Sound — 7
Honestly, I miss old Afi. While I have some songs on here I couldn't live without, some of them sound so similar. At this particular moment, I couldn't tell you the different in "The Interview" "The Missing Frame" "Affliction" or "Summer Shudder". They all sound to pop-ish. Almost like a wanna be Fall out Boy. It's to simple for AFI, and it's really not showing all their talent. It's nice to experiment, but don't sacrifive the album! However, if I had to go a day without hearing "Endlessly, She Said" I'd go mad. This album starts to reveal the Blaqk Audio techno side in Davey and Jade in songs like 37 mm and Love Like Winter. The more techno sound I really loved, most people who like metal like techno, and since AFI are hard rock, it suitable for them. I like the more screamo side of Davey, it was a bit over used, but I still like it.
Lyrics — 8
One of the last reviews I saw said they were happy that Davey made the lyrics easier to understand, but I wasn't happy about that. I don't want the messages handed to me on a silver platter, I want to inquire and discover them. Songs like "..But Home Is Nowhere" off of Sing the Sorrow made me so confused for weeks, and I still haven't figured them out. I focused on that song for days, it had me completely tranced. Davey Havok is a lyrical genius, and anyone who tries to define that is to dimwitted to understand them. Songs like Kiss and Control show deeper meaning than the average person scanning through the radio will understand, and sadly, this never got much airplay. It upsets me that weak songs like Miss Murder made radio, but the really good ones didn't. I was disappointed with the Prelude 12/21 because it's just a chant with a weak verse or two sung over it. Summer Shudder is basic I think, it doesn't have that signature heart of most Afi songs. Some people get Kill Caustic and The Killing Lights mixed up, for obvious reasons, but I find them both quality songs.
Overall Impression — 9
It doesn't compare to any other AFI albums, it compare to Cexcells by Blaqk Audio though. I love the old STS sound better than this, but like I said, without Kiss and Control or Endlessly, She Said, I'd be very upset. A good little piece to show you my opinion is what I found on wikipedia. "Rolling Stone said Decemberunderground feels like 'Something isn't right in the world of AFI' due to their turn towards a more pop-based musical structure 'That would be at home on the soundtrack to the next Spider-Man movie.'" Totally agreed. This new album is to mainstream, and it's not like they needed it. They could have lived off of their old fan base, without selling out to the other listeners of today. Overall: I'd definitely buy it if I lost it, maybe even two if it were stolen, for safe keeping. But a warning to traditional AFI lovers: Heartbreak in near future.