2017 sees the band’s current offering from Concord Records (known mainly for their Jazz artists), their third in as many records. The music is by Jade Puget, who also worked to produce said record with Matt Hyde (Slayer,Monster Magnet). Bass plater/multi instrumentalist Hunter Bergen is back working with drummer Adam Carson to provide the rhythm. Top that off with the fresher than ever sounding vocalist Davey Havok and AFI fans should be excited.
The songs are strong, although it’s a little different for this time around, as it was for the last record. Up until “Burials” the credits read “All songs by AFI”. Now we see see “All Music by Jade Puget” and “All Lyrics by Davey Havok”. While the listener won’t notice a difference, I’m sure the bank account of Jade Puget will.
The first release, “Aurelia”, has the darkness that you want from AFI while “Snow Cats” brings the swinging, soft verse into the scream along chorus/response of ” I’ll wait for you another night (As you like)”, Ppime for a live sing along.
“Pink Eyes” finds the band as tight as ever, channelling their metal, punk, goth, glam and emo roots. These multiple themes span the majority of the record. Over 21 years in the business will do that, I suppose. Fans looking for only punk rock or only goth etc., beware. All these ingredients mean that no specific one stands out, kind of like a fine mole sauce.
Bergen and Carson shine on the deep cut “She Speaks the Language” which features an atmospheric bass line along with some effective hi hat and bass drum work. The fact that Carson and Bergen are no longer credited as song writers doesn’t seem to have hampered their ability as seasoned musicians.
The hidden gem of this release, though, is the record closer, “The Wind That Carries Me Away”. A bluesy mid tempo jam that showcases the feel of guitarist Jade Puget. Not sure if the title is an ode to Jimi Hendrix, but it should be.
Listen to AFI (The Blood Album) on Spotify or purchase at iTunes. AFI will be on a headlining tour of smaller venues through the end of February 2017 and already have a couple festival dates booked for the beginning of Summer 2017.