Life of Agony

River Runs Again: Live 2003

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

During their ten-year run, that is, 1989-1999, Life of Agony were neither complacent nor predictable. Stylistically, the New York-based alternative metal/alternative rock band reinvented themselves more than once, and there were some lineup changes along the way. The changes that they went through were both good and bad: good because they never got stuck in a creative rut and had a desire to forge ahead, bad because some of their albums were uneven and inconsistent. But creatively, LOA had more ups than downs, and their Big Apple fans were delighted when the band's classic lineup -- lead singer Keith Caputo, guitarist Joey Z, bassist Alan Robert, and drummer Sal Abruscato -- performed two reunion concerts at New York's Irving Plaza on January 3 and 4, 2003. Those shows are the focus of this two-CD set, which paints an honest picture of the band because it falls short of perfect, but is engaging more often that not. Performing songs from 1993's River Runs Red, as well as 1995's Ugly, and 1997's Soul Searching Sun, the New Yorkers sound like they're sincerely glad to be reunited. Caputo, Joey Z, Robert, and Abruscato never come across as bored, and they never sound like they're merely going through the motions. Caputo is obviously quite sincere when he advises headbangers in the mosh pit to watch out for one another, if someone falls, be sure to pick him up immediately (which, of course, is considered proper mosh pit etiquette at metal and punk shows). River Runs Red is still widely regarded as LOA's most essential release, but for devoted fans, this double-CD is an exciting, if imperfect, document of their January 2003 reunion gigs in the Big Apple.

blue highlight denotes track pick