(9/10) The history of Life Of Agony is a really exciting one. Like a rollercoaster the band went through ups and downs, all leading to their newest album „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“.
But let’s take it one by one. It was in 1993 when an album almost turned the metal world upside down. „River Runs Red“ was the name of the debut, released by a four-piece band hailing from Brooklyn, New York – Life Of Agony. It was this energetic mixture of hardcore, metal and rock that created a lot of excitement and the record is still one of my personal faves. Songs like the title track, „This Time" and „Through and Through“ are intense songs with an intensity the band never reached again to such an extend.
„Ugly“ the successor, was a good album too even though it couldn't reach the class of the debut. The beginning of the end, the first end, was in 1997 when singer Keith Caputo left the band, being replaced by Ugly Kid Joe singer Whitfield Crane. Two years later the band announced their split and the first chapter of Life Of Agony was closed.
The second era started in 2003 with two sold-out shows in New York, followed by a new studio album entitled „Broken Valley“ but after a few more years the disbanded for a second time at the end of 2011.
It looks like the four guys can’t let loose of the band since it was in 2014 when Life Of Agony has been re-vitalized and lucky enough the quartet wrote and recorded new songs that ended up on their fifth longplayer. Life Of Agony found a new home with Napalm Records and end of April fans can finally hold some new stuff of the NY-based metal gang in their hands.
Comparing the new longplayer with the debut wouldn’t be fair. Times changed and things evolved. However, „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“ became an excellent album that I haven’t expected to be that strong and energetic. It feels like the hiatus had a positive impact – a period in which the quartet got hungry again for heavy alternative metal that includes all Life Of Agony trademarks – excellent vocals by Mina Caputo, razorblade-sharp riffs by Joey Z. and a groove machine that consist out of Alan Robert and Sal Abruscato. This original line-up unveils an album that is filled with ten highlights. I couldn’t indentify any filler on this longplayer that is bursting with energy.
„Meet the Maker’ kicks it off with a modern riffing and vocal lines that are a 100% Life Of Agony. There is a certain melancholy embedded in the opener that’s balanced with a great melody. Another song I would like to stand still for a moment is the title track that is build in a thrilling fashion. With a moderate paced verse and a more upbeat chorus the song is a treat for ears and mind.
„Dead Speak Kindly“ is a darker song with a reduced tempo before „A New Low”, with a dominant bass line, slowly creeps into your mind. A thrilling break is the pepperoni on this metal pizza, making things even more tasteful.
The catchiest song on the album is „Bag of Bones“. ‚Catchy’ in this context doesn’t mean commercial. It just sticks after the first time listening to it, before „Walking Catastrophe“ dominates the scene with heavy riffs. The end of the longplayer is a quiet one. „Little Spots of You“ is a wistful piano ballad that includes a lot of pain as well as some light-hearted moments. But even these lighter moments are covered in grey shades flowing round your soul. This song is very unusual as well as it’s a great experiment with a ‚deadly’ end.
„A Place Where There’s No More Pain“ became the expected awesome new Life Of Agony longplayer that shows that band in great shape and form. This album is the best one since „Ugly“ maybe even since „River Runs Red“. The four piece kept the intensity in their music that became more mature but for sure not less loud. This album is a ‚must have’.
- Meet My Maker
- Right This Wrong
- A Place Where There’s No More Pain
- Dead Speak Kindly
- A New Low
- World Gone Mad
- Bag Of Bones
- Walking Catastrophe
- Song For The Abused
- Little Spots Of You
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017