Metal Hammer (UK)


The sound Of scars Napalm


New York’s emotion-heavy metallers return to their narrative roots

over a lengthy 30-year career, New York’s Life Of Agony have been one of the most uniquely fascinatin­g bands of our scene. Cult favourites from the point of classic 1993 debut album River Runs Red and beyond, they have never quite managed to attain the mainstream success that their beautiful and poignant blend of grooving New York hardcore, alternativ­e rock introspect­ion and the enigmatic x-factor that vocalist Mina Caputo brings to the band has deserved. While it may be too late for any kind of superstard­om to come their way at this point, those in the know will surely be as excited for The Sound Of Scars as they are for any album released this year.

One of the best things about Life Of Agony is the uncertaint­y of exactly what it is you’re going to get when you press play on a new record – and The Sound Of Scars

is a very different album from 2017’s comeback album (technicall­y second comeback album fronted by Caputo, after 2005’s Broken Valley), A Place Where There’s No More Pain. Whereas that felt much more like a personal confession­al for Caputo, The Sound Of Scars seems to rely on a more character and conceptual­ly driven narrative, giving it a very different vibe from much of their back catalogue.

Musically it veers away slightly from the core sound of Life Of Agony, with strings playing a large role in the fantastic closing rock ballad, I Surrender, but the groove of Joey Z’s guitars, Alan Robert’s thick, fat bass and those sublime, smoky, wistful melodies of Caputo are all still present and correct. Songs like Scars and Empty Hole sound like a heavier version of a band such as Stone Temple Pilots, and Lay Down opens like the true New

York hardcore of Sick Of It All, before Mina Caputo croons soulfully over the top. Another excellent addition to an excellent band’s canon.


FOR FANS OF: Stone Temple Pilots, Prong, Helmet


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life of agony: rather more exciting than watching paint dry
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