River Runs Red

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River Runs Red
Life of Agony-River Runs Red.jpg
Studio album by Life of Agony
Released October 12, 1993
Recorded System Two, Brooklyn, NY
Genre [1]
Length 50:32
Label Roadrunner
Producer Josh Silver
Life of Agony chronology
River Runs Red
Singles from River Runs Red
  1. "Through and Through"
    Released: 1994[2]
  2. "This Time"
    Released: 1994[3]
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[4]

River Runs Red is the debut studio album by American alternative metal band Life of Agony, released on October 12, 1993 by Roadrunner Records. The album is considered a concept album. This album was reissued as part of Roadrunner Records Top Shelf Edition series on April 29, 2008, with bonus tracks and a DVD featuring music videos and live videos.

On October 7, 2009, it was announced that for the first time ever the band would perform the album in its entirety at Starland Ballroom on Saturday, November 28, 2009. In 2010, a CD/DVD package entitled "20 Years Strong - River Runs Red: Live In Brussels" was published which features a complete performance of the album at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels, Belgium.


River Runs Red is a concept album that focuses on suicide, while also exploring themes of abuse, alcoholism, and abandonment.[5]


Album opener "This Time" reveals that the main character's father walked out on the family and started "a new life with the new wife." The album's first interlude, "Monday", establishes that the main character's mother is verbally abusive and neglects her baby. The track ends with the character listening to a voicemail where his girlfriend has broken up with him. The title track "River Runs Red" shows that the main character has suicidal tendencies with the opening line "I got the razor at my wrist". On "Thursday" the main character enters his home and is berated once again by his mother. The song ends with him being fired from his job and is notified that he is failing two classes at school. The track "My Eyes" shows the main character has all but made up his mind about committing suicide. The album closes with the track "Friday". The main character comes home and the insults from his mother are the worst they have ever been. Instead of staying silent like in "Monday" and "Thursday", the teenager yells back at his mother as the sound of plates breaking can be heard. The main character locks himself in the bathroom with his mother yelling at him through the door. The main character steps into the bathtub and turns the water on as his breath becomes shaky. The teenager slits his wrist and the sound of blood can be heard dripping into the water. The mother breaks into the bathroom and starts screaming in horror at the sight of her dead son. The album ends with the sound of blood dripping into water.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Alan Robert.

No. Title Length
1. "This Time" 6:00
2. "Underground" 4:44
3. "Monday" 1:31
4. "River Runs Red" 2:00
5. "Through and Through" 3:10
6. "Words and Music" 5:14
7. "Thursday" 2:10
8. "Bad Seed" 6:02
9. "My Eyes" 2:58
10. "Respect" 4:27
11. "Method of Groove" 5:29
12. "The Stain Remains" 4:39
13. "Friday" 3:42
Total length: 50:32


Life of Agony
  • Keith Caputo – lead vocals, keyboards
  • Joey Z. – guitar, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "Method of Groove"
  • Alan Robert – bass, backing vocals, co-lead vocals on "Method of Groove", cover design
  • Sal Abruscato – drums


  1. ^ http://www.villagevoice.com/music/the-top-20-new-york-hardcore-and-metal-albums-of-all-time-6601520
  2. ^ "Through and Through" (single). Life of Agony. Roadrunner Records. 1994. RR PROMO 091. 
  3. ^ "This Time" (single). Life of Agony. Roadrunner Records. 1994. RR PROMO 092. 
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ "Themed Thursday: Storytellers - River Runs Red". A Metal State of Mind. May 17, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.