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Album Review: AFI - AFI (The Blood Album)

12 January 2017 | 1:28 pm | Carley Hall

"Has the build-up been worth the wait? Most definitely."

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Some things are built to last. Davey Havok and co have weathered the emo apocalypse and loudly plodded away to bash out AFI's tenth album while maintaining the same line-up for the past 19 years.

After a tantalising media campaign in which fans were treated to a deleted Instagram feed, blacked-out profile pictures and nary a scrap of information, AFI (The Blood Album) has dropped. Has the build-up been worth the wait? Most definitely.

Album number ten is one of their gutsiest, most enjoyable albums to date. There's a lot going on from the outset — anthems, slow burners, their usual dark turns down gothic rock paths — but it's only after subsequent listens that the beauty of this 14-track wonder hits home. Opener Dark Snow packs a meaty punch with Havok's high-wire vocals, Still A Stranger's short, fast and loud guitars plus gang chorus stand out and Aurelia's moody, echoing keys and clean beats all set the listener up for a rollercoaster ride.

There are some tracks that don't quite hit the mark — odd single choice Snow Cats is one and Feed From The Floor plods along at a steady pace — but there's far too much gold to dig from further afield for these trifles to matter. So Beneath You's epic, stadium-rock guitars and The Wind That Carries Me Away's cheeky, low-bass swagger as well as Havok's belting chorus are highlights that seal the deal.

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