Life Of Agony

Rating: 68/100

Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen, June '05
Label: Epic
Style: Mostly Caputo style, not as much LOA style as I’d hoped…

Broken Valley

In many ways, this is the disappointment of the year. After the promising live comeback album “River Runs Again Live 2003” and the reports of smashing live efforts around Europe, expectations for the new studio album from Life Of Agony were high.

And things start out really well when the disc starts to spin: Opener “Love To Let You Down” is easily up there with “This Time”, “Let’s Pretend”, “Weeds” and other LOA classics. Keith Caputo has evolved and clearly enjoys the style he has found during his time off from LOA. “Last Cigarette” also sports the trademark riffing and Caputo’s agonised vocal style, i.e. another great song. “Wicked Ways” combines some of the more aggressive moments of Keith Caputo solo and the LOA ballads of yore. Also not bad.

“Don’t Bother” is cool but not quite the hammer, and when we reach “Strung Out” and “Junk Sick”, things start to go wrong. These two songs seem like fillers and nothing more. “The Calm That Disturbs You” is slightly more interesting, but still not on par with the glories of the past.

With the short interlude “No One Survives”, Caputo has a quiet moment where he displays his obvious vocal talent, however that doesn’t conceal the fact that the following tune, “Justified” is another fairly uninspired filler.

On “The Day He Died”, LOA finally sound as if they mean it again, guitars and Caputo’s tormented voice pushing to the front. The title track of the album is a beautiful and varied piece of music, mixing the Caputo’s mellowness and the energy of the rest of the band. The album concludes with the instrumental “Room 244” which reminds more of Entombed (latter days) than LOA. Again, a filler.

I have many fond memories of Life Of Agony and, as you can see, my expectations were high for this album. But, alas, they weren’t met. Overall, this album is not the hammer it ought to have been.

Recommended tracks: “Love To Let You Down”, “Last Cigarette”, “ Wicked Ways