AFI – AFI (The Blood Album) (2017) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

AFI – AFI (The Blood Album) (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 46:38 minutes | 617 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital Booklet | © Concord Records

AFI (The Blood Album) from American alt-rockers AFI comes four years after the band’s last release and was preceded by two teaser tracks, White Offerings and Snow Cats, described respectively by Rolling Stone as “thunderous” and “dramatic”. Recorded in Los Angeles, the album was co-produced by Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slipknot) and the group’s guitarist Jade Puget.

AFI’s tenth set continues the California quartet’s maturity and stylistic evolution. The self-titled album — also known as “The Blood Album” — draws from each period of their ever-changing past, offering fans of each stage something to enjoy. Of course, as with every AFI album released after 1999, polarizing commentary is likely to bubble up, lamenting how they just don’t sound like they used to, which, as of 2017, is over two decades in the past. At this stage in their career, it should be apparent that the sound of those early records isn’t coming back. They’ve been a different band since 2003’s breakthrough Sing the Sorrow and haven’t looked back since, morphing from youthful hardcore to dramatic goth to this, a punk-influenced take on new wave and post-punk. On AFI, the band delivers competent rock blasts — like the “Silver and Cold” redux “Snow Cats” and emo-punk “Hidden Knives” — that are as accessibly pleasing as “Miss Murder” and “Girl’s Not Grey,” while making sure to toss in a few throwbacks to retain the faithful and adding groovier rhythmic numbers that recall frontman Davey Havoc and guitarist/producer Jade Puget’s work as the alterna-dance duo Blaqk Audio. Those latter tracks — “Aurelia,” “Above the Bridge,” and “Feed from the Floor” — are highlights on AFI, as atmospheric and vulnerably seductive as major influences the Cure, Joy Division, and Depeche Mode. Indeed, album closer “The Wind That Carries Me Away” is AFI’s direct nod to the desert swagger of Depeche Mode’s “I Feel You,” buffered by soaring harmonies and sprawling open-sky grandeur. For the old-school fans still at the party, a handful of energetic standouts are the closest AFI come to anything resembling their “classic” punk sound. “Still a Stranger” is packed with Havoc’s pleading, emotive vocals atop a jittery pogo, while the bitter “So Beneath You” seethes with a rebellious spirit buffered by a wall of muscle provided by Puget, bassist Hunter Burgan, and drummer Adam Carson. Meanwhile, “Dumb Kids” is as ferocious and breakneck as the band gets on AFI, and “White Offerings” is basically “The Leaving Song, Pt. 3.” There’s certainly enough here to prove that post-Nitro AFI are a better and stronger group, unafraid to continue pushing their sound with each release. ~~ AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung

Tracklist:
01 – Dark Snow
02 – Still A Stranger
03 – Aurelia
04 – Hidden Knives
05 – Get Hurt
06 – Above The Bridge
07 – So Beneath You
08 – Snow Cats
09 – 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

Personnel:
Davey Havok – lead vocals
Jade Puget – guitars, programming, piano, keyboard, backing vocals
Hunter Burgan – bass, programming, keyboard, backing vocals
Adam Carson – drums, percussion, backing vocals

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