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Prong 

With Pit and Sappy Bell. Monday, April 29, at the Agora Theatre.

The only thing harder than Prong's music is its luck. One of the most underrated metal bands of the past two decades, Prong set the standard for corrosive, stop-start riffing in the early '90s, supplying the I-beams upon which modern metal was built. With New York industrial subverts Killing Joke serving as the band's prime reference point, Prong crashed cement-mixer guitars into concise, technical arrangements -- and a surfeit of electronics in later years -- paving the way for disciples like Helmet, Pantera, and Static-X.

But unlike those groups, Prong has gone largely unheralded. Though the band established itself among metal's second tier beginning with its superb third album, 1990's Beg to Differ, fame always eluded it. The group called it a day in 1997, shortly after its label refused to provide tour support on the eve of the first Ozzfest.

Now, frontman Tommy Victor -- the lone constant in Prong's ever-evolving lineup -- has re-formed the band with Madonna touring guitarist Monte Pittman, bassist Brian Perry (ex-Jake E. Lee, Lizzy Borden, and Dirty Looks), and drummer Dan Laudo. The group is on the road recording a live album, with a new studio effort expected early next year. Miss Prong this time around, and you'll get a taste of the misfortune that has defined the career of this overlooked wrecking ball.

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