Life Of Agony - The Sound of Scars

Life Of Agony The Sound of Scars cover
Life Of Agony
The Sound of Scars
Napalm Records
Life Of Agony has been a band that’s been dabbling in alternative rock and sort-of-hardcore ever since their 90s beginnings. Actually “The Sound of Scars” is a bit of a sequel to their 1993 debut, “River Runs Red” a concept album about a troubled Brooklyn teen’s apparent suicide… or as we find out, here, “attempt” that didn’t quite prove fatal. The recording of an emergency dispatcher’s voice in prelude reveals as much. “Scars” and “Black Heart” are groovy, energetic and exciting in their own dark way. The protagonist wakes and his near-death experience make him think.
“Lay Down” slams down nicely, and “Empty Hole” that follows after some more “radio exchanges” shenanigans in “Then”, is a sort of jaded alt piece. “My Way Out” is a dazed and confused alt bonanza, as well. “Eliminate” tries to be a cathartic, faster piece, but somehow it fails to connect and work. “Now” is another spoken part, to push the story along and “Once Below” is a faux-hardcore effort, with the gang vocal “chorus” being the most hardcore thing about it. At least it’s not all bad…
“Stone” is a kinda drawn out, stoney jam, that I could imagine on of the grunge greats coming up with, but it passes rather quickly, giving way to “Weight of the World” that has some nice riffs but not much more going on about it. “When” is more dialogue and the album comes to a close with “I Surrender”, a weird somewhat country/americana tinged alt number with subtle hooks – as is the case for most of the album that however sort of work.
While I was never a big fan of the band, I am aware of their output and this is on the better side of the spectrum. The fact that they once again leave the fate of the protagonist hanging in the balance (suggesting this could be not real), or otherwise is a little wimpy and allows even an alternative sequel, but… I’d say lay this poor concept too rest and don’t milk it to the grave.