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AFI - Decemberunderground cover.jpg
Studio album by AFI
Released June 6, 2006
Recorded Conway Studios, Los Angeles;
Sage and Sound Recording, Los Angeles
Length 45:06
Label Interscope
Producer Jerry Finn
AFI chronology
Sing the Sorrow
Crash Love
Singles from Decemberunderground
  1. "Miss Murder"
    Released: April 3, 2006
  2. "Love Like Winter"
    Released: September 26, 2006
  3. "The Missing Frame"
    Released: February 27, 2007

Decemberunderground is the seventh studio album by American rock band AFI. The album was released on June 6, 2006 through Interscope Records. The album was supported by three singles, "Miss Murder", "Love Like Winter" and "The Missing Frame".


Described as emo[1][2] and post-hardcore,[3] Decemberunderground features elements of electronic music, new wave, industrial, gothic rock, punk rock, hardcore punk[1] and synthpop.[4][5] Ed Thompson of IGN compared the album to bands such as U2, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode and Alphaville.[5]

Regarding the album's title, lead singer Davey Havok said, "Decemberunderground is a time and a place. It is where the cold can huddle together in darkness and isolation."[6]


The album's lead single "Miss Murder" was given a thirty-second preview on LIVE 105 on April 11, 2006, and due to an overwhelming response, Interscope Records gave the station permission to play the entire track. The full track listing of the album was announced on April 25, 2006.[7] Decemberunderground was released on May 29, in the United Kingdom, June 6, in the United States, and June 16 in Mexico. Customers who pre-ordered the album at special pre-listening events received a CD of the "Miss Murder" single, which also contained a cover of INXS's song "Don't Change". The first pressing of the CD in the United States contained a limited edition insert with one of four band member portraits.[8] The album was re-released on November 7, 2006, on 6 "icy clear" 7" vinyl. The individual record sleeves featured band member portraits, as well as a portrait of the band's manager Smith Puget.[9]

In March 2007, the band went on a brief west coast tour of the U.S.[10]

AFI held their last concert in promotion of the album at Download Fest in October 2007. Havok and Puget then began to promote their side-project Blaqk Audio before beginning work on the eighth AFI album, Crash Love.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Blender 5/5 stars[11]
Entertainment Weekly B+[12]
Exclaim! (favorable)[13]
IGN 8.9/10[5]
Kerrang! (3/5)
NME 6/10 stars[4]
Robert Christgau C+[14]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [15]
Stylus C+[16]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[17]
Alternative Press 4.5/5 stars[18] 4/5 stars[19]

Commercial performance[edit]

It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling 182,000 copies in its first week of being released.[20] The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on August 30, 2006 and has sold at least 993,000 copies in the United States as of September 2009.[21][22] It eventually went platinum in April 2013.[6]

Critical response[edit]

Decemberunderground received generally positive reviews. The review aggregator Metacritic awarded the album a 72 out of 100, based on 15 reviews.[23]

Entertainment Weekly awarded the album a grade of B+, and called it "the most melodically acute distillation of that style yet,"[12] unlike their previous studio album Sing the Sorrow, which they awarded a D. AllMusic awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars, saying the "core of AFI's sound never strays too far from what listeners have grown to love about them in the first place."[1]

Rolling Stone awarded the album 3 out of 5 stars, one less star than their review of Sing the Sorrow, and claimed that "something isn't right in the world of AFI," because of their pop-rock musical structure "that would be at home on the soundtrack to the next Spider-Man movie".[15]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by AFI, except where noted. 

No. Title Length
1. "Prelude 12/21"   1:39
2. "Kill Caustic"   2:34
3. "Miss Murder"   3:26
4. "Summer Shudder"   3:06
5. "The Interview"   4:16
6. "Love Like Winter"   2:45
7. "Affliction"   5:28
8. "The Missing Frame"   4:40
9. "Kiss and Control"   4:18
10. "The Killing Lights"   4:04
11. "37mm"   3:55
12. "Endlessly, She Said"   4:28
Total length:


Credits for Decemberunderground adapted from the album liner notes.

  • Keith Armstrong – assistant engineer
  • Keith Barney – additional background vocals
  • Adam Carson – drums
  • "Precious" Steve Cunningham – additional background vocals
  • The Despair Faction – additional background vocals
  • Ryan Downey – additional background vocals
  • Mike Fasano – drum tech
  • Jerry Finn – producer, mixing, additional background vocals
  • Jason Gossman – assistant engineer
  • Nikishia Grier – additional background vocals
  • Ronan Harris – additional programming and keyboards
  • Davey Havok – lead vocals
  • Hunter – bass guitar, additional programming and keyboards
  • Ted Jensen – mastering
  • Dimitar Krnjaic – assistant engineer
  • Chris Lord-Alge – mixing
  • Dave McCracken – additional programming and keyboards
  • Joe McGrath – recording, additional background vocals
  • Kevin Mills – assistant engineer
  • Nick 13 – additional background vocals
  • Jade Puget – guitar, programming, keyboards
  • Gavin Rattmann – additional background vocals
  • Ralph Saenz – additional background vocals
  • Jeff Sagud – additional background vocals
  • Brandan Schieppati – additional background vocals
  • Jacquelyn Simley – additional background vocals
  • Dan Under – additional background vocals
  • Seth Waldmann – assistant engineer
  • Eric Weaver – assistant engineer
  • Wedge – additional background vocals
  • Ryan Wilson – additional background vocals
  • Luke Wood – additional background vocals

Bonus tracks, B-sides, unreleased tracks, etc.[edit]

All tracks recorded during the Decemberunderground sessions unless otherwise noted.

  • "Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37" was recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions, and was eventually released on the MySpace Records: Volume 1 compilation and as a bonus track on the UK and Australian editions of Decemberunderground.
  • "Head Like a Hole" is a Nine Inch Nails cover and was included on the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack. It was re-released on the UK, Australian, German, and Japanese editions of Decemberunderground.
  • "Don't Change" is an INXS cover and was released on the "Miss Murder" 7" vinyl disc and the Japanese edition of Decemberunderground.
  • "Jack the Ripper" is a Morrissey cover and was available as a bonus track on the iTunes pre-ordered edition and the UK and Australian editions of the "Love Like Winter" single.
  • "On the Arrow" was available as a bonus track on the iTunes pre-ordered edition and the Australian edition of the "Love Like Winter" single.
  • "Fallen Like the Sky" was available as a Target bonus track download and available on the 7" vinyl disc box set edition of Decemberunderground.
  • "Carcinogen Crush" was recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions, but did not make the album. It was eventually re-recorded and available as a downloadable track on the video game Guitar Hero: Legends of Rock and as a digital single on December 4, 2007.
  • "Fainting Spells" was recorded during the Decemberunderground sessions, and was eventually released on the deluxe edition of Crash Love.
  • "Then I'll Be Home" can be heard at the end of the track "Affliction".
  • "The View From Here" was recorded during the Decemberunderground sessions, but remains unreleased.

Chart positions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Apar, Corey (2006). "allmusic ((( Decemberunderground > Review ))):". Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  2. ^ Jamie Jones (September 18, 2015). "Can You Name The Classic Emo Album By The Cover Art?". Buzzfeed. 
  3. ^ Yancey, Bryne (October 22, 2013). "AFI - Burials". 
  4. ^ a b Dan Silver. "AFI: Decemberunderground - Album Reviews -". 
  5. ^ a b c Thompson, Ed. "AFI - Decemberunderground - Music review at IGN". 
  6. ^ a b "AFI Official Biography". AFI Official Website. Retrieved 2006-05-27. 
  7. ^ "AFI Reveals Track Listing". Music News. Retrieved 2006-05-27. 
  8. ^ AFI | Official Site
  9. ^ [7] Archived November 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "AFI announce West Coast tour". Alternative Press. January 25, 2007. Retrieved August 8, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Decemberunderground review". 
  12. ^ a b Tom Sinclair (2006-06-05). "DECEMBERUNDERGOUND - Music -". Entertainment Weekly. 
  13. ^ Ariana Rock. "AFI - December Underground". 
  14. ^ Robert Christgau. "Robert Christgau: Album: AFI: December Underground". 
  15. ^ a b Strauss, Neil (2006). "Rolling Stone : Decemberunderground : Review". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2006-06-17. 
  16. ^ "Decemberunderground review". 
  17. ^ Scott Shetler. "AFI: Decemberunderground rewvie". 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Paul, Aubin (June 6, 2006). "AFI - Decemberunderground". 
  20. ^ "AFI Burns Brightly With No. 1 Debut". Billboard. 2006-06-14. 
  21. ^ "Gold and Platinum Database Search". Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  22. ^ Wood, Mikael. "AFI Revs Up The Rock On 'Crash Course'". Billboard September 14, 2009.
  23. ^ AFI: Decemberunderground (2006): Reviews
  24. ^ a b c d e f "AFI Burns Brightly With No. 1 Debut". 2006.
  25. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2006 Albums". Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  26. ^ "Search Results for AFI". Recording Industry Association of America. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Taking the Long Way by Dixie Chicks
Billboard 200 number-one album
June 18, 2006 – June 24, 2006
Succeeded by
The Big Bang by Busta Rhymes