Aaaah, already another album from one of my all-time favourite thrash bands? No, hang on...this is not new, original material!
What Tommy Viktor and his two companions, bassist Jason and drummer Art, have decided to do, is to make a tribute to the bands that inspired Prong in the early days of the band. When I realised this was the case, I thought to myself that I, an old thrash fan, would of course know everything on there. But no, it turns out that I know precisely ONE measly tune out of the ten songs Victor picked! As much as I love what Prong did and does, I've never been into the bands that formed them - except Sisters of Mercy who are represented with a beefed up and heavier version of Vision Thing. Which is cool.
What Prong provide with 'Songs from the Black Hole' is an insight into the US and UK hardcore and punk sounds of the 80s - plus as I mentioned Sisters of Mercy and finally Neil Young as the complete outsider in this company. These bands have never really insterested me (except Sisters), but the Prong treatment gives them a sound kick I like, and especially songs like Goofy's Concern (originally by Butthole Surfer's), Don't Want To Know If You're Lonely (Hüsker Dü) and Seeing Red (Killing Joke) are really strong tracks, which could potentially lead me to check out the originals at some point. No, I haven't actually gotten to that point yet...
The least interesting and most surprising song choice is Neil Young's Cortez the Killer. A fairly boring song by any means, although the riff is very nice. What I do like about the inclusion of the tune on this album is that it is a statement and reminder of the fact that it isn't always extreme music that inspires musicians to create hard and heavy music, but just as much a feeling and a mood.
All in all, *Songs From The Black Hole' is a fine introduction to the roots of one of the coolest thrash bands around. And now we're looking forward to more original material from Tommy Victor and Prong, please.