28/10/2003

-Disc One-
1. River Runs Red
2. This Time
3. Other Side Of The River
4. I Regret
5. Weeds
6. Seasons
7. Hope
8. Method Of Groove
9. How It Would Be
10. Bad Seed
11. Heroin Dreams

-Disc Two-
1. Tangerine
2. Lost At 22
3. My Mind Is Dangerous
4. Let's Pretend
5. Underground
6. My Eyes
7. Through And Through
BONUS TRACKS
8. Consequence- AMONG THIEVES
9. Were What I Say- KEITH CAPUTO
10. Fake- SUPERMASSIV

 
Guitar- Joey Z.
Bass- Alan Robert
Vocals- Keith Caputo
Drums- Sal Abruscato
 

LIFE OF AGONY : "River runs again   Live 2003"   

review  by Matthew "Matt" Haumschild____ 


Six long years since the return of New York City's finest musical acts had played on stage together and to boot, they recorded the show and taped it!

River Runs Again Live 2003 was recorded @ Irving Plaza on January 3rd and 4th of 2003. I can tell you this writer was going to attend but tickets for both shows sold out within ten minutes and yes I was going to fly out to NYC from Minneapolis.

But enough about the "before the show" and "What ifs" and let's get to the particulars of the CD.

When I picked up this CD a week ago, I was a bit anxious to hear Sal Abruscato play "Soul Searching Sun" material since he wasn't LOA's drummer during that time. Not to mention the only times I saw LOA was when Whitfield Crane was their lead singer. That, and the band hadn't played on stage together for 6 years.

The main track I wanted to hear and I think the majority of LOA fans wanted to hear first.

RIVER RUNS RED:
It's kind of funny in a way. You could hear the stage rust on the CD. They were on time and everything but for some reason, I could tell that the whole band was a bit nervous on stage. Not to mention, that the initial
sound quality wasn't nearly as good as the rest of CD sounded. This is typical of live recordings with no overdubs. The song sounded great. They sounded great. But, the snare sounded like shit and would continue to do so
for the rest of the CD.

THIS TIME:
By now you can tell that Keith Caputo's vocal/singing style has changed over the years. You can really tell by listening to this song. Granted, when he recorded the original "River Runs Red" album back in 1993,
he was 17, but his voice sounded...better. I know, your voice is supposed to get better and lower in time...this was not the case for some reason. On this track Keith sings a bit higher than normal and it is my opinion that it
doesn't sound nearly as good as when he recorded the original song ten years ago. Again, the rest of the band performed flawlessly. At this point, the engineer who originally recorded the entire thing (I shouldn't lay blame to
the FOH man, it could be the mixing engineer too), on the Hi Hat, the sound on that keeps getting louder and higher pitched which would lead me to the conclusion that whomever mixed or recorded this album, has extensive hearing loss. I do not blame the band on this one.

WEEDS:
This is the best song on this CD. The band sounded tight! This song makes me want to speed when I am driving down the freeway! It's also a nice sing-along.
This was one of the tracks I was anxious to hear, mainly for the question on what Sal Abruscato was going to do for this song, play exactly as Dan Richardson did when he played on the album?  Or, would he play his own
beats? He played his own! AND IT SOUNDED GREAT! The snare still sounds like shit but the Hi Hat was turned down a bit making the song sonically enjoyable to the analyitcal listeners like myself. The vocals were superb, Joey Z (guitar player) hit everything dead on, the backing vocals by Alan Robert (bass), blended very well with Keith's main vocals. This is easily the best track on the album.

LET'S PRETEND/UNDERGROUND:
The album version of this song features the entire band. This version, it's Keith Caputo on acoustic guitar singing alone on stage. It kind of sounded weird, but in a way it didn't really sit right with me. But when the song ended, Keith went into "Underground" like he did on the album. I have this song live on another CD from a different show, and they didn't do this before, at the beginning originally Keith sings "If you won't walk with me...I'll.. walk.. alone" He sings this twice before the guitars and drums come it and then screams " I WILL WALK.. ALONE!"  It sounded great. However the crowd sang the last part and it was loud! I consider this song to be somewhat of an anthem to what metal in the U.S. was in 1993. Underground. Another great track.

The Last few Tracks:
 CONSEQUENCE- AMONG THIEVES (Featuring Alan Robert) WERE WHAT I SAY- KEITH CAPUTO
and FAKE- SUPERMASSIV
(featuring Sal Abruscato)

This was kind of an odd assortment. Here is my two cents on these tracks. Among Thieves actually didn't sound too bad, and out of all the projects that had eminated from LOA, Among Thieves sounded the most like LOA. Supermassiv out of the three sounded very professional. Don't get me wrong, Among Thieves sounded professional but they sounded as if they were first starting out in the business. I just had this feeling that Supermassiv had their shit together! Out of the three (on this CD) Fake was my favorite. Keith Caputo...deffinatly NOT FOR EVERYONE! I didn't like this track at all. Matter of fact, I am in agreeance with just about anyone who has ever heard his material. There isn't a rock aspect at all to his solo project either in this track or any other track. It sounded more like something you would hear on a light rock station. Where as, Among Thieves sounds like modern rock with a bit of melody and Supermassiv is hardrock. Not quite metal, but hard rock.

Synopsis:
The CD(s) was great. I liked it a lot. I have been waiting almost a year for it to come out and it was well worth the wait. The only problem I really and truly have with this CD, is the way the Hi Hat is in the mix. It was way the fuck too high pitched and it was turned up too high. Also, the snare. I bitch about it, because I have recorded bands live, and each time I've done it, the snare was the best sounding instrument of the mix! It has to be! It's all part of the rhythm! Along with the kick drum and Hi-Hat! The kick sounded fine though. Other than that the guitar sounded kind of like a fuzz distortion but it was tolerable so I suppose it sounded fine but could have sounded a tad better, but no complaints from me. The bass sounded great. That could have been bumped up in the mix but that's okay. The vocals, in the mix sounded great. Perfect level and recording. LOA picked probably the best songs they have and they put them in a great order.
I do recommend buying this CD for two reasons, 1. Every song, was executed to near perfection, and 2. hey...it's LOA dammit! GO BUY IT!



Sound Quality   
7.5/10
Overall Quality   
9/10

Matthew Haumschild  


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