AFI - AFI (The Blood Album)

AFI (The Blood Album)

This new record, AFI's 10th studio release, arrives in a bit of a confusing manner. Rumors have been swirling that perhaps AFI (The Blood Album) is a return to form, but not the emo form of the early 2000's but back to their punk and hardcore roots. AFI were always popular in the punk scene, both for their aggression and for Davey Havok's stage presence but that raw emotion gave way to a more polished emo sound that actually garnered them a great deal of success. This album then symbolizes a crossroads, are they going to stay the course with the mainstream or push their limits and see what they can do. The answer unfortunately is more of the same from AFI. The album sounds almost late Blink-182-esque especially on tracks like "Hidden Knives", even though AFI try to make it sound a bit more brooding of course. "Still A Stranger" may have been the track that peaked people's interest in a potential AFI comeback, but it is barely Hardcore in all seriousness. Perhaps to someone who has only listened to AFI since 2003 this may be as Hardcore as they get, but it really is just a poor reflection of who they want to be. A lot of the songs on this record are actually catchy, and at times fun (I can't believe I'm saying that about AFI) but that is no where near what you want from these guys. Track to track it almost seems like they are taking you on a tour of their career but it is just a fly by, you aren't really getting into anything.

The world really is ripe for something new and something powerful and that could have been a piece of AFI's comeback, instead however We just sort of have more music from AFI. The album does not feel cared for or pained, it feels like they walked in the studio for a couple days bing abng boom new record. Single "Snow Cats" suspiciously sounds a great deal like their breakout single "Miss Murder" and lamost has the same pulsing beat. "White Offerings" is perhaps the biggest offender in this sense, it just reminds you of AFI but is never really AFI coming back. This whole album serves as just a reminder of what they CAN do, not what they ARE doing. What is really interesting however is the buzz around this album, clearly people are clamoring for something new and exciting from AFI even if this is not it. The later tracks, I'm looking at you "The Wind That Carries Me Away", are a real bore and do not seem to make any kind of substantial impact one way or another. AFI (The Blood Album) shows that people still love this band and want them to be great, whether the band can still live up to those expectations remains to be seen.

5.2 out of 10


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