Sound — 10
This album is too epic for words to sum it up in one paragraph, I'm going through a track-by-track. This album was released in 2003, a follow-up to The Art of Drowning, which pretty much defined this album's sound. 01. "Miseria Cantare - The Beginning" - This was the starting track, with alot of electronic components, and it worked so well for AFI after their first experiment with electronic components appeared on their last album in 'The Despair Factor'. It's haunting, and the lyrics are trademark AFI gloomy, with a chant that makes me think of Strength Through Wounding. It's amazing. 02. "The Leaving Song Pt. II" - Again with the gloomy lyrics, which add to AFI's charm. I never got why pt. II came before pt. I, but whatever. The verse, I thought was pretty strong and when it went into the pre-chorus I knew it was bound to be somethiing big. The chorus is catchy and well written, and is very powerful. The bridge is excellent too, with more creepiness and stuff, and it overall really shows the band's talent. 03. "Bleed Black" - Perfect intro to this song, and the rest of the song is awesome too. The song is overall pretty poppy and catchy that makes you wanna head-bop, and it's pretty awesome that it's like that. The chorus really sticks with you, too, and this song pretty much re-introduced Davey's trademark yells. The bridge is kinda iffy, because it doesn't really fit with the rest of the song but they made it work and I like it. 04. "Silver And Cold" - Beautifully composed with perfect melodic riffs during the verses, and again, a chorus that sticks. The lyrics are well written too, and the bridge is soft at first, then it builds up and perfects itself with a great outro. Overall masterpiece. 05. "Dancing Through Sunday" - A little fade-in build-up to this song, like The Leaving Song Pt. II except different, and more fast-paced. This song, again, has Davey's yells in it which reminds me of Black Sails In The Sunset, but a sound that's very new to accompany it. Fast drums and guitar, and it's short and sweet. Overall a great punk song. 06. "Girl's Not Grey" - This is probably their second most known song, following Miss Murder because of it's feature on Rock Band II. Great lyrics, soft kind of gloomy style to the singing too. The guitar work is amazing, and the background vocals are perfect for a concert. 07. "Death Of Seasons" - AMAZING bass intro, that lead up to an unexpected SCREAM from Davey. First time I saw that from AFI in a LONG while. I think it was their Filth cover, Today's Lesson. A poetic chorus that talks about fallen stars maybe one too many times, but it's good for the song. Also the return of something ELSE we haven't seen since SYMAOYE, curse words :) "All of this hatred is fucking real" is one of the lines, which i didn't particularly like about the song, same with the screaming. I didn't like it at first but it grew on me, it adds emotion, something AFI knows how to express. 08. "The Great Disappointment" - I didn't like this song at first listen because of the repetitive chorus, something AFI doesn't do often. It grew on me one day while I walked alone, and I listened to it. I thought "... This song is beautiful." and it is. 09. "Paper Airplanes (Makeshift Wings)" - This song has a poppy beat and great guitars to it, and interesting lyrics. I didn't like this song either at first but listening to it a couple times made me really appreciate it because of its incredible lyrics and gloominess despite its happyish rhythm, just like Hearts Frozen Solid. 10. "This Celluloid Dream" - Almost perfect song. I love the verses, they are epic and intense, and the chorus is incredible too. My criticism is with the bridge, where I thought he said 'Avocados up on linen' but he didn't. Also, the strange sustained vocal note at the end turned me off, but the rest is amazing. 11. "The Leaving Song" - I didn't like most of this song at first because of the folk/country-esque guitar. But it eventually won me over, that and Davey's vocals, for being so perfect. 12. "...But Home Is Nowhere/The Spoken Word/This Time Imperfect" - Now, AFI always has amazing finishes to their albums. This is hardly an exception... This is my favorite of theirs. Two hidden tracks, and all three songs are perfect. "...But Home Is Nowhere" is an incredible track with great instrumental work and lyrics, and the chorus is perfect. The spoken word part is a poem that's recited by three people and beautifully written about some sort of post-apocalypse i think. It is so sad, it's amazing. This Time Imperfect is beautiful and sad too, and it makes me almost shed a tear because of it's beauty upon hearing it. A change in the sound for AFI but a good one.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics for this album are absolutely perfectly written. This is Davey's best lyrical work out of everything AFI has done I believe. This or Black Sails In The Sunset. The lyrics don't exactly go with the music, as sometimes the rhythm is happy-poppy and the lyrics are gloomy, but that's just AFI. Davey's singing skills never cease to impress me, as he is my favorite singer, and he really knows how to sing.
Overall Impression — 10
There is no way I can compare an AFI release with someone else's material, except maybe their first two albums to other punk bands. My favorite songs are.... ALL OF THEM. I love everything about it, especially the Black Sails In The Sunset reference on the back cover! IF THIS WERE STOLEN/LOST I'D TRACK DOWN THE THIEF AND KILL THEM or if it were lost I'd scour every corner of earth for it, and if I couldn't find it yeah I'd get a new one.