Tommy Victor needs no introduction here, nor should Prong.  Their contributions to metal, starting in the late ’80s, is undeniable. Releasing such classics as Snap Your Fingers … Snap Your Neck, Prove You Wrong and Beg to Differ, they not only relied on sing-along structures, but hammering riffs, too. Victor’s melodic vocals and catchy choruses are instantly recognizable, making 2012’s Carved Into Stone a welcome addition to my collection.

Ruining Lives doesn’t really leave the bubble Prong created, but that’s OK.  It’s what they do, and it works very well for them. “Turnover” is a fine example of this, with razor sharp riffs, melodically hardcore vocals, and a driving groove that propels this song straight to the jugular. “The Barriers” has a Beg To Differ feel to it; fast, furious, and with a style that is characteristically Prong. “Windows Shut,” “Remove, Separate Self” and “Self Will Run Riot” all have an infectious, catchy feel to them, but there is punk anger there. “Chamber of Thought” and “Ruining Lives” are darker and round out the feel of the entire album. The latter reminds me of Cleansing more with every listen.

Tommy Victor, Tony Campos (bass) and Alexei Rodriguez (drums) have delivered a great album, with consistent songs throughout. Ruining Lives is metal, the way it is meant to be.

Ruining Lives is out now on Steamhammer/SPV Records.

Rating: 4/5 Stars