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Life Of Agony Airs The Sound Of Scars In London With Doyle

Alternative metal is a tag that's been given to some of the best bands to arise from the nineties. From Living Colour to Faith No More and everything in between, this loose tag has been placed on groups which may not sound like the archetypal metal band, but bring it just as hard. One such band to be classed as such is Brooklyn's own Life Of Agony, who released three stellar albums in their initial run, before returning with a new album, "Broken Valley" in 2005. Now in their third stage, the new album, "The Sound Of Scars" proves that the band are as good as, if not better than they ever were. Of course, any album release means shows and I was fortunate enough to be in London for the opening night of the trek.

Opening the night was Doyle, the eponymous band of Misfits guitarist Doyle von Frankenstein. If truth be told, I've never been a Misfits fan, but I'm always willing to check out a band in a live setting. I'm glad I did, because Doyle and his crew have put together some really cool songs, bridging the horror punk background with metal to create something interesting. The first thing that catches one's eye when they take to the stage is Doyle himself, who is still in immaculate shape and has his stage get up perfect. The man himself is joined by some top quality musicians too, particularly drummer Wade Murff who was an absolute beast behind the kit, while bassist Brandon Strate kept the ship steady throughout.

Sadly, I felt the side was let down somewhat by vocalist Alex Story. I honestly don't like being negative when it comes to live reviews but when the crowd start laughing at the frontman, there's not much of a choice. Doyle played around ten songs and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that seven of them were introduced, word for word with "This next song... Kind of like a love song... You can dance to it if you want." Story slurred his vocals a fair bit and stumbled around the right side of the stage, either drunk or pretending to be drunk. It was uncomfortable to watch and detracted from an otherwise solid performance which left me intrigued to check out the band's albums.

After Doyle though, it was time for the main course. Life Of Agony received a hero's welcome in London and rightly so. The band has been through so much over the years and still stand defiant, glaring down detractors and delivering shot after shot of in your face determination. As one would expect, there was plenty of new material on display tonight, all of which sounded fantastic. Fans were as receptive of new cuts like "Scars," "Eliminate" and "Lay Down" as they were the classics, already knowing all the words it seems.

It must be said that Life Of Agony's performance was one of heart, resulting in one of the most emotional gigs I've ever seen. The quartet looked like they were having as much fun as the audience, who themselves got a chuckle out of the band when a drum intro led to an impromptu sing along of the Iron Maiden staple, "Run To The Hills." Vocalist Mina Caputo is as fired up as ever and still in phenomenal voice, belting out the old favourites like "Weeds," "Lost At 22" and "River Runs Red" with awesome strength, while joining the crowd on several occasions to close the gap between artist and fan. Life Of Agony are well and truly back and if anyone doubts this, I strongly urge you to see for yourself next time they're near you. Just make sure to return their shoes after they kick your ass.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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