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.
- Through and Through
- My Eyes
- This Time
- Method of Groove