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AFI top the short list of modern-day hardcore saviors. After starting out in the early '90s as another bouncy, Northern California pop-punk band, they released Black Sails in the Sunset in 1999, their fourth full-length and a substantial darkening of their sound. Later albums, like the platinum-selling Sing the Sorrow and 2006's Decemberunderground, are ambitious, Goth-punk tours de force, combining pummeling rhythms, jarring guitar and tortured vocals with defiantly complex arrangements. Part of a growing prog-punk movement that includes Coheed and Cambria, Angels and Airwaves and Avenged Sevenfold, AFI is worshipped by a black-clad fanbase known as the "the Despair Faction," which has crowned them kings of the Warped Tour nation.

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