Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The most melodically acute distillation of that style yet.
  2. Even as the guys stretch and flex their songwriting muscles, they never fail to remember where they came from, instead using their past work as the foundation to their essential growth.
  3. Both accessible and artistic, Decemberunderground is destined to give AFI that larger mainstream audience they missed out on the last time around.
  4. Singer Davey Havok continues to impress with his range and ability to quickly turn from a throat-searing scream to a bare-boned croon, as does the entire band's consistently exciting approach to songwriting and their music aesthetic.
  5. There is plenty to love here, so don't be surprised when you find it has become the current soundtrack to your life.
  6. Although they love drama, AFI never abandon believability here. Which means the arena-rock trappings don’t make the music feel fake -- they just make it feel more exciting than life.
  7. By mimicking the sound of every Hot Topic band crashing into one--with songs that pilfer from the Killers, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy--we have to wonder if they haven't just orchestrated their own extinction.
  8. An ambitious, enjoyable album that expands AFI's sound while retaining the bombastic, aggressive rock the band played throughout the '90s.
  9. 70
    Sung in his almost icy, stentorian cry--and outfitted with mega-choruses--the tracks feel as epic as Havok's themes. [Jul 2006, p.97]
  10. "Decemberunderground" is less cohesive than its predecessor and apes the band's influences far too obviously for musicians of this caliber. Even so, it's vastly entertaining.
  11. With a comeback pitched between the indulgent love-metal of HiM and the pubescent pop-punk of Fall Out Boy, AFI's hiatus looks increasingly less like laziness and more like a marketing masterstroke.
  12. 60
    Evident is a sizeable debt to '80s electropop. [Aug 2006, p.84]
  13. Where Sorrow is a great album, listenable front to back, Decemberunderground just has good songs. [15 Jun 2006, p.91]
  14. 60
    While Decemberunderground sounds terrific, at times Havok's dear-diary lyrics are so awkward they're almost laughable. [Jul 2006, p.81]
  15. Decemberunderground carries a distinct whiff of missed opportunities.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 123 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 88
  2. Negative: 17 out of 88
  1. Jun 7, 2011
    8
    Decemberunderground manages to balance a fine line between gaining new fans with the band's new polished production and satisfying older fansDecemberunderground manages to balance a fine line between gaining new fans with the band's new polished production and satisfying older fans with its traditionally dark and deep melodies and lyrical content. The tracks can appeal to a mainstream audience without stripping away the rawness of the depth. "Miss Murder" is perfect emo pop rock that retains their traditional punk sound, while tracks such as "Love Like Winter" and "Endlessly, She Said" are more experimental and tend to drift away from the band's originality, but still sound just as sweet. Full Review »
  2. ThomasB
    Jun 11, 2006
    10
    People like Dave J think AFI 'betrayed' them. They think they lost their hardcore edge. They think that one day they said People like Dave J think AFI 'betrayed' them. They think they lost their hardcore edge. They think that one day they said 'hey, screw punk, lets get popular and lose our integrity.' It didn't happen like that. Ever since the beginning of their careers they had been constantly progressing, and AFI were definitely not pure punk in the year 2000. Songs like 'ever and a day', '6 to 8', and especially 'Morningstar' were definite signs that they were gonna change in the future (incorporate more singing, less heavy, more melodic, etc). To say that AFI should have remained a punk band is a selfish and inaccurate statement, the fact that they are at this level now was necessary for their survival. As a matter of fact, there are many open minded AFI fans who have listened to them for nearly a decade and still enjoy them, and embrace their progression. Sing The Sorrow was a massive improvement on many levels, and they faced a huge task when they had finished touring. They spent nearly two years working on their new CD, and in my opinion, it was definitely worth it. I keep enjoying different things about the album every time I hear it. The emotional intensity of Love Like Winter and The Missing Frame truly stand out. When hearing tracks like Prelude 12/21 and 37mm for the first time one will be very confused. But after hearing them many times I have a new appreciation for them. Also, when a song like Kiss and Control might sound over dramatic at first, after several listens you begin to appreciate the song for what it is. The heavier moments of Affliction and Kill Caustic are very refreshing. They add in another stunning closer with Endlessly, She Said. In conclusion, if you sit and listen to this album constantly comparing it to Black Sails in the Sunset, or even Sing The Sorrow, you will dislike it. But new AFI fan or old, if you listen to this album several times with an open mind, you may find it their most progressive, cohesive, and enjoyable work yet. Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2013
    7
    One of AFI's weakest albums musicality wise, but remains very unique and superb lyrically.
    Adds alot of electronic sounds which is not seen
    One of AFI's weakest albums musicality wise, but remains very unique and superb lyrically.
    Adds alot of electronic sounds which is not seen in much of AFI's music (which later started Blaqk Audio for members Davey and Jade a little after this album)

    Don't get how AFI is mediocre though when I'm sure 98% of the trolls on here listen to Nickleback, Foo Fighters, or any of THOSE mediocre bands.
    Full Review »