AFI - 'Snow Cats' / 'White Offerings'

AFI has been at it for over two decades now. They've come a long way from the hardcore punk band they were back when they started, though. Every album since the mid-2000s from this band has been a new evolution for them, exploring different elements and styles.

Their tenth album AFI (The Blood Album) will be out on January 20, and ahead of that they've released the first tastes of new music from the record: the songs 'Snow Cats' and 'White Offerings.' Both tracks are quite different from each other, showing off different moods from the record.

'Snow Cats' is the emotional hardhitter of the two. The song's about being caught in the crossroads of expectation and personal need. The chorus sees Davey Havok chanting "I'll wait for you another night (As you like) / Dressed in Himalayan white," somberly admitting that he will submit to the wants whoever he's trying to impress of satisfy, but only when he's ready. The guitar work is phenomenal on the track, the choruses powerful but not over the top, a sweet descending powerchord line repeating at the end of each chorus. The guitar solo delivered by Jade Puget is short and sweet but packed with emotion.

'White Offerings' is the rockier track, anthemic and dramatic in the same way Burials was, but with a more emotional attachment. Havok sings powerfully above a confident riff, driven powerfully in the choruses while chugging with a slowly released anger in the verses. It's heavier than a lot of the band's songs have been over the last few efforts, the riffs big and evil like they've never seen anyway. The bridge angrily chants "I can feel your color changing" in reference to someone who went against the narrator after they confided in him, eerie choir harmonies sounding behind the brooding vocals.

AFI's next record may be one of their best records yet. It's almost like the natural progression of the Sing The Sorrow and Decemberunderground eras - the songs share the same emotion and passion of those records, as well as the sounds. They show growth as a band while still acknowledging the significance of the past. The Blood Album has our attention.

'Snow Cats' Rating: 85 / 100

'White Offerings' Rating: 78 / 100