Where did the time go? AFI is more than 20 years deep into their revered rock career. They’re considerably past the point of understandable decline, yet they continue to produce top-notch music, most recently with their 10th self-titled studio album.
The record, subtitled The Blood Album, lives up to it’s a name – a compilation of blood, sweats and tears from the foursome that offers a journey in elements of punk, alternative and plain sailing rock. In an interview with Loudwire, guitarist Jade Puget revealed that the band wrote near 60, but trimmed the selection down to a select 14 which fit the sought-after “all killer no filler” vibe.
AFI succeeded and there’s very little not to like on The Blood Album, from track No. 1 all the way down to track No. 14. The record opens with the synth-incorporated “Dark Snow,” a song pleases at every turn and is lined with deep meaning of death and anguish. “Still A Stranger” opens with an acoustic vibe that quickly evolves into a fast-paced melody that vocalist Davey Havok relishes before the track fades into oblivion before the three-minute mark.
The majority of the tracks on the first half of the album are short and sweet, yet power-driven. “Hidden Knives,” arguably the best song on The Blood Album, fits the bill and exemplifies the best of AFI. The upbeat, memorable, emo-ish rock ballad dives in and explores imagined murder scenes that grow exciting over time.
One of the most impressive aspects of The Blood Album is that it never loses it’s spark. The back half of the album carries the torch impeccably and offers listeners a touch of the band’s earliest days with “Dumb Kids” and “Pink Eyes.” Both feature raw vocal range a racing melody that’s illustrates ’90s punk at its finest – *cough* AFI *cough*.
In the simplest terms, The Blood Album is a complete, work of art. The band gives fans a taste of every element they’ve ever explored in an all-inclusive 14-track masterpiece. The wait between any AFI album anymore isn’t the shortest, but the foursome proved the patience was worth it.