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Album Review
 
AFI - Burials Album Cover

AFI - Burials

Reviewed by
8.5
AFIBurials
Record Label: Republic
Release Date: October 22, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It’s blasphemy, but Burials is the first full AFI album I’ve heard. I’ve been meaning to listen to them forever, but sometimes things just get in the way and things get pushed aside. Other than that, I know some fans swear by 2003’s Sing the Sorrow and others revere the band’s more punk sound like on The Art of Drowning, so where to start was a point of internal debate. But with both groups of fans alike anticipating Burials, I’d figured it’d be a good starting point – and it looks like I was right, as it’s one of the most enjoyable albums of the year.

Burials is just anthem after anthem. Following the introductory “The Sinking Night” is lead single “I Hope You Suffer,” the catchiest song on the album. It alternates between Davey Havok’s soft crooning and a monstrous chorus. Unfortunately, that monstrous chorus gets a bit repetitive towards the end of the track. Nonetheless, the song’s a great way to pull listeners in and show them what to expect for the next eleven tracks. The almost Cure-esque “A Deep, Slow Panic” is one of the best tracks on Burials, a faster-paced track with atmospheric guitar lines and another gigantic hook. If there’s one thing not lacking on this album, it’s hooks. Every single song on Burials has a refrain that’ll stay with the listener for days. The other thing “Panic” demonstrates well is how adept Havok is as a vocalist, as his vocals just soar as he desperately begs, ”Teach me, teach me not to dream, dream deeply.” He exudes confidence every minute of Burials, commanding the listener’s attention with every word he howls.

While Havok is almost certainly the star of the show here, make no mistake – AFI can hold their own as musicians. Hunter Burgan’s bass provides a vaguely post-punk backdrop on “No Resurrection,” while the electronics in “The Conductor” give the song a dark, industrial feel. Other songs like “17 Crimes” and “Greater Than 84” veer in a different, poppier direction – the latter track wouldn’t sound out of place on an album like Anberlin’s New Surrender. Electronics are prominent on the album, giving it a slightly airier feel. The sparse bridge of “The Embrace” is peppered with electronic claps, allowing the listener to focus more on Havok’s every word. On the other hand, “Suffer” features electronics only subtly in the background to give a more atmospheric vibe. That vibe is seen most on closer “The Face Beneath the Waves,” a towering cacophony of programming, frantic drum fills courtesy of Adam Carson, and Havok’s nearly flawless vocals. It ends the album on a powerful note, and there’s an immediate urge to hit replay.

And Burials is an album you’ll want to replay, especially as the days get darker and the weather gets colder. It’s made me a fan of AFI, and I’m sure all fans can find something to love here. Between hooks galore, exceptional vocals, and a dark, spacey vibe, there’s little not to love. it’s a late inclusion to my end of the year list, and I’m sure a welcome inclusion to the AFI canon.


8.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 38
07:47 PM on 11/03/13
#2
tdlyon
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Good review. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on Sing the Sorrow if you listen to it eventually, especially since you'll have listened to it after this one.
10:37 AM on 11/04/13
#3
HopeInLove
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Sing The Sorrow is an 11 if Burials is an 8.5 ...dont get me wrong I like the album, but nonetheless a pretty good review.
11:33 AM on 11/04/13
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dirty sanchez
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I never really liked STS.
11:58 AM on 11/04/13
#5
Blake Solomon
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check out, at least, the first four or five songs from Decemberuderground. It's different, but those are some incredibly catch tunes.
12:50 PM on 11/04/13
#6
PetitnaindesÎles
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This album is a good surprise and shits all over Crash Love and Decemberunderground... at least.
01:40 PM on 11/04/13
#7
Zac Djamoos
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Good review. I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts on Sing the Sorrow if you listen to it eventually, especially since you'll have listened to it after this one.
Thanks for the kind words. I just listened to STS for the first time. Kind of surprised at how different it sounds from this. I mean, I knew it'd be different, but it sounds like a whole new band. I prefer Havok's vocals now, haha. Didn't expect it to be as heavy as it was at times. I like the second half of the album more, with "The Leaving Song (Pt. I)" being my favorite.
02:30 PM on 11/04/13
#8
finnyscott
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Man, I love this album. Been hoping for a staff review for a few weeks now! Songs that were originally not my favorites (e.g. The Embrace, No Resurrection) have grown on me. I'm surprised no mention was made of Heart Stops, though, given how ridiculously polarizing it is and how it differs from the rest of the album. But nice review!
03:17 PM on 11/04/13
#9
tdlyon
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Thanks for the kind words. I just listened to STS for the first time. Kind of surprised at how different it sounds from this. I mean, I knew it'd be different, but it sounds like a whole new band. I prefer Havok's vocals now, haha. Didn't expect it to be as heavy as it was at times. I like the second half of the album more, with "The Leaving Song (Pt. I)" being my favorite.
It's one of my favorite albums ever. Just gets better with every listen imo.
03:26 PM on 11/04/13
Zac Djamoos
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Man, I love this album. Been hoping for a staff review for a few weeks now! Songs that were originally not my favorites (e.g. The Embrace, No Resurrection) have grown on me. I'm surprised no mention was made of Heart Stops, though, given how ridiculously polarizing it is and how it differs from the rest of the album. But nice review!
Sorry about the wait haha. And I was thinking of mentioning "Heart Stops," which is my least favorite actually, but couldn't find an appropriate place. Thanks!

It's one of my favorite albums ever. Just gets better with every listen imo.
That was only my first listen, so I'm sure I'll like it more with time.
05:18 PM on 11/04/13
panicbxmb
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I would do anything to get another AFI album in the same vein as Black Sails in the Sunset. That is one of my favorite albums of all time, and they are so vastly different from that band these days. I just have to accept that.

This album is pretty rad though. "Rewind" was my jam on the first few listens. Holy crap, I like that song a lot.
07:16 PM on 11/04/13
finnyscott
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Sorry about the wait haha. And I was thinking of mentioning "Heart Stops," which is my least favorite actually, but couldn't find an appropriate place. Thanks!

Yeah, it's my least favorite as well. In isolation I don't hate the song but it just doesn't fit this record.
07:25 PM on 11/04/13
Zac Djamoos
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Yeah, it's my least favorite as well. In isolation I don't hate the song but it just doesn't fit this record.
Oh, glad you agree. I just think the chorus is obnoxious.
09:02 PM on 11/04/13
Poochemist
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I agree that Heart Stops is out of place on Burials.
03:31 AM on 11/05/13
glogglies
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Great album to turn your mind off and just enjoy some quality rock tunes. Not AFI's best, but its up there! STS will always be my favourite.

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