AFI
AFI (The Blood Album)


5.0
classic

Review

by Dillon T. USER (9 Reviews)
January 20th, 2017 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Call it a fusion of sounds, a new direction wearing an old dress, or the distillation of everything AFI. The Blood Album is refined, infectious, and ready to sink its claws into you.

Here we are again. With every new AFI record we get another round of old and new fans proclaiming their stance on the band. There seems to be an era of AFI in all of us; Be it one popular single, a select few albums, or the entire history of the twenty-five year old band. I'm not sure if AFI should count themselves lucky or cursed to have appealed to such a broad range of people throughout their career, always expecting a particular sound from a particular moment in time.

Whether those expectations are fair or not, we're here with AFI's tenth studio release, The Blood Album. Opener "Dark Snow" leads us to believe that this new record will be a continuation of the sound found on 2013's Burials. It has a driving rhythm section and a soaring chorus that hears singer Davey Havok wailing, "I go on!". It sets the stage nicely but it does so in a deceptive manner. Immediately following this track we're introduced to the unfamiliar sound of an acoustic guitar on "Still a Stranger". While the big chorus is familiar territory for this group, Havok's forceful delivery and the liberal use of acoustic work is a breath of fresh air. This is most certainly not just a sequel to Burials.

Atmospheric tracks like "Aurelia" and "She Speaks the Language" offer moody bass lines and haunting vocals while songs like "Hidden Knives" and "So Beneath You" offer a more classical AFI sound with absolutely massive choruses. The bridge on the latter song even manages to evoke feelings of the beloved All Hallow's EP. Not every track here will jump out at you immediately. Given time though, songs like "Get Hurt" and "Above That Bridge" will work their way into your brain and make their nest inside. As will the rest of this record.

There really is something here for just about everyone. Ballads appear in the form of lead single "Snow Cats" and the delightfully Cure-esque "Feed From the Floor". On the other end of the spectrum we have "Dumb Kids" and "White Offerings" providing us with some aggression to break up the melodies. Across this entire record, every member of the band gets to shine. A funky bass line from Hunter Burgan leads "Pink Eyes" and Adam Carson's underappreciated drumming sticks out immediately on the majority of these tracks. Meanwhile, Jade Puget's guitar work here is perhaps his most impressive work yet from a songwriting perspective. He also co-produced this record and to his credit the soundscapes on display here are excellent. There are plenty of fantastic tones and intricacies layered throughout the lengthy track listing.

The Blood Album closes with "The Wind That Carries Me Away". Definitely one of the most unexpected sounds to come from AFI, this track gives us a very bluesy vibe along with a powerful chorus and a beautiful guitar solo to close out the record with a bang. It also solidifies the notion that AFI is not afraid to try new things despite any protests from fans. While you'll find elements of many of AFI's past works on this record, The Blood Album offers many surprises as well. Call it a fusion of sounds, a new direction wearing an old dress, or the distillation of everything AFI. It's refined, infectious, and it'll sink its claws into you.

Essential Tracks:
- "Still a Stranger"
- "So Beneath You"
- "Dumb Kids"
- "Pink Eyes"
- "Feed From the Floor"



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user ratings (243)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
Trebor. STAFF (2)
Two steps back, zero steps forward....

nightbringer (4)
Anguish gives way to glamour...

cagedbutterfly (3)
A dying fire inside....


Comments:Add a Comment 
impoppy
January 20th 2017


2201 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ooooh boy

LightChaotic
January 20th 2017


196 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

*strapping in*



=D

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2017


56885 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Dumb Kids has the most annoying chorus. The closer is probably the most laughably bad

Wildcardbitchesss
January 20th 2017


3390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Woah there partner

SweeneyTodd
January 20th 2017


2274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

don't laugh at me but I clapped at this review irl

Digging: Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild

SweeneyTodd
January 20th 2017


2274 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I agree with everything you stated, I feel like this album is a callback to every AFI era, perhaps why they called it "AFI". The opening to So Beneath You reminded me of Answer That and Stay Fashionable

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 20th 2017


31902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Some will eat you alive for 5'ing this but this is actually a pretty good review.



About to start listening to this shortly.

Digging: Off With Their Heads - Be Good

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2017


9814 Comments


Always good to see different opinions. I thought this was pretty nice, pos.

One thing I picked up on tho in the intro: "There seems to be an era of AFI in all of us. Be it one popular single, a select few albums, or the entire history of the twenty-five year old band."

I think after 'us' in the first sentence there should be a dash or colon, the period feels awkward.

"I'm not sure if AFI should count themselves lucky or cursed to have appealed to such a broad range of people throughout their career. Ever expecting a particular sound from a particular moment in time."

Should probably drop the period after 'career' and delete ever. Other than those little nitpicks this was quite good.

Digging: The Offering - Home

AaroN911
January 20th 2017


2546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was such a good review! I understand why Sweeney clapped haha, AFI just has a magic to them I can't lean away from... about half way through the album so far and I am loving it.

Digging: Carnifex - World War X

trackbytrackreviews
January 20th 2017


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review great album

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 20th 2017


31902 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I was all set to resign this album to a 2.5-3 range but the last few tracks are breathtaking



Might have to listen to this through a couple more times

AaroN911
January 20th 2017


2546 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I want to 4 this but can't just yet... I have Burials as a 4 Dx

voltairesangryglove
January 20th 2017


700 Comments


"refined, infectious, and it'll sink it's claws into you."

*its

Snake.
January 20th 2017


21777 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

good review but no way is this a 5

trackbytrackreviews
January 20th 2017


3395 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's pretty close for me

EvoHavok
January 20th 2017


7692 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Low 4 just like Burials atm.

Feather
January 20th 2017


5257 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I've just grown out of AFI. I'll always love them though.

LightChaotic
January 20th 2017


196 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for pointing out a few grammatical errors! I fixed them up a bit.



Honestly, I'm not the person to talk to when it comes to scores. Everyone has a different opinion about what constitutes a rating in their mind. It's not really that important to me when compared to the actual review itself. That said, I enjoyed every second of this album. I've had each song here stuck in my head at some point throughout the day. I don't like the label of "classic" since nothing can really be a classic when it just got released. I'm not sure it can be a classic until many years after its release and I'm sure that timetable is different for everyone. But if I enjoyed everything on this album (a lot), it's pretty disingenuous of me to give it a lower score just to make my review seem more realistic or objective to the people reading it. My brain just isn't wired to think about music with a numerical value attached to it. If I were getting paid to write reviews, I would certainly try and offer a more... balanced rating for the stuff I review. But I'm not and I'm not sure I'd want to be. Even if I were, I'd be struggling to come up with reasons to knock this album down and I absolutely detest looking for flaws for the sake of it when you don't naturally hear them yourself.

Feather
January 20th 2017


5257 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I see you have reviewed Burials, XTRMST, Material and this now! Always good to see another AFI fan boy :')

LightChaotic
January 20th 2017


196 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I have indeed! I tried to broaden my horizons a bit by throwing in Circa Survive and Night Riots, haha.







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