This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Goth-loving punks AFI — aka A Fire Inside — are the latest veteran underground band to make the leap to a major label. And, sadly, they’re also the latest to stumble on the first rung of the big-league ladder.
Sing The Sorrow, their debut effort for DreamWorks, is a textbook example of an album by a band that’s simply trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong: Some of these dozen anthemic tracks are as good as anything they’ve written. Unfortunately, most of them have been stretched so long and thin you can practically see though them. Then, to make matters worse, they’ve been smothered under layers of meaningless Bob Ezrin-style sonic filler — spooky sound effects, grandiose choral vocals, relentlessly swirling keyboards, clanging church bells, whispered incantations, you name it — by producer Butch Vig and guitarist Jade Puget, who seems to have supplanted singer Davey Havok as the band’s dominant force. Pity. If there’s anything Sing The Sorrow desperately needs, it’s a little more Havok.