On September 19, 2000, AFI released The Art of Drowning, which debuted on the Billboard Charts at number 174, and peaked at number 9 on the Heatseekers chart. It continued to touch base with the horror punk genre, but expanded into styles that were a departure from previous works. The album featured slower, more melodic songs that were more reminiscent of alternative rock, such as "Ever and a Day" and "6 to 8". Still, the presence of hardcore influences was imminent in most of the album, flaunted most on tracks like "Smile", "The Lost Souls", and "Catch a Hot One". The album brought the band unprecedented success in the underground scene, selling in excess of 100,000 copies. "The Days of the Phoenix" was released as a single and video and, like "Totalimmortal," had some moderate mainstream success, garnering the band more TV and radio airplay. The song even managed to reach the UK Singles Chart with its titular EP in 2001, peaking at number 152. The success of The Art of Drowning helped to encourage the band to pursue higher mainstream notoriety.