Skip to main content

Live review: Prong / Steak Number Eight

NY groove mechanics rev up their engines

Prong live
(Image: © James Sharrock)

Fired up by a sound that mixes restive sludge and skeletal psychedelia Belgians STEAK NUMBER EIGHT [8] have a transfixing, deep-set groove, and their edgy, epic momentum holds the attention of everyone.

PRONG [9] have had numerous lineups over the years, but this one is among the best. While Tommy Victor’s unmistakable guitar style is still the thrust of the sound, bassist Jason Christopher offers angry, towering support while drummer Art Cruz is both thunderously precise and antagonistic. They start with new song Ultimate Authority, which already has the feel of a Prong classic, before shifting into the familiar Unconditional. The band never overstate the nostalgic importance of the 90s but don’t concentrate too much on modern times. The crowd, though, are really brought to the boil by the triumvirate of Lost And Found, Beg To Differ and Rude Awakening.

Steak Number Eight show off their chops

Steak Number Eight show off their chops (Image credit: James Sharrock)

The main set ends with the opening three songs from the Cleansing album, with Another Worldly Device and Whose Fist Is This Anyway? preparing the path for the climactic Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck.

The encore is a triple hit spanning the decades, beginning with the manic For Dear Life, before the more recent, insidious Revenge… Best Served Cold and Power Of The Damager bring everything to a gloriously shuddering conclusion.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.