Review Summary: Burials is torn between ambition and laziness.
first two tracks are anything to go by, listeners should be treated to a slightly different AFI; an AFI that have turned the wheel on their punk rock flair, and sent their sound down a rather exciting road. Yes, both "The Sinking Night" and "I Hope You Suffer" contain a very distinct tone and feel to them -- and while I'll be open in saying I'm not the biggest AFI fan, these two tracks take on a different metamorphosis to what I heard in their energetic punk days (ala The Art of Drowning
); or their more commercial pop punk days (ala Decememberunderground
). Yes, it was a pleasant surprise to discover a band moving into such a bleak and atmospheric direction. What's more, their new sound is something I feel works strangely well for these guys -- considering what type of band they are; the brooding guitars matched only by Davey's wails and pained melodies create a very exciting melancholy. They cross a line that draws in an underlining Goth vibe to its tracks, and is something I couldn't wait to hear on the rest of the album.
Unfortunately, what I wanted and what I got left me with almost bitter disappointment, not because the album is bad, on the contrary, Burials
does a great job in delivering more of the same, but that's half the problem. It's almost contradictory of me to say that the songs on Burials
generally levelled my emotions at being entertained and underlyingly irritated by how safe
the album is. Bar the first two songs on here and the album closer "The Face Beneath The Waves", there is little of the same here. "The Embrace" touches on the idea to an extent, but even here the song lacks the same intensity as its openers and closer. The LP is largely upbeat in tone, and fires out energetic songs that range between pop punk and punk influence, with some weird little electronic bits added to songs like "Wild". The meat and potatoe of this record is basically the band sitting in their comfort zone, and delivering a selection of well constructed punk songs, that will certainly please fans of this type of music.
I seem to be overwhelmingly focused on "The Sinking Night", "I Hope You Suffer" and "The Face Beneath The Waves", and that's because I am. There is a daring, dark side to AFI that is aching to come out on Burials
, and furthermore, I'm aching for it to fully blossom. But with that in mind, Burials
failed in delivering a sound that should have dominated the album -- which is a bloody shame, because those particular tracks are crafted in such a new and exciting way, it pains me to see it left in such a malnourished way. It's like the band wanted to shake up its sound, but got cold feet halfway through the production of the album; leaving Burials
's emotions scattered all over the place. If you like AFI, you'll have no trouble in enjoying this album in its entirety, but if you're a casual listener of the band that was drawn into a sound they teased with its singles, you'll be left a little burned.