Metal By Numbers is a weekly column in which we look at the top metal sellers and debuts of the week.

This week, there are fourteen metal/hard rock releases making their debuts on the charts. Six of those releases made it into the top 200. And while two records in particular have been considered the most highly anticipated albums of the year 2011, the best selling hard rock album of the week comes from…Chickenfoot.

No offense to Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith, but we’re going to shift the focus on a slightly heavier album. While Machine Head have lots to celebrate with their highest ranking album to date, it’s Mastodon who are having the best week on the charts. Selling just under 39,000 copies, The Hunter is Mastodon’s first ever top 10 album. Though the band’s last album Crack The Skye sold roughly around 41,000 in 2009, the album came in at #11. The fact that any band, let alone one like Mastodon, can sell close to what they sold two years ago is a major accomplishment considering the current state of the industry.


Notable Debuts:

Chickenfoot, Chickenfoot III (eOne) #9, 42,330 sold
The sophomore album (don’t be fooled by the III) from this rock supergroup sells roughly 7,000 copies less than their self-titled debut (which ranked at #6). Considering the self-titled album only came out two Summers ago, the sophomore album has an awesome first week.


Mastodon, The Hunter (Reprise) #10, 38,560 sold
We love the fact that the top 10 record in the country’s the first single includes the opening line “I killed a man cause he killed my goat/ I put my hands around his throat.” We doubt that this week’s #1 record, which comes from J. Cole, has any lyrics like that.


Machine Head, Unto the Locust (Roadrunner) #22, 17,050 sold
Let’s not let Mastodon’s triumph overshadow Machine Head’s great first week! Though only selling slightly more than 2007’s The Blackening (which sold 16,000 in its first week), Machine Head’s new album is easily their highest charting release to date (with The Blackening having debuted at #54). Machine Head should especially be pleased with their success considering it’s been over four years since they’ve last released an album.


Sebastian Bach, Kicking & Screaming (Frontier) #67, 6,620 sold
For all the jokes we make about the ex-Skid Row singer, congratulations are due to him. Bach’s fourth solo album is his highest ranking and best selling release since his days in Skid Row (2007’s Angel Down sold around 6,400 copies but only ranked in at #191). Looks like all the kicking and screaming he’s done in the press has helped a lot. It also probably helps that the album is only $5.99 on Amazon.
Steven Wilson, Grace For Drowning (KScope) #78, 5,800 sold
The artist (Porcupine Tree) and producer (Opeth) sees his second solo album has a great debut, proving that prog fans will come out of the woodwork to buy an album. And by “woodwork,” I mean “their parents’ basement.”


Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, IV (Ferret) #170, 2,680 sold
While the Southern metalcore groups’ fourth album have only sold half  of what 2009’s III did (an unfortunate sign of the times), it also ranks considerably lower (with III debuting at #71 with 6,000 copies sold).


Warbringer, Worlds Torn Asunder (Century Media) 1,980 sold
A very strong first week for the thrash band’s third album.


Hundredth, Let Go (Mediaskare) 940 sold
A solid first week for the hardcore group’s sophomore album.


Man Made Machine, Become (Razor & Tie) 830 sold
Fun fact: the band’s debut album was apparently produced by Chad Gray and Greg Tribbett of Mudvayne / Hellyeah


Saxon, Call to Arms (EMI) 750 sold
Though released in Europe last June, the NWOBHM legend’s 19th studio album wasn’t released in North America till last week. With that in mind, pretty decent first week sales.


Rose Funeral, Gates of Punishment (Metal Blade) 620 sold
The deathcore group’s second album through Metal Blade has a solid first week.


Textures, Dualism (Nuclear Blast) 620 sold
Not a bad first week for the Dutch metal group’s fourth album, and first via Nuclear Blast.


Suffokate, Return to Despair (Mediaskare) 460 sold
The Oakland metalcore group’s third full length album has a despairing first week.


Brutal Truth, End Time (Relapse) 380 sold
The grindcore act’s sixth studio album falls pretty short to what 2009’s Evolution Through Revolution sold in its first week (roughly around 1,000 copies).


Notable Sales:

Staind, Staind (Atlantic) #35, 9,660 sold
The post nu metal band only slip eight spots down the charts in their third week despite a 36% decrease in sales.


Anthrax, Worship Music (Megaforce) #69, 6,480 sold
Also experiencing a 36% decrease in sales is the thrash legends, who fall 31 spots down the chart in their third week.


Opeth, Heritage (Roadrunner) #79, 5,670 sold
A 70% decrease in sales isn’t enough to kick the progressive metal group out of the top 80.


Primus, Green Naugahyde (ATO) #88, 5,250 sold
The funk/prog rockers find themselves 29 spots down the charts with a 31% decrease in their third week. They sell enough, though, to keep them in the top 90.


Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (RCA) #98, 4,620 sold
After 25 weeks, Dave Grohl find themselves two spots away from exiting the top 100.


Dream Theater, A Dramatic Turn of Events (Roadrunner) #104, 4,430 sold
The prog metal kings drop 50 spots down the charts, kicking them out of the top 100 in their third week.


Thrice, Major/Minor (Vagrant) #106, 4,390 sold
After debuting in the top 20, the post hardcore band’s latest album gets kicked out of the top 100 thanks to a 78% decrease in sales.


The Devil Wears Prada, Dead Throne (Ferret) #118, 3,870 sold
Similar to Dream Theater,  the metalcore Christians get kicked out of the top 100 in their third week, falling another 53 spots down the charts.


Alice Cooper, Welcome 2 My Nightmare (Universal) #138, 3,380 sold
Another 38% for the king of shock rock, dropping 55 spots down the charts.


Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare (Warner Bros.) #150, 3,030 sold
After an impressive jump up the charts last week, A7X experience another 13% decrease in sales and find themselves 26 spots down the charts.


Oh  Sleeper, Children of Fire (Solid State) #159, 2,920 sold
Oh Sleeper’s return to the charts is most likely due to the fact that physical copies of the album were released last week (while the album was released digitally three weeks prior).


We Came as Romans, Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be (Equal Vision) #167, 2,740 sold
The metalcore group and one time Metal By Numbers staple experience another 37% decrease in sales, falling 64 spots down the charts.


Kid Rock, Born Free (Atlantic) #191, 2,480 sold
Despite only experiencing a 10% decrease in sales, the American badass finds himself nine spots away from exiting the top 200 after 46 weeks.


Hollywood Undead, American Tragedy (A&M/Octone) #196, 2,450 sold
Even though they actually experience a 1% increase in sales, the rapcore group drop down the charts by 23 spots.


Volbeat, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven (Universal) 900 sold
In 46 weeks, the Danish garage rockers have sold slightly above 46,500 copies.


Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord) 670 sold
Only a 16% decrease in sales for the black metal group in their third week on the charts.


Hell Or Highwater, Begin Again (Self-Released) 500 sold
After an impressive comeback, Atreyu drummer/co-vocalist Brandon Saller’s hard rock band experiences a 23% decrease in sales. But hey, maybe if you give their song “Terrorized In The Night” a listen, you’ll want to pick up the album for yourself.


Hank III, Hank III’s Attention Deficit Domination (Megaforce) 480 sold
Hank’s “doom” album may have experienced another 21% decrease in sales, but it’s safe to say he’s having a better week than his dad.


Arch/Matheos, Sympathetic Resonance (Metal Blade) 460 sold
Another 31% decrease for Fates Warning Arch/Matheos.