AFI
Burials


4.0
excellent

Review

by Brad Acord USER (7 Reviews)
October 18th, 2013 | 39 replies


Release Date: 10/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: AFI maintains the polished sound of Crash Love, while recapturing some of the emotion and energy from Sing the Sorrow.

With AFI’s 2009 release of Crash Love, AFI just seemed to be missing something. The dark lyrical themes were obviously weaker, the instrumentation was more straightforward, and the song structures were more standard. AFI just seemed to be missing the energy and passion that had captured the hearts of their fans. With Crash Love following their massive mainstream breakthrough album, Decemberunderground, long-time fans feared that AFI could soon drift into oblivion. After almost 5 years of anticipation, AFI have finally bestowed upon us an album that old and new fans alike can appreciate. While this comeback album is littered with flaws and does not live up to the “dark and heavy” hype, Burials is able to hold its own and be the best AFI album since Sing the Sorrow.

The album opens with “The Sinking Night”, which pays homage to Sing the Sorrow’s “Miseria Cantare” and Decemberunderground’s “Prelude 12/21”. AFI successfully set the overall tone of the album and it is refreshing to hear them again give their album a short and effective opening track. As the track fades, the album jumps straight into the bands first, dark-tinged single, “I Hope You Suffer”. This track is definitely one of the more morose tracks on the album, complete with deep, pounding drumming beautifully complemented by ominous piano and minimal, yet effective guitar chimes.

Jade’s slick and resounding guitar riffs, in songs such as “The Conductor”, sound better than ever and are much better integrated into Burials than they were on Crash Love and even Decemberunderground. The instrumentation is able to sound collective and mesh terrifically with the vocals of Havok. Jade’s guitar riffs and electronic touches seem to be more at the forefront of this album and the result is a new and interesting feel for AFI. “17 Crimes” manages to be a highlight of the album even with it being one of the poppiest tracks AFI has written to date. The nostalgic lyrics and fast, upbeat instrumentation make for an extremely memorable and fun listening experience.

A great triumph of Burials is AFI’s ability to cut out on instrumentation and allow Havok to dramatically steal the spotlight. This is perfectly displayed throughout “No Resurrection” and also displayed beautifully in “A Deep Slow Panic”. One of the strongest tracks on the album, “Greater than 84”, does a great job of showcasing todays AFI as a whole. Fast and intricate guitar rushes you into the song before Havok’s passion-filled, narrative sounding lyrics carry you through the verse and into the soaring chorus. One can’t help but smile at the climax of the song complete with Havok’s characteristic “oh!”. The darkest essence of the Burials is heard in the lyrics. The broad and dark poetics of Havok have definitely made a return on this album and are sure to make listeners feel a certain dark, sad and hopeful feeling.

As I said, the album is littered with flaws. One profound low point of the album is the awkwardly executed track, “Heart Stops”. On this track, Davey sounds dull and bored. The over-the-top, poppy chorus does not mix well with the verses and the guitar and vocals do not mix well at all. Song structures on the album are rather straightforward with few twists and turns. Burials would have benefited from having at least one more ballad during the second half of the album, which rarely slows down. The album is a bit front-loaded, with all of the singles and most instantly infectious tracks being placed on the front half of the album. Some Blaqk Audio influence can be heard in the album’s electronic effects, especially on the second half of the album. Songs such as “Wild” would be far more effective without the overwrought electronics. Thankfully, the influence of the electronic elements is for the most part minimal and does not detract significantly from the album.

As a whole, Burials shows a band who is finally comfortable with what they have become. Gone is the AFI who created Black Sails. Gone is the AFI who created Sing the Sorrow. After stumbling a bit after Decemeberunderground, AFI has regained their balance. AFI has finally learned to channel the energy and emotion of pre-Decemberunderground AFI into the more accessible, radio-ready sound they have grown into.

“I will return again,
I will return to you,
I will return again,
I am part of you,
I will be with you again,
with you again I am”

–“The Face Beneath The Waves”

Recommended Tracks
*A Deep Slow Panic
*17 Crimes
*The Conductor
*Greater Than 84



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user ratings (291)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
WicKed110 (4.5)
Amazing new album by AFI with a completely new direction....

Adam Thomas STAFF (3.6)
AFI sound exactly the same and are better for it....

LightChaotic (5)
The darkest and most intricate album ever produced by the polarizing AFI...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Feather
October 18th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Apparently the album is at least available in Australia. Great album. To me, this is everything Crash Love should have
been.

Acanthus
October 18th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not looking forward to seeing 15+ reviews of this in the coming weeks, can't wait to pick up my copy though!

Digging: MO - No Mythologies To Follow

Crawl
October 18th 2013


1647 Comments


17 Crimes is insanely catchy. Rest of the album was quite mediocre on the first listen.

FadedSun
October 18th 2013


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We talked about this in another thread, but this is pretty much how I feel about the album even down to the awkward moment when I first heard "Heart Stops", though that song is growing on me. It has some of the best lyrics on the album, but Davey does sound strange in his vocal delivery, which I'm sure is intentional.

LightChaotic
October 18th 2013


35 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review! I don't really agree on a few things, "Heart Stops" especially. I think it's a nice change of pace and a good homage to some of AFI's influences from the 80's. But it certainly appears to be one of those "love it of hate it" tracks. Still a well written piece!

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
October 18th 2013


13454 Comments


the last 2 albums were hyped way too much and are now sitting at 3.1 and 3.2

imma wait to check this out

Feather
October 18th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Decemberunderground was deserving of some of the hype it got, crash love was a disappointment.

mryrtmrnfoxxxy
October 18th 2013


13454 Comments


still hjavent heard the art of drowning maybe ill do that instead

Feather
October 18th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Art of Drowning never really did it for me for some reason. It had some killer tracks like The Despair Faction on it though. Black Sails > Art of Drowning imo.

FadedSun
October 18th 2013


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I found Black Sails harder to enjoy than Art of Drowning for some reason. Clove Smoke Catharsis is pretty boring IMO, and I don't enjoy the dude from Offspring on guest vocals.

Feather
October 18th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Fair enough. I enjoyed All Hollow's EP more than both Black Sails and Art of Drowing.

Sing the Sorrow > All Hollow's EP > Burials > Black Sails > Decemberunderground > Art of Drowning > Crash Love > everything else.

Acanthus
October 18th 2013


9545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All their work is worth checking out really.

Feather
October 18th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely agree. Love anything AFI.

Incisionistic
October 18th 2013


28 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Omg.

schoonda
October 18th 2013


115 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I actually enjoyed Heart Stops quite a bit, regardless of it sounding out of place.

GreyShadow
October 18th 2013


549 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

God, "Heart Stops" may just be the worst song they've ever released. The way Davey says "unhappy" is annoying and it's just so odd. Also, I feel like the electronics in "Wild" are executed excellently. Really, if "Heart Stops" was replaced with a ballad, this would probably be a solid 4.5.

AndrewB11
October 18th 2013


2 Comments


I've had burials for about a week now and I can appreciate a few things about it. Unfortunately, sing the sorrow fans who had hoped this album sparked a renewed sense of hardcore afi will be disappointed. I will say that a few tracks are very promising.

My favorite track and definitely the most underrated track is A Deep Slow Panic. It is unreal how catchy and "deep" these lyrics are.

Aside from the released singles, the conductor, I hope you suffer, and 17 crimes..., Anxious is a pretty great song with a kick ass sing along chorus!

Like I said earlier, these 5 tracks are the only productive signs of life coming out of this album which is sad to think about considering it has been said that AFI narrows about 50 or so songs into 1 album worth for each release. I will always like afi, but it could be near the end.

Feather
October 19th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A Deep Slow Panic is currently my favorite song. I understand everyones statements though.

FadedSun
October 19th 2013


1317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, Heart Stops is growing on me. The lyrics are great. Deep Slow Panic might be one of the best AFI songs. Everything goes together perfectly in that song, and Davey is definitely singing his heart out for that one.

"Like I said earlier, these 5 tracks are the only productive signs of life coming out of this album which is sad to think "

Did you even listen to Rewind or Greater Than 84? I don't see how you could like those 5 tracks, but not those 2. Rewind is easily one of the stand out tracks.


Feather
October 19th 2013


1467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Greater than 84 is definitely a standout!



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