LIFE OF AGONY

Alternative Metal / Hardcore Punk • United States
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Life of Agony are an Alternative Metal act from Brooklyn, New York City, USA formed in 1989 with the lineup of vocalist Keith Caputo, Guitarist Joey Z, drummer Sal Abruscato, and bassist Alan Robert.

They released their debut album River Runs Red in 1993 and it's followup Ugly in 1995 in which . Abruscato left the band shortly after the tour supporting Ugly and was replaced by ex Pro-Pain drummer Dan Richardson. Caputo left the band in 1997 after the release of Soul Searching Sun, claiming his heart was no longer in the band's music and they disbanded in 1999 after a failed stint with former Ugly Kid Joe singer Whitfield Crane.

Life of Agony reunited in 2002 after the original lineup performed a couple of soldout shows in New York City and released the studio album Broken Valley in 2005. Since then, the members
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LIFE OF AGONY Discography

LIFE OF AGONY albums / top albums

LIFE OF AGONY River Runs Red album cover 4.47 | 6 ratings
River Runs Red
Hardcore Punk 1993
LIFE OF AGONY Ugly album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Ugly
Alternative Metal 1995
LIFE OF AGONY Soul Searching Sun album cover 2.36 | 3 ratings
Soul Searching Sun
Alternative Metal 1997
LIFE OF AGONY Broken Valley album cover 2.75 | 2 ratings
Broken Valley
Alternative Metal 2005
LIFE OF AGONY A Place Where There's No More Pain album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Place Where There's No More Pain
Alternative Metal 2017
LIFE OF AGONY The Sound Of Scars album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sound Of Scars
Alternative Metal 2019

LIFE OF AGONY EPs & splits

LIFE OF AGONY live albums

LIFE OF AGONY Unplugged at the Lowlands Festival '97 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Unplugged at the Lowlands Festival '97
Alternative Metal 2000
LIFE OF AGONY River Runs Again Live 2003 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
River Runs Again Live 2003
Alternative Metal 2003
LIFE OF AGONY 20 Years Strong - River Runs Red : Live In Brussels album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
20 Years Strong - River Runs Red : Live In Brussels
Alternative Metal 2010

LIFE OF AGONY demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

LIFE OF AGONY re-issues & compilations

LIFE OF AGONY 1989-1999 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
1989-1999
Alternative Metal 1999
LIFE OF AGONY The Best Of album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of
Alternative Metal 2003

LIFE OF AGONY singles (5)

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This Time
Alternative Metal 1994
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Through And Through
Alternative Metal 1994
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Desire
Alternative Metal 1997
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Weeds
Alternative Metal 1997
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Love To Let You Down
Alternative Metal 2005

LIFE OF AGONY movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

LIFE OF AGONY Reviews

LIFE OF AGONY Broken Valley

Album · 2005 · Alternative Metal
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UMUR
"Broken Valley" is the 4th full-length studio album by US alternative rock/metal act Life of Agony. The album was released through Epic Records in May 2005. It´s the band´s first album release since "Soul Searching Sun (1997)". Life of Agony split-up in 1999 after both drummer Sal Abruscato and lead vocalist Keith Caputo had left the band in the previous years (Abruscato already left in 1996), but reunited in 2002 in their original lineup (Completed by guitarist Joey Z. and bassist Alan Roberts).

Compared to "Soul Searching Sun (1997)" which featured a predominantly more laidback and sedated rock style, "Broken Valley" is generally more upbeat and fresh sounding. The break seems to have rejuvenated the band, and their performances sound inspired, and the songwriting more catchy and hard rocking, then the case was on the generally uninspired sounding predecessor. A slightly more hard rocking Stone Temple Pilots isn´t the worst comparison in the world. There´s of course not a trace of the ultra depressive hardcore sound of "River Runs Red (1993)" left in the music, and the music on "Broken Valley" generally don´t sound much like "Ugly (1995)" either, it´s actually the fourth consecutive album release featuring a new musical direction, but which somehow still sounds unmistakably like Life of Agony.

The material on the 12 track, 43:39 minutes long album are generally well written and hook laden vers/chorus structured hard rock songs, featuring lyrics predominantly dealing with personal issues. The quality of the material is pretty high throughout, but there are of course some tracks which stand out a bit more than others. Some of the highlights include "Love to Let You Down", "Last Cigarette", and "Strung Out". The album features a warm and powerful sounding production, and as always the musicianship is strong and the playing organic. Keith Caputo isn´t as distinct sounding as he was on the first couple of releases by the band, but his performance here is still strong and he has a suiting semi-raw delivery.

"Broken Valley" is not a hard rock revelation or anything like that, but it´s a solid release by Life of Agony and definitely a step up from the rather tedious and unremarkable "Soul Searching Sun (1997)". It´s not always comeback albums end up being an artistic (or a commercial) success, but I´ll say "Broken Valley" pretty much fits that description and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved. It´s not necessarily an album which will blow you away upon initial listen, but it grows given more spins and some of the melody lines just won´t leave your head again...

LIFE OF AGONY Broken Valley

Album · 2005 · Alternative Metal
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pointandclick
Easily the worst LOA album. In terms of lyricism, it has far more substance than the terrible post-grunge music that was rampant during 2005, but at times the vocals and instrumentation are clearly mimicking it. I can only assume this was due to the creative influence of their new record label Epic, aka the most mainstream, cookie-cutter record label in existence. The real disappointing aspect though is that nothing about this album is aggressive at all. The riffs and vocals are just too restrained for my liking. Most of the ballad type songs are pretty boring too, with maybe one or two exceptions.

Originally written for www.rateyourmusic.com

LIFE OF AGONY River Runs Red

Album · 1993 · Hardcore Punk
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Kingcrimsonprog
River Runs Red is the cult-classic debut full-length studio album by the underrated, unique New York band Life Of Agony. It was produced by Josh Silver and released in 1993 through Roadrunner Records.

The album is a concept album which tells the story of a confused and disillusioned young man with low self-worth and a poor support network, who ultimately decides to commit suicide. Its pretty grim, dark, weighty stuff. The story really sucks you in, and you find yourself hoping its not going to end in tragedy.

Musically, this album is a pretty interesting hybrid. There’s touches of Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, NY Hardcore and a big Type-O Negative influence at the same time. At times its almost sort of like Sick Of It All doing a St Vitus cover song, with Pete Steele on vocals. Not really, but that’s a ballpark idea of what to expect.

The whole thing is chocked full of pummeling double-kicks and gang vocals, big fat dirty riffs, inventive drumming, really unique and interesting vocal performances and bucketloads of catchy hooks.

Album highlights include the speedy Title Track, the absolutely crushing opener “This Time” and the bitter introspective “Bad Seed.” If you wonder whether the album is for you or not, check out those three! That said, the whole album is rock solid, consistent from start to finish, and there’s no messing with tracks like “These Eyes” or “Method Of Groove” either. The only thing you’ll find yourself skipping are the three additional atmospheric tracks (each named after a day of the week) that provide the story but aren’t songs. Awesome for when you sit down and listen to it as a story, but missable if you just want to be bludgeoned by heavy music.

Overall; this album is an absolute monster. Relentlessly catchy, full of crushing riffs, a dynamic mix of speed and slow, powerful vocals and an interesting story. It’s a pretty unique record that no other band sounds like (and the band themselves would never repeat stylistically) and as long as you aren’t upset that it doesn’t fit neatly into one confined box, this album just gives and gives. It’s a grower, and the more spins you put in, the more magic you get back. In short – highly recommended.

LIFE OF AGONY Ugly

Album · 1995 · Alternative Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
1995’s Ugly is the second full-length studio album by the New York band Life Of Agony. It was produced by Steve Thompson and released through Roadrunner Records.

It must have been damn hard to follow up their amazing, one-of-a-kind, conceptual, brutal debut album River Runs Red, and there are a segment of fans who argue they never adequately did, but for me, this album is an absolutely stormer too.

Musically, this album is a pretty interesting hybrid. Its got a touch of Ross Robinson Nu Metal flavour in the way some of the riffs work, its still got a hangover of the band’s NYHC roots but dialed back a bit, there’s touches of Doom, Stoner and Grunge in there at times but not enough to take over the whole album. It’s a pretty unique beast, and there’s plenty of variety on there to further add to the melting pot.

The lyrics on this album are absolutely brilliant. Kind of intense and emotionally weighty. There are topics of disillusionment, alienation, isolation, identity crisis, quarter-life crisis, complex relationships with family members and other such introspection. I know some people hate anything personal and deem anything like this to be “too emo” but in context and in and of itself, the lyrical quality of this album is sky high. Considering the life course of Keith (now Mina) Caputo, the lyrics just have such power and import and really “speak to you.” Topped off with really powerful, evocative and harrowing vocal performances that really project the message of the lyrics, its pretty intense stuff.

Songs like “Lost At 22,” “Damned If I Do” and “How It Would Be” all fell pretty damn profound. It also helps that the musical quality of the album is equally high. “Fears” is absolutely crushing, “Drained” has serious hooks, and “I Regret” feels like a hit single.

The album ends surprisingly with a cover of Simple Minds “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” which you will likely recognize from the movie The Breakfast Club. It’s a pretty straight cover too, no drastic reworking. It feels a bit gimmicky to me, but not enough to spoil the record.

Overall; this is a superbly well-written, interesting and affecting album with some brilliant performances and a lot to offer. If you want it to sound more like Biohazard, Madball and Sick Of It All then the change in musical direction might be a bit off-putting and likewise if you’ve always hated anything “alternative” then perhaps steer clear, but if “a good song is a good song no matter what genre” to you, and you don’t mind the idea of emotionally draining lyrics, then I highly recommend you check out this record.

LIFE OF AGONY River Runs Red

Album · 1993 · Hardcore Punk
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ChaosAngel
Life of Agony surfaced from the same musical scene (early 1990's Brooklyn) that birthed Biohazard and Type O Negative (with whom they shared a drummer, Sal Abruscato). Fittingly, the sound on their debut album, River Runs Red, is somewhere between the two bands, with the hardcore ethos of BH and the general mood of Type O Negative at their most self-deprecating (though in a much more serious vein).

Fair warning time: if you're looking for music that is at all happy, seek life elsewhere. This is far from that. What this is, is a slice of hard life, filtered through hardcore-derived metal. That being said, it is crushingly beautiful (or beautifully crushing, take your pick).

The album does contain a few well-placed "hell yeah" moments (in the vein of tough-guy brotherhood type stuff, very hardcore-style), which keep this from being a monotone of depression and anger.

To be honest, there is only really one thing that detracts a slight bit from this album, and that's the skits (the tracks named after days of the week). They serve as a framing device (and, ultimately, a finale) for the album, and they're not horrible. I just find them a bit extraneous for my tastes.

All in all, a firm addition to any metalhead's collection. Four and one-half well earned stars.

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