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AFI - Burials (Cover Artwork)

AFI

AFI: BurialsBurials (2013)
Republic / Universal

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
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Contributed by: BryneBryne
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As AFI have traveled further and further away from their east bay hardcore roots over the past decade-plus, they've also reinvented themselves on nearly every album. After the catchy horror punk of Black Sails in the Sunset and The Art of Drowning, the band went darker and heavier on Sing The Sorrow.
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As AFI have traveled further and further away from their east bay hardcore roots over the past decade-plus, they've also reinvented themselves on nearly every album. After the catchy horror punk of Black Sails in the Sunset and The Art of Drowning, the band went darker and heavier on Sing The Sorrow. They incorporated more elements of screamy post-hardcore on Decemberunderground, then traded that for sexed-up pop-rock on Crash Love. Unsurprisingly, their new album (and first in four years) Burials doesn't really sound like any of its predecessors; it's the most layered, atmospheric album AFI have written in their career, and also one of the most interesting.

The most immediately apparent element of Burials is a recaptured grandeur; "The Sinking Night" is essentially an extended intro track, but it sounds massive. Adam Carson's drums build mountains of tension; Jade Puget's guitars brood and squeal in the background; Davey Havok's voice, loaded with power and echo, towers over it all. It's a huge setup that seamlessly segues into the piano-sprinkled "I Hope You Suffer," which effectively uses empty space through its verses to make its heavy chorus that much more impactful. It's also a shining moment for Havok, whose undeniable vocal range is on full display; he croons and the howls through the verses, before unleashing a more gruff, old-school yell in the chorus.

This heavy, goth-influenced rock carries much of the album as well, such as on the bass-driven "No Resurrection" and the heavily industrial 1-2 punch of "The Embrace" and "Wild," the latter of which has a distinct Pretty Hate Machine-esque vibe, especially in its percussion and tempo. "Rewind" features a powerful chorus and some positively dizzying fills from Carson. Closer "The Face Beneath The Waves" is heavy on synths and atmospherics, with the production on Havok's vocals far more appropriately distanced.

AFI's poppier elements make their mark on Burials as well. The driving "A Deep Slow Panic" is like a sped-up Cure/Smiths hybrid with a soaring, melodic chorus, while the excellent "17 Crimes" is a faint throwback to the band's earlier, more gaunt work from the early 2000s with an equally, impossibly catchy chorus. "Heart Stops" is the goth ballad Robert Smith never wrote; you can almost visualize kids pushing the hair out of their faces as they stare at the ground, singing along.

For an album with so many disparate styles and a longish 49-minute running time, Burials feels surprisingly quick and cohesive compared to other, latter-era AFI albums. The band play to their strengths throughout, but also try some new things and most of them work. Nice surprise.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
seanspissedregardless (November 23, 2013)

Awesome record

n.i.n.F.I

Russe11 (October 26, 2013)

This album is actually pretty good. With the exception of "Heart Stops," that song kind of blows.

uscbdaddy (October 25, 2013)

In 1999 this was my favorite band, but just I can't stand anything after Art of Drowning. Maybe I'm just closed minded, but I can't see how anyone who claimed AFI was their favorite band in the 90s can honestly say that they are still their favorite. I'm all for bands maturing and whatnot but this band just got way too watered down and boring for me.

tim9579 (October 25, 2013)

Crash Love - after filled out with all the b-sides (fainting spells, we've got the knife, where we used to play, 1000 words, too late for gods, breathing towers to heaven) is fucking amazing.

If you haven't heard the b-sides with the album, I think you should before we go on about how awful it was.

thedoodlyman (October 25, 2013)

Russe11, needs to understand others have different musical tastes then him

phantom_maggot (October 25, 2013)

JayTree, you're 100% correct. Except I have a real soft spot for Very Proud of Ya...generic as all Hell, but it blew my mind when I was 14. Still have it on cassette.

Josiah (October 24, 2013)

Caught me off guard as I expected to hate it as much as I hated Crash Love and Decemberunderground (and most of Sing the Sorrow). Those albums were just so goddamn awful I pretty much gave up all hope. BUT. This album is a pleasant surprise.

ak3punk (October 24, 2013)

Crash Love had some great singles, but overall it was the only album in their catalogue that I find relatively forgettable. Hearing the first three singles from this really got me excited for this release. Can't wait to spend some time with this album. I've been a fan since 2000 and I've enjoyed everything they've done. Now if only they'd put out a great retrospective bsides and rarities compilation...

mikexdude (October 24, 2013)

AOD > Crash Love > Shut Your Mouth > everything else

riotofwordsrva (October 24, 2013)

Crash Love had too much of a mainstream pop/rock sound. Burials takes the rock sound they developed on CL but immerses it in some dark, depressing shit with clear influences from Depeche Mode & the Cure. I was very skeptical AFI would put out a new record I'd care much about, but I think Burials is fantastic.

Russe11 (October 23, 2013)

1. All Hallows Eve
2. Black Sails In The Sunset
3. Art of Drowning
4. AFI ep
5. Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes
6. Sing The Sorrow
7. Very Proud of Y
8. Crash Love
9. Answer That and Stay Fashionable/ December Underground

Russe11 (October 23, 2013)

last poster needs to GTFO

thedoodlyman (October 23, 2013)

1. Sing The Sorrow
2. Art of Drowning
3. All Hallow's Eve
4. Crash Love
5. Black Sails
6. Answer That
7. Shut your Mouth
8. Very Proud of Ya
9. DU

telegraphrocks (October 23, 2013)

I've been a fan since '97 or so, and I'm all over the place with their albums:

1- Sing the Sorrow
2- Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes
3- Decemberunderground
4- The Art of Drowning & All Hallow's EP
5- Black Sails in the Sunset
6- Very Proud of Ya
7- Answer That and Stay Fashionable
8- Crash Love

Again, I haven't listened to 'Burials' yet.

xherojuanax (October 23, 2013)

@JayTee Or you can say, as I would, that they were an average punk band, then a fantastic hardcore band, and now they're a fantastic rock band. There's no fan consensus that AFI is a lot worse than they used to be.

As exciting as it was to see them play Wester and The Boy Who Destroyed the World last month, I'll be just as excited to see songs like The Face Beneath the Waves and A Deep Slow Panic.

JayTee (October 23, 2013)

Fine, greatest-whatever-the-fuck-they-were. Replace goth-hardcore with whatever-the-fuck-they-were and my point still stands.

johngentile (October 23, 2013)

Greatest Goth-Hardcore band? Ink & Dagger (assuming Misfits and Samhain don't count.) Then, Ruin.

JayTee (October 23, 2013)

Yeah, I'd give it a 7/10 too. Now, a rant:

AFI should accept something that even their newer fans are starting to suspect of their career as a whole.
They were an okay hardcore band.
Then they were the world's greatest (and somewhat only) goth-hardcore band.
Now they're an okay goth band.

Their middle period was their best because nothing else was like it at the time (save for maybe the under appreciated Nerve Agents). This is why I scoff at the notion that the band "matured". I had no idea maturity meant sacrificing your own painstakingly realized sound to ape other sounds at sonic-Michael-Bay production levels. Oh and they sounds they're aping? They're not exactly current. So when AFI says stuff like "We were playing 80's hardcore in the 90's" as if to write off the punk genre, I don't get why that's acceptable, but playing 80's post-punk in the **10s** is pat on the back worthy. I'm hoping again hope, but I hop someday to see a return to what made them great. The band that practically invented and killed goth-hardcore. Jade's signature guitar work, Davey's yelling, Hunter's jacked up bass, and Adam's needle-like drums.

If I hear "The Checkered Demon" I'm like "Cool, good song", If I hear "A Deep Slow Panic" I'm like "Cool, good song", but if I hear "A Winter's Tale" I'm like "Fuck yes. This is unmistakably AFI, and it's awesome."

danperrone (October 23, 2013)

i must be missing something, because this sounds a lot like post-STS AFI, and just as bad.

joeydevil (October 23, 2013)

I like it better than Crash Love. I like it better than Decemberunderground. I even like a lot of the songs better than Sing the Sorrow.

BrainTrust (October 23, 2013)

It´s an okay record. They´ve done better. "Heart stops" it terrible.

telegraphrocks (October 23, 2013)

I bought it yesterday, but haven't listened yet. I at least hope it's better than 'Crash Love' (which is what the majority are saying anyway), because that album was very mediocre. Not bad, but just pretty boring.

porphyriax (October 23, 2013)

I don't get it...this album sounds exactly like Crash Love to me...

aorta (October 23, 2013)

I'll throw my hat in with the "best since Sing the Sorrow" crowd. It's essentially NIN meets the Cure. It still doesn't feel like an AFI record, but it's must better than the lame "screamo" of DU and the "whatever the fuck this is" of Crash Love.

Seriously, Crash Love is so bad.

BonerPirate (October 23, 2013)

Good to hear the old yell back in some of the songs. Still, this album is seriously lacking energy, Wild and Anxious are probably the best parts of the album. Better than their last 2 releases, but as far as their major label albums go, Sing the Sorrow was the perfect mix of decent music and appealing to the masses.

longshot (October 23, 2013)

For whatever reason, I'm actually interested in checking this out, and I haven't really cared about AFI since Art of Drowning. Holy shit, that was a long time ago.

cpp_ (October 22, 2013)

While I agree its their best since Sing The Sorrow (which isnt saying much) 17 Crimes is a terrible song.

iwantyourskulls (October 22, 2013)

I love it. Definitely their best since Sing the Sorrow.

milesqtoast (October 22, 2013)

Pretty good. Spooky too.

xherojuanax (October 22, 2013)

Crash Love never warranted most of its criticisms, but a couple of songs did rub me the wrong way. Burials, on the other hand, is solid from start to finish, and the sequencing is perfect. I love it.

GuiltyofBeingMike (October 22, 2013)

"Massive" is the perfect description of this record's sound.
Great record, still one of my favorite bands ever.

inagreendase (October 22, 2013)

Best since 'Sing the Sorrow'.

mikexdude (October 22, 2013)

I don't like it as much as Crash Love.

RiotRiot81 (October 22, 2013)

I'm one spin through, and pleasantly surprised so far.... Their best since Sing the Sorrow for sure....

hamonrye (October 22, 2013)

I seem to have forgotten about this band. Must have been the vegan banana bread. *Gets up and walks the fuck off*

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