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Retro Roundtable Review: Life of Agony – Ugly

51e14F6r9eL._SY300_Label:  The All Blacks B.V.

Release Date:  9 Oct 1995

Songs:   12

Length:  54 Minutes

Genre:  Thrash / Hardcore

Studio Albums:  1993 – River Runs Red; 1997 – Soul Searching Sun; 2005 – Broken Valley

Location:  New York Read the rest of this entry

Reggie’s Top 25 Favorite Cover Songs #15 – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

breakfast-07Scottish rockers Simple Minds recorded Don’t You (Forget About Me) for the hit teenage cult classic movie The Breakfast Club (1985).  I think you had to be alive at the right time to appreciate this movie.  Every generation has its cult hit movies and this was one of mine.  Anyway, this song was prominently featured in that movie and I remember the video being on MTV on heavy rotation.  I actually didn’t mind the original even though I was a budding headbanger at the time.  Now let’s talk about the band who covered it; Life of Agony.

I think this classifies as an unlikely cover; pop song gone metalized.  Brooklyn’s Life of Agony put their spin on it for their 1995 follow-up to River Runs RedUgly featured some of the bands memorable moments including this cover song at the end of the disc.  They recorded a great cover; Keith Caputo (now Mina Caputo) fit the tone of the song perfectly and the cover held true to the original though the beginning was a bit more…creepy sounding.

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Matt’s Top 100 Favorite Albums of All Time: #45-#41

Over on my favorite forum for rambling about metal, The History of Metal (it’s an open Facebook forum, so anyone, meaning you, can join and flap your jaw about metal with a wide variety of metalheads from all over the world), the admin made a challenge to all the members to create their top 100 albums of all time. Loving making lists I’m all on this. Between the ~1500 albums I have there is a lot to filter through and this has turned into quite a daunting, yet fun, challenge. This list will represent where I am with my favorite albums right now, if I were to do this last year or next year, while being similar, I’m sure there would be lots of differences. My only self-imposed limitation on this is I’m confining each band 3 albums in the list to avoid entire, very large, discographies over saturating it. Every 5 days or so I’ll make a post with the next 5 entries into the list. Fellow bloggers, I extend this challenge to you (and be sure to let me know where and when you’ll be posting it, I’d love to read it), and for readers without a blog join up with THOM and post yours there! Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal!!!

#45 Warp Riders by The Sword

The Sword just keep getting better and better with each album as they constantly refine their style of sludgy stoner metal. For 2010’s concept album Warp Riders they took a step outside of the frozen tundra of Norse lore and sounds and went full on sci-fi and gravitated towards a more rock and roll feel. Everything about this record is near perfect, fat riffs, groovy rhythms, catchy lyrics, and proggy space opera songs. If their previous albums were their Lord of the Rings, Warp Riders is their Star Wars. When I listen to this album I want to jump into my space Winnebago, kick it into ludicrous speed, and go plaid as I fly around outer space exploring uncharted planets and nebulae (making sure to make a special stop at the Mos Eisley Cantina to check out that in-house band I’ve been hearing so much about). With the track record The Sword has been following ever since their debut, it’s no wonder I’m so hyped for their upcoming record.

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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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Monday Metal Madness – Unusual Covers

Last week, Einherjer took the votes for the Scandinavian black metal part II poll.  Good luck to them as this series narrows down to a black metal champion.

This week I am exploring some covers.  Not your outstanding tribute songs like Machine Head’s Hallowed be thy Name or Trivium’s Master of Puppets, but more the song that you might not expect a band to cover.  See the video clips below and see what these metal bands did to iconic pop songs.  Also, let us know what you think about cover tunes.   Furthermore, what you think about artists like Elton John being covered by a metal band?  Which one of the covers below do you think is best?

This first one is from Life of Agony.  They covered Simple Minds Don’t You (Forget About Me).  This song was featured in the 80’s teen classic The Breakfast Club.

This next song was probably one of the first covers I ever heard by a metal band covering something nonmetal.  Flotsam and Jetsam covered Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) originally recorded by (Sir) Elton John in 1973…so, it’s as old as me.  Nickelback also covered this song.  Not that it matters, we’ll stick with Arizona’s Flotsam and Jetsam for this poll.

You may not have heard of The Bronx Casket Co., but this is Overkill bassist D.D. Verni’s project.  They are pretty good and worth checking out.  Of course, they are on this poll because they covered perhaps the most nonmetal artist on this list…Frank Sinatra.  Check out their version of My Way.

The last song to round out this week’s poll is from Coal Chamber.  Not only did they manage to take a Peter Gabriel song, Shock The Monkey and cover it, they brought along Ozzy to help out.  This song was originally released in 1982.

I hopefully achieved my goal of bringing you some classic nonmetal songs that were covered by metal bands.  Personally, I think all these covers were done quite well and it will be hard to vote myself.  What are your feelings about metal bands taking the lighter side of pop and injecting metal into it?

Oh, and before you mention Faith No More’s version of Easy, I didn’t include it here because they did the cover almost too well.  They didn’t inject any metal into it.  Though, it is one of the best covers of a pop song…if you ask me.

Themed Thursday – Where Are They Now?

Ever wonder what happened to some of those old metal bands that coulda, woulda, shoulda?  Or maybe they did make it big and then faded fast?  Check it out this theme of the week:  Where are they now?

The facts of this theme were taken from various internet sources.  Remember, you can’t always believe what you read online, but in this case I can’t see why any of the sources I looked at would lie.

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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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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!