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