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Themed Thursday: Storytellers – River Runs Red

By 1993, Grunge had pretty much thumped American Thrash Metal back to the Stone Age as far as its popularity in the mainstream is concerned.  Thrash didn’t die; it was more or less pushed aside.  Only a handful of Thrash metal bands were still able to sell-out venues while the rest were getting pushed underground, getting released by major record labels, and going back to touring the club circuit.  The airwaves were dominated by the Seattle surge of Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.  Then something magical happened from the Northeast; almost as far away in America as you could get from Seattle.  Brooklyn’s Life of Agony provided an alternative to Alternative.  Their fusion of metal, hardcore, and thrash opened another path for metalheads who needed an escape from Grunge.  Keith Caputo’s powerful baritone vocal style, accompanied by Joey Z, Alan Robert, and Sal Abruscato quickly became a new sensation.  But, in addition to their killer riffs and headbanging rhythm, Life of Agony’s debut album, River Runs Red, was a dark and tragic story.

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Themed Thursday – Collaborations

I like when masters of the metal world collaborate to make music.  A couple decades ago the word duet would have been more appropriate, but every time I hear the word “duet” all I can think of is Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  So, let’s call these a collaborative effort between metal musicians.  Sometimes it can be an epic fail, but more often than not they usually create a great new song or even breathe new life to an older song.  This week I am looking at collaborations I thought were done quite well.  I know there are much more collaborative recordings out there, but that’s what blogs are about…sharing information.  If there is something not on this list you think should be then please, by all means share and share alike.  Here are a few I thought up held up well over the years.

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Life of Agony Calls it…

This could be the end for Life of Agony fans as the band wraps up its final shows in Europe.  After 20 years, the Brooklyn metal quartet are calling it quits…or are they?  One might think it would be due to musical difference, time, or just old age, but in this case singer Keith Caputo will make the transformation to pre-op transsexual.  Whether Life of Agony will continue with the female version of Keith Caputo is uncertain.  I would imagine it would be unlikely.

In case you didn’t know Life of Agony did have a stint with another singer, Ugly Kid Joe’s Whitfield Crane.  Whether or not Life of Agony will continue is as much as mystery to me as I’m sure it is to you.  If you are a Life of Agony fan I thought you would like to know.

Thanks to my bud Mike for forwarding me this story.

Here are some other links to this story and some videos of Life of Agony and Keith Caputo’s solo career for you to enjoy.

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Theme Thursday – Things You May Not Have Heard…

The theme for this week is to introduce you to things you may not have heard.  Some of it is metal you might find on a b-side single, Japanese import, or somewhere else I can’t even fully explain.  Sometimes, bands go out and record music and if you are not really on top of your metal game, these songs get released without a real warm welcome.  This week, my goal is to get at least one new song into your repertoire.  As of now, I don’t know how many songs I will present to you, so let’s see how it goes.

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Album of the Week 23 Oct 10

Keith Caputo’s vocal style is unique and that is one of the reasons I was turned on to this band the first time I heard them. In fact, if I remember correctly, this band was bashed by none other than Beavis and Butthead back in the day.  The album of the week this week goes back to 1993.  It is:

Life of Agony with the first release River Runs Red.

River Runs Red is heavy, fast, slow, deep, hard, you can fill in the blanks with whatever adjective you can think of.  This album has it.  Some my favorites on this album are:

River Runs Red

This Time

Through and Through

Words and Music


Other Life of Agony albums that are also good are Ugly and Soul Searching Sun.  They have a couple newer releases, but the power of the days of old is much better.  Enjoy!