An Atlanta-based death metal and metalcore crew with attitude to spare, Attila's popularity on the scene is due in part to creating their own ironically named subgenre called "Party Death Metal." Rather than take themselves seriously -- as nearly every other practitioner of the hardcore punk-meets-extreme metal prowess called death metal is wont to do -- Attila take a lighthearted, laid-back, party-animal approach, writing utterly ridiculous lyrics to accompany their fast and furious thrashing. Emerging in 2007, the band hit their stride in 2013 with the Joey Sturgis-produced About That Life, which topped the Billboard Hard Rock and Independent Albums charts. They continued to push buttons and win over fans on subsequent outings like Chaos (2016) and Villain (2019).
Attila formed while in high school in their hometown of Atlanta in 2005, around the core of founders Chris "Fronz" Fronzak (vocals) and Sean Heenan (drums). The band played parties and festivals in and around Atlanta. Their first long-player, 2007's Fallacy on Statik Factory Records, was an underground favorite upon its release, as was their sophomore effort, 2008's aptly named Soundtrack to a Party. Successful tours alongside contemporaries like Arsonists Get All the Girls, See You Next Tuesday, Chelsea Grin, American Me, and We Are the End helped to further establish the group in the metal community. The band's personnel changed considerably during its formative years and finally stabilized in 2008 with Heenan and Fronz, bassist Paul Ollinger, and guitarists Nate Salameh and Chris Linck. Artery Recordings was formed by the partnership between Artery Management and Razor & Tie, which had heard about Attila via Chelsea Grin. Label boss Mike Milford saw them perform on the Grand Slam tour in 2009 and signed them. Rage, their debut recording for Artery, appeared in 2010. Produced by Joey Sturgis (We Came as Romans, the Devil Wears Prada), Outlawed arrived in 2011, followed in 2013 by About That Life, the latter of which made a considerable splash both critically and commercially. The band's like-minded sixth studio long-player, the Sturgis-produced Guilty Pleasure, arrived the following year, and in 2016 they made the move to the Markus Staiger- and Shawn Keith-founded SharpTone Records and released Chaos. Heenan left the fold the following year, making room for new drummer Bryan McClure, who made his studio debut on the group's eighth full-length outing, 2019's Villain. ~ Thom Jurek