Hi ladies and gents, today I’m doing a special music review because it is the album I have been waiting to hear for AGES! This is AFI with their 9th studio album, Burials. I am a massive AFI fan and it feels like I’ve been waiting the longest time for this band’s next piece of work, but it finally came out around 3 weeks ago and after listening to the album 4 times I’m ready to review it!
I have only been an AFI fan since 2008, but their music has touched me and engulfed my life in ways not many music artists could. I have listened to everything from The Art of Drowning onwards because honestly before that AFI’s sound doesn’t sound as cohesive or as enjoyable as their later material. After Crash Love I thought I’d never get to hear another AFI album for a long time, and 4 years felt like forever, but luckily in 2013 they returned and I’m ready to talk about their new material.
Now before we continue I just want to say that I’m no music buff, I just like the sound of music and like many people in the world I have an opinion. So I just wish to share my thoughts on the latest AFI album, so don’t kill me if I don’t use technical music terms or shit like that. Anyways let’s continue.
In terms of the overall sound, Burials has a totally different flavour of AFI than we’re used to, there are some notable moments when you get hints of Sing The Sorrow and Decemberunderground, but otherwise everything else is new. This allows the band to expand into different territories that are a lot lighter and in some ways pop-oriented than before, but this is by no means a bad thing because the band still sound the same and now how to rock hard when they need to. Davey Havok (frontman of the band) said, “This record is of silence, and the burials that result from that silence. It’s of betrayal, cruelty, weakness, anxiety, panic – deep and slow – despair, injury and loss. And in this it is shamefully honest and resolutely unforgiving”. And you can definitely feel those vibes throughout the album.
The album begins with “The Sinking Night“, a deep, dark, moody and atmospheric song which sets a really good tone for the album. And then we move onto “I Hope You Suffer“, the first single released from this album. I honestly fell in love with this song after a few listens and it really just has a dark and destructive nature to it, the lyrics, the chorus and the backing vocals, I love it all. “A Deep Slow Panic” was a song it took me a while to take in, but then I really started to kick it. I think it retains the same vibes of darkness as the previous tracks but in more an upbeat sound to it. “No Resurrection” is another nice track that has a beautifully crafted song from a musical standpoint, it is a decent song.
And there’s “17 Crimes”, the second single released and most notable song from this album. It is the most pop-like song and is incredibly so far away from AFI’s previous sounds. At first I really wasn’t down with this song, but after a while it is hard to fight the infectious nature of the chorus, the upbeat and face pace of the song and it’s fun nature. “The Conductor” is another song that sounds different, but I think that’s what attracts me to it, that and the powerful force that this song emits. “Heart Stops” is one of the key songs that really stands because it is so loud, different and kind of has pop sound to it too, like it could be radio material but from a totally different band. This is was the song that I first heard that really made me say “This really doesn’t sound like AFI, but I like it, I like it a lot.” I think once the chorus kicks in, I fall in love, it is gorgeous, infectious and sounds lovely both musically and lyrically. “Rewind” is another fine track that has an incredibly hooking chorus and Havok’s vocals are SO good too.
“The Embrace” is the first song that falls short of greatness. It has been noted by a lot of critics and fans as the weakest song and I can see why. It isn’t terrible, but it lacks the power of other tracks. “Wild” is song that lives up to its title, it certainly sounds intense and crazy and I like its ferocity. Then there’s the beautiful “Greater Than 84“, which was the first song on the album, outside of the songs that I’d been released that I stuck out to me. It has a great intensity to it, it paints an interesting picture and again it’s down to the chorus that grabs me, I love everything about this song and it is really addictive. It is again a different sound for the band, but it is such a kick ass song that it can’t be ignored. “Anxious” is another one of those songs that okay, but don’t really do much. And the album then ends as it begun with “The Face Beneath the Waves“, a track with same moody and dark atmosphere as the opening song, but this song explodes much more, has a dead gorgeous chorus and I wonderful musical arrangement.
My favourite songs from the album are:
- I Hope You Suffer
- A Deep Slow Panic
- 17 Crimes
- Heart Stops
- Greater Than 84
- The Face Beneath the Waves
In conclusion AFI’s Burials album is a totally different beast from the band’s previous material with a few shades of their former material sprinkled around, one thing that I can vouch for is Davey Havok’s vocals as they are totally as sexy as ever! This album will probably divide the fan base and how much you enjoy this album will really depend on what kind of AFI fan you are and whether you can accept change. For me this was a great album with a lot of new and interesting material, its different, but by no means less enjoyable. I’ve actually fallen in love with a few of the songs and I will recommend this to fans who want something a little more solid than Crash Love, Burials is some good stuff yo.
Rating: 8/10 (There are few blemishes here and there, but this is a pretty solid album which I really like)