This year has been a great year for heavy metal releases, and Life Of Agony’s newest album A Place Where There’s No More Pain released by Napalm Records has had some hype leading up to it since it has been 12 years since the previous album Broken Valley. But now things are different for LOA. For starters, Mina Caputo coming out as transgender, new record label, the band spent a few years apart with various bands and projects, so now was the perfect time for the band to be active again, reintroduce themselves to the music industry, and be a force to be reckoned with.
This album is by far LOA’s darkest album. As soon as you start it, opening track ‘”Meet My Maker” has a dark catchy rift pelted out from Joey Z’s heavy guitar, then you hear the vocals with the lyrics “Clinging on to what was then when what is now decides….” and you’re just like “fuck yeah. LOA is fucking back.” Yes, once again, for the 5th time, the vocal style is completely different from the other albums, but you know it’s LOA. But it works. Mina’s vocals fit all the songs perfectly. The lyrics scratch deep. The music is hard. But what makes this album standout among the other albums is the dark gloomy, impending doomy atmosphere.
There is an element in this album that has to be brought up. And that is producer Matt Brown. The mixing and producing that he did this for album is brilliant and masterful. I’m not sure of what other projects Brown has produced, but he is one of the guitarists and songwriters for LOA drummer Sal Abruscato’s other band, A Pale Horse Named Death.
Those who have heard A Pale Horse Named Death’s two amazing albums, are familiar with dark, doomy, gloomy, Type O style music. So it should come as no surprise that Matt Brown and Sal Abruscato’s style had a strong influence on this album. The best produced song on the album is “Dead Speak Kindly.” It has all the elements that I just mentioned. But the song that stands out to me the most is the next track which is “A New Low.” That song is heavy and sludgy as hell and really strikes a nerve and speaks to the soul. Then “World Gone Mad” goes fast and hard to get the mind rushing again. Perfect workout music.
When you get to the end of the album, it ends strangely but appropriately with “Little Spots Of You” which was a soft piano lead track with Mina’s vocals going in a more gentle direction. It’s a great way to end a doomy album. Overall, the album is damn near perfect for where the band is right now. I would rank this easily the best LOA album since 1995’s “Ugly.” Easily this is another contender for the best metal album of the year, and that’s saying a lot considering all the great metal albums being dished out this year. A lot of these songs need to be played live. They can be live staples for this band for sure.
Key Tracks: Meet My Maker, A New Low, World Gone Mad
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