Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
This week saw big three releases hit stores: Stone Sour’s House of Gold and Bones – Part 2, Volbeat’s Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies, and the self-titled debut from David Draiman’s industrial project Device. More interestingly, though, is that Hits Daily Double supposedly projects each title to sell between 35,000 and 40,000 copies in its first week. Keep in mind, though, that these are just projections and one album will end up selling more than the other two. Thus, the Metal Insider crew debate which of the three group’s albums will end up on top in this week’s Headbangers’ Brawl.
Zach: I think it’ll be a close race between Volbeat and Stone Sour, with the Danish rockabilly metal group ultimately on top. The fact is that Volbeat’s Beyond Hell/Above Heaven is well over three years old and is STILL charting in the top 200. That fact alone gives Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies the edge in sales over Stone Sour and Device, not to mention that “Cape Of My Hero” appeals to mainstream rock fans while “Room 24” has been catching old-school metal fans attentions thanks to King Diamond’s appearance. While it’s too soon to tell if it’ll have as strong of lasting power as Beyond Hell/Above Heaven, it’s safe to say that anticipation for new Volbeat music will lead to big sales.
Bram: Either way, all three releases are a win for hard rock and metal. Combined with last week, which saw Killswitch Engage and Bring Me The Horizon debut in the upper reaches of the chart, metal is pretty healthy right now. I’m going to handicap it with Stone Sour, Device and then Volbeat. Stone Sour is top of mind, mainly because their last album just came out six months ago. It debuted in the top ten, so I’d expect that this would follow suit. While Disturbed and David Draiman have been out of the public eye for a bit, most of Disturbed’s albums debuted at #1, and he’s got a sizable fan base. Volbeat has bubbled under for the past three years, and while they’re going to have a bigger first sales week than ever, I’m not convinced that it’s going to be bigger than the other two releases. Of course, I could totally be wrong. I watch the charts, but it’s not like I AM the charts.
Matthew: While all three are likely to have strong sales, I think Volbeat’s got this one. Like Zach said, the album has been out for a while now and only continues to sell and sell. Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies is out at the perfect time for Volbeat, who have gained quite the following and have really reached a high point in their career given how much anticipation has surrounded this album. Plus, the addition of Rob Caggiano on guitar and a guest appearance from King Diamond will attract legions of new fans as well. Stone Sour and Device are still both likely to do very well, but I’ll be surprised if Volbeat doesn’t debut at least within the top 20.
Kodi: Never underestimate the power of Corey Taylor on a record. I think Stone Sour could actually surpass sales from Pt. 1, but Volbeat’s insane response from the past few years (seriously, 220,000 copies at this slow of a burn is amazing) makes me think they’ll have the edge over the group. Look at Five Finger Death Punch, who have had some insane opening weeks after continuing to sell steadily week after week due to their pavement-pounding on the road. And with Volbeat having made one of their most metal records yet with more melodic songs like “Cape of Our Hero” to smuggle it to commercial radio, it’s a major victory for the genre if it blows up in Week 1 the way it could. I’d view Device as more of a dark horse, as while it’s a record Disturbed fans will certainly like, I think mainstream rock fans have a major soft spot for huge-sounding guitars, which I don’t feel is as much of an attraction point on this record as it is Disturbed’s albums. But I absolutely think every record will be in the top 20 (and maybe even the top 10), which is crazy stuff to picture.