It's funny how you can change your mind on something so dramatically, but when I first heard just one song from the third Life Of Agony album, 'Soul Searching Sun' at some point last year, I thought it was the worst thing I had ever heard, and had to turn it off without even getting to the end. My only experience of the band was the first album, and this third record just sounded like a completetly different (and totaly lifeless) band to me. I will also freely admit that I had no understanding of the history of the band. I had, in 2015, heard the first album for the first time and was then checked out everything else they had done in the course of about half an hour. In that small amount of time I had come to the conclusion that, like a lot of bands, they started out strong and then changed direction and, unfortunately, ran out of energy. I then realised that I should only venture as far as the second album and leave it there.
Over the xmas period a couple of weeks ago I found myself housebound for a few days and one day, in a search for some new music, decided to give this third album another try. I was listening to it whilst doing something, so not giving it 100% of my attention. The first couple of songs sounded pretty bland and then when the third song came on I had to check my computer as I thought itunes had gone onto shuffle mode as I was convinced a Nirvana song from 'Incesticide' had come on. But no, it was still Life Of Agony. When that song ended, the start of the next song hit hard and I found myself now really starting to pay attention. Ok, so this may not sound like 'River Runs Red', but that small issue aside, this thing was starting to sound interesting.
Well, you know how it goes... when it ended I played it again, and then again. And by the end of the day I had listened to it 4 or 5 times. It then dawned on me that I was enjoying this record. A couple of days later I was hitting the 'buy' button on a vinyl copy discogs.
This album was originally released in 1997. That means this is about to turn twenty years old. Crazy. What's also kinda funny is that it was only released on vinyl for the first time ever in 2016. I mean, I don't listen to this band at all until 2015 and then, a year later, someone decides that this album, which seems to be pretty much universally disliked, should be pressed on vinyl. Kinda cool. I mean, if this had been pressed in 1997 no doubt it would be hard to find and cost $50 if it ever popped up. But I was able to grab one for a regular new release price. Don't mind if I do.
I remember seeing pics of this on Nico's blog last year and thinking he was a fool for spending money on this crap. Clearly now there will be people thinking the same thing about me.
The sticker on the plastic cover boasts that this comes with a '6 panel insert'. I have to say, I was intrigued as to what this meant exactly. The word 'panel' doesn't usually appear in conjunction with record inserts so I was slightly confused. But the fact that they saw fit to mention it on the gold sticker adorning the cover kinda suggests that this is something special. As it turns out, however, what it really means is that this record comes with a double sided, colour printed insert which has been folded up to fit inside the record, and this just so happens to be three 'squares' wide. Is that really something to mention like it's a selling feature? And surely if it is then they should have folded it a couple more times so it would be 12 or 24 'panels'?
The cover is so bright that I almost completely failed to notice that there's a number stamped on the back cover.
I've had a bit of fun reading reviews of this record. Most completely slate it. This one was one of my favourites, giving it a score of -9%. Haha! I mean, if you're going to give something a negative score and not say a single good word, why stop at -9%? Why not give it -100%? But the review itself is amusing. I don't think I've read a review this bad since I read someone's 5000 word story of why Metallica's 'St. Anger' is the worst record ever made... which promptly made me want to listen to it, and which subsequently ended with me loving it and playing it every single day for about two months straight. I guess I may have to finally admit that I have really bad taste in music.