AFI - All Hallows (Cover Artwork)


All Hallows (1999)


Somewhere between "Black Sails in the Sunset" and "The Art of Drowning," AFI dropped a little E.P. that would bring new "things" (for lack of a better word) to the world that is A Fire Inside. As a somewhat weak example, the images on the cover by Alan Forbes will forever be stenciled on notebooks and tattooed on the bodies of fans everywhere. You can't visit anything AFI related these days without catching at least one pumpkin, scarecrow, or cat. But, what was more important were the four songs featured on this E.P. that went down in AFI history. (Well, some of them anyway.)

The E.P. begins with the fan favorite, "Fall Children." An eerie guitar melody opens the song, and for nearly thirty seconds the listener will think this is a slower song, based more on spookiness than that speed attack that AFI loved to throw at us for so long. Well, actually, considering the fact that it is AFI, you won't think that. But, you won't be disappointed by the sudden change in tempo. "Fall Children" hits you fast and hard as Davey screams his verses and the band does their regular chanting. Then comes our infamous chorus consisting of the line, "This day so hallowed, from here to forever its will I will follow." Later on the song slows down once more for some really cool, and really melodic chanting. This part seems to set a more meaningful tone to the song. But, not to be outdone by itself, it soon picks up its pace again and finishes with the quiet and calm sound of a music box.

"Halloween," a song originally done by The Misfits, is next in line. It's a good cover, obviously, but this is the song that takes the E.P. below that "perfect" level that we were hoping for. A one and a half minute ending of creepy sounds is way too long. It was cool to start with, but even after thirty seconds of the noises, I was begging for "Halloween" to end so I could move on with the disc. It's really not a bad song at all; it just doesn't live up to the other tracks.

The third out of the four songs is "The Boy Who Destroyed the World," which, while not as good as "Fall Children," is definitely better than "Halloween." It moves at nearly the same speed as "Fall Children," but still manages to sound like its own song, and a very good song at that.

Lastly, we have the legendary "Totalimmortal." This track takes a break from the speed of the other songs, and although the change was not really required, the final product is one of the best AFI songs you will ever hear. It's catchy, but no so catchy that mainstream fans would "ruin it" by liking the song. It's dark, but not so dark that it will scare you away. Even if you don't care for the other songs on the E.P., you will most likely really dig this one. Catch my drift?

Overall, despite being only four songs long, this could be one of the best releases you will ever hear. Even the tiniest of downsides are not enough to keep you from really enjoying this. You won't even mind that it's so short.