Having patched up their differences, New York hardcore/metal outfit Life of Agony, who disbanded in 1999, have returned with what is possibly their finest album.
With a less hardcore approach and a keener ear for melody, LOA have retained all the traits that made the debut such a genre classic but harnessed it to more commercial sensibilities. Keith Caputo, back in the fold and firing on all six, puts to bed the debacle of the ill fated experiment with Ugly Kid Joe’s Whitfield Crane as front man. Hooks are comfortably handled with the characteristic edge on the title track, the riff-fest of ‘Love Let You Down’ or the excellent ‘Last Cigarette’ but layered backing vocals form an interesting counterpoint. Nu metal seems to have disappeared up its own orifice in recent times, Life of Agony have proved with Broken Valley that there is a better and less formulaic way of representing the genre.