Life Of Agony - A Place Where There’s No More Pain

Life Of Agony A Place Where There’s No More Pain cover
Life Of Agony
A Place Where There’s No More Pain
Napalm Records
2017
6.5
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Life Of Agony are a rather old band that did have some success in the early 90s with some three albums on Roadrunner, in an alt-cum-hardcore sort of sound, with heavy vocals slightly reminiscent of Danzig and a rather bleak sound and overall style… following their first split and a reunion that bore a further studio and a couple of live albums, during which singer Keith Caputo maintained a bit of a parallel solo career (mainly successful in the UK) there was a second split, after or during which Caputo came out as transgender and presumably had gender reassignment – later performing under the name Mina Caputo.
 
Other than the adjective changes, the vocal tone has been greatly refined to a way more commercial style, still quite male timbre wise, but quite different in the overall feel when compared to the older material. The music has also gotten a little lighter and more alternative, even though a couple heavier riffs always seem to find their way into songs. Opener, “Meet My Maker” is a good example of that, with a buzzsaw riff opening and repeating throughout, but way more melodic stuff going on during the choruses...
 
As with all alt-rock releases, there’s a certain sameness in a lot of the material, a derivative of the low tuning, as few people tend to be inventive, in the lower end of the spectrum, where things become harder to perform than in standard tuning. Caputo seems able to vary things a bit with the interesting vocal lines infused in songs like “Dead Speak Kindly”, clearly one of the better songs on the album, along with the dramatic “A New Low”. Elsewhere the album just about floats above average, but not by much drowning in the sameness of its own riffs, w/o the best intentions of the band being able to raise it steadily above the surface…

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