"Decemberunderground is a time and a place. It is where the cold can huddle together in darkness and isolation" - That's what AFI lead singer Davey Havok had to say when asked what the album name meant. And the band did a great job of creating that dark atmosphere they were going for on this album. It showcases pain,struggles,and at times, desperation throughout the album.(Check out the album artwork below,isn't it weirdly awesome??)
DU is the 7th studio album by alternative and post hardcore band AFI, and was released in 2006. (fun fact for you,this was the first album I ever actually bought,got it the day it came out). The album is the band only chart topper on the Billboard 200,reaching the peak by selling 182,000 copies in its first week. Its AFI's best album in my opinion,with Sing the Sorrow being a close second and Crash Love being third. The album has since gone platinum,selling over 1 million copies in the United States.
The album tells tales of misery,torment,and many other topics,and does so in a musically entertaining way,on most of the tracks. Lets start with my criticisms of the album first. There aren't too many,other than the album seems to 'drag its feet' at times,if you will. Tracks like "Kiss and Control", "Affliction", and "The Killing Lights" grow boring to me as a listener.
Now the negative is far outweighed by the positive on DU. I love the guitar work on the album,and Havok's vocals as they "sing the sorrow" (haha) in each track. I also like the screamed vocals in "Kill Caustic", the second track on the album. The band did a great job picking singles for the album for the most part, as "Miss Murder", "Summer Shudder", and "Love Like Winter" are my 3 favorite songs on the album. "Miss Murder" to this day is one of the greatest songs I have ever heard. It's the song that introduced me to AFI. It was 2006,and I was on my dad's computer looking at the top modern rock charts (now known as alternative songs chart) on Billboard's website. I saw the song had jumped for the #22 position to #9.(dont ask me how I remember that lol) I remember thinking wow, this must be a great song to jump that many spots in a week. I looked it up,and fell in love.
Other favorites on DU are "Prelude 12/21", "37mm" and "Endlessly She Said". To this day, "Prelude" is still my favorite album intro of all time. The way the song builds up and kicks off the album with lyrics of pain and anguish is simply a thing of musical ecstasy. The eerie vibe it gives off with the pounding drums in the background goes unsurpassed.
Overall, the album was a great followup to "Sing the Sorrow" and was AFI's last commercially successful album, as Crash Love flopped and only sold 52,000 copies in its first week. The direction the band took for Decemberunderground was a wise choice,and this album still holds up and proves itself to be worthy of a listen almost 6 years after its initial release.
Lasting Value: High
Lyrics: Sad and full of pain,but creative and well written.
Tracks you have to have: "Prelude 12/21", "Miss Murder", "Love Like Winter", "Summer Shudder"
Thanks for reading guys!