by Dillon T. USER (9 Reviews)
October 18th, 2013 | 17 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The darkest and most intricate album ever produced by the polarizing AFI

AFI is a very polarizing band. The divide between fans who long for their punk days and those who've accepted the band's evolution is easy to see. And that divide splinters into smaller cracks, with fans devoted to any given time period in the band's history. Personally, I've enjoyed every record these guys have put out. I think the progression and diversity of their releases is something to admire and not look down upon. With that context in mind, this is my review of their latest album. 'Burials'.

From the moment you hear "The Sinking Night", a deeply personal and dreary tone is set. It is without a doubt the most suspenseful and exciting opening AFI has ever produced. The raw emotion built up here spills into the second track, "I Hope You Suffer". With an industrial core and a signature flying chorus, this is truly an epic. The band's front man, Davey Havok, sounds better than ever with his gut-wrenching screams, used to deliver a clear message to a past lover. "A Deep Slow Panic" brings the tension down a notch while keeping the emotions high. The Cure's influence on this band has never been more obvious than here. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Hunter Burgan's excellent bass lines.

By the time "No Resurrection" begins it becomes obvious that this record will not be content to rest on its own ambitions. If you hadn't noticed it yet, the amazing production work done by Gil Norton is highlighted here as well. Which leads into the first single "17 Crimes". Easily the most radio friendly track on the album, it's not hard to see why it was picked as the first single. It certainly lacks some of the depth found earlier, but not since "Girls Not Grey" has AFI put together such a great combination of accessibility and musicianship. This is good news considering the lack of staying power "Medicate", found on the band's previous effort, had. As we head into "The Conductor" we hear guitarist, Jade Puget, come into the spotlight. His growth as a songwriter is on full display here and Davey's lyrics are equally as impressive.

"Heart Stops" is quite the anomaly. Dark lyrics are attached to perhaps the catchiest song on the record giving it a unique feel. A feeling that is touched upon again in "Rewind", albeit with a much grander approach and another appearance of Havok's painful screams. Then a change of pace comes in the form of one of the album's best, "The Embrace". Everyone is at the top of their game here. It's moody, powerful, and satisfying hearing the venomous lyrics laced over the layered instruments. "Wild' retains the theme of the record while delivering it in a fast, fun, and exciting manner. Expertly pacing what came before and what is to follow, it's unlike anything AFI has done before.

A treat for longtime fans comes in the form of "Greater Than 84". Musically it would fit right in on 'Sing The Sorrow', often seen as AFI's best release. Riffs, backing vocals, Davey's exclaimed ohs, and all! "Anxious" is another ballad with vocals reminiscent of Havok's performance on 2006's 'Decemberunderground'. It's not the strongest song on the album, but it has some great drum work by Adam Carson and a wailing chorus begging to be sung along to.

Then we arrive at the end. AFI has always put together epic finales for each of their albums and that has not changed here. "The Face Beneath The Waves" encompasses the darkest and best this record has to offer. It's powerful, expertly crafted, and deeply disturbing. AFI has never been shy when it comes to dark songwriting, but the bitterness and spite on display here is something out of the most tragic of love stories. It ends as it began, but the journey runs quite the auditory gamut.

If you haven't been a fan of AFI for some time now, this album won't bring back the teenage angst of their very first offerings. But for those who have stuck with them throughout their growth, or are willing to give them another listen... 'Burials' is without a doubt the most impressive, detailed, and lasting record ever produced by AFI.


Top Recommended:
- The Sinking Night
- A Deep Slow Panic
- The Conductor
- Rewind
- The Embrace
- The Face Beneath The Waves

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user ratings (515)
other reviews of this album
Athom EMERITUS (3.6)
AFI sound exactly the same and are better for it....

Simon K. STAFF (3)
Burials is torn between ambition and laziness....

Brad Acord (4)
AFI maintains the polished sound of Crash Love, while recapturing some of the emotion and energy fro...

WicKed110 (4.5)
Amazing new album by AFI with a completely new direction....

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 18th 2013


Well, the album is officially available on the AU iTunes store now so I figured I'd re-post this review. I cleaned it up a bit and added a recommended song list, though I do think the album is stronger when listened to as a whole.

Anyways, after listening to the album on repeat for the past few days, I still stand by ever word of this review. I'd love some feedback on the actual review itself as well! I take constructive criticism to heart! =)

October 18th 2013


I appreciate your passion for the band, but this reads like a glorified track by track. I'd suggest in future taking themes from the album and discussing them, you touch on it here at times and you've definitely got the potential to achieve it.

That said, I wish people would let albums sink in a bit more before reviewing.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Not really a classic album for me but this album is very solid, almost all songs here are great.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

There isn't a bad song here, but I feel like some songs just sort of end without any real satisfying outros, which is strange as that's usually one of their strong points as a band. Greater Than 84 ends with some meandering guitar that seems out of place, for example. And Face Beneath the Waves ends with some ominous Inception inspired swells that sound tacked on. I was hoping for a slow, strong ballad towards the end similar to maybe Silver and Cold or It Was Mine.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Oh no a TBT review, this guy's gonna get ripped apart.

October 18th 2013


Oh, is a track by track review looked down upon? Honestly, I didn't even intend for it to come out that way when I began writing it. It just felt natural talking about how the tracks flow (or don't flow) into each other! I really do feel like this album is strongest when played all the way through.

October 18th 2013



October 18th 2013


lol this band

October 18th 2013


I admire them for not "Offspringing". Although this album hasn't grown on me yet.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

Bit too early to call it a classic as AFI have already got two/debatably three classics. Came across a little much like a fanboy, but being one myself, I digged the way you wrote it naturally. Wicked album too.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Still keeping STS at 5, but this is not on the same level.

October 18th 2013


I can't say that it's better than 'Sing The Sorrow' overall yet. That would takes months or even years to see how it holds up. But I feel like the musicianship on display here is better than ever. 'Crash Love' had stand out tracks like "Okay, I Feel Better Now" and "It Was Mine". In fact, if they had put the b-sides like "Breathing Towers To Heaven" and "Where We Used To Play" on the actual album instead of some of the less intricate/powerful songs, it would have stood much closer to 'Sing The Sorrow' in terms of cohesion.

Those are some of the best songs AFI has ever produced. But the album itself was inconsistent in tone and quality. 'Burials' on the other hand, IS consistent and draws from the quality of those B-sides and stand out tracks on 'Crash Love'. It still has a ton of variety but it maintains a tone and feeling throughout. Which is one of the main reasons I think 'Sing The Sorrow' is held in such a high regard.

October 18th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

Rewind is so good.

October 18th 2013


Yeah, Rewind is quickly becoming one of my favorite AFI songs ever! =P

October 18th 2013


whoooooa thought this band was done

October 18th 2013



October 27th 2013


I really dig this. I did not expect to like this as much as I did. In fact I am totally loving this album. There's something
about it that I can't put my finger on that makes it feel so genuine. Though the style has changed, this once again feels
like the band that wrote Black Sails through Sing the Sorrow. I LOVED Decemberunderground but it was something
entirely different (The Missing Frame and Love Like Winter are easily two of my favorite tracks of all time).

Crash Love felt really empty to me. This though shows the band in great form and proves that their best days definitely
aren't a thing of the past.

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