Most Anticipated of 2021: AFI Step Out of the Shadows

After a decade of almost yearly releases of some type, it would be reasonable to expect AFI’s Davey Havok and Jade Puget to run out of ideas at some point. However, since it has been two years since AFI’s last new music, the duo’s main band was due for a release. With the arrival of the new year, the band have already released a statement that new music was on the way.

With the four year mark approaching since the release of AFI’s last album proper, AFI (The Blood Album), the group has taken one of the longest breaks between record releases since 2009, with only 2018’s stellar The Missing Man EP tiding fans over in the meantime. However, Havok has expanded his songwriting considerably since The Blood Album, having released Dreamcar’s debut album and two Blaqk Audio albums in the meantime.

Each new album over the last decade has somehow managed to expand AFI’s sound while simultaneously reverberating the dark punk aesthetic that launched the group into cult superstars. But with each new album carrying the air of a unique style and theme, the time between albums has given the band ample time to deliver once again.

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and just ate what can only be described as “too much ghost pepper queso.”….. or not enough?

Review: AFI – Burials

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Fans of AFI’s brand of punk know that the band tends to outdo themselves with each new release, and that no two records sound exactly the same. However, their newest release, Burials, isn’t so much a forging into new territory as it is a culmination of everything the band has done over the last decade. Burials is a brilliant mix of Crash Love’s sonic pop, Decemberunderground’s electronic rock, and Sing the Sorrow’s dark, gothic punk.

Burials is an exercise in craft for a band that no longer needs to prove themselves to the scene as much as they need to entertain themselves creatively. The album is a slow build up that allows the songwriting room to breathe. It’s not as loud or as punk as most of AFI’s releases, and it’s not meant to be. This is an album that toys with your expectations.

The opener, “The Sinking Night” is a return to form of the short intro songs from Sing the Sorrow and Decemberunderground, drawn out into a two minute ballad. Lead single “I Hope You Suffer” is a toxic rock song that sets the tone for the record: deliberate, quiet, and all at once explosive. An underlay of Blaqk Audio-esque piano floats over the bass guitar, booming at brain shattering levels, to create an exposition and atmosphere not seen too often. “The Conductor” has a haunting guitar melody that begs to lead crowds singing out loud. The last few songs though harkens back to Sing The Sorrow days with gritty guitar riffs Davy’s dark lyricism.

Once again, Jade’s guitar mastery is second to none, as he plays well enough that it seems like there are two guitarists. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect is Davy Havok’s lyrics on this round, as they’re much more straightforward for the most part and lack some of the goth poetic qualities that made earlier releases so intriguing. However, Burials is a moody juggernaut that brings AFI back to their signature dark rock. Once again, AFI proves that sometimes experience is the better fuel for art than experimentation.

4/5

by Kyle Schultz

kyle_catKyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.