Monte Pittman album review – Inverted Grasp Of Balance

Prong axeman running the gamut of his talent with new album

Monte Pittman solo album cover

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What should you expect from a man closely associated with both Prong and Madonna? The answer on the latest solo album from Monte Pittman is that anything is possible.

The man himself handles all guitar and vocal parts, with Billy Sheehan on bass and Richard Christy on drums, and the three lock together so organically you feel this is a trio that should have a long-term future.

There are commercial moments such as the insistent melody of Skeleton Key, while things get heavier for the speed metal groove of Arisen In Broad Daylight, and New Blood Keeps Us Alive is an epic track that allows Pittman to showcase his fluent guitar style. Neither Double Edged Sword nor California would sound out of place on latter Prong albums and there’s a dirty rock’n’roll energy throughout. But what really impresses is the balance between fiery riffage, intense melody and virtuoso musicianship that sounds as if it was recorded live in one take.

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.