Review Summary: not recommended for the faint of heart or overly serious.
xAFBx is basically as metalcore as metalcore gets. xAFBx’s (by the way, AFB is short for “Armed For Battle” ) basic formula is comprised of 50% breakdowns and 50% half-time breakdowns. Yes, you heard correctly, this band is 100% breakdowns. Oh, they may try to disguise it by implementing random melodies, but even when they do this, they can’t stop playing breakdowns. This problem could easily be fixed if they ever did anything at all that was a bit different from the rest of the music, but they really didn’t. As such, their half-time breakdowns are often completely ineffective, and honestly, rather comical. This may be one of those rare albums where the music is so bad that it’s good. At the very least, My Life, Your End
is pretty fun, and it helps that the band knows how absurd they are.
Another comical aspect of the album is the lyrics, and the lyrics are directly influenced by the fact that the members are “straight edge” (they don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, etc). Although this influence makes their music extremely passionate, and especially effective in a live setting, it also does another thing - it gets to their heads. For instance, in the track ‘Trust and Believe’, we hear a whole spiel about the fact that they are “straight fucking edge”:
This is my life, your fucking end
Stay true to yourself
Respect your friends and family
We’re not here to start a trend but to prove a fucking point
We don’t give a fuck what society thinks
We know who the fuck we are
AFB. Reno. Straight edge. Two thousand fucking seven.
I believe these lyrics sum up the album pretty well. It’s angry, it’s ridiculously aggressive, it has brutal growls, it has endless chugging, etc. Ultimately, if you take this album seriously you’re bound to hate it, but if you can laugh it off, you’ll have a bit of fun.