AFI, or A Fire Inside as more seasoned fans will know them, are an American punk band that reached mainstream popularity with the release of 2003’s Sing The Sorrow. Having formed 26 years ago the band have grown and as such so has their sound. From the band’s roots in the hardcore genre they’ve shifted through the many realms of punk before the release of their last album; the ever so divisive Burials in 2013. A departure from their older sound that instead took the band closer to the style of post punk groups such as Bauhaus and Joy Division.
Their new self-titled album, referred to as The Blood Album builds upon this shift in tone by reintroducing earlier elements of AFI’s 10-album career. Cleaner tones will be found throughout the 14 tracks of The Blood Album, synth will also be heard in its droves; adding to the retro sound of the band. This is due to the excellent production and composition by guitarist, pianist and long time band member Jade Puget. Tying this album together is front man Davey Havok. His instantly recognisable voice is on top form as it ranges from the crooning ballad of ‘Aurelia’ to the snarling growls of ‘White Offerings’. He’s able to evoke a level of sincere emotion without getting overly dramatic.
At the end of the day AFI have always been a band that are able to channel angst into an anthem. Regardless of the tone change The Blood Album shows us that they can still be as relevant and engaging as they were at the start of their career.
AFI (The Blood Album) by AFI is out now via Concord Music Group.