Review Summary: I'll tell you how it haunts me
When listening to Sing the Sorrow
, a very specific memory recurs in my mind every time. It’s snowing, and I’m trudging uphill to my freshman college course with my earbuds in and my hood up. It’s that biting, driving type of cold where even your heaviest winter gear feels totally transparent to the elements. It was the kind of weather that makes you feel dead inside and out; a place I had already reached long before the snow started draining the landscape of any color with its pure, lifeless hue. In my ears, the line I remain alone
rings out several times, and a wave of utter hopelessness consumes me. I can’t seem to recall any feelings of warmth, physical or otherwise. It’s quite possibly the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my life, and to this day I can recall that otherwise mundane morning with astonishing clarity.
I don’t remember exactly how many times I must have played “…But Home Is Nowhere” that semester, but the lyrics to it resonated with me in ways I cannot adequately describe yet am going to attempt to anyway. It was a very dark time for me. I was away from my friends and family, and making new acquaintances was never something that came easily to me. I was always the worst combination of socially introverted and hopelessly romantic, resulting in this intense urge to find companionship while lacking the tools to ever even make it outside of my own head. I was constantly – and clinically – depressed. I couldn’t find meaning in any aspect of my life, often spending my college nights boarded up in my own room and sitting in a chair by the glow of my desk light, wondering how I was going to make it through one more day. Thus, I spent the majority of 2006 going to class, keeping to myself, and wondering if there’d ever be more to life than wanting what I can’t have, and having everything that brought little-to-no happiness into my life. It’s no wonder I felt more attachment to lines like my intimate is no one
and I remain alone
than to any one person on campus. Like “…But Home Is Nowhere”, I just wanted something real.
I don’t know if Sing The Sorrow
was designed to be related to this way, but I’m sure glad that I did. In fact, it’s hard for me to confidently state where I’d be right now if it weren’t for this album. I’m not going to claim that it “saved my life” or some similarly farcical claim, but I do know that there were days I blasted the hell out of this record, and it got me by. The whole thing feels like a severe bout of dark, twisted depression, and that’s exactly the kind of thing I needed to relate to. For as kicked-while-down as it feels, it pulls you in with open arms. I don’t know if it’s just that “misery loves company”, but Sing The Sorrow
has a gravitational pull that is nearly impossible to resist. “Miseria Cantare – The Beginning” is like being inducted into a cult of other broken individuals, fading into chants of love your hate, your faith lost…you are now one of us
. Maybe it’s that in addition to being so gloomy and foreboding, its melodies are as memorable as any of the most hook-infused pop records you’ll heard on the radio. Denying the chorus to “The Leaving Song, Pt.2” or “Girl’s Not Grey” is akin to turning down a hot beverage after coming inside from the cold damp winter – it just feels good to embrace it. The combination of unyielding darkness and harmonic aptitude lends the album a sense of total confidence and one hundred percent acceptance with what it is
, which is certainly something that I lacked during the times I listened to it the most. Perhaps that’s why I looked to it so often for answers.
I don’t really listen to AFI anymore. Sure, I’ll spin this record or Decemberunderground
every now and then for a nostalgia kick, but their music just doesn’t seem relevant to me any longer. Considering how I used to relate to them, I suppose that’s a good thing. But it’s difficult to ignore just how much this band, and particularly this album, once meant to me. It feels like the soundtrack to my soul’s darker half…this shadow that has passed me by but will inevitably return some day. There’s a part of me that will always be tied to that dense, blackened state of mind from which it seemed as though there were no escape. This album helped me to accept life’s shittiest moments, embrace sadness as a part of life, and to get up and keep pushing even when I couldn't see the light. Sing The Sorrow
is more than just an album title; it's sound advice.
I'd show a smile, but I'm too weak
I'd share with you could I only speak
Just how much this, hurts me