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“Burials” is the band’s 9th studio album and first in four years. Reinventing themselves on nearly every album, “Burials” follow suit with an interesting take on loss, anger and the desperate need to be heard through difficult times. The album takes a page from the dark theme of “Black Sails In The Sunset”, the band’s 1999 breakthrough album that established their goth roots. The eye-shadow covered leadsinger of the “alternative punk rock” group Davey Havok is well known for his ‘80s pop euphoria vocals and eccentric take on extravagant vintage goth. AFI does not disappoint with “Burials,” which embraces their east bay hardcore roots with a very layered sound that showcases how they have matured through the years.

The goth-influenced rock album appropriately opens with “The Sinking Night.” Supporting the melancholic theme, Havoc croons “The blackness drips down from both my hands/ The gold in my palm was mistaken for sand/ Can you feel it?” Heavy drums and well placed guitar squeals are complimented with Havok’s voice towering over all of it toward the end of the song. The haunted atmosphere of “Burials” is carried through most of the 13 tracks released.

AFI

AFI

 

Frontman Davey Havok

Frontman Davey Havok

“I Hope You Suffer,” the first single from the album is purposefully filled with empty spaces through its verses to highlight the powerful chorus. “Rewind” and “Greater Than 84” are lighter punk energized tunes, while upbeat tracks, “A Deep Slow Panic” and “Wild” pay homage to English rockers The Cure. “No Resurrection” is a lingering goth/punk song with a nifty bass guitar intro. The second single from the album “17 Crimes,” takes a melodramatic look at days wasted on the youth and the chance of revisiting your days of freedom. “Heart Stops” plays out as a convincing goth ballad, bold and bitter as some of the opening lyrics reads “With my heart sliced carefully / You wear it like a cheerful bow.”

Highlight tracks: “The Sinking Night,” “A Deep Slow Panic,” “17 Crimes,” “Rewind,” “The Embrace” and “Anxious.”

Conclusion

“Burials” is a heavy atmospheric album driven by dark undertones. The layered ambience is complimented with their trademark infectious hooks that build enormous intensity. Be sure to listen to this one a couple of times to fully appreciate their creative efforts. AFI has always been bold and adventurous in their approach to produce new albums. The mix of styles, genres and musical arrangements may be challenging for newcomers discovering the Californian rock band for the first time. This marks one of AFI’s most interesting and cohesive albums to date. AFI is back with a bang and they are still one of my favorite genre rule breakers.

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Track List

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No. Title Length
1 “The Sinking Night” 02:18
2 “I Hope You Suffer” 04:37
3 “A Deep Slow Panic” 04:01
4 “No Resurrection” 04:27
5 “17 Crimes” 02:57
6 “The Conductor” 03:41
7 “Heart Stops” 03:08
8 “Rewind” 04:12
9 “The Embrace” 03:25
10 “Wild” 03:11