AFI - Sing The Sorrow (Cover Artwork)


AFI: Sing The SorrowSing The Sorrow (2003)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: jonathanJonathan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Honestly, I expected as much from the first round of reviews on Punknews.org for AFI's new release, Sing the Sorrow. The album marks the band's major label debut after migrating from Nitro Records to Dreamworks after the surprising gold-selling success of 2001's The Art of Drowning. For most reade.
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Honestly, I expected as much from the first round of reviews on Punknews.org for AFI's new release, Sing the Sorrow. The album marks the band's major label debut after migrating from Nitro Records to Dreamworks after the surprising gold-selling success of 2001's The Art of Drowning. For most readers and patrons of this site, a major label is sacrilege, an abominating step for any band to take.

I remember I was surprised upon hearing of AFI's migration to Dreamworks. Even with the post-pop wave of punk-lite that is infecting MTV and mainstream music culture, AFI didn't seem like a band that would be musically accessible enough, or in that sense, malleable enough to the leagues of the majors. After front man Davey Havok's late 90s change from the undertaker suit and sunglasses to his now pale-faced, shoulder length hair, Goth get up, maybe executives saw something freakishly marketable. Maybe Goth was coming back. After all, the suits would never fly now anyway–The Hives have that angle.

AFI does have the tats to look seemingly "punk" enough to the casual observer. Any casual listen and one could hear the energy of Havok's screams, the starkly upbeat pace of the music. And with the natural and gradual progression of AFI's sound, from more of a straight hardcore sound on Very Proud of Ya and Answer that and Stay Fashionable to a slightly more melodic sound on Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes, to more unique Goth-rock, chanting melodic fusion with the hardcore sound on the later releases, AFI certainly had become more popular, pulling fans from outside the spectrum of the punk and hardcore sphere. Not to mention that AFI's live performance is probably one of the top in the game in any genre of music.

But a major label? Blasphemy. Who needs to eat when we have punk and hardcore ideals to uphold? A demand for sales and marketing higher than Nitro Records can accommodate? So what. This is punk. It's not about making money, right?

Regardless of the "scene" ethos, AFI has made the switch to the big leagues, and though many, I'm sure, negative comments and reviews are about to be hurled in the direction of Sing the Sorrow, this reviewer doesn't see much ground for pessimistic frenzy. I've been listening to the album for a little over a month now after receiving an advance press copy in early February.

After a first listen, it immediately set better with me than their last release, The Art of Drowning. And too, I feared the worst. I feared that AFI's energy would be stripped away, raped by that all too familiar over-produced sound that is the inclination of mainstream rock of recent. I hadn't been wild with what I had heard on the advance promo videos the band had released of the studio recording sessions, and like my former reviewer, I agree that promo tracks "Now the World" and "Reiver's Music" were subpar efforts for a band like AFI. They are not on the album.

However, major label biases aside, Sing the Sorrow is decidedly a normal progression for this band. If you'll recall, with the release of Black Sails in the Sunset in 1999, many fans cried outrage at the change in sound. AFI had softened. There was a definite melody present in many of the songs, and (gasp) Davey flat out sang on "God Called in Sick Today." Now most who were outraged have either lost interest or adapted to the new sound. The Art of Drowning was mostly more of the same, a very formulaic reconstruction of the work done on Black Sails.

I see Sing the Sorrow as the next step in the sequence to Davey Havok's gradual quest to fill the shoes of the Misfits and Danzig. Fear not. The new album still sounds like AFI. True, things may be a bit slower at times, a bit more melodic at times, and, well, a bit more Goth-rockish at times, but the hardcore influence is still apparent. Both in energy and at times, chord progression.

The music here is more complex than straight-laced hardcore fair. Jade's guitar work is still inventive, at times even breaching into 80s esque riffs, sometimes space-rock tinkering. Davey sings more, which for this market is something I expected. Simply, AFI is trying to reach a larger audience. I respect that for what it is. Their sound has not changed anymore so than the drastic difference between Black Sails and Very Proud of Ya. This band has history of change and adaptation. And don't worry–Davey still screams.

You'll hear the usual musically abstract crescendoing introduction with chanting vocals in "Miseria Cantare." On a whole, there is more melody, a slightly lighter touch present. You'll hear the AFI 6/8 sing along chorus on "Silver and Cold." Things quiet down occasionally with Davey bringing it down to a whisper. Expect more experimentation musically. "Death of the Seasons" will even throw some electronic pounding bass beats in for a few bars. You can find the tried and true AFI melodic upbeat hardcore on that same track and on "Dancing Through Sunday." You'll hear some more radio friendly rock with some chanting AFI melody on "Girl's Not Grey," a track already on rotation here in Los Angeles. There is the standard AFI rousing ending with an infectiously melodic cry/scream, "This is my life/This is eternal" on the closing track, "‚?¶But Home is Nowhere." Havok's lyrics are as dark and curiously ambiguous as they have always been.

Of course, taste is a matter of subjectivity. But I am happy to report that Sing the Sorrow sounds fantastic. The production mix is well done, and the album does not have an overbearing "produced" sound. I don't find it boring at all. Conversely, I must say that though I expected the worst, I am quite pleased by the album. I know one thing–the music present here is more inventive and harder to play than what AFI gave us last.

The album is probably not going to threaten any of the well-established mainstream rock acts–I would still say that much of it is too offsetting to the casual listener. But if you're a fan of the AFI, and that Dreamworks label just makes you fume, shut your mouth, open your eyes and realize that this is really where AFI was going anyway. If only all major label bands were this good. To me, AFI is still AFI, and Sing the Sorrow is just the next step after Black Sails in the Sunset. And on another plus, the album has a street price for well under ten dollars–I think Target has it for $5.99 at the time of this writing. Wait–that's pretty punk right? Who knows anymore. It's certainly worth the purchase.


People who liked this also liked:
AFI - The Art Of DrowningAFI - Black Sails In The SunsetAFI - DecemberundergroundAFI - Shut Your Mouth and Open Your EyesOperation Ivy - Operation IvyWeezer - WeezerAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!AFI - Very Proud of Ya

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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.
hotwaterbrogden (October 10, 2009)

Really great CD. Some of you fuckers should grow up and maybe learn something about music.

TheGuwumpkis (October 8, 2008)

C'mon people!!!!
You knew this would happen!!
still love their old shit though!

tmfxjohn (January 28, 2008)

Great CD. although a little too depressing for its own good at times, afi did a lot right with sing the sorrow. jade's solo on "dancing through sunday" is still a personal favorite. much better than most people have said it is

hatefulromance (June 5, 2007)

Best CD ever...i love "Dancing Through Sunday"...im learning it on guitar...its not that easy...you have to be talented (like Jade) to play it smooth and clean.

emmie-kate (April 17, 2007)

{aah i love this album it has to be the best one that a.f.i. has put out.

xdeadheartsx (January 16, 2007)

I think this the best cd AFI has ever made. (and yes, I have listened to their old stuff!) Every song is brilliant and poetic. It's the only cd I can honestly say that I like every song on.

xohxcdancing (October 3, 2006)

girls not grey would be my favorite on this album.

xohxcdancing (October 3, 2006)

girls not grey would be my favorite on this album.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

AFI now is a sell out and isn't punk any more. They sold out 2 MTV! So don't call them punks!!!!!

Anonymous (June 8, 2006)

Nice love 'Girls not Grey'.

Godfather (October 4, 2005)

great album

Anonymous (January 31, 2005)

they haven't sold out. they've been changing for a while now into something different. they were sick of playing the same thing over and over again and it had nothing to do with sales. so if you can't respect the decision they made and the fact that they were ready to change and to mature then you obviously weren't much of a fan in the first place. i listen to their old and new music and enjoy both and no i'm not a pop punker (i also listen to hatebreed, mudvayne, marilyn manson, killswitch engage, etc.) i just appreciate it. so stop calling names and get over yourself. not every person who changes is a sellout. if you don't like the change, then just say that!

Anonymous (July 27, 2004)

Just because a band changes their music because it will help sales doesnt mean shit, there are no morles in the world or in punk rock, the world is shit, so why wouldnt someone say yes to making a sucessful career choice.Not everyone wants to be a poor punk band, that has punk music. The CD isn't bad, if you like AFI you should be able to accept changes or you dont like AFI, you like the type of music they did. So find abother fucking band and stop bitching about AFI.

Anonymous (July 24, 2004)

IM a fucking old school afi fan back when i was the only one at my school listining to them then when i heard that they sold out i was pissed all these all thes fucking newby fans are making me go insane for fuck sake all they know is fuking art of drowning on up but im not going to be a fucking emo bitch and be like i dont like them since they sold out im still a true fan and i will always be this guys story was fucking good but when it comes down to it old afi is and will always be better then jade or hunter can acomplish but i still love both opld and new AFI

chrisafi (June 24, 2004)

Fantastic Album. I agree this is where AFI would be heading even if on Nitro still. I knew they would make the melodic change (much like Tiger Army have in their new release) and I waited with baited breath for it.

Now it is here and it is simply amazing.

elleTHEemolian (June 23, 2004)

OH i get it now. My friend had part 2 and i had part 1 and hers said "fucking real" and mine said "skucking real"
OOOH thanks for that. =]

Anonymous (January 14, 2004)

BSD fucking blows a dick. Get the cock out of your ass you elitist piece of shit.

Anonymous (January 14, 2004)

This album fucking rocks. All you fans that no longer like AFI might as well fuck off cause I'm sure they don't want fucking losers like yourselves to be fans of their band anyway.

Anonymous (August 31, 2003)

What the fuck happened to good old afi. Its a fucking shame. Seriously. Someone out there please tell me what the fuck happened.

Anonymous (August 31, 2003)

Im not criticizing them based on their move to a major label, thier overall move to become mainstream, or their gothic looks. However, their new album lacks a certain something that the previous three full lentgh albums had. the prior three had this energy which i can most often relate to good punk bands. AFI's previous three albums were fucking raw, meaning that i just wanted to blast it in my car and scream the melodies along with havoc. their new shit is good but it just leaves me hanging. It borders on being boring. the only time i enjoyed it was when i was really chilled out and in a calm sensible mood.

Anonymous (August 31, 2003)

I hate all you homophobes. At least Davey has the pride to stand up for what he is and doesn't try to hide from it. Yeah I agree, Black Sails was better, but who cares. If a band made the same record over and over and over, we would have to call them Rancid. I am glad there are bands out there who take chances and are dedicated enough to stand behind those decisions. By the way kids, your SUV is not punk.

Anonymous (August 28, 2003)

woah! definitely my pick for 2nd to worst album of 2003. only good song is the leaving song part 2, and that's gonna get old now that it's on the radio, just like that audioslave song. what a stinking pile of fucking shit!

Anonymous (August 21, 2003)

captain sensible is cooler then jade.

Anonymous (August 18, 2003)

You fucking suck. You obviously have a minimal knowledge of the Damned, too... Before you say I judge a band by how old they are, listen to the Damned's third album, then listen to this. The Damned DID do it better. They made the transition almost perfectly from punk to goth, whereas these guys tried to make the same tansition and failed horribly. I've never liked AFI, and this shit is even worse than their old stuff.


Anonymous (August 17, 2003)

Its funny how, according to BSD, if one band started a genre (damned), no other band can do the same thing, no matter how good they were (afi), or else BSD will bitch. AFI was once amazing, but this cd sucks.


Anonymous (August 17, 2003)

Yaaa... I'm neither angry, nor fake, nor gothic. I just really hate you, and this cd. AFI went to shit.

Anonymous (August 12, 2003)

"So what, The Damned suck. Shut the fuck up BSD."



Analog_Boy (August 12, 2003)

"AFI rocks because they are not from Canada."

Hey, watch your mouth!

Nice review. Holy Shmoly. Oh yeah, I hate this cd. Some cool guitar stuff and what not from what i've heard. Some stuffs pretty catchy, but meh. Its not for me.

Anonymous (August 11, 2003)

So what, The Damned suck. Shut the fuck up BSD.

Anonymous (August 11, 2003)

"AFI is in a class of their own. You CANT define AFI into a specific genre, that would be impossible. And the Black on Black cover for the cd WONT be released, as said on an AFI newsletter. This whole cd is great, "girls not grey" is kinda getting like meh, since i've heard it for the past month or somewhat, but i still listen to it. And "dancing through sunday" is a very great fuckin track. Overall, BUY THE DAMN CD...FUCK AFI HATERS"

You are kidding right? Fuck these guys, by the way, the Damned SUCCESSFULLY made this progression about 20 years ago.


Anonymous (August 10, 2003)

ok afi's first couplle albums kicked ass but now there turning into gay fuckin pop rockers. whhats happening to afi man?

Anonymous (August 9, 2003)

sing the sorrow sux! theyre just trendy fucks now!

Anonymous (August 7, 2003)



I really, really hate every single one of you.

Pink_Robots (July 29, 2003)

HOw can you say The Mars Volta sucks? They kick fuckin ass. Blixer is one of the best godamn songwriters of our time and all you do is bash them cuz of your ignorance. MV kicks ass and you suck.oh and by the way sing the sorrow was good..but afi's earlier stuff kicks ass over this album

Anonymous (July 28, 2003)

reader 25000! i rule

Anonymous (July 27, 2003)

Sing the sorrow kicks soooo much ass. ok i might not be as good as answer that and stay fashionable but it kicks alot of ass. if u like goth punk u would like this. i think that they have changed alot over the years but they still know how to rock and i think that they are still gona be 1 of the best punk bands ever.

PS. i saw mars volta like and they sucked .

Anonymous (July 27, 2003)

Well there sure seems to be a lot of debate over this album... it is true they have completely changed.... no longer really punk... and god knows why they would want to WIN IN THE MTV2 VIDEO AWARDS! ... What has happened to afi?... The music isn't bad, though it is 100 percent different...

Anonymous (July 20, 2003)

this cd is fucking terrible. what happened to afi?

Anonymous (July 17, 2003)

canada > you

Anonymous (July 13, 2003)

AFI rocks because they are not from Canada.

Anonymous (July 13, 2003)

best record released in 2003 with the mars volta now.AFI grew up and some fuckin stupid "hardcore" guys don't understand this.learn to listen to the music you asshole.i'm a fan since the beginning and i always think they rock even 10 years after.they evoluate.(not like the fat wreck bands like nofx ,ahah, and they call themselves punk).

Anonymous (July 13, 2003)

best record released in 2003 with the mars volta now.AFI grew up and some fuckin stupid "hardcore" guys don't understand this.learn to listen to the music you asshole.i'm a fan since the beginning and i always think they rock even 10 years after.they evoluate.(not like the fat wreck bands like nofx ,ahah, and they call themselves punk).

Anonymous (July 12, 2003)

Has everyone forgotten the days when these guys wore baggy shorts and Decendents t-shirts?

Anonymous (July 3, 2003)

This CD is horrible.

Anonymous (July 3, 2003)

This is a terrible, terrible CD.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

oh, by the way stick -Greenvandal under that last post. And this CD is ok. Black Sails slays it though.

Anonymous (June 30, 2003)

Wow manman. You are really fucking lame. Go tell your stories to your little sister, maybe she will believe them. She might know more about music then you too.

Manman (June 27, 2003)

A Friendly Inuit made this CD. Those who know anything don't have to continue, but for those of you who need some elaboration: here we go. In 1995 the frontman of "AFI" gave a friend of mine a gigantic wedgie-just joking-we wedgied that sucker until his lungs were stuffed with underwear. Point one, they are losers. About nine days ago, I had the privelage of propelling a rock into his skull. He cried like a baby for hours while his "friends" (security personel) removed me from his whininess' presence. Point two, he is a baby. The record sounds like beached whales giving their last in an effort to destroy all dry land. Example: "Aohhh." Point three, he sings like he was recently punched in his kidneys. Finally, the people do not understand the fundamentals of music, i.e. rhythm, lyrics, beat, music....The guys just pay off others to make their music. Point four, they suck. So let's go over that again, just for the record.
1: AFI- That is not an I, it is a lowercase L for Loser.
2: AFI- If it is an I, it stands for Infant.
3: AFI- If not infant, it is Incoherent.
4: AFI- A Fake Inside.
Eventhough these events were not true, the points still are.

Anonymous (June 19, 2003)

A fair progression. A solid CD.

Minor Threat

punkrockmisfit (June 18, 2003)

afi is a wicked band and although for a second i thought they were sellin out their music still kicks some serious ass crack. don't sellout though...

Anonymous (June 16, 2003)

afi stands for a fire inside this fire seem to have srunken into a a candle flame.i have listen to this cd too much davey whines his way through just about every song.this album is so depressing it makes me want kill myself.One thing is for sure they did not change they just evolved into a money making machine aimed at 13 yr old girls who think blink 182 and some 41 are punk rock this album is not punk it is far from it you want punk go pick up the us bombs latest album.

Anonymous (June 14, 2003)

if its only " 6 fuckin bux or something" then i guess all the other people that dont like it should stop bitchin about how they bought it. its their fault for being stupid!! they should waited to hear more songs from the CD before the went a "wasted" their money. I think the CD is great!! it was money well spent.

Anonymous (June 13, 2003)

[from below:]
"I didn't think it was phisically possible, but AFI both sucks and blows"

HA!!!!! Funny shit.

Punker86 (June 11, 2003)

"And hell, if you guys were smart you would borrow the CD from a friend or download some of their music before you bought the CD"

Dude the cd is 6 fuckin bux or somethin u cheap bastard and i like most of the songs except for the one where he screams and i cant understand wut hes sayin and it hurts my ears

Anonymous (June 10, 2003)

this album was truly, truly awful. all the songs seem to have 10000 overdubbed Davey Havocs screaming at you, then a misplaced acoustic breakdown, then a misplaced hardcore breakdown, then more screaming.


this album breaks that rule with every song. they fucked up.

i loved black sails and liked the art of drowning, though. i just think the production $$ they were given to make this album went to their heads. a serious disappointment.

Anonymous (June 5, 2003)

you people who said that AFI sold out because they changed their music... you guys are fuckin stupid!!!! Davey Havok said that they are changing their music because you dont keep fans by playing the sam type of music over and over again!! Then theres that other dumb fucker who said they sold out to make money. How stupid can you possibly get!?!? Sing The Sorrow is and amazing album and fuck they are making shit loads of money for it! And hell, if you guys were smart you would borrow the CD from a friend or download some of their music before you bought the CD. If they sold out their fans, Sing The Sorrow would never have sold any copies!! Its is the best CD ever!

Anonymous (May 1, 2003)

sigh....gothic architecture was 1300's homeboy, pre-rennaisance. don't start acting smart.
ps. this is their best album.

punkboy_1 (April 5, 2003)

i like this.

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

i truelly LOVE AFI so i really like sts. Why does the reviewer call davey "GOTHIC"? Gothic is an archetcture style popular in Europe during the 1800 and early 1900.

Anonymous (March 26, 2003)

there's a shift in music and if your nostalgic you can cry alone in the dark for a year but if you just don't give a damn, you could really like the "new" AFI, I sure do, it's awesome. No question about it this album rocks. The static that usually drowns out the music is you being closeminded for holding to that gay sellout crap. But take it from me, these guys will never be half as punk as Avril lavigne so don't worry about them showing up on MTV...riiiiiiiiiight

Anonymous (March 20, 2003)

ive only heard/saw afi once. it was on a cinema beer nuts video comp. the song was ok.

but why does the singer look like a gay edward scissorhands?

Anonymous (March 20, 2003)

I didn't think it was phisically possible, but AFI both sucks and blows

Anonymous (March 20, 2003)

"i can't respect them cause well they've kinda sold out. They've pretty much changed the music so that they could make money they sold out and betrayed they fans."

where is your proof for this? actually, they started working on the material for Sing the Sorrow when they were still on Nitro records. you're a fvcking moron.

waste_elite (March 19, 2003)

quiet you, this isn't a message board

Anonymous (March 19, 2003)

I knowthis isn't a messege board or anything but I have jsut got to say "AMEN!" to what the guy below me said

onedarkflame (March 18, 2003)

i personally love this album...i think AFI picked up right where they left off when they finished the Art if Drowning, you cant expect a band like AFI to not continue to grow and change musically...Davey's vocals are made for the music he makes on the Sing the Sorrow album. Sure the new album is different than say Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes, but true AFI fans will appreciate the new direction the band has chosen to take. And, may A Fire Inside continue to change.....because thats what punk is all about, change. We have started to become uniform and identical in our struggle to be different. Everyone is becoming different in all the same ways.

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

i can't respect them cause well they've kinda sold out. They've pretty much changed the music so that they could make money they sold out and betrayed they fans

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

I liked this album after I listened to it several times, but that's beside the point. Both the people who say that AFI is awful without giving any reasons and the people who defend AFI by saying they rule without giving any good reasons are not adding anything to the discussion on this album, and those of you trading stupid insults are just idiots. You're probably all kids, but if you're not you need to learn to respect that other people are going to have different opinions than you and if you can't respect them because of that you will a sad excuse for a human being and another part of the whole world going to hell.

wickedafipunker (March 18, 2003)

AFI is in a class of their own. You CANT define AFI into a specific genre, that would be impossible. And the Black on Black cover for the cd WONT be released, as said on an AFI newsletter. This whole cd is great, "girls not grey" is kinda getting like meh, since i've heard it for the past month or somewhat, but i still listen to it. And "dancing through sunday" is a very great fuckin track. Overall, BUY THE DAMN CD...FUCK AFI HATERS

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

hoobastank more power han AFI?!? HA! Don't ever say that again. What is this open mic night?

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

I heard a lot of really bad cd's in my life and this one takes the cake. Not one solid sounding song on the cd. AFI has really let there fans down with this one , but you could almost see it coming after the release of The Art of Drowning oh and who can forget the the horrible 7 inch at hot topic. So in closing maybe afi shouldn't call themselfs afi anymore maybe they should call themselfs papa roach 2 : the darker but still just as pussy side

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

gotta love the techno breakdown...i was looking for more of this stuff, but didn't get it

as much as i wanted to like this record, i decided to give it a chance

it lacks the power of a good album... andy earnst would have done a better job than jerry finn

for instance, BS and AOD both had epic intros into a good hard 2nd song...a great way to do it...the 2nd song on STS is weak...i wanted something more

i listened to it, flicked on the radio, and hoobastank was on...i thought, this band has more power than afi

though the record keeps growing on me, i would have to agree, there are 4-5 songs worth listening to, the rest are worth throwing away...maybe i could burn the good songs to one cd

i give them 1 record before they are looking for another label

though, that is just me...

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

To the guy who asked why his album cover was grey and black instead of red and black: It's a different version. As far as I remember hearing there's three version. The red and black one which is the "normal one", the grey and black one which is more limited, and last but not least a "black and black" one which is set to be copied in a very limited amount and therefor will be very rare. There's also the sepciel edition of Sing The Sorrow of course.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

Well I've been a fan of AFI for quite some time now and was expecting the worst after hearing "Girl's not grey" everywhere. I feared that maybe after migrating to DreamHoax they had gone all pop on us. Not because it wasn't punk enough. But simply because I don't like that tune very much. And feared that the entire album would be some mushy pop ballad that didn't really had anything to say or offer the listener. But I must say I was astonished when I finally heard the album. True some of the songs are a pretty big step away from what you normally would perceive as punk. But I think that goes to prove that AFI is more than a mere punk-rock band. AFI is... well AFI. I can't think of any band that has a similar sound and Sing the Sorrow just strengthens this view. I think it's a good blend of their former sounds plus new and to me very interesting sounds that all in all makes Sing The Sorrow a very complete album. The twelve tracks on the album represent a band that really knows how to play and how to play well. My only disappointment was as hinted above "Girl's not grey". It's not a really bad tune but it's just not what I'd associate with AFI. But seeing as Sing The Sorrow is a major label release there's got to be a couple of poppy tunes that could get played on the radio and TV. ‚??The great disappointment‚?Ě and ‚??This celluloid dream‚?Ě could also perform this role but they got much more substance than ‚??Girl's not grey‚?Ě music wise in my opinion. All in all I think Sing The Sorrow is an awesome album. Punk or not. And that brings me to say that if the punk scene can't accept AFI for evolving and doing their thing... then fuck the punk scene. This hole thing with saying "this is not punk enough" is pretty much not very "punky" in it self. To me it isn't the sound that makes you punk. It's the attitude and your way of life, thinking etc. I think AFI will always have this element of punk in them but as this album shows they will evolve into something much more than a punk-rock band outside of any real genre definitions and continue to be AFI and nothing else.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

Finally heard this album yesterday, and blah...its boring...bad as i expected...lacks the fire inside....-bigjerk

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

Noy bad....it's just a fucking shame that my little brother and little sister are listening to it, now it just doesn't have the same potency.....that's my problem though. AFI still rocks and this album is no exception.

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

dear anonymous~
thank you for bring up that SHITTY excuse for a band, SIMPLE PAIN, i mean simple plan. this cd(if we should even compair) seems so much better now, thank you for bring that to our attention.

best regards~

krowdsurf (March 16, 2003)

Props to Ebert here for a very well written, professional sounding review. Also, I too totally thought the opening sounded like the theme from Terminator so I was glad to see Scott mention that. As for the album itself, every AFI cd I find I really like about 4 or 5 songs and the rest are totally skippable. I find this one no different thus far, so I think AFI hasn't changed too drastically. I like it. As for the major label thing, I could give a flying fuck what label someone is on in terms of the band and the music, I just hate all the bullshit that you have to put up with when everyone on earth has heard of them. Then you get these dipshits who try to discuss the band with you like they know what the fuck they're talking about but end up sounding moronic. Case in point, I was in Hot Topic today (I saw someone I used to go to high school with inside so ease up off my nizzuts) and the girl inside came up to me, saw my RX Bandits shirt and said "Oh, you like Drive-Thru records? Have you heard of AFI? You might like them." Uhhhhhh....what, bitch?

SOYBOMB (March 16, 2003)

I wish I worked for Dreamworks, I need the money..

Anyway... The AFI disc is clearly a testament to a bands natural evolution after playing for so long. I've had it for about a month or so now cause I got a *cough* promotional copy *cough* (that I downloaded) and its catchy.

Those who're questioning its integrity and stating that its a mark of pretention are elitist dicks plain and simple because all of AFI's work after Black Sails has been pretentious in terms of poetic verse and whatnot...

Nevertheless, the techno breakdown song is all I listen to.


Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

I don't know about that JEW thing, I mean them and AFI and Sparta are all on Dreamworks, but they should naturally like each other's music. If he starts recommending Alien Ant Farm though, then you should be suspicious as hell.

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

I haven't read all of the comments here, so maybe somebody already mentioned this: in the most recent Jimmy Eat World e-mail newsletter, Zach Lind says he likes this album and recommends checking it out. Seems innocent enough, but AFI being on Dreamworks (as is JEW) makes it look a little fishy to me. Is the postive review sincere or is Dreamworks pulling some strings?

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

its a natural progression, and they finally have the studio budget and producers to get the sound and production touches they wanted on the last two albums (remember the drum machine on 'despair factor' oh no!!! everyone said). its a great album. its more melodic, and just downright better more mature songwriting. i mean really,if you call this a sellout project, i guess black sails was too, because davey started writings songs that were deeper than 'cereal wars' and the awesome 'highschool football hero'...hahahah, fuck the old afi, this shit is genious

Anonymous (March 16, 2003)

GOOD. Not your typical AFI, but still exceptional as compared to the filth of the entire scene (SIMPLE PLAN). Davey Havock is stronger vocally than before, just adding to the intense fierceness that is A Fire Inside!!!! In short Get this, and all other AFI albums.

Vien (March 16, 2003)

Black on Black album is going to be super hard to get, because it's only going to be avaliable at thier shows. I just hope I'm able to get a least a couple of tickets by next week. Anyway, I don't know about you guys, but Sing The Sorrow just gets better every time I hear.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

Don't you like Tool, Scott? You should really dig this album.

maverick (March 15, 2003)

To the guy 3 posts down, allow me to cut and paste from an earlier punknews.org story:
* There will be three versions of the "normal" CD. The vast majority will be the black-red cover that is on the front page of the site. In addition, there will be a black-silver version and a black-black version for the first run, and these will be very rare. Black on black will be the most rare. All three colors will be released March 11th.

Hope that helps you out.

And I still think the first song sounds like the opening to Terminator 2.


ommaddon (March 15, 2003)

Yeah because we wouldn't want any of those opinions in reviews. And not to insult the reviewer, but he spent more time on AFI being on a major than most AFI bashers.
Opinionated reviews are fine, even necessary. But blindly ignorant and fact-straying opinions, which are all too frequently thrown back and forth on this site, are just annoying. Also, journalistically naive.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

good but not great. better than the new utters cd. i like the assemblage 23 influence on tracks 1 & 7.

demon ted

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

Wal Mart has it for $5.84 and Target has the Ataris CD for less than 6 bucks even with tax.I also got the Exies CD for 6 bucks at Wal Mart,even without my friends' discount.I used to buy ALL of my CDs at local stores,but lately they have been rapidly closing,to the point where I have to drive 45 minutes to get to Cactus or Atomic Records.So I tried Wal Mart and Target on a whim,they actually have some ok CDs,including a couple of Green Day CDs,The Vines CD,OK GO,AFI,FSF,Ataris,Bowling For Soup,All American Rejects,Transplants,Foo Fighters,etc.And with the exception of Further Seems Forever,all are on major labels,so I buy them there,and have saved myself shitloads of money.Now granted,FSF is on Tooth and Nail,but that was an impulse buy,under other circumstances I would have probably passed it up,seeing as they don't hold alot of my interest.But other than that,I believe that those places are acceptable places to purchase music,to an extent.I'll still buy my Asian Man stuff mailorder,my local stuff at concerts,and non-major label CDs at indie stores,but when a band I like has decided to cross to the "Dark Side"(major label),then they deserve to be treated as such.I won't lampoon a band for "selling out",because unless you've been in a band,you have no idea how tough life with no money is,always touring,not being home,etc.So I don't care who they sign with,I just believe that with that signing,they should know that they WILL get treated differently.

Also,on a side note,can anyone tell me why my AFI CD cover is gray and black,and the picture on this review is red and black ?

Oh,and did anyone else know that Lagwagon is on tour ? I just found out they're coming to Houston on 4/23,and somewhere in Colorado in May.I may be out of the loop,but could someone tell me who the supporting acts will be in Houston ?

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

This is a really boring CD.

FortyMinutesWest (March 15, 2003)

Yeah because we wouldn't want any of those opinions in reviews. And not to insult the reviewer, but he spent more time on AFI being on a major than most AFI bashers.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

That really was a great review. Thank you for sticking to the facts instead of wildly throwing opinions.
For those whom wish to focus on their releasing the album on a major label should actually listen to it first. It sounds perfect. On other AFI records things sounds as though the band was trying to get certain tones and effects and just couldn'tl; with this record they're able to have free reign. I'm impressed.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

The more I listen to this album the more I like it, cause I absolutely hated it the first time I heard it. Now I really anjoy it, about on par with AOD, but no Black Sails.

I don't see why the diehard makeup wearing AFI fans are that big of a deal. I just laugh at em, it's no reason to hate a band that makes albums I enjoy. Get over it.

hubitcherkokov (March 15, 2003)

This is AFI's best effort, in my opinion. Black Sails and Shut Your Mouth were my favorite AFI albums, respectively, and this blows them both away.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

I haven't heard this album, but the review was very well written. I might buy it.


borntolose (March 15, 2003)

And god damn it, change the default album scores to 1 so stupid assholes like myself don't give an AFI record a 10 by mistake.

borntolose (March 15, 2003)

I used to bet on Ommadon, I think they retired the poor horse though. Yeah, it fucking sucked once it got older.

Anyways, I won't let my main point get skewed.

Anybody musical act that takes the time out to apply make-up as part of said act, and has rabid fans inspired by said make-up that leads them to apply said make-up, fucking blows.

Then again if MTV has shown us anything, it definately has shown us make-up on dudes is in. (OMG BENJI IS SO HAWT!!111!!)

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

afi fucking sucks.

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

everyone who says to not listen to (insert band name here)and instead listen to Guttermouth are always really dumb. Why is that?

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

Great Review. But, who really cares about what label their on? It's not about selling out, that's just the stupid little punk trend these days that "I'm cooler because I listen to something you haven't ever heard of." It's music, it makes people (like me) happy, why would you want to try taking that away by calling them "goth", but those labels are only going to start fights between a bunch of guttermouth-happy-punk to afi-angry-punk, how bout this, how bout you be like me and listen to both, music wasn't made so we'd get pissed off at eachother. (my side note, this is a great album, not as good as b.s.i.t.s. however)

Anonymous (March 15, 2003)

will all of you goth fags get a clue? screw these guys. they take themselves way 2 seriously. that's why i listen to guttermouth. at least they KNOW what's funny. fuck afi. dumb goth morons.

ommaddon (March 14, 2003)

It has been commented that Art of Drowning did not attain Gold status--this is absolutely correct. The album was notable in the fact that it sold over 100,000 copies, truly a "Gold" like accomplishment for the independent music scene, though I am absolutely mistaken by my comment. Any independent album that is marked by sales over this 100,000 figure often piques interest--it is a sort of milestone for the lesser marketed rogues of the industry. Art of Drowning certainly did not sell 500,000 copies though, and it is a ridiculous mistake that I would indicate as such. My apologies. Midterms warped my brain--it was 3 a.m., etc., yeah, yeah, yeah.

On the other comment, where someone pointed out that Very Proud of Ya and Answer That... are more melodic and "have I ever listened to them.." Of course I have, and I can see your side. To me, chanting vocal patterns--heard in tracks like ‚??He Laughs Last,‚?Ě "Cruise Control," "High School Football Hero," ‚??File 13,‚?Ě "Aspirin Free," etc... are really not indicative of "melody." It is certainly a chorus in the song structure, but not really a harmonious melody of any kind. I do hear the threads of what AFI would eventually develop in tracks like "Brownie Bottom Sundae,‚?Ě ‚??This Secret Ninja‚?Ě and ‚??Advances in Modern Tech.‚?Ě In the latter I also hear that pure hardcore rhythmic yell. But to me, in Shut Your Mouth... there is an emergence of--yes a throatier, raspier, and in that sense "hardcore" scream, but I also hear more structure, a bridge and a melody in tracks like "Three Reasons," A Single Second," and "Third Season." It is a more developed melodic structure, beyond the chanting chorus' of the prior work. Certainly melody exists in ALL of AFI's work, but to me, on the first two albums most of it is buried in this simplistic, punk/hardcore chanting one-note sound. Which, obviously, Sing the Sorrow is far from.

For the record, no one has mentioned it, but there is an additional mistake in the 10th paragraph..."Bleed Black" is not in 6/8 time...the subsequent track, "Silver and Cold" is the track I was referring to. Typos and misspeaking galore. It's nice to have an editor....

If you don't want to buy the album at Target, go pay more at an indie store. Frankly, I don't care. AFI won't see a difference either way. Go buy your smaller label stuff from the indie store...for me, I live in a capitalistic society, and if Big Business is going to save me money...fine. I'm not anarchistic. I'm a poor college student. I can't buy Converge or Bad Astronaut at Target. I can at my local store. I live in LA...there are leagues of them. But this is a major label album, and I‚??m going to treat it as such. My indie store has my business for 95% of other purchases. I don‚??t see this as sacrilege in any way. Grow up.

FortyMinutesWest (March 14, 2003)

I don't see how Black Sails was harder than Shut Your Mouth. Songs like A Single Second, Today's Lesson(yes I know it's a cover) and the Devil Loves You were all harder than just about anything on Black Sails.

GreenVandal (March 14, 2003)

Yeah good review. And Black Sails is the best CD by AFI. Its much harder then SYMAOYE could ever wish it was, plus its better written, and the song "Malleus Malificarum" alone kills that entire album. But its still pretty good. I dont know how this one fits into the plan yet...ill know in like a month.

el_provocateur (March 14, 2003)

This score is for "Shut Your Mouth." AFI will never, ever, never, ever top it.

user13 (March 14, 2003)

excellent review. AFI still rocks

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

"The Art of Drowning" did not go 'gold' as you say. For a record to go gold, it has to sell 500,000 records. Yeah...they're not close to that yet.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

its a good review because i dislike this album but can actually see where the reviewers coming from anyway.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Why are so many people saying what a good review this is? Just because he likes the album and you agree with his opinion? Corrections:

-The Art of Drowning came out in 2000, not 2001
-Shut Your Mouth is definitely not "more melodic" than Very Proud or Answer That. Have you ever heard it?

Anyway, I think Sing the Sorrow is a decent album. It does make me kinda sad that it's almost all slow-ish songs though. They're decent slow songs, but still...

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

This is a really good CD! Is Davey Havoc gay?

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Harder is better so i disregard anything not hard nyuk nyuk nyuk

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

this score is for shut your mouth...and know your fuckin role jabronis.

(yeah i said it)

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

score is for teh review.. the album deserves no more than a 2... i don't care if that's where they were progressing to they should've stopped at black sails or half of art of drowning.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

First off, fucking great review man. Extremely well written. I like the album. I miss the energy of SYMAOYE and Black Sails, but I see this as a natural progression for AFI. Like it or not, they were probably headed this direction anyway.
Mr. Kenzington

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Don't you love when the radio says "Up next 'Girl's Not Grey' the latest from a NEW band AFI."

Actually yesterday I had the radio on and they were talking about the Good Charlotte/NFG tour. They said "A new band Less Than Jake is opening that up. Hopefully we'll have something by them sometime soon."

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Davey is totaly holding back when he sings, he sounds nothing like he does in black sails, but it doesn't matter there will never be another album like answer that and stay fashinoble. That ablum was written for me, I mean i love ceral and sleepping all day on ny quil, and mostly i love making fun of football jocks.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Very well written review, good job man.


Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

to me, Black Sails was the perfect album...
this one is ok...

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Do you know why Target has it so fucking cheap? Because they sell it below fucking cost so that they can kill more independent retailers. Fuck you.

unconcerned (March 14, 2003)


"straight hardcore sound on Very Proud of Ya and Answer that and Stay Fashionable to a slightly more melodic sound on Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes"

you honestly believe that very proud of ya and answer that... are more hardcore than shut your mouth?? Boy did you drink paint thinner as a child?

It is like this... first 2 afi albums listenable but very CA pop punk ala heavy pennywise influence (not to be confused with the orange county pop punk badness).... then shut your mouth and open your eyes (AFI's best and hardest album)... after that is the downward slope starting with black sails (great album but too much davey trying to sing)... then aod (much of the same but even more with the singing)... and I won't even say anything about this turd b/c I have yet to hear it so I can not judge...

If you think the first 2 afi albums are hardcore then the dookie album by greenday must be about as hardcore as you can take right? I was floor punching my way through the pit and windmilling at the last blink 182 show WOOOO.... eat a dick

aubin (March 14, 2003)

Wonderfully written review; thanks for submitting it.

As for the record itself, I can't get into it. Admittedly, I was a fan of the older skate-punk/hardcore AFI. I think Shut Your Mouth... is still their best record and this one sounds like Pornography or Disintegration-era Cure updated with bigger guitars.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

goddammit, i wish you kids would stop defending this album by saying "oh stop whining about them being on a major label, it's a good record! sorry it's not PUNK enough for you!"

i couldn't care less that this band signed to a major. and i couldn't care less that they evolved (evolution in music is something to be admired when the songwriting and heart remain intact).

what this is is a great band, being influenced by other great bands, exploring new realms of music that could be exciting, but... writing watered down, meaningless, heartless, over-produced poorly concocted radio rock so dressed up in goth that it's become a mockery of itself.

this whole record sounds uninspired. even the vocals often sound like davey's holding back (which he was probably told to do by the producers, for marketability reasons).

i'm sorry, this just isn't good. get over it.

sloppyblake (March 14, 2003)

terrible album

sickboi (March 14, 2003)

Dave is the man.

insinceredave (March 14, 2003)

A second opinion is always great!

insincere dave

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

good review. my lesser and horribly written review should be up soon, and now i hate you.

but anyway, its alright, but definately not as good as before. I could see them taking this new sound to make a good record i do, i really do, but its not this one. there not there yet. Um, the 50 different versions is just cult consumer frenzy nonsense. There just regular joes, no need to idolize.

I like some of it, but ill pass on recommending it. The hidden and bonus UK tracks dont do much for me either, though "synthesthia" (or whatever) is pretty good.

but why does Davey go "OH" in his little sorrow whimper in fucking every song. I mean, two three times cool, but its like every other song. Really. Stop it.


Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

scott, that was my first thought as well.. "terminator 2!!"

Chevyman803 (March 14, 2003)

Good Review. I thought this new album was amazing. It is true they were heading in this direction after Black Sails In The Sunset, but I really don't think this will get very mainstream even if "Girl's Not Grey" is already getting radio play.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

this is gold, and its afi related...


Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

although i dont totally agree with it, i liked this review better then the other one.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

This guy knows what he is talking about. The other reviewer wrote them off just because their on a major. That guy (Dan)sold out to no new ideas along time ago. Advice: Shut Your Mouth And Open Your Eyes

maverick (March 14, 2003)

Am I the only person who thinks that the opening song on this record sounds like the music from the Terminator movies?

As for my thoughts on this album, I found the music to be bland at most points but talent peeked through occasionally. I really just didn't like the production at all, it sounds *way* too sterile. As for Davey's vocals - what in the fuck is up with that? It sounds like they recorded an 8 year old girl for those high notes and processed it through a computer time and time again. Very, very unconvincing.


wickedafipunker (March 14, 2003)

now THIS is a fuckin' great review, compared to the other one.. At least this guy can see that this album IS good!! *listening to "dancing through sunday"* Anyways, fuck it if its on dreamworks and what not..its a great album is it not? I cant stop listening to it! Besides that fact that i got it signed by the band on monday night/tuesday morning..That night was super great! But yeah, i give this reviewer a full score! And Fred Hell, get better soon so you can kick ass with Tiger Army!

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

first thing, you spent wayyyy too long on the major thing. We know they're on a major, but get over it. Its not the focus, or shouldnt be.

other than that good review, and I agree with most of it. This album was a lot more of a natural progression than I expected. So ya, good job.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

First off GREAT REVIEW. Seriously, I've done 5 reviews on this site and this one has seriously set the bar for reviews. Let this be a model.

Second of all, I agree. Great album. I hated The Art Of Drowning, but AFI is back with full force with this one. Major label or not, the album rocks.

-Billy Taint

FortyMinutesWest (March 14, 2003)

I disagree about the Fat/Epitaph argument. People bash those labels as much as the majors.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Really nice review. But, I still think the album blows.

This score is for the reviewer.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

That was a great review. I tottaly agree with the progression from "black Sails..". The band was headed in this direction and it sounds great.

I'm also really sick of the "sellout" comments just because they are on Dreamworks. If they were on Epitaph/Fat/etc no one would say they sold out or changed their sound, they'd judge the album for what it is, and a great album it is...


chimericalburst (March 14, 2003)

first post! afi is turning into pop-punk pussies!

cburst (the one with the radiating eyes)

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