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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 14 October 2003
When you're playing a style of music that doesn't really fit anywhere, you run a risk. You're challenging people to leave their niche, to leave their predetermined ideas of what they're supposed to like. Luckily, we have a lot of people who just focus on the music and appreciate us for what we are. So we get fans from all different genres of music, the jocks, the spooky kids, skaters, college kids, punk rockers, hardcore kids, metal kids, all that" – Davey Havok
Ambience. Boom. An Echo. Ambience. Boom. Echo. Boom. Echo. Boom. Echo. Synth Tune Kicks In. Boom, Drums, chanting, bells chime and the gothic plea cries out ‘Nothing From Nowhere I’m No One At All, Radiate, Recognise one silent call as we all form one dark flame… INCINERATE. Love your hate, your faith lost. You are now one of us’.
And thus goes the opening to the most under publicised, most deserving, most amazing album of the year which spans 1 hour 3 minutes and 39 seconds. This band is by no means the kindest on the ear. Davey’s voice is hugely powerful, but slightly whiny and perhaps a little too hardcore at times for some, but certainly with the variety of uses to which he puts his voice, speaking, singing, screaming, whispering, there is a little something for everyone, except maybe people who refuse to appreciate anything that isn’t in the top ten, most of which is only there because it is manufactured rubbish which is promoted simply by the money pumped into them, the positive press etc. This is a fact which Davey himself points out in the quote which tops this page. AFI are a band who have spent over a decade on the underground circuit, getting whatever they get solely from the sheer quality of their music (although their earlier stuff isn’t so accessible until you really get into the AFI sound, which is displayed in every form on this album. You have new styles showing through with the electronica/techno breakdown of ‘Death Of Seasons’, or the moody number that is ‘Silver And Cold’, while still remaining faithful with tracks like ‘Bleed Black’ with chord transitions that’d knock your grandma dead. The lyrics are another powerful strong point of the album. The tenth track is so packed with metaphors such as ‘All the colours upon leaving will turn to grey’ suggesting that no matter how hard one tries to differ and be an individual, or be a colour, we all end up dead, or a shade of grey, and thus it may not be worth quite what you think to be ‘different’ from the crowd. A little bit of blending can be a good thing. In fact this particular metaphor leads very nicely to the following track ‘the leaving song’, a story of a man who has gone out of his way, and been labelled and ostracised for it. Something that many people can relate to at some stage in their lives. The song goes as follows, accompanied by a single acoustic guitar:
Walked away, heard them say
"Poison hearts will never change, walk away again"
Turned away in disgrace
Felt the chill upon my face cooling from within
It's hard to notice gleaming from the sky
When you're staring at the cracks
It's hard to notice what is passing by with eyes lowered
You... walked away, heard them say
"Poisoned hearts will never change, walk away again"
All the cracks will lead right to me
And all the cracks will crawl right through me
All the cracks, they lead right to me
And all the cracks will crawl right through me, and I fell apart
As I... walked away, heard them say
"Poisoned hearts will never change"
Walked away again
Turned away in disgrace
Felt the chill upon my face cooling from within
This is a song, which is both downbeat but beautiful, slow yet catchy. Once again not for the narrow-minded mainstreamers, but definitely an amazing song.
The final track on the album ‘…but home is nowhere’, which is a good note to end it on, if a little disappointing in comparison to the rest of the album (but is improved on fantastically by the hidden 10 minute bonus track ‘this Time Imperfect’). However if you are lucky enough to live in the UK you find yourself with two more tracks, ‘Synthesthesia’ and ‘Now The World’. Both of which once again raise the standard of modern music even higher. In fact, everything about this album raises the standards. It is very much a certain type of music and not for everyone to adore, but it is an album which a hater of guitar music can listen to and say ‘Well that wasn’t as bad as a thought’. Clearly, this is an album that deserves to be in many more HI-FI’s shelves than it has been on since it’s release in March 2003, and if you’ve never heard these guys before, you will not be disappointed, even for having to part with £15, in fact, I truly believe that it is the best £15 I have ever spent. In fact, I would have gladly paid more. I would have traded every other CD I own just to sing the sorrows along with Davey, Jade, Hunter and Adam. Lost, confused, bored even? Buy this Album.
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on 5 September 2003
After seeing afi live at reading this year their music began really sink into me. I already owned 'sing the sorrow' and loved it, however, after seeing them live you realise the incredible sincerity of both afi and their fanbase, bordering on a cult following. As you listen to opening track 'miseria cantare' picture a stage obscured by smoke and as the drums rise to a climax and a thousand people chant 'Love, your hate, Your, faith lost, You are now one of us' as Davey Havoc vocals soar gloriously above them. Which brings me onto the album. Starting good and getting better 'sing the sorrow' is a beautiful creation. With songs such as 'the great disapointment', '...but home is nowhere' and, for me, stand out secret track 'this time imperfect' afi have done the impossible and equalled or bettered the excellent 'the art of drowning'. With intricate lyrics and melodie rising to anthemic choruses 'sing the sorrow' is and album about the sadness of life, about grey and black, of death and all that is beautiful yet horrible in this world. It is about sharing the sadness to create something greater and strangly enough is incredibly uplifting. Now go out, buy it, and send hate mail to evanescence for being fakes.
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on 9 April 2006
Sing the Sorrow is my first AFI album and I will never regret buying it! Funnily enough I first heard of them when they had a bonus track of "Head like a Hole" on the GTA: San Andreas soundtrack, so I looked them up, bought STS and well, the rest is history baby!!
DEFINITELY get Sing the Sorrow, it's a stunning, fast and motivated album that will give you the chills! Every track is memorable, right down from the high-energy pitch of Paper Airplanes to the chilling mood in Death of Seasons. STS is an album you CANNOT afford to miss out on!!
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on 11 March 2003
6th album maybe, but 1st under their new record label, and the sheer quality that "sing the sorrow" oozes should not only reassure the guys at dreamworks that they made an A-grade decision, but also go a darn long way to dispelling any doubts those "hardcore" fans screaming "sell-out" seem to have.
With the possible exception of the first two, AFI always surprise with their latest album, exploring different ways of upping the tempo and taking their unique sound to the next level. To this end, sts in no way disappoints, and the music that AFI not only produce, but live, breathe and bleed, will take your breath away.
Opening with an ever trusty short AFI chant but accompanied with some lush singing from frontman Davey Havok, sts moves on through tracks ranging from the acoustic REM-esque "the leaving song" to the more expected AFI barrage "Girls not Grey". In between are cellos, pianos, long intros, 4 minute tracks, and even sampling, all of which new roads for AFI to be taking their listeners on a musical journey along. If I would mention one negative aspect of the album, i might say how the overall instrumental quality, Jade's occasional blinding guitar solo aside, is in short, ever-so-slighlty inferior to what AFI perhaps should be producing, but Davey Havok's vocals are by far the best hes ever done, and his supremely infectious melodies will have fans humming for years.
In summary, sts is different, not necessarily superior to AFI's previous work, but certainly not inferior. This is a work of art, a bombardment of AFI's gothic punk sound, nu-metal riffage, sampling, classic rock and some of the most beautiful and powerful singing you're ever likely to hear.
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on 13 March 2003
This is AFI's long awaited 6th LP release and their first on a major label. As AFI fans know, their first 3 albums were white knuckle punk offerings, and, on their 4th LP AFI went Goth, with a much darker (but still punk) sound, producing the fantastic "Black Sails in the Sunset". They followed up with "The Art of Drowning" which for me, was a little dissapointing.
"Sing the Sorrow" is a great return for AFI...but its important to not that AFI's sound has changed yet again...this is NOT A PUNK RECORD. While undoubtedly heavy by most people's standard it doesn't have the fast viscious sound that old AFI albums had. Luckily they back it up and every song is great. Opener "Miseria Cantare" (The Beginning) sets the tone for the album, with a bell toll and the lyrics "Love! Your Hate! Your! Faith Lost! You! Are Now! One! Of Us!" "The Leaving Song Part 2", "Silver and Cold", Bleed Black" and first single "Girls Not Grey" are all great songs with shouty-Black Sails style choruses. The only 2 songs that come close to the ferocity of AFI's old albums are "Dancing Through Sunday" and "Death Of Seasons", also both fantastic tracks. These are followed by the awesome "Paper Airplanes,Makeshift Wings" the only two tracks on the album which I did not think were quite as good were "The Great Dissapointment" which sounds slightly out of place on the album and "This Celluloid Dream" which just did'nt click for me.
The last two tracks will be liked by anyone who thought "God Called In Sick Today" from Black Sails.. was a great song. "The Leaving Song" and "...but home is nowhere" fits well at the end of the album and again, are both strong songs...Two UK bonus tracks "Synthesthesia" and "Now the World" are pretty good, however not as strong as the majority of the songs on the album....after this are 2 secret songs (16 songs total on the album)..a weird untitled spoken word track with lead singer Davey Havok, what sounds like a young girl and what sounds like The Hunchback of Notredame :) after this comes closer "This Time Imperfect"...this is easily one of the best songs AFI have written...I can only describe it as completely enchanting on every level...
No doubt Punk purists will accuse AFI of "selling out" or "going mainstream" but AFI never confessed to being a "Punk" band in the first place, and it seems like the majority or true AFI fans love this masterpiece of an album, while its not totally perfect, it comes very close, Davey's vocals are clearer, proving he can really sing. I can only give the highest reccomendation, some of the ending songs are so beautiful I was close to tears..
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on 18 March 2003
From the moment the opening track 'Miseria Cantare' kicks in, you know this ride will be special. Featuring subtle electronic elements it sets you up to surprised, astonished, and blown away.
Over the course of the rest of the album you will find yourself surprised by electronic elements (the electronic beat appearing in Death of Seasons being a good example), emotionally moved by epic pieces such as Silver and Cold, or simply desperate to experience to the inevitable raging moshpit from songs such as Bleed Black, Dancing Through Sunday, and Girl's Not Grey.
There's not a bad track on the album, and it all ends in epic style with the superb hidden track 'This Time Imperfect'.
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on 16 February 2017
I read about AFI and thought i'd give this a go. I was expecting something beautiful and atmospheric and that it would be something special. When the cd came i looked at the lyrics and thought they seemed poetic and atmospheric so i was looking forward to hearing it. But when i did i was rather disappointed. To begin with, there's nothing wring with my ears but i found it very hard to actually hear what the singer is saying. His voice is either buried or indistinct or he's screaming so he may as well be singing about having beans on toast for his tea. Aside from that his voice isnt very good in my opinion and also the whole cd was very samey. It didnt affect me emotionally at all. There's an interesting track near the end with people's voices just speaking and good lyrics. But unfortunately you can hardly pick out a word because the voices are so buried. Very disappointing. At least for me.
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on 19 May 2005
A Fire Inside (afi) have incredibly evolved from fast and agressive punk-rockers into poetic hard rock artists. Sing the Sorrow is by far afi's best release. All songs sound incredible and the music is even more advanced with amazing guitar, bass an drum parts, not to mention Davey's harmonic voice. The album boasts the 3 singles "Girl's Not Grey" "The Leaving Song Pt, II" and "Silver and Cold" which are all very good but are still not the best on the album in my opinion. Songs such as "Dancing Through Sunday" and "...But Home Is Nowhere" truly amazed me and all songs have meaning with truly poetic lyrics. Synthesthesia and Now The World are UK bonus tracks and are probably my favourite on the album. As another bonus there is the truly amazing hidden track "This Time Imperfect" which will not dissapoint. If you like afi then this is a must have an I Highly Recomend It.
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on 1 January 2006
Slightly less than underground, maybe, but this album; not anywhere near their debut, is absolutely astounding. This was the first of their albums that I bought, and it didn't leave my permanent playlist for a good 6 months. Where as their previous albums rest more on the side of Alternative and Punk, this album appeals to a wider audience with their Punk Rock sound that breaks away from their contemporaries such as Rancid. My personal highlight being 'Dancing Through Sunday', their amazing riffs and slightly out-there vocals and lyrics contributed by Davey Havok, will truly blow your mind. From thrash and screams in songs such as 'Death of Seasons', to their more rock-like singles 'The Leaving Song Pt. II' and 'Girl's Not Grey', to their haunting ballad in the form of 'The Leaving Song', this album in completely unforgettable, and if you are considering buying an A.F.I. album, this is definitely the one to start with as it doesn't grow on you tremendously; if you love it first time, you'll love it forever, and if not, then it's unlikely that you will like it at later hearings. Nevertheless, this record is just beginning to expose the depths of A.F.I.'s talents, and I eagerly await their new album to see what they have done with their new-found depths.
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on 12 March 2003
Man, this album owns. AFI have always been a band who have constantly evolved their sound over each album (just take a listen to Very Proud of Ya, compared to The Art of Drowning), but Sing the Sorrow is a massive leap, and it works a dream.
This album is a far more complex one than anything before, lyrically it is fairly similar i suppose to the Art of Drowning, although the music has evolved onto a higher plane, with techno breaks, strings and pianos used liberally throughout. I would advise you to try and pick up the version with the extra tracks - definitely worth it.
This has to be AFIs most coherent and focussed album yet, for once, Davey Havok's voice compliments the music and doesn't act against it - something notable in earlier releases. This is their equivalent of Refused's "The Shape Of Punk To Come" - believe the hype.
Sell your mother to get this album.
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