Sunday Old School: Life Of Agony
Alternative metal is probably the loosest tag of any metal sub-genre, which is what makes it so alternative I suppose. Nevertheless, today Sunday Old School looks at Life Of Agony, an alternative metal band from Brooklyn, New York. Life Of Agony was formed in 1989 by singer Keith Caputo, guitarist Joey Z and bass player Alan Robert, who went through a number of drummers before settling with Sal Abruscato, a founding member of the gothic metal band, Type O Negative. The group slogged it out for four years before signing a record deal with Roadrunner, who were also home to Type O Negative. Through the label, the band released their debut album, "River Runs Red" in October of 1993. The album was critically praised and in time has become known as one of the finest records in the entire Roadrunner catalogue, gaining popularity through singles such as, "This Time" and "Through And Through."
A more emotional direction was employed on the group’s next studio album, "Ugly," which was released in 1995. The album was once again highly praised and was notable for featuring a cover of the Simple Minds hit, "Don’t You (Forget About Me,)" as well as a cover of Bob Marley’s, "Redemption Song" on the special edition of the album. Shortly after "Ugly’s" release, Abruscato announced that he was leaving the band and was replaced by Dan Richardson, formerly of the bands Pro-Pain and Crumbsuckers. With their new drummer in tow, Life Of Agony recorded and released their third album, "Soul Searching Sun" in 1997, but were dealt a major blow when Caputo announced his resignation from the group, claiming his heart was no longer in to the type of music Life Of Agony wrote. The band soldiered on, initially recruiting former Ugly Kid Joe vocalist Whitfield Crane, but parted company with the singer when they began working on a new album. After toying with the idea of Robert switching to vocals and guitar and bringing in Stuck Mojo bassist Corey Lowery, Life Of Agony decided to simply call it a day, feeling that the band couldn’t continue properly without Caputo.
Following the split, the members focused their attention on different projects, including Stereomud, who became best known for writing the song, "End Of Everything," which was used by WWF wrestler Raven as his entrance music, and Among Thieves, which saw Robert collaborate with former members of Biohazard. Eventually however, the original lineup of Life Of Agony reformed, performing two sold out shows at the Irving Plaza in New York, which were later released as part of a CD/DVD package. Things didn’t end there for the group and before long, they found themselves performing on the European festival circuit and even released a new album in 2005, entitled, "Broken Valley," before going on to headline the second stage of the very first Gigantour, the travelling festival founded by Megadeth. While continuing to perform live, the group attempted to write new material, but eventually abandoned the idea, claiming that their efforts felt forced. Although they completed a European tour as recently as this Summer, the future of the band appears to be in question somewhat, with each member of the group embarking on their own solo projects, such as Abruscato’s, A Pale Horse Named Death and Alan Robert’s comic book, "Wire Hangars." Hopefully Life Of Agony will continue, and with any luck there’s some more fantastic music still left in them, but even if they don’t continue, they’ll have left the world with some of the finest contributions to alternative metal that were ever recorded.
Life Of Agony - "Lost At 22"
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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