Life Of Agony

The Rescue Rooms Nottingham 18th Sep 2017.

We love the record label, that is Napalm Records – fact! The artists they have on their roster are extremely diverse, which is just the way we like it and tonight’s headline band, Life of Agony, ticks all the right boxes. I can safely say we were pleased to be given the opportunity to attend tonight’s show in Nottingham, despite the fact this tour was drawing to a close with only two further dates after tonight. Therefore we had very little time to make an impression, however, the reaction we did get from posting images on social media was promising, non the less.

Tonight’s first act was very doomy, courtesy of Blood Runs Deep, all the way from Switzerland! It’s safe to say that the lighting for these guys, set the mood perfectly, dark! Ah well, their music sounded good, even if I couldn’t see them. Chris on guitar was a box of frogs tonight, I couldn’t catch him standing still at all, he was well in the zone. The one person I could capture well tonight, was Josh on keyboards, which is a rarity as keyboard players are usually tucked away at the back of the stage, with the drummers but these two musicians featured heavily in tonight’s band. Keys, in a doom band – I know right, but it worked well but sadly, I got board after the third song as it sounded the same all the way through, with very little to help me distinguish between tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I do love doom though! I just wasn’t feeling these guys as much as other Doom bands, like Monolord, 1000 Mods or Electric Wizard for example. The band are signed to Bret Hard Records and their last album ‘Into The Void’ is available now, with its follow up soon to be released, later this year or early 2018, it’s yet to be announced.

As the next band took to the stage to get ready for their set, I recognised a very familiar face, in the form of Mart Trail, the bass playing extraordinaire, who we originally encountered playing with the band Fury, from Worcester. It would appear that his talents have been enlisted to assist Aaron Buchanan’s new project, The Cult Classics, which is a band made up of a wonderful array of extremely diverse characters, each possessing a unique talent in their chosen musical ability. Another familiar face, in the band, was drummer Paul White, formally of the band ‘The Defiled’ who we’ve seen on many occasions in the past, but sadly that band no longer exists.

This project of Aaron’s is only a year old (having split from Heaven’s Basement) but you’d never know as these guys play with such intensity and velocity, we were soon sucked into their vortex of rock! Having never seen Heaven’s Basement perform live, I had no idea what to expect, yet I was pleasantly surprised with what I witnessed, with these guys and girl (Aaron’s sister, Laurie on guitar). On further investigation, my initial reaction with Aaron’s persona, largely reminding me of the late, great Freddie Mercury and is somewhat common knowledge to those that have seen this guy perform live. So my instincts are still as keen as ever, which is re-assuring. Many are stating that this band have produced one of the best albums of 2017, with ‘The Man With Stars On His Knees’ so I will be checking that album out, at my earliest opportune moment! Great set and a pleasure to witness – we hope to see this lot again soon, which I dare say we will as the general consensus is that people like this band, a lot!

Until now, Life of Agony appear to have escaped my radar, which I find amazing when I read back at what this band have achieved since their formation in 1989! In the queue to get in tonight, I got speaking to a couple of die hard fans of LoA, who have managed to attend every show on this tour as well as the date over in Europe. What I thought was nice, was that later on Mina Caputo, acknowledged these guys, as she recognised them in the crowd and stated “Hit me up, I’ll sort you out some tickets!” Nice one!

This band were primarily active in the early 90’s supporting the likes of Metallica, Black Sabbath, Slipknot and The Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name but a few. They released their first two albums on Road Runner Records then seemed to disappear, only touring on the odd occasion, until now. They have now signed to the excellent Napalm Records and have released their fifth full-length studio album titled ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain’ which I can only assume is referring to something quite personal, within the band and their private lives? I’m sure there’s a hidden message within the lyrics of this album, if you’ve got the time to decipher them? If you do, let us know! My first impression on their sound was similar to Alice in Chains, who we love and helps us to categorize their genre, which is that post punk/grunge/metal/hard rock crossover. Originally from New York, which explains a lot, as this is a place that has managed to produce as many a diverse band and musical genre as is possible!

Caputo, the bands lead singer is a great front person, who certainly knows how to get the crowd going. It was refreshing to see a true professional apply their craft tonight! The new album is killer too, check it out!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)