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. On November 20, 2011, Attack Attack! filmed a music video for the song "The Wretched." On December 13, 2011, the first single titled "The Motivation" was streamed on YouTube and was released to buy on December 20, 2011. This is the band's first studio album without former rhythm guitarist/clean vocalist Johnny Franck, and first full-length album to feature Caleb Shomo doing both clean and unclean vocals.
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". 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" 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." 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." Stewart concluded that "Although Attack Attack! has never sounded tighter or smarter, this latest effort will never find an audience on the dance floor." 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." 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." 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." Consequence of Sound continued on to say that the only sonic stamp to separate the band from similar metalcore acts are its electronic flourishes.
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. 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. On iTunes, it peaked at number 1 on the Rock charts and charted at number 8 overall. It also reached number 120 on the Canadian Albums Chart.
- "The Revolution"
- "The Betrayal"
- "The Hopeless"
- "The Reality"
- "The Abduction"
- "The Motivation"
- "The Wretched"
- "The Family"
- "The Confrontation"
- "The Eradication"
- Andrew Whiting - lead and rhythm guitar
- John Holgado - bass guitar and backing vocals
- Andrew Wetzel - drums
- Caleb Shomo - keyboards, synthesizers, additional guitar and lead vocals
- Produced, Recorded and Mixed by Caleb Shomo
- Vocal Engineering by Sean Mackowski
- Booking by Dave Shapiro
- Managed by Joel Simmrin
- Art Direction, Designed and Photography by Megan Thompson