AFI: The Art of Drowning (Nitro 2000)

by Greg Brady Hurts
Vanguard Party 2.1 (October 2002)

Fucking beautiful music. What started out as just melodic hardcore punk with shout outs to Danzig and the ’77 Misfits has become some of the most profoundly inspiring and well-preformed Goth-Punk. The style having completely changed and with a half new lineup this is the first album that AFI put out that actually sent chills down my spine.

Dressed in all black after the funeral is over. The AFI I once knew is dead and has been reincarnated. The singer, Davey Havok, is under the assumption that he is a gothic chick, complete with anti-sun umbrellas. He has hair past his waist. Havok even prefers lots of feminine clothes in colors such as purple and dark blue. The crew has a decidedly morbid taste, which stinks of their influences (Danzig, Samhain).

The album starts out with a musical intro track that builds into the first full song, “The Lost Souls.” The next twelve tracks were undeniably charming. Stopping the Charge many times to have delicate and beautiful interludes, as in “A Story at Three.” The disc has a flawless track listing and contains the classics that will be played at shows in years to come like “Days of the Phoenix,” the albums first single.

AFI, which stands for “a fire inside”, has become a new band. Though I, and many others, will miss the angry punk singing of the old AFI, the new AFI is a welcome addition to my CD collection. The Art of Drowning, and AFI in general, will be joining the elite ranks of the Misfits Etc. section which houses bands ranging from Bobby Steele’s bland project the Undead to classics such as Danzig I, and II (and maybe VII?). So we bid a fond Farewell to AFI, and warmly welcome AFI.

A side note: AFI has signed to Dreamworks, so we shall soon see if a major label can ruin artists of this caliber and inspiration. Hopefully they wont ruin these visionaries.

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