decemberunderground review by AFI

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  • Released: May 29, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7.6 (381 votes)
AFI: decemberunderground

Sound — 10
The general public might have thought that AFI had dropped of the planet, after their three years out of the limelight, but now their back with a much more straightforward, intimate, and meloncholic album than its predacessor "Sing The Sorrow." I'm going to say right off the bat that if you hated STS, because it was "softer", you're probably not going to feel much different about this album. Prelude 21/12 is a great opener, that stray from previous openers, to create a dark almost hip hop sound. It has its abrasive heavy tracks (Kill Caustic, Miss Murder, Affliction) which include some great screams not really heard from Davey before, but the albums most standout songs are the more melodic/dramatic ones. Summer Shudder, The Interview, and The Killing Lights are prime examples. There is also a nice little '80s vibe in some of the songs, remniscent of a cross between U2, Duran Duran, and AFI. 37mm has a cool industrial feel, and makes great use of drum samples. And then there's Endlessly, She Said, the closer, which is a great sum of the whole album. I'm gonna go right out there and say that AFI is starting to look like the new Smashing Pumpkins, in terms of artsy melodic creativity. Also like the Pumpkins, either you love em or hate em. My favorite moments of the album are Davey's new screaming, Jades backing vocals on the Interview, and the overall subtleness and beauty of the album.

Lyrics — 10
According to Davey Havok, Decemberunderground is a place where all the people with broken hearts go to wallow in self misery. The lyrics do a very great job in supporting that concept. They aren't nearly as opaque and hard to follow as STS's lyrics. Most of the songs are about losing love, or the results from it. Davey's vocals are somewhat different, but still retain the same feel. He doesn't sing the real high notes nearly as often, but still gives you a good "Oh!"

Overall Impression — 10
In comparison with other albums by bands normally grouped with AFI, Decemberground is by far superior, on the grounds that they can make an amazing album that will bring in new AFI hungry fans, please the old fans, and completely reinvent their sound without selling out. Standout tracks are Kill Caustic, Summer Shudder, The Interview, Love Like Winter, and Endlessly, She Said. Love how AFI can change their style, and still make music just as good and innovative. I know I should be damned for burning this album before its release date, but AFI knows that their fans will buy the album regardless, and on 6/6/06 that exactly what I'm doing. I recommend this album to all AFI fans who haven't walked out on the band, and who have waited most patiently for the time this masterpiece to be released.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    different kind of screaming, not the punk screaming like before, but more of a screamo/emo scream to appeal to the emo kids on this one. cds pretty good though. shows they have diversity.
    indeed. I actually only own Black Sails through STS so im really not familiar with the older stuff. But to me all the screaming in the earlier albums were more like yells and ive really never heard Davey scream like he does on this one....
    About Davey's screaming maturing since STS? Sing the Sorrow's screams were WAY more mature than his new style. I know a lot about screaming. There's a few ways to do it. His new way is more of a emo/screamo scream, though I hate to admit it. His scream on STS was way better.
    ps. and it's NOT that much different from sing the sorrow. i mean, they've gotten older since the last album so what'd you expect, the same voice?
    He is probably doing this to take the pressure off of his vocal cords, considering there is a safe way to scream. I'm just assuming this is it. Plus, it rules ass anyhow. So excited for this album. Has it leaked?
    I think he sounds amazing. I'm so ready to hear this album in all its splendor ... I've heard the three songs they've released so far and I'm personally blown away by each one. I think Davey's voice was going to be like Miss Murder all throughout the album, but on Kill Caustic he sings just like on Sing the Sorrow. And I think the screams are awesome. I know it's not that original and you hear it, but you can't argue that it's not done to perfection here. I think it is and it just makes the songs so tight and awesome to listen to. God I want this album.
    Yeah the screaming is different killmequickly28, I've just heard the album....Its um.. different. Its like AFI is trying to be like other bands, and the album so far is a bit of a dissapointment.
    yeah. I actually wasnt too fond of it on the first few listens but it grew on me. The only song that i could skip over is Kill Caustic...dont know why. Itll grow on you im sure.
    The album rocks hard doesn't it? I really love all the songs even Miss Murder, Kill Caustic is actually one of my favourites, I do think the STS screaming was better, but his screaming changed because he got some troath surgery when 2 years back he had something on his troath.