he uneasy peace has been broken…
After a few years of silent hibernation, the Night Prowler slinks out from it’s cave to visit it’s trademark brand of menace upon the unsuspecting public one last time. Crucible Of Power is the fourth and final chapter in the Night Prowler narrative, drawing to a close a near decade long obsession with meat and potatoes hardcore music, crime, social control, clandestine government operations, megalomaniacal lunatics, the behind the scenes machinations of 1960’s American history, and the dog-eat-dog realities of a violent society. From a marriage of noir sensibilities and knuckleheaded hardcore simplicity comes nine new songs to add to the already formidable Night Prowler canon. In this instance the well of musical influence seems to be ever so slightly deeper than on previous releases. As usual, American hardcore “moron music” is the main ingredient in the formula, but an occasional nod to the UK or even crappy rudimentary thrash metal also finds it’s way into the mix this time around. Lyrical topics touched upon include, but are not limited to, the global power games played by those at the top of the political food chain, a vigilante enacting violent retribution against the pigs and rats alike, stubborn refusal to play by society’s rules, the military strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction, a fatalist acceptance of the apparent truism of “might makes right”, the messianic delusions of a crazed survivalist preparing to make a final stand against the encroachment of the powers that be, the pathetic cliché of the drug addled rockstar and the music industry that glamorizes it, and the venomous force of the criminal justice system - from the murderous cops on the streets, to the corrupt courts, right up to the profiteering prisons - indeed all levels of the perverted system are squarely within the crosshairs of the Night Prowler. The cassette, and with it the entire Night Prowler series, reaches a crescendo with it’s final act, ‘Laughter In The Canyons’. A slow and ominous riff builds repetitiously as the echoing vocals describe the inevitable return of evil from the remote desert canyons on the outskirts of Los Angeles, California, where it’s been hiding since the early 1970’s, waiting patiently for the the right time to reemerge. At last, the song culminates in a swirling cacophony of maniacal laughter and eerie guitar leads, juxtaposed against the serene sounds of ‘Little Hands’ by troubled 60’s songwriter Skip Spence. Although seemingly incongruous on paper, somehow sinister Slayer-esque riffing and the subdued psychedelia of Spence’s bizarre strain of folk music become perfectly complimentary when viewed through the Night Prowler's scope. Strange bedfellows perhaps, but an appropriately unsettling finale to the Night Prowler tale.
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