AFI – Black Sails on the Sunset

February 23, 2010

AFIBlack Sails on the Sunset is AFI’s fourth full-length release, and their first obvious step toward the dark rock we’re all used to. Although their hardcore influences are still at the heart of nearly every song (“Exsanguination,” “The Prayer Position” and “At a Glance”), the lyrics take a decidedly more poetic focus. The stand out examples include “God Called in Sick Today,” “Midnight Sun” and “Clove Smoke Catharsis”.

If its one thing AFI has managed to do, for years now, is to maintain a level of unity within their fan base. Much like many metal bands, there is a general sense of, “you’re not like anyone else, because no one else is like you—except us. We are together in our individuality.” This thought process is enforced with tracks like “Strength Through Wounding” and the gang vocal chanting, “Through our bleeding, we are one!” It’s this encouragement and the simple fact that no other band sounds like them, with the exception of Thought Riot (but they didn’t last very long), that keeps AFI head and shoulders above their Punk rock peers.

If you’re a fan of their entire catalog, then this album belongs in your collection. If you’re not crazy about their last few albums and the massive sonic change the band has gone through, this is probably the crown jewel of their anthology (next to, maybe, The Art of Drowning—the bands peak performance, in my opinion). If you’re a modern-day fan, this would be a good starting point for you to look into the band’s roots. Best songs to crank : “The Prayer Position”, “Strength through Wounding” and “Malleus Malleficarum”.


Captain Morgan
Big Wheel Music Contributor



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