Life of Agony
River Runs Red


4.5
superb

Review

by Plank USER (5 Reviews)
November 9th, 2010 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Life of Agony makes menstruation cool.

So it’s about vaginas?
I’m afraid not I just wanted to sucker you in with the tagline. The river runs red is a bleak concept album which has the theme of suicide and isolation through the course of its 50 minute running time. To further accentuate this premise the album has 3 short filler tracks titled Monday, Thursday and Friday which can simply be described as one ***ty week in the life of the antagonist of the story.

What about the actual music though?
Life of Agony came out of the New York City hardcore scene which they acknowledge on the songs underground and method of groove. The river runs red has an anthemic, youthful exuberance to the record which seems contrary to its bleak subject matter. The overall sound is similar to that of hard rock/alternative metal. Think of a more complex sounding helmet with Danzig on vocals.

What’s so special about it?
Various influences can be heard throughout the songs such as in the opener this time from the thrash metal solo reminiscent of metallica to the slow gloomy riffs that could be compared to that of black Sabbath. The drumming serves it’s job and helps towards the overall metal nature of the songs especially in the more faster ones such as the river runs red and underground. The bass isn’t very prominent on the record though it can be identified in some good basslines from the likes of through and through and my eyes , though it doesn’t really differentiate from the guitar pattern that much on the record. The real force of Life of Agony is Keith Caputo though, his vocal style is unique in that it is somewhat a baritone style yet this fits the music perfectly. Keith delivers raw emotion to every song on the album like in my eyes “give me one good reason to live, I’ll give you three to die, let’s leave this world behind” his voice conveys the general hopelessness on the record giving the general idea of what seems to be a hurt and angry young man confused with the futility of living. The lyrical subject matter confirms such notions with through and through “Smiling's just a phase yeah and nothing can phase me” to the dark humour of the title track “Well, I'll bleed on through the night I suppose I'll be dead by the morning light”

What’s the con?
Well I’ve always thought Words and Music was pretty much a filler track and the interludes are quite gimmicky (though the end of Friday does give me a shiver whenever I hear it).The bass is quite lacking on the record especially with the level of musicianship from the rest of the band on the record. Finally, although The river runs red is an excellent debut album the grim subject matter may not be for everyone.

Choice tracks?
- Through and Through
- My Eyes
- This Time
- Method of Groove
- Underground


user ratings (85)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
DarkRecollections (4)
This overlooked 90s metal gem makes for one of the most vile and sludgiest records of the 90s. Heavy...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Plank
November 9th 2010


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

First review so advice, criticisms appreciated!

Counterfeit
November 9th 2010


17819 Comments


[img]http://beansie09.tripod.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/plank.jpg[/img]

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2010


6098 Comments


well written review for a first, have a pos.

However, i must say that your review makes this record "read" like a 3.5/5 rating. Although you are fairly informative, you could be more detailed about the strong points of the album.

That's just my opinion, though.

keep on writing.

Digging: The Sabbathian - Ritual Rites

Plank
November 10th 2010


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks Voivod! i will keep this in mind in the future. I was trying hard not to go all fanboyish on it haha.

Plank
December 15th 2010


217 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah another neg! I guess some people don't appreciate menstruation.

killians202
June 29th 2011


62 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

These guys are pretty good when they aren't cryin' about their dead mom or their lost job and crap ...

Butkuiss
July 15th 2011


4178 Comments


...

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2011


7041 Comments


Just read that the lead singer got a sex change...

really?



Butkuiss
July 15th 2011


4178 Comments


http://www.theprp.com/2011/07/14/news/life-of-agony-to-play-rumored-final-shows-this-weekend-vocalist-allegedly-changes-sex/

That's the link.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2011


7041 Comments


um, okay lol. Well i guess if someones wants to do something...

Butkuiss
July 15th 2011


4178 Comments


To each their own, it just came as a bit of a shock to me to be honest. But I don't really keep up with the band's current state, so meh.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2011


7041 Comments


They are a bit dated arent they?

killians202
July 15th 2011


62 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Yea they're pretty old ... hope he changed his name to something from the appropriate era ... like Ethel or Gertrude or something shitlike.

random
June 24th 2012


2262 Comments


I'm surprised to hear that Keith (now Mina) got a sex change.

BallsToTheWall
June 24th 2012


44333 Comments


One scary, ugly mothefucker

Digging: Pharmakon - Abandon

Titan
September 29th 2012


4884 Comments


thats too much for me to handle.......what an album this was too

joseph99
March 12th 2013


34 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very underrated band



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