Words: Giulia Lombardo
From the United States, Life of Agony was one of the last bands promoted by the first Grunge movement at a time when Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden were not yet seen as the rock music giants in the following years (often for the wrong reasons). Their 1993 debut, ‘River Runs Red’, was a typical example of the combination of speed and hardcore power and heavy melodies of the country’s contemporary alternative metal scene.
However, with ‘Ugly’, they drastically changed musical style and reference market, giving themselves to post-grunge vocals with occasional acoustic inserts, removing much of their punk tendencies. After ‘Soul Searching Sun’, Keith Caputo left the band, leading to the breakup and a 10-year reunion. After years of disappearing and after the Caputo’s new start as Mina, thanks to which the artist found a balance and a serenity never truly felt before, they returned in 2017 with ‘A Place Where There’s No More Pain’, which while being solid and concise, did not change by a comma the road traced with their previous discography.
While the global pandemic has virtually wiped out the music industry in the last year with its big restrictions on social distancing, Life of Agony have taken advantage of downtime to give the final touches to their next documentary ‘The Sound of Scars’.
The project began two years ago thanks to British director Leigh Brooks and was filmed in several countries while Life of Agony were on tour.
‘The Sound Of Scars’ uses personal archival footage, rare photographs and lost interviews, along with new conversations never seen before with the band and their family telling the story of how three friends have overcome domestic violence, substance abuse and depression to form one of the most influential bands of its kind. Thanks to the success of their revolutionary debut in 1993, ‘River Runs Red’, hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the greatest metal albums of all time”, they channeled their cumulative life stories into a soundtrack for a shattered generation. At that time, that rediscovered fame allowed them to escape the tragedies of their past, but in the wake of their successes unexpected obstacles arose.
This isn’t a typical music documentary, it’s much more personal a work that is a deep and intimate portrait that focuses on the real stories that make their music so vital and relevant. It shows a lot of vulnerability, moments of falling down and others where the group was able to rise up with a lot of force. A gift of imperfection, that has the only aim, together with music, to be more courageous