Life of Agony
River Runs Red


4.0
excellent

Review

by DarkRecollections USER (5 Reviews)
February 14th, 2014 | 71 replies


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This overlooked 90s metal gem makes for one of the most vile and sludgiest records of the 90s. Heavy as a ton of bricks, this record will leave you wanting more.

What bands do you think of when someone mentions the 90s sludge/groove metal scenes? You probably thought of Pantera, Down, Crowbar, or perhaps Eyehategod or Acid Bath. While all those bands are great and essential to their genres, one band remains that usually gets overlooked in the scene and that band is Life Of Agony. Jam packed full of emotion, darkness, hopelessness, and bone crushing sludgy and groovy riffs, Life Of Agony's debut deserves a spot among such legendary releases such as NOLA, Odd Fellows Rest, Far Beyond Driven, and When The Kite Strings Pops. While many know of this band, it seems they never quite got the recognition they deserve and I'm not quite sure why. The sound of the record is tight and heavy and the riffs will get stuck in your head for days. Many influnces are evident on the album but aren't exactly easy to pinpoint. The vocals could be described as having a strong Peter Steele vibe with perhaps a touch of Glen Danzig. The music combines the catchiness of bands such as Crowbar and Acid Bath with the heaviness and groove of Pantera.

Former Type O Negative and later A Pale Horse Named Death drummer Sal Abruscato handles drumming duties. All of the tracks on the album have their own personal memorable riffs and catchiness that makes them stand out. Songs like "Underground" and "Words and Music" have great transitions between crushing doom sections, midpaced thrash riffing, and groove breakdowns. "Through and Through", one of my personal favoites, speeds things up a bit with some faster hardcore influnced riffs and a perfect buildup to a catchy chorus and even features gang chants. "Bad Seed" features one of the catchiest riffs on the record and would work great in a live setting. "Method Of Groove also serves as one of the most hardcore influnced songs with more gang chants and almost a rap like chorus. This album features no filler and entertains all the way through. The combination of different styles works great on the record and will leave a lasting impression on the listener. Elements of groove metal, sludge, hardcore, and even thrash can be found, making for a great and unique listen.

Some may find the rather odd combinations of styles a bit hard to stomach at first but everything is blended together tastefully and makes for more impact upon repeated listens. Fans of many different metal genres can find much to enjoy here. Hopefully more people will look back on this release and realize the true brilliance to be found on this record. This record could easily be held up to any of the classics of the scene. If you enjoy the 90s sludge or groove metal scenes or just heavy metal in general, give this record a good listen and you won't be disappointed.


user ratings (165)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Plank (4.5)
Life of Agony makes menstruation cool....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 15th 2014


18910 Comments


This was an excellent album. I haven't heard it in forever.

Curse.
February 15th 2014


8079 Comments


Fantastic band/album

TrephineArtist
February 15th 2014


258 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fantastic album. As a long time fan I never considered this to be sludge metal, to me LOA were out on their own somewhere doing something new but with close ties to bands like Biohazard, Type O negative & Prong and perhaps Pantera & Machine Head (I know Burn My Eyes was released after RRR). I like the comparison with Acid Bath's When the kite string pops as they are both incredible and unique sounding debut albums and sound as good now as they did 20 years ago.

NodScene23
February 15th 2014


274 Comments


Been meaning to check this out. Enjoyed the review too, pos.

DarkRecollections
February 15th 2014


48 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it was kind of hard for me to classify this when I was writing the review. LOA seems like a mixed bag of genres.

VermTheImpaler
February 15th 2014


1359 Comments


This one is underrated as fuck

accompliceofmydeath
February 20th 2014


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Surprised I didn't see this review when it came through. One of my favorite albums. I always thought of it more of a hardcore album, but there is definitely a ton of metal influence, too. The later stuff seems to really lack the something special this album had.

xstaytrue18x
March 18th 2014


583 Comments


COLDER THAN EVER COLDER THAN EVER YOU KNOW I'M COLDER THAN EVER

accompliceofmydeath
March 19th 2014


4921 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

UHM EM-T!!!

FearTomorrow
March 19th 2014


1826 Comments


oh damn, this sounds like my kinda shit.

NodScene23
March 19th 2014


274 Comments


Started spinning this recently, oh my.

Mammoth riffs.

Liam8VIII
March 23rd 2014


91 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This and LOA's 1995 album 'Ugly' are among my all time favourites.

NodScene23
March 27th 2014


274 Comments


THINK BEFORE YOU SINK TO THE BOTTOM

Willie
Moderator
March 28th 2014


18910 Comments


Fantastic album. As a long time fan I never considered this to be sludge metal...
I don't even think 'sludge metal' was a term back when this was released, but I can understand him using it in his review in order to connect with anyone that might have been too young to hear it when it was new.

Emim
July 29th 2015


30075 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

those riffs tho



and damn if This Time doesn't have that certain AiC flair about it

Digging: Ignite - Our Darkest Days

CaimanJesus
October 10th 2015


3809 Comments


Riffs hard

BenThatsMyJamin
March 18th 2016


3842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Just got back from seeing these guys live. Pretty great live band. Pits were brutal

CaimanJesus
March 18th 2016


3809 Comments


Did they play through and through?

BenThatsMyJamin
March 18th 2016


3842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Of course man! They played all the best RRR songs. They also played songs from other albums but I've never given the others the time of day so just stood there awkwardly in those lol

BenThatsMyJamin
March 18th 2016


3842 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My eyes fucking slays live



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