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Prong at Camden Underworld, London - live review

Full-on relentless joy

Crowd shot
(Image: © Katja Ogrin)

Tommy Victor is a whirling, hirsute mass of mania, riffs and sweat. In that respect nothing changes with Prong. The US trio, who have been guided by Victor since their formation in 1986, never stop. While other bands of similar vintage might blow out the fumes for a few songs then take a welcome breather, that’s not the Prong way and it’s certainly not the case tonight.

From the opening crescendo of Disbelief, Ultimate Authority and Beg To Differ, Prong are simply mesmerising. Victor marks out his territory with some vehement guitar playing, complemented by raging vocals. Not only does it get everyone’s attention, it also has the whole audience moving and shaking. Fans and musicians are of one accord, powered by the metal overload of the music.

The anthems keep on coming. From Cut-Rate to Another Worldly Device, the band – with Mike Longhurst on bass and Art Cruz behind the drum kit – ravage their back catalogue with all the sensitivity of a horde of crazed cannibals let loose in a nursery. It could all could have peaked too early with their classic Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck (from 1994’s Cleansing) which surprisingly is delivered several songs before the end of the set, but such is Prong’s confidence in themselves and the audience that they use their most famous song as a springboard to reach even greater heights. Manic nirvana!

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.