This Means War (Attack Attack! album)

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This Means War
Studio album by Attack Attack!
Released January 17, 2012
Genre Metalcore
Length 36:24
Label Rise
Producer Caleb Shomo[1]
Attack Attack! chronology
Attack Attack!
(2010)
This Means War
(2012)
Singles from This Means War
  1. "The Motivation"
    Released: December 20, 2011
  2. "The Wretched"
    Released: January 12, 2012
  3. "The Revolution"
    Released: July 1, 2012

This Means War is the third and final studio album by American metalcore band Attack Attack!.[2] It was released on January 17, 2012 through Rise Records. Initially scheduled to be produced by John Feldmann (who previously produced tracks for the band's reissue of their self-titled album), production was instead handled by frontman Caleb Shomo in his home studio,[1] making it the band's first album not to be produced by Joey Sturgis.

It is the only album to feature Caleb Shomo on both clean and unclean vocals, after the departure of former clean vocalist and rhythm guitarist Johnny Franck. It is the last album to feature Caleb Shomo and bassist John Holgado, who departed only months before the group disbanded completely.

The album received generally mixed reviews from music critics, with some commending it as an improvement over the band's previous material, while others criticized its use of formula. It has since become the band's most commercial successful album to date, peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 17,000 copies in its first week.

Background[edit]

On November 14, 2011, it was announced that This Means War would be released on January 17, 2012. Along with this news they also posted dates for the "This Means War Tour" with supporting acts The Ghost Inside, Sleeping with Sirens, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, and Dream On, Dreamer.[3] On November 20, 2011, Attack Attack! filmed a music video for the song "The Wretched."[4] On December 13, 2011, the first single titled "The Motivation" was streamed on YouTube and was released to buy on December 20, 2011.

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 60%[5]
Review scores
Source Rating
About.com 2/5 stars[6]
AbsolutePunk (40%)[7]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[8]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[9]
Bloody Disgusting Slightly favorable[10]
Consequence of Sound 1.5/5 stars[11]
Kerrang! 3/5 stars[12]
Punknews.org 2.5/5 stars[13]
The Washington Post Slightly favorable[14]
Metal Hammer 7/10 stars[5]

This Means War received mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, the album has a score of 60 out of 100, indicating "mixed or average reviews based on 6 critics".[5] Gregory Heaney of Allmusic gave the album a 3.5/5 rating and said "Attack Attack! strip down their sound and focus on heaviness, making This Means War their hardest hitting and most coherent record to date" and continued "by not trying to force an evolution, Attack Attack! have managed to actually push their sound in a new and interesting direction".[8] Alternative Press noted that "This Means War exhibits admirable growth, but if Attack Attack! radically purged themselves of all their pop predilections in favor of more savage riffage and chattering electronics, they’d set the bar so high, they’d be touring with the Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge’s Kurt Ballou would wear their shirts onstage."[9] Allison Stewart of The Washington Post noted that "Ohio-based Attack Attack!’s main claim to fame is its alleged authorship of crabcore, a terrible, horrible, no-good metal subgenre in which band members squat-walk like crabs", and while the band members are "viewed as insufficiently ferocious scenesters by hard-rock purists", Attack Attack! "changed things up slightly on its latest outing, a pop-metal concept album that places most of its emphasis on metal."[14] Stewart concluded that "Although Attack Attack! has never sounded tighter or smarter, this latest effort will never find an audience on the dance floor."[14] Other reviews were much more negative. About.com gave the album a 2 out of 5 and stated that This Means War "is stale and predictable" and lacking imagination, and that while heavy metal music should change, "it shouldn’t sound like this."[6] Sloane Daley of Punknews.org commented that while the album "is a step in the right direction for Attack Attack!", the "progress feels like it might be a band plateauing."[13] Consequence of Sound webzine was severely critical, giving the album 1.5 out of 5 stars, saying that the album was a "deluge of whining that’s lyrically incomprehensible" that "becomes sonically dull after one song."[11] Consequence of Sound continued on to say that the only sonic stamp to separate the band from similar metalcore acts are its electronic flourishes.[11]

Commercial performance[edit]

This Means War has since become the band's highest charting album to date, debuting and peaking at number 11 on the Billboard 200 and selling more than 17,000 copies in its first week.[15] It peaked at number 4 on the Rock Albums chart, number 4 on the Alternative chart, at 2 on Independent chart, and number 2 on the Hard Rock Albums charts.[16] On iTunes, it peaked at number 1 on the Rock charts[17] and charted at number 8 overall.[18] It also reached number 120 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "The Revolution"   4:11
2. "The Betrayal"   3:26
3. "The Hopeless"   3:37
4. "The Reality"   3:50
5. "The Abduction"   3:01
6. "The Motivation"   4:06
7. "The Wretched"   4:06
8. "The Family"   3:11
9. "The Confrontation"   3:36
10. "The Eradication"   3:21
Total length:
36:24

Personnel[edit]

Attack Attack!
Production
  • Caleb Shomo - production, recording, mixing
  • Sean Mackowski - vocal engineering
  • Dave Shapiro - booking
  • Joey Simmrin - management
  • Megan Thompson- art direction, design, photography

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[15] 11
US Billboard Independent Albums 2
US Billboard Rock Albums 4
Canadian Albums Chart[19] 120

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Attack Attack! wrap recording "This Means War".". Mainstream Killed the Indie Star. Reiniku Films. 6 November 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "Exclusive: ATTACK ATTACK! "This Means War" album tracklist". Mainstream Killed the Indie Star. Reiniku Films. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Michael Bird (November 14, 2011). "Attack Attack! announce new album, 2012 headlining tour dates". Alternative Press. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Caleb Shomo official twitter.". Twitter.com. November 20, 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c http://www.metacritic.com/music/this-means-war
  6. ^ a b Jervis, Marcus. "Attack Attack! - This Means War Review". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Ryan Gardner (January 16, 2012). "Attack Attack! - This Means War - AbsolutePunk.net". Absolute Punk. Buzz Media. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Gregory Heaney. "This Means War". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Jason Pettigrew. "This Means War from Attack Attack!". Alternative Press. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  10. ^ Key, Sammy (19 January 2012). "[Review] Attack Attack! 'This Means War'". Bloody Disgusting. The Collective. Retrieved 28 January 2012. 
  11. ^ a b c De Revere, Paul (10 January 2012). "Album Review: Attack Attack! – This Means War". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "This Means War - Attack Attack!". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Sloane Daley (January 24, 2012). "Attack Attack! This Means War". Punknews.org. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c Stewart, Allison (13 January 2012). "Music review: Attack Attack!’s ‘This Means War’ isn’t made for dancing". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Keith Caulfield (January 25, 2012). "Adele's '21' - Biggest No. 1 Album Since 'Bodyguard'". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  16. ^ "This Means War - Attack Attack!". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  17. ^ Tate, Jason (17 January 2012). "Attack Attack! Currently Number 1 on iTunes Rock Charts". Absolute Punk. Buzz Media. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  18. ^ "The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store". Associated Press. Google News. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Nielsen SoundScan Charts". Jam!. Sun Media/Quebecor. 26 January 2012.