Brooklyn, New York's LIFE OF AGONY has entered the studio with esteemed producer Sylvia Massy (TOOL, SYSTEM OF A DOWN) to begin recording its sixth album, "The Sound Of Scars", due this fall via Napalm Records. The recording sessions are taking place at Sylvia's Studio Divine in Ashland, Oregon. Additional recording will take place at various studios in New York. Massy will also handle mixing duties for the album. The disc will be the band's first since the addition of drummer Veronica Bellino, who replaced Sal Abruscato last year.
"Sylvia has a deep understanding of what this band is all about and we've wanted to work with her for a very, very long time," says bassist Alan Robert. "Especially since this is a concept album continuing the story of [LIFE OF AGONY's debut album] 'River Runs Red', we're extremely grateful to have her on board to help capture the darkness, raw emotion and heaviness of the new material."
"LIFE OF AGONY began boldly over 25 years ago with its hard musical discourse into the human condition, a darkly hued story which continues to evolve today," explains Massy. "This is a unique band with a remarkable history of personal discovery — a phoenix tale of flight, fire and resurrection. This month we begin again to record the latest chapter. I am excited to be the witness to the creation of the new LIFE OF AGONY album!"
Released in 1993, "Rivers Runs Red" told the story of a confused and disillusioned young man with low self-worth and a poor support network, who ultimately decides to commit suicide.
"We're very excited about this next record we're writing," LIFE OF AGONY guitarist Joseph Zampella (a.k.a. Joey Z) told Michael Nagy from KJAG radio and Jiggy Jag TV. "This next record is really gonna define LIFE OF AGONY in the next decade — what it means to be LIFE OF AGONY. It's really gonna set a new standard even for the band."
Asked about the musical direction of the new LIFE OF AGONY material, Zampella said: "We really never discuss a direction. We always just write what's coming out at the moment, and what's coming out right now is the best LIFE OF AGONY music that's been around for a long time."
Alan added: "And also the way that we're going about writing is kind of really getting back to the fun of writing. The last record, basically, there was a 12-year gap between albums, and we kind of got jaded from the music industry for everything that we went through. And now we're inspired again and having fun writing. It's kind of like the old days."
Continued Joseph: "[We're] sharing ideas again and listening to each other and checking out something someone has or an idea for a song that someone else has. And it's just really open and fun, and exactly what Alan said — it's fun again. Making music should be fun. 'Cause if it's not, there's an issue, there's a problem. And so far, it's been super. And you'll hear that in the music. And that's what I think a lot of people are missing in their music — that organic, fun aspect. You can hear that in people's music; you hear that in writing."
Added Alan: "We've been on tour all year, on this 'Rise Of The Underground', and just so much energy and so much positivity all over the world, I think we take that into the writing."
LIFE OF AGONY has already announced a handful of dates for 2019, including a co-headlining show with OVERKILL on Friday, May 10 at PlayStation Theater in New York City, Wacken Open Air Festival in Germany on August 2, and Rhein Riot festival in Cologne, Germany with BODY COUNT on August 3.
LIFE OF AGONY's latest album, "A Place Where There's No More Pain", was issued in April 2017 via Napalm. LIFE OF AGONY's fifth studio LP marked the band's first release since singer Mina Caputo (formerly known as Keith Caputo) came out as transgender in 2011.
Abruscato announced in December 2017 that he had "amicably" left LIFE OF AGONY. He has since been replaced by Bellino, a New York native who has previously worked with DMC, LL Cool J, Carmine Appice and Jeff Beck.