wed 19/06/2024

CD: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy | reviews, news & interviews

CD: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

CD: The Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

The Essex rave juggernaut's sixth is unapologetically ballistic

Ruling the darkness

How many UK Number One albums have there been since the millennium that emanate truly vicious, caustic energy? How many have a furiousness which sets them completely apart? Royal Blood gave it a good whirl last year and Plan B’s Ill Manors in 2012 had dark, abject drive, but nothing has gone anywhere this monstrous assault of an album. Let’s go further.

While Metallica are due kudos, and ignoring The Prodigy’s own output, you’d have to go back to Nirvana’s In Utero in 1993 before you hit a Number One album that’s a sonic match for the raw punk relentlessness of The Day Is My Enemy.

Of course, Cobain’s final opus had the added dimension of disgust, self-loathing and tortured lyricism – and guitars. The Prodigy, by contrast, are here to be as noisy as possible and make you dance – with computers. There’s disgust here too, mind. Perhaps an emetic gag response to five years sickly onslaught of vapid EDM.

The Essex outfit have released six albums in two-and-a-half decades. All but their debut topped the charts. That this one is likely to follow is ridiculously exciting because Prodigy main man Liam Howlett's production has never been more focused on sheer livid attack. The title track is a case in point, a manifesto. It sounds like the Coldstream Guards drummers going to war in a 1990s Belgian industrial club.

There’s no let-up, apart from the epic, stadium synth euphoria of “Beyond the Deathray”. The rest is a gigantic, stentorian fusion of breakbeat, ruthless techno-rave noise and the guttural sneering of Keith Flint and Maxim – plus Sleaford Mods shouting “I ain’t no tourist” on “Ibiza”. Highlights include “Destroy”, “Wild Frontier” and the steroid-pop of “Rhythm Bomb” featuring dubstepper Flux Pavilion.

Then there’s suddenly three rock-flavoured ones – “Get Your Fight On”, “Medicine” and “Invisible Sun”. The first two are contagious modal-scaled iron-funk and the latter comes on slow and moody, a bit like Soundgarden. Unexpectedly, they're among the album's best songs. The final “Wall of Death” simply goes bananas. Both Keith and Maxim whoop, harass and antagonize. “Fuck this and fuck the cash/Fuck you and your heart attack,” snarls Keith as sirens, apocalyptic rave chaos and a mess of threat swirl about him. It’s brilliant. It doesn’t let up. It kicks your ears in and makes you want to dance through plate glass windows while howling about anarchy. And praise doesn’t come much higher than that.

Overleaf: watch the video for "Wild Frontier"


A gigantic, stentorian fusion of breakbeat, ruthless techno-rave noise and the guttural sneering of Keith Flint and Maxim


Editor Rating: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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