(8/10) It was back in 1993 when a mind-blowing album called ‘River Runs Red’ has been released. The band – Life Of Agony. The quartet from New York challenged with songs like ‘This Time’, ‘Underground’ and the title track everybody’s speakers. Hardcore, Metal and groove blended into each other in perfection and up to date it’s these songs being milestones in Metal.
Next to the songs ‘River Runs Red’ is a concept album, telling the story of a desperate young guy, facing too many problems. The album ends with him committing suicide in the bathtub.
Almost to date 26 years later Life Of Agony picks up the storyline with their 6th album ‘The Sound of Scars’. You can actually listen to both album in one flow. Was it the blood dropping into the bathtub that ends ‘River Runs Red’ it’s the same sample that starts ‘Prelude’, with a 911-dispatcher reporting the suicide attempt. Audio scenes like ‘Then’, ‘Now’ and ‘When’ continue telling the story. The kid survived and it’s the scars of life he carries with him through life.
When it comes to music, parallels with ‘River Runs Red’ can be identified too. Songs like ‘Black Heart’ are Life Of Agony songs with Joey Z. typical guitar signature and Mina Caputo’s vocals being two of the very important assets. Aggressive Crossover songs like ‘Eliminate’ reflect the heavier sounds and it’s ‘My Way Out’ bringing back the typical L.O.A. groove. Last but not least there’s ‘I surrender’, the soulful and melancholic ending of the album, showing a new musical aspect of the band.
All in all ‘The Sound of Scars’ is an emotional album with a storyline that seamless connects to 1993. Even the main character is 26 years older. Unfortunately big songs like ‘This Time’ are missing on this new album. Instead fans will get an album with very well done songs, still reflecting Life Of Agony … just 26 years older.
3. Black Heart
4. Lay Down
6. Empty Hole
7. My Way Out
10. Once Below
12. Weight of the World
14. I Surrender
Label: Naplam Records
Genre: Alternative Metal
Release Date EU: October 11th, 2019