On a night of raw metal power, Getintothis’ Zac Jones sees the pioneering riffs of Prong grace the Liverpool stage.
It’s a Wednesday night and hordes of fans hang around melting outside the O2 Academy in a small seaside city for the return of one of the most influential bands to ever grace the city. Five are back.
Luckily for us, we’re here to see a different influential band playing the same venue on the same night, and they couldn’t be more different.
Prong were one of THE metal bands of the 90’s, influencing everyone from Slipknot to Nine Inch Nails, Deftones to Korn, you can credit a generation’s worth of grossly heavy, strangely groovy riffs to their industrial power.
Few bands can say they have such cross-over appeal, from punk kids sewing the trident logo on their jackets to old metal dudes bearded and tattooed, adorning one of their 180 identical pairs of camo shorts. Everyone is out in attendance for a band whose career has been volatile, visceral and relentless.
First up though, we get to sample two rising metal talents. Progressive noisemonger’s Hark and heavy hitters Steak Number Eight.
Hark are relentless and emulate not just a quality beyond their given support slot, but the impression this is band that are going to go much much further. There are riffs after riffs chugged out from a band that is as intricate as it is heavy, as composed as it is distorted. My advice to any metal fan would be to catch Hark before the only time you can is supporting Slipknot at the ECHO Arena and it’s £50.
Next up are Steak Number Eight, who after sharing the stage with Feed the Rhino and Marmozets over the past few years have their name already implanted in our mind. Where Hark may have been intricate, Steak Number Eight are fun. They are the Genghis Khan of metal; fast growing, slightly terrifying and fucking cool.
They destroy the stage with melody and velocity, turning the PA system into a quivering mess, regulating the heartbeat of the first four rows and make at least one pre-pubescent metalhead shit himself.
But as great as the support is, it’s really about Prong. Steak isn’t normally served as a starter but as the trident flags are raised it becomes apparent we’re going to be dining big tonight. The first thing to know about seeing Prong is, they are loud. Furiously metal through and through. They are the band that time forget, where people are so happy to credit chart-botherers Metallica and their bitter-ex Megadeth with the birth of heavy metal, few remember that it was the underground of Prong and Killing Joke that we truly have to thank for so much of the heavy music scene today.
Our only regret is that we never got to see Prong as the original band, tonight is a frontman and new members set up, and as insane as they are, you can’t help but wish it was 1992 and you were getting your ears blown off at one of their first London shows.
Tonight though, serves no disappointment. The band are on top form, and with the crowd well and truly pumped, heads start nodding, fists fly in the air and metal horns greet the band at the start, middle, and end of every song. In fact the metal horns stayed up for nearly the entire gig. So we’d like to thank Prong for the shoulder workout, and for bringing of the most ferocious gigs Liverpool will see this year. (Aside from Five of course).
Photos from Getintothis’ John Johnson