Review Summary: A dark, theatrical masterpiece from start to finish.
I've never been the happiest person I know. My mother died when I was too young to remember much of anything. I can still remember asking my older brother why my dad talked to himself alone in his room. My brother always told me not to worry and that one day my dad would meet a special woman and settle down again. That never came true and the day before my brother left for the military he told me something I will never forget. He told me not to dwell on the past and that nothing was ever permanent but that I needed to worry about myself and only myself. My brother left me a few of his belongings including pictures of my mother holding me, an old Nintendo and a used album collection. While it's been along time since I've heard from my big brother or my father I still find time to cherish that slightly scratched copy of Sing the Sorrow I found so long ago.
I can remember...dreamt them so vividly
Soft creatures draped in white, light kisses gracing me
I can remember when I first realized dreams were the only place to see them.
The album opens with, "Meseria Cantare (The Beginning)"
, a chant echoes darkly, scathing at the chorus, "love your hate, your faith lost, you are now one of us"
. The track sets a raw, dreary tone for the album perfectly as the drum fueled track fades away into the tapped guitar notes of "The Leaving Song Pt 2"
. Havok expresses his rash, energetic anger with the lines, "Break down! and cease all feeling! Burn now! what once was breathing and you may take my heart away"
. The bands progression from their previous outing, The Art of Drowning
is quite astonishing. While the music still treads in the “punk” style there is a definite shift into more emotional lyrics. While AFI have always progressively employed morose lyrics they are defined to a sharp point during Sing the Sorrow. "Silver and Cold"
opens in a beautifully woeful fashion with a short but sweet piano intro. The brilliant chorus is as catchy as it is wrought with despair. "Dancing Through Sunday"
is the fastest track on the album with an accelerating raw, hardcore feel to it. While rarely taking the spotlight from Davey, Jade pulls out one of his slickest (if not a bit rare) guitar solos.
"Girls Not Grey"
proves not only to be pleasantly catchy but the lyrics during the song are intriguingly mysterious. Lines like, "what follows, me as the whitest lace of light, will swallow whole just begs to be imbrued"
are quite simply, lyrically genius. I would even go as far to say that this is some of the best songwriting within alternative music. Songs like The Great Disappointment
are like a flawless riddle just waiting for you to interpret. Now certainly the songwriting can’t hold everything together and thankfully AFI have it covered. Hunter again proves to be one of the most under rated bassist within the genre. His single plucking sequences underbelly each track, while remaining audible and thoroughly interesting. The opening of Death of Seasons
climbs up with one of Hunter’s moodiest fills yet. Also the foreshadowing of more electronic flourishes (as present of Decemberunderground) break surface during “Seasons” and prove to work seamlessly.
One of the greatest opening guitar riffs makes up the opening of”This Celluloid Dream”
. The guitar quickly races to meet Adams slick drumming and each instrument fits together like one seamless puzzle. Havok’s boyish vocals careen up the choruses, his vibrant voice positively soaring. In my mind this is one of the greatest tracks AFI have ever fabricated, every inch drenched with an enthralling presence of sorrow. …But Home In Nowhere
plays out in a three part storyline. The first part being the main song is prominetaly fueled by the pounding bass work. Also Havoks screams are at their peak here, sending chills as he drops the line, ”my intimate is nowhere
. The second part of the track is a very mysterious spoken dialogue segment, some inaudible so a lyric sheet is neccesarry. The third part of the song entitled, This Time Imperfect
ends the album with and almost helpless feeling. Sinking into darkness the lyrics are sickening, yet serenely powerful. The lyrics portray a dark painting of a person who has lost all hope, yet somehow understands that in life darkness may often times be the safest place.
My above thought are just that, thoughts
. Sing the Sorrow has such a rich, imagitive and opaque quality to it that it must be listened to too fully be understood. Sing the Sorrow is a story of life and death in their most intimate outfits. With darkness and emotion dripping from every pour it’s no surprise that Sing the Sorrow truly is a masterpiece of modern music.
There are no flowers, no not this time,
there'll be no angels gracing the lines,
just these stark words, I find.
I'd show a smile, but I'm too weak,
I'd share with you could I only speak.