The Art Of Drowning

So soon after making the major breakthrough that is 1999’s Black Sails In The Sunset, AFI found themselves maintaining their newfound artistic side with The Art Of Drowning. It's dark, sure, but at the same time, the band made their first blatant stab at mainstream radio play with "The Days Of The Phoenix," an admittedly catchy blast of choked-back bile and skipping riffs that livens up the album, which also gets shaken up by the churning, contemplative "6 To 8" and the extended "Morningstar," the sequel of sorts to "God Called In Sick Today" from Black Sails. Singer Davey Havok's lyrics verge even deeper into goth-kid notebook poetry, but he manages to infuse that formula with freshness and, yes, even fun. A small step sideways rather than forward, The Art Of Drowning is still a solid addition to the catalog of a band who refuse to play it safeand somehow make it pay off.