1993 - River Runs Red.
1995 - Ugly.
way more Helter Skelter.

October 12, 1993 - 2023: 30 years of: River Runs Red.

A new type of NYHC.

Shining from the dirty underground, here's a bloody through and through concept-album. Brooklyn's blue-collar LIFE OF AGONY, along label-mates BIOHAZARD and MADBALL, were part of this new breed from the early 90s that crafted a modern-hybrid between traditional-thrash and hardcore-punk. Fueled with a street-level vibe and lethal tone, all wrapped with angelic vocals ...LIFE OF AGONY is a unique blend.

Fast and furious, a new beast is here and "This Time" now one gets out of this pit bruise-less. Metal's Yin-Yang, aggressive downtuned thrash and Keith Caputo's superb voice. The massive hammering of "Underground" is another vulgar display of power, while the MTV mosh-video for "Through And Through" brings the pushing and shoving right into your cable-TV.

Twisted and tormented, the heavy melodies of "Words And Music" and the hardcore punches of "Bad Seed" ups the game with both Big Four thrash and CBGB anger. The unannounced 1:56sec perfect street burst of the title-track "River Runs Red" and the equally brutal "My Eyes" are both mandatory stage-divers.

"Concept-album" and "hardcore-punk", two opposite attracts that tend to never be issued by the same artist, yet LIFE OF AGONY sets the pace. River Runs Red is an intricate voyage into a teenager's week: from losing his girlfriend on Monday, being harassed by his angry Mother, to losing his job on Thursday ...and to ending his own pain late on Friday. The last minute-and-a-half of this CD won't leave your mind at ease.

Produced and recorded at System Two with TYPE O NEGATIVE's Josh Silver, the drum-tracks were also performed by then TYPE O NEGATIVE skinsman, Sal Abruscato. Rapidly joining the band full-time, LIFE OF AGONY became a major part of Roadrunner Records's facelift, leaving thrashmetal and deathmetal aside, while morphing into 1993-94's new sounds and rock-avenues.

From another scene, a true metal-gem, from the decade that gave us a fresh new outlook on traditional heavymetal and it's status-quo. The band would dig deeper and get even more personal on 1995's dark Ugly CD.

"Raise your hands if you understand..."

This Time = video
Through And Through = video
River Runs Red = full CD
Live in NYC in 93
MTV interview in 1994

October 10, 1995 - 2020: 25 years of: Ugly.

Beauty in darkness.

From the depth of the indie NYHC scene, Brooklyn's LIFE OF AGONY are an underrated band of the 90s. Bursting out with the explosive and emotive iconic debut 1993's River Runs Red CD, this gang had a different twist.

With total DIY esthetics and motto, even in this saturated scene, the thrash sounds of LIFE OF AGONY are unmistakable. Gone (almost) was the hardcore punches, this is a fully mature metal-band, yet the jump-factor is still present on some tracks, coz ya know, gotta keep the good stuff commin'

Forget about the Big Apple, this is the biggest guitar-tone of all, as "Seasons" kicks-in. Thump, groove and that velvety voice, courtesy of frontman Keith Caputo. The heat raises-up a notch on the street-level vibed "I Regret" and the build-up on the sick introvert title-track "Ugly".

Heaviness, crunch and emotions are flying high on "Other Side Of The River" and the tearful "Let's Pretend". Newwave gets a 90s-facelift, on the added SIMPLE MINDS classic "Don't You Forget About Me" ...a no-brainer with a new beautiful touch.

The seed is sown, emo-rock before emo-rock was even a thing. 90s-metal, great bands with character and soul, new soundscapes and attitude by the boat-load. On stage, the delivery was close to perfection. What a wonderful time to be alive, I know, I was there.

Ugly = full CD
Interview + live on Power30
Live in Montreal in 1995
Interview + live in London in 1996


Alternative-Metal 1992

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