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AFI - AFI (The Blood Album) album review

West coast melopunk veterans up the power

A press shot of AFI taken in 2016

As with any AFI record from the past 10 years, the first hurdle to get over with The Blood Album is accepting that this just isn’t the same band that set the punk scene alight all those years ago. That said, the trio’s 10th full-length manages to feel current while ticking enough boxes to please fans from pretty much every era of their 24-year reign.

Bathed in the 80s shimmer that was brought to the fore in 2009’s Crash Love but packing a little more crunch and a lot more song power, tracks like Dark Snow, Aurelia, Above The Bridge and Get Hurt are sumptuous, atmospheric heart-tuggers: delightfully, deceptively catchy and littered with synthy atmospherics. Those looking for something a little pacier and simplistic will want to kick every table in sight clean over at the rollocking Dumb Kids, while White Offerings could have been lifted straight off 2003 classic Sing The Sorrow, such is its urgency and power. In turn, the glittery ambience of Snow Cats and Feed From The Floor have their hearts in 2006’s Decemberunderground. Basically, this is AFI’s best collection of songs in a decade, and proof that you can take a glance back to move forwards.

Merlin stepped into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.