AFI
Black Sails in the Sunset


4.0
excellent

Review

by Oddsen USER (23 Reviews)
January 3rd, 2007 | 128 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An aggressive punk album with plenty of energy.

Whatever you define punk as; it is almost guaranteed that your definition fits the sound of Black Sails in the Sunset. Its not classic punk, both in the sense that its not of a perfect score and that its not of the same style of bands like The Clash, but on AFI's 1999 release they certainly create some sort of punk music. Black Sails in the Sunset is fierce, fast, emotional, and kick-ass all in one. It is full of energy that is present during every single song in one way or the other and most definitely in lead singer Davey Havoks wailing voice that is by no means afraid to stretch its limits. This record is certainly one of AFI's greater releases and marks the beginning of their success in mainstream music, and this is of no surprise for it is truly an excellent modern punk album. Black Sails in the Sunset stays consistently aggressive throughout and only in very few occasions does it lack in any specific areas. In general, AFI created an energetic and just plain awesome album.

After the album starts out with a rather unimpressive intro, Strength Through Wounding, which is basically one minute of chanting, Black Sails in the Sunset explodes with energy and ferocity. Porphyria Cutanea Tardo is what someone may be looking for in AFI. Its a fast song with a rumbling bass and speedy power chords. Most noticeable is Davey Havoks unique vocals. Wailing in a high pitched voice, he takes lead of the song with energy and emotion. Unfortunately, his vocals tend to take a while to get used to for they could be considered irritating, but many will find them great. Songs such as Narrative Of Soul Against Soul and Exsanguination continue in the same vein as Porphyria as fast, energetic punk songs that are catchy but not so much that they could be called pop punk. One of the things that makes these songs so awesome and energetic is the bands tendency to group sing or shout at different places; always at appropriate times. Also, the bass playing is phenomenal and stands out just as much as the speedy drums and guitar. Fast songs like Malleus Maleficarum are really great, though after a while AFI needs to badly throw a change up during the first half of the album.

Black Sails in the Sunsets finds its first change of pace with the 5th song, Clove Smoke Catharsis. On this slow ballad like track we hear Hovak sing in a more normal and deeper style that is appropriate along side the more haunting music. Clove Smoke Catharsis moves into a beautiful chorus that shows AFI are great with slow songs as well as fast. Also, the lyrics, which are very serious rather than silly, are wonderful on this song as well as all of the others. As soon as this beautiful punk ballad ends, the album goes right back into the fast songs. The Prayer Position sounds more aggressive than songs earlier on Black Sails in the Sunset, and other tracks like The Last Kiss continue to impress. But now we come to the major flaw in Black Sails in the Sunset. Although this album is amazingly consistent, by the end of it with Weathered Tome and At a Glance, the listener should have really had enough of these fast punky songs. Neither of these two tracks bring any thing new or exciting and they could be described as filler especially with very little lead guitar or solos for that matter. Though overall, Black Sails in the Sunsets songs are all enjoyable and each somewhat different.

Thankfully, God Called In Sick Today ends Black Sails in the Sunset with something more different and interesting. Like Clove Smoke Catharsis, it is a beautifully haunting, ballad like song. Most noticeable about it is how Davey moves from his deep vocals in the verses to his wailing vocals in the chorus, which are a little unfitting but certainly interesting. In general, God Called In Sick Today is a beautiful way to end the album even though there is actually a bonus track that is quite interesting as well. Its a punk song like in the beginning of the album and a nice addition to it.

The drumming is brutal, the bass playing is strong, the guitar is fast, and the vocals are energetic and aggressive. Black Sails in the Sunset is punk. All of the songs are great and catchy as well as punky and enjoyable. Although nine of them are of a very similar aggressive style and only two are really different, each of them are energetic and well done. Overall, Black Sails in the Sunset is an excellent, aggressive modern punk album.

4/5 Excellent

Recommended Tracks
Porphyria Cutanea Tardo
Exsanguination
Clove Smoke Catharsis
The Last Kiss

Please Comment and Enjoy

Flea is Godly
Odd



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user ratings (853)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Oddsen
January 3rd 2007


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This turned out pretty good me thinks

spoon_of_grimbo
January 3rd 2007


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i second that, and pretty much agree with all your points in the review. my favourite track is probably "clove smoke catharsis," did you know that dexter holland of the offspring does backing vocals on that one too?

but yeah, great review, and great album, one of their three joint best releases IMO, along with all hallows EP and art of drowning.This Message Edited On 01.03.07

Oddsen
January 3rd 2007


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was going to mention that....

tom79
January 3rd 2007


3376 Comments


Nice review, maybe a little much emphasizing on how 'punk' it is, but a good review. I've never been able to dig afi though, old or new.

Digging: Wil Wagner - Laika

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah good review, I agree completely with it.

Oddsen
January 3rd 2007


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks.

This album really sounds like smash era Offspring though tom (other than the vocals)

Pizza
January 3rd 2007


687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"After the album starts out with a rather unimpressive intro, Strength Through Wounding"

wow, I strongly disagree, that is my favorite intro to any album. I do agree about Weathered Tome being filler, but At A Glance is one of my favorite songs on the cd. Other than that, good job.

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 3rd 2007


3709 Comments


Nice and descriptive. For some reason, I've never heard AFI.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

Pizza
January 3rd 2007


687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Mikesn, if you want to listen to some AFI, pick this or The Art Of Drowning up first

Oddsen
January 3rd 2007


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I but off the intro worse than it is but I don't think it is any thing special

The deal with At A Glance for me is just by the time I get to it I'm just thinking 'o god not another one of these fast songs again' its not a bad song though.

Mikesn
Emeritus
January 3rd 2007


3709 Comments


Mikesn, if you want to listen to some AFI, pick this or The Art Of Drowning up first
Alright, thanks.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nooooooo the art of drowning is kinda bad. get sing the sorrow because that album is perfect.

Pizza
January 3rd 2007


687 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Art Of Drowning is my favorite besides this, but yes Sing the Sorrow is amazing too, although it is a completly different kind of music than this.

and to Oddsen: what is wrong with having a bunch of different fast songs? There is still variety, so none of them should be put down just for being fast.

TheMisterBungle
January 3rd 2007


861 Comments


Arg, I want this really bad.

Bfhurricane
January 3rd 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very nice review. The only problem I have with this album is that it has the same feel to most of the songs. At A Glance, Narrative of Soul Against Soul, and God Called in Sick Today are my favorites. I still think Art of Drowning tops this however.
Oh so I saw AFI in Jersey on the night before Halloween, and Davey walked out ontop of the crowd for God Called in Sick Today and stopped right above me as I supported his leg. It was one of the most heavenly moments of my life

Kaleid
January 3rd 2007


711 Comments


Very detailed. I need this album. I've only got 'The Art Of Drowning'.

Bfhurricane
January 3rd 2007


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chan you must be deaf if you think The Art of Drowning is anything but awesome. This is my third favorite AFI album, behind AOD and STS

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 3rd 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes i am deaf thanks for bringing it up you asshole

trustxdialect
January 3rd 2007


1502 Comments


Chan, it's people like you that got the damn middle schoolers into saying "awkward tuuuuurtle."

Now I know who it is I need to kick in the face.

But it's ok because I can add "zing!" to the end of any of your comments. Like adding "in bed" to a fortune cookie.

Oddsen
January 4th 2007


1127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks everyone



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