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Aiden

Rain in Hell

(Victory; US: 31 Oct 2006; UK: 30 Oct 2006)

AFI’s downward slide into irrelevance with their latest album Decemberunderground has thankfully not been equalled by imitators Aiden, who follow up last year’s full-length ... with an excellent EP (released on Halloween, for the record) worth of material to satisfy listeners while they catch their breath. Rain in Hell oozes a mall-goth nü-punk fusion in a somewhat predictable fashion, from the glum dispiritedness of “A Candlelight Intro” to “The Suffering”‘s chant of “Burn! Your! Friends”, but they also explode into singable, accessible choruses that don’t at all detract from the band’s self-loathing lyrics, even if it does result in some disturbing mental images: “This razorblade was meant for me / Call the angels / We’ll mutilate insanity”, lead singer wiL swoons on “We Sleep Forever”. Covers of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” and the Misfits’ “Die Die My Darling” are given sneering remakes in the band’s capable hands, and, scary pink mascara or not, the fact is that the average track here is better than one from, say, The Black Parade or Decemberunderground, and much less over the top. Rain in Hell also comes with a DVD containing a full live show, further enforcing its value as a worthwhile gem.

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