Though initially formed as a straight-edge hardcore band in the small town of Ukiah, California in the early ‘90s, AFI has undergone a variety of changes in its two decades together. The band was propelled by the success of 2003’s Sing The Sorrow and 2006’s Decemberunderground, giving the band mainstream popularity and the opportunity for a side project for vocalist Davey Havok and guitarist Jade Puget, who pursued their interests in goth-tinged electronics in Blaqk Audio. Now that pair has formed yet another band called XTRMST—one that, when it comes to genre tags, has a lot of similarities to the AFI of yore.
In addition to taking a defiant stance against vowels, XTRMST is hardline about drugs (and probably animal products, given Havok’s veganism) in its four-song demo. There’s a “Firestorm” level of purity to Havok’s screams, as “Exterminate” uses “X-X-X-terminate” freely, with processed drums punctuating Puget’s metalcore riffs throughout. The XTRMST demo can be heard below, while claims of “No, seriously, Black Sails In The Sunset is an amazing record” can be heard from this writer’s mouth whenever there’s an announcement of something new from AFI.