You have to take the opinions of many other reviewers here with a hefty pinch of salt - many of them are fans of the "old" AFI, back in their punk/hardcore days. Nothing wrong at all with that, but it completely skews their view of AFI's new releases.
Many old fans hate Sing the Sorrow, which I feel personally is pretty foolish. Sing the Sorrow is a classic album, easily one of my top 10 albums of all time. It has a feel all of its own, with beautifully dark lyrics and sweeping melodies. In one word - brilliant. And a natural evolution for the band.
When I bought the new album, I was expecting an effort that paled compared to Sing the Sorrow. I had heard the single "Miss Murder" and was not particularly impressed. I bought the album anyway, and was quite simply blown away.
This album is seriously good. Davey Havok's lyrics are as poetic and absorbing as ever, the melodies are great and there are some rousing choruses. Furthermore, there are some seriously beautful moments on this album, for example the guitar interlude halfway through "Affliction" which is quite simply gorgeous. The best songs, for me, are The Missing Frame (lovely, haunting chorus), Summer Shudder (awesome guitar work) and Love Like Winter (again, totally electric chorus).
Some people have complained about the amount of synth, but I think this is an exaggeration and that it really adds to the album. As for the idea that this album is an identity crisis - another exaggeration. Sure, it is hard to define what genre this album falls under, but only because it is so dynamic.
If you loved Sing the Sorrow, you should love this too.