Sound — 9
The sound of Black Sails on the Sunset showed a huge change for AFI with the introduction of Jade as a replacement guitarist. The sund changed from the kind of punk we all loved AFI for to a more complex, powerful sound. Gone are the lyrics about cereal and mini trucks, welcome to the new era of AFI. Although vastly different from Sing the Sorrow, this offering shows the progression in that direction, but with a much heavier punk influence.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are now more powerfully sung and shouted, and are much deeper than previous AFI offerings. Many highlights on the album include God Called in Sick Today and the obligatory AFI hidden track Midnight Sun having some of the best lyrics on a solid album. The skill of writing here is impeccable if you like your lyrics deep, meaningful and powerfully written. The addition of then record label owner and Offspring singer Dexter Holland on back up vocals during some songs (most noticably Clove Smoke Catharsis) just adds the cherry on the cake.
Overall Impression — 9
Compared to other albums, it is the most sudden change in AFI's sound. Fans rate this generally as their best album, whereas others see it as a lead up to their other great albums Art Of Drowning and Sing The Sorrow. If Sing the Sorrow was too different for you, but you liked AOD, then buy Black Sails. It can be hard to find to be honest but can easily be obtained on the internet.