together (“Bad Fall”), and some have a decidedly danceable, club mix vibe to them (“The Banishment,” “Pure Ether”). Now I realize that terms like “danceable” and “club mix” are enough to make many a metal fan turn away in disgust, but trust me when I say that even the most mainstream mixes retain their edge and don’t sound too far removed from some of the material on RUDE AWAKENING or on any of the previous remix offerings.
Each song is given its own unique treatment by a different artist, ranging from familiar industrial faces like Pitch Shifter’s Jon Clayden and Revolting Cocks’ Clayton Worbeck to the unlikely efforts of Anthrax’s Rob Caggiano and Greg Puciato from Dillinger Escape Plan. Each tune has its own distinct perspective while still retaining the core sound of the original mix. And each new mix still retains that inherit “Prong-ness” that fans have found so familiar over the years.
POWER OF THE DAMAGER was a good release that unfortunately was off many fans’ radars, so POWER OF THE DAMN MIXXXER also provides an opportunity to revive interest in that release. After listening to the remixes, I went back to the 2007 originals to get some perspective and found myself rediscovering the original album all over again. Always the underdog, Prong has never shied away from doing its own thing, and POWER OF THE DAMN MIXXXER is the ultimate declaration of that independence. Broader audiences will probably wonder what all the fuss is about, but fans of Prong, Ministry, Rev Co, and their ilk will find plenty to like.