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AFI – AFI (The Blood Album) | Album Review

AFI’s long awaited tenth studio album is finally here! Is it worth the wait? Find out here.

afi blood album

Source: Album Artwork

Californian quartet AFI sent fans into wild speculation when they blacked out their social media profiles back in October. Since then they’ve continued to tease, releasing a couple of singles here and there, and now the wait is finally over with the news of the release of their 10th studio album, the self-titled AFI (aka The Blood Album).

Over the course of their career, AFI’s sound has continually evolved, moving away from their hardcore punk-influenced roots and towards a bigger, more mainstream sound. On The Blood Album, AFI have continued confidently in this direction, polishing and streamlining every song to the point where it seems like any one track could become their next big hit. Fans will already be familiar with singles Aurelia’ and ‘Snow Cats’ but the abundance of huge choruses on this album mean they’ll soon be singing along to every song at the top of their lungs, particularly the darkly dramatic ‘Dark Snow’, pop-punky ‘Hidden Knives’, and impassioned ‘Above The Bridge’. The latter song’s synth-driven chorus and heartfelt vocals from frontman Davey Havok are reminiscent of The Cure, a band whose moody image and sound have clearly been a big influence on AFI over the years. Despite the emphasis on huge choruses and polished sounds, the band’s slightly heavier side does show up here and there. For example, ‘So Beneath You’ has a defiant, punky sound while ‘White Offerings’ features some of the biggest riffs AFI have produced in a while.

As with any AFI release, one of the main points of contention here is the aforementioned vocals of Havok. Dedicated fans of the band will likely have no problem here, and will almost certainly enjoy this record. However, anyone who finds Havok’s voice whiny or irritating may start to grow weary of it, especially towards the end of the 14-track album. Another weakness of The Blood Album is perhaps a lack of variety. Aside from the aforementioned heavier tracks, many of the songs feel formulaic and by-the-numbers, as if AFI are reluctant to deviate from the patterns that have brought them success in the past. Overall this is a solid album which, while it may not do enough to win over the band’s naysayers and doubters, will please long-time fans and radio stations alike.

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