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Black Sails in the Sunset is the fourth studio album by American rock band AFI. It was released on May 18, 1999 through Nitro Records. With the addition of guitarist Jade Puget as a permanent member, it is the first AFI album to feature the current line-up of the band.

Black Sails in the Sunset
AFI - Black Sails in the Sunset cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 18, 1999 (1999-05-18)[1]
AFI chronology
Black Sails EP
Black Sails in the Sunset
All Hallow's E.P.
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]
Alternative Press4.5/5 stars[3]
Punknews.org5/5 stars[4]



While Black Sails in the Sunset is a hardcore punk album,[1] it also is a horror punk album.[2]

Critical receptionEdit

Black Sails in the Sunset was received well by critics. Alternative Press gave the album four-and-a-half out of five stars, commenting that "with new guitarist Jade Puget adding a sense of brooding, thespian eloquence to the disc's shadowy post-hardcore, AFI all but reinvented themselves," and "With longer, deeper, richer, more complex compositions than they've ever attempted before, Black Sails tackles everything from brooding hardcore ... to shimmering balladry..." The publication also went as far as to say that Black Sails is "their first epic."[3]

Decoy Music reviewer Aaron Yarborough praised Davey Havok's lyrical contribution to the album, commending his efforts to "find himself," saying "the way he expresses how he feels is pure poetry." Yarborough concluded by recommending the album to "anyone who likes heavy punk."[5]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics written by Davey Havok; all music composed by AFI.

1."Strength Through Wounding"1:33
2."Porphyria Cutanea Tarda"2:07
4."Malleus Maleficarum"4:01
5."Narrative of Soul Against Soul"2:29
6."Clove Smoke Catharsis"4:38
7."The Prayer Position"3:27
8."No Poetic Device"2:16
9."The Last Kiss"3:02
10."Weathered Tome"2:12
11."At a Glance"4:00
12."God Called in Sick Today"3:24
13."Midnight Sun" (hidden track)3:04
  • Due to a misprint, tracks 9 and 10 were mislabeled with their titles switched. Shown here is the correct track listing.


All tracks recorded during the Black Sails sessions unless otherwise noted.

  • "Lower It" is featured as track 7 on the vinyl release of the album. It was eventually re-released on the AFI retrospective compilation.
  • "Who Knew?" is featured on the Black Sails EP. It is included as a bonus track on the Japanese release of the album.
  • "Transference" is featured on the No Time to Kill compilation. It is the only song by AFI to contain lead vocals by Hunter Burgan, which can be heard during the chorus of the song.
  • "The Chicken Song" is featured as a hidden track on the No Time to Kill compilation. It features Burgan playing the piano and Havok and Puget sharing lead vocal duties. The band often jokingly deny the existence of the song.[citation needed]
  • "Weight of Words" was known to be recorded during the Black Sails sessions, but has yet to be released.[citation needed]


Credits adapted from liner notes.[6]

  • Adam Carson – drums, percussion, backing vocals
  • AFI – producer, backing vocals
  • Andy Ernst – engineer, mixing
  • Alan Forbes – cover illustration
  • Davey Havok – lead vocals, lyrics
  • Dexter Holland – backing vocals
  • Hunter Burgan – bass, keyboards, programming, backing vocals
  • Thad LaRue – assistant engineer
  • Gabe Morford – photography
  • Jade Puget – lead guitar, programming, keyboards, piano, synthesizer
  • Nick 13 - rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Jamie Reilly – layout Design
  • Engineered and mixed at The Art of Ears, Hayward, CA


  1. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. "Black Sails in the Sunset". All Media Network. AllMusic. Retrieved June 18, 2004.
  2. ^ a b Yancey, Bryne (October 22, 2013). "Burials (2013)".
  3. ^ a b Heller, Jason (June 22, 2010). "AFI Black Sails In The Sunset". Alternative Press.
  4. ^ god_called_in_sick (September 13, 2002). "Black Sails In The Sunset (1999)".
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-05-21. Retrieved 2012-03-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ Black Sails in the Sunset (Liner notes). AFI. Nitro Records. 1999. 15824-2.CS1 maint: others (link)