A dignified sequel to a story first started 26 years ago
Acting as ‘Chapter Two’ to their debut album River Runs Red, The Sound of Scars is Life of Agony’s sixth studio album and another concept album that revolves around suicide like ‘Chapter One.’ “Prelude,” the opener, starts with the image that Rivers Run Red ended on— of blood dripping into the bathtub water. Through a police transmission, the first song reveals that the young man presumed dead, has a chance and EMTs have been dispatched.
“Prelude” immediately bleeds into “Scars” as the police siren carries over, but the notes from the guitar signal a new song. “Scars” and “Black Heart” are reflective of the man’s grappling and acknowledgment of his near-death experience.
Through the three shortest tracks (“Then,” “Now” and “When”), excluding the opener, listeners get pieces of a story. People hear the EMTs arrive at the house and help the young male get en route to the hospital in “Then.” “Now” flashes forward in which the man is married and the wife is trying to set up an appointment with a therapist since his attempt is still affecting him. “When” is a therapy session in which the male never talks and the therapist tells him to let his scar “remind you of where you’ve been, not where you’re going.”
Again, the band was able to achieve a great sense of flow on the album because of the narrative they followed. Their great sense of storytelling allowed the album to progress and keep listeners on edge until the end. Throughout the album, Mina Caputo’s vocals are strong and are backed by a solid rhythm section from drummer and bassist, Veronica Bellino and Alan Robert respectively. Joey Z, guitarist for the band, carries his own weight with satisfying riffs like in “Weight of the World.”
Overall, each song has the capability of standing on its own, but the thematic narrative throughout ties them all together. Fans from the beginning will certainly appreciate Life of Agony’s choice to continue the story they started their career on. For people just discovering the band, they will miss the significance of this album if they start with their new stuff. The Sound of Scars will bring long-time fans a sense of understanding when they are reprieved from the cliffhanger that River Runs Red left them on.