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Life of Agony
Unplugged At The Lowlands Festival ‘97
October 2000
Released: 2000, Metal Blade
Rating: 1.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

Sigh. Would somebody please explain to me the fascination with unplugged albums? What is the point? Usually, the songs were meant to be played loud and heavy, so why bother watering them down with an acoustic sound? I’m not saying that all acoustic music sucks, hell no, but geez, do we really need acoustic heavy metal? It does occasionally work, but rarely.

That being said, I’ve had the distinct displeasure of subjecting myself to the sleep drug that is this album. Let’s face it, LOA was never a really get-up-and-rockout kind of band, but this is truly bad. How bad is this album? Well, what little guitar sound there is sounds like shit (picture an acoustic guitar smashed to shit and played in a solitary confinement cell). Keith Caputo’s vocals sound completely off-key the entire frickin’ time. Oh yeah, and the songs themselves suck ass. Then there are the “cool” stage raps where the band tries to act tough and hip by swearing and smoking pot. Yes, very cool. Y’know, maybe if you guys had concentrated on the music and the stage show instead of getting high and posturing, well, maybe you’d still have a fucking career! I mean, the entire album just reeks of cash-in and faux-cool.

On the plus side, the plugged-in portion of the album is somewhat better. Actually, the band sounds a thousand times better here than the unplugged half. Caputo is still not quite on key but he’s better, and the overall sound is much clearer. Of course, that’s not to say that it excites me to any great degree, but hey, at least it’s listenable. I’m sure all of LOA’s faithful fans will enjoy the “deepness” of this album, but I’ll pass thanks.
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