"My whole life is a dark room. One. Big. Dark. Room." These immortal words, taken from cult 1988 film Beetle Juice's goth heroine, Lydia Deitz, feature in The Despair Factor, the penultimate track on AFI's fifth album. Their inclusion also helps to underline the ethos of the San Franciscans' increasingly superb music - that of sadness at the dominance of mainstream culture and a determined belief in individualism. Elsewhere, tracks such as the thrilling Days Of The Phoenix convey feelings of joy and defiance, with it's ecstatic refrain: "Nothing could hurt us then/Nothing Could Change us then/Everyone was dancing". After a decent start and average middle, the record really comes into it's own with the last five tracks, as darkness descends and perfect bursts of melodic punk rock like Wester and 6 to 8 build towards Morningstar, a cleverly structured and stunningly emotional finish. The Art Of Drowning is another step onwards for punk's most progressive band.