One of the most hated metal bands of all time is Attack Attack! I was part of the group that was absolutely in love with them when they released their debut full-length in 2008. I still have that CD in my room and I still listen to it. You want to know why I don’t hate it? Because everything about it is so amazing that it outweighs the auto-tune singing that ruined it for most people. Of course my tolerance for that kind of stuff has grown less and less over the years because at the time, I hadn’t heard any of the better bands (which is something everyone goes through). So I never gave up on them, but then when I heard their second vocalist that replaced Austin, I couldn’t stop laughing (read the review I wrote on their self-titled album and click the YouTube links if you haven’t heard him before). Thankfully, their second vocalist soon left the band shortly after the 2009 Warped Tour and was replaced by their keyboardist, Caleb Shomo (I still laugh at his last name). I heard their new album with extremely high hopes and was knocked off my feet with surprise when I heard Caleb’s vocals. He sounded constipated…I’m just going to leave it at that because there’s not much else to it. I lost all except for .00001% of my love and support for Attack Attack! But I still left a tiny bit of hope just in case some miracle occurred and they rose out of the dust and I could say that I never COMPLETELY gave up on them.
Then came the summer of 2011 and I was in a Hot Topic store getting the new Kataklysm CD and some random shirt when I saw that Attack Attack! had released a deluxe version of their self-titled. The reason why I didn’t just ignore it was because the sticker on the wrapping said “FOUR BRAND NEW SONGS!” I had heard previously that the reason Caleb sounded so fucking horrible in the studio was because he was fresh out of surgery (I don’t know what kind, probably getting his tonsils removed or something like that) and Rise Records forced the band to record the album due to the high demands and because well…record labels suck. So that thing he said to me ran across my mind as I saw that CD and I decided to gamble $10 and buy the damn CD just in case my friend was right. And I will never regret doing that, why not? Listen to the first track on the album that bombarded me and put a HUGE smile across my face: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68GWzQAQD4s&ob=av2e.
That song alone was more than enough to win back all of my support PLUS more. Here’s something I forgot to add, they got rid of the ugly auto-tune singer/guitarist; and guess who does the singing…wait for it…CALEB!! I had no idea he could fucking sing like that! And here’s some news for those of you that hate Attack Attack! for other reasons: I didn’t see any “crabcore” shit in that video, did you? I saw legit headbanging that didn’t make me worry that they were going to lose their heads. EVERYTHING has improved, the creativity, the musicianship, the professionalism, the emotions, the effort, the skill, EVERYTHING! That song still remains my favorite Attack Attack! song and hopefully that one song (and the other four new songs on the re-release) will change your opinion on this band. But that was just the beginning.
The day that “The Motivation” was put up for streaming on YouTube, I was all over it. I’m used to Attack Attack! having more of a poppy sound, and oh my…the beginning guitar riffs to that song took me COMPLETELY off guard. That one single contains lead-heavy breakdowns, melodic guitar lines with agonizing and emotional screams to then lead into a more up-beat chorus with paralyzing vocal harmonizations and “frilly” keyboard backgrounds. Before I jump into describing this record, please know that I could care less what the lyrics are and what the songs are about, because IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MUSIC!
The first song off the album is a little bit repetitive by overdoing the simple (but deep) breakdowns, but thankfully there’s only one or two other songs that do that, so it’s not like the band has gone Emmure style. That’s why this song isn’t what I would chose to be the first impression/track, but oh well, the chorus is fucking amazing and won my heart easily. Ok, the second song starts with a more nu metal styled breakdown that makes me want to jump more than headbang. It then leads into an extremely chaotic drum part with little guitars that blends into a faster, seemingly punk rock sounding chorus, then to have the album title called out into an ear-blistering breakdown.
Although there are several songs that have melodic parts, Attack Attack! show you that they mean business and continue to relentlessly bombard you with anger and brutality. Here’s a cool thing that the band most likely did on purpose; the breakdowns get more and more complex with each song, ending with a song that I would easily have mistaken for Meshuggah (if it weren’t for the vocals). There are tons of songs that have poppy keyboards buried in the background that give the song a whole different feel even though you can’t really hear them.
There is one problem with this album that I have yet to overcome. Each song starts off with a breakdown. I mean, it’s fine every once in a while, but it gets a little too predictable and disappointing because with each song, I get more and more excited and hopeful to hear the next song’s intro, hoping that it’s something more interesting. But most of the songs’ intros are relatively short-lived and they don’t all sound EXACTLY the same, so it’s not nearly as bad as it could be and…wait…what the hell was that?? I currently have The Reality playing and did I just hear a dubstep wobble?? Where the hell did that come from!? Okay, there’s another thing I can talk about! That hit me totally without any warning at all. I know the vocalist is into a lot of techno music (and obviously some drum n bass and dubstep). I guess that I was so used to the keyboards being overpowered by the guitars and being used just as a thin overlay to give the music some atmosphere in this album that I wasn’t expecting them to all of a sudden become the center of attention. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of it. I like dubstep (I don’t love it), but it sound’s really weird since it’s being played during one of the heavier breakdowns; but then again it’s really interesting and intriguing that the band would chose to add that in!
Okay, so I heard those four songs on the re-release of their self-titled record and I gave 99.8% of my support back, but held some back because they needed to prove that those songs weren’t flukes by doing it again with a full-length album. You know what? They won back all of my support PLUS more. This is the best album that Attack Attack! has put out so far and I highly recommend that EVERY ONE OF YOU listen to this at least TWICE because it should either cause you to support them again or prove all those rumors to be long gone. I would give this 19/20.