life of agony place where there's no more pain

Brooklyn’s Life of Agony live up to their name on their upcoming fifth album A Place Where There’s No More Pain. Each song on the record expands on some sort of inner emotive turmoil.

Such introspection isn’t in vogue at the moment, nor is the kind of melodic alternative metal that the band plays (listeners expecting another River Runs Red ought to curb that expectation). Music about feelings, though, will always have value. Cultures put stock in music because it evokes emotion more readily than most other subjective kinds of art. Investing in A Place Where There’s No More Pain will yield a high return.

Adults snub their noses at this kind of songwriting because it seems to have the greatest impact on adolescent people. According to a 2013 paper in the ‘Journal of Personality and Social Psychology’, “the degree of importance attributed to music declines with age but that adults still consider music important”, but at the same time “certain music-preference dimensions decrease with age (e.g., [Intensity]), whereas preferences for other music dimensions increase with age (e.g., Unpretentious, Sophisticated)”. This sort of intense and unpretentious music is formative. It frames the way people experience the emotions depicted in that music going forward. I grew up listening to excellent music that played in the same sandbox by bands like Alice in Chains, Faith no More and Type O Negative (who get a few obvious homages on this record). Newer music in this style tends to fall flat, especially faced with nostalgia for the first doses I remember so fondly. Listening to A Place Where There’s No More Pain takes me back to the simple euphoria of those other bands successfully, which means Life of Agony are demonstrably good at it.

Each song delivers a memorable chorus and compelling riff. There’s no point in attempting this style without a spectacular singer, which is the piece most modern practitioners fail at. I can hear Mina Caputo emote every sour note with honesty. She sticks every landing. This is Life of Agony’s best take on this style since they first gave it a shot in 1995. Songs like “World Gone Mad” remind me of the angst that fomented me long ago. It’s fun to return to that place, it’s more fun now that I’m past it.

A Place Where There’s No More Pain is out on April 28 via Napalm Records. Order it here or here. Follow Life of Agony on Facebook.