It’s very hard to get excited about the opening track, Dark Snow when AFI themselves seem less then thrilled about playing it. It’s such a bland start, completely lacking in energy & passion. Lyrics that are heavy on ‘woooaaahhhs’ & ‘oooooohhhhhs’ it’s 3 minutes too long which is saying a lot considering it’s only 3:17 long.
The more upbeat pace of Still a Stranger is an improvement but it’s hard to shake off that feeling that Creeper have sneaked in & stole their goth rock place at the table. The aggressive vocals near the end is a nice surprise & it lifts an otherwise ‘alright’ AFI song.
Davoy Havok sounds great especially on tracks like Aurelia, Get Hurt & Snow Cats.
There are more then enough catchy tunes throughout its 14 track run, songs that have plenty of hip-swaying swagger about them but realistically won’t live long in the memory.
One of the biggest disappointments throughout this album is just how rarely AFI let rip. Even when they do (such as on Hidden Knives) it’s often just for a moment to allow Havok another verse were he gets to show off his vocals. When they do it’s always to the benefit of the song, squeezing in a little bit more rock & dare I say it, a little bit of punk (So Beneath You is awesome for this).
Not to say the softer, slower songs don’t have merit, some do & this long into their career you can hardly blame the band for slowing things down a bit.
Fans of modern day AFI will find a lot to love here but if you stepped out post December Underground you’re unlikely to find much to take away from here.
Overall Track Listing:
1. Dark Snow
2. Still a Stranger
4. Hidden Knives
5. Get Hurt
6. Above the Bridge
7. So Beneath You
8. Snow Cats
9. Dumb Kids
10. Pink Eyes
11. Feed From the Floor
12. White Offerings
13. She Speaks the Language
14. The Wind That Carries Me Away
AFI - AFI (The Blood Album) (Concord Records)