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

Before August this year, fans kept out a casual eye for news of the next Metallica album. It’s been eight years and for a while all we had to go off of was a song called “Lords of Summer.” Then the band dropped the news that Hardwired…to Self-Destruct was on its way along with a single that invigorated long-time fans and surprised skeptics. Of course, a new Metallica album was going to be an event even if it turned out to be a Coldplay covers album. But Metallica managed to stoke the flames of hype, and now their newest album is being hailed as a return to form and is number one on the Billboard 200. Their first five albums are also on the Billboard, including another 6,000 units sold for The Black Album. So, whatever you might wanna say about 2016, it’s been a good year for Metallica.


Notable Debuts:

Metallica, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (Blackened)
Debut #1
281,650 sold

Metallica return with a vengeance, ranking as the best rock debut in two and a half years and the third best debut of the year.



highlysuspectboywhocriedcdHighly Suspect, The Boy Who Died Wolf (300 Entertainment)
Debut #15

The band’s sophomore album has an excellent debut following their first album’s quiet but steady flow of sales.




sixx-amSixx:A.M., Prayers for the Blessed Vol. 2 (Eleven Seven)
Debut #17
14,175 sold

This has a slightly lower debut than Vol. 1, which came out back in April.





Lamb of God - The DukeLamb of God, The Duke EP (Epic)
Debut #40
8,325 sold

Lamb of God’s first EP lands in the top 40.





disturbedredrocksDisturbed, Live at Red Rocks (Reprise)
Debut #45
7,500 sold

This is Disturbed’s first live album. Don’t worry, Immortalized is still on here too.





protest-the-heroe-pacific-mythProtest the Hero, Pacific Myth (Razor & Tie)
Debut #52
6,975 sold

After testing out a Bandcamp subscription model, Protest the Hero has collected all six songs for a new EP release.




Ion Dissonance - Cast the First StoneIon Dissonance, Cast the First Stone (Good Fight)
910 sold

Ion Dissonance’s fifth album is their first album in five years.





devilment - mephisto waltzesDevilment, II – The Mephisto Waltzes (Nuclear Blast)
650 sold

The band’s second album sold a little less than its predecessor.






Diabulus in Musica - Dirge for the ArchonsDiabulus in Musica, Dirge for the Archons (Napalm)
220 sold

This is the band’s fourth album. Diabolus In Musica is Slayer’s eighth studio album. Coincidence? Absolutely!






freedom call - master of lightFreedom Call, Master of Light (SPV/Steamhammer)
210 sold

The band’s ninth album makes its debut.





Notable Sales:

avengedsevenfoldthestageAvenged Sevenfold, The Stage (Capitol)
#30 (from 24)
10,525 sold

This may have a lower chart position, but it actually got a sales boost of 23%.





trans-siberian-orchestraTrans-Siberian Orchestra, The Ghosts of Christmas Eve (Rhino Atlantic)
#37 (from 26)
8,575 sold

A small 2% boost. For a fascinating look at how touring works for the two versions of TSO, check this out.





Korn-The_Serenity_of_Suffering-album_coverKorn, The Serenity of Suffering (Roadrunner)
#68 (from 60)
5,675 sold

Can’t suffer after a 41% boost.





skilletunleashedcdSkillet, Unleashed (Atlantic)
#90 (from 100)
4,300 sold

A big 68% boost is unleashed.





disturbed_ immortalized__album_cover_2015

Disturbed, Immortalized (Reprise)
#102 (from 107)
3,600 sold

Not only did their new live album have a good debut, but Disturbed’s over a year old album got a 53% boost.




ffdprsdFive Finger Death Punch, Got Your Six (Prospect Park)
#143 (from 127)
2,350 sold

A 13% boost. Looks like we’ll be getting another album from these guys soon.





testamentbrotherhoodcdcoverTestament, Brotherhood of the Snake (Nuclear Blast)
#149 (from 125)
2,200 sold

A slight 5% boost.





prettyrecklesswhoyousellingcd_0The Pretty Reckless, Who You Selling For (Razor & Tie)
#152 (from 133)
2,175 sold

Selling well after a 10% boost.





inflamesbattlesIn Flames, Battles (Eleven Seven)
#156 (from 23)
2,125 sold

This drops by 75% in week two. Also, they’re gonna need a new bassist soon.





I Prevail - LifelinesI Prevail, Lifelines (Fearless)
#161 (from 118)
2,025 sold

A slight drop by 9%.





Animals as Leaders - The Madness of ManyAnimals as Leaders, The Madness of Many (Sumerian)
#197 (from 20)
1,550 sold

A second week drop of 83%.





darktranquillityatomacdDark Tranquillity, Atoma (Century Media)
410 sold

A 51% drop.





dee-sniderDee Snider, We Are the Ones (Twisted Sister Records)
360 sold

After dropping off last week, this got boosted back up by some people that decided they weren’t going to take it – they were going to buy it instead.





epicaholographicEpica, The Holographic Principle (Nuclear Blast)
310 sold

A 46% drop after last week’s giant boost.






amaranthe - maximalismAmaranthe, Maximalism (Spinefarm)
300 sold

A 17% drop.






Serpentine DominionSerpentine Dominion, Serpentine Dominion (Metal Blade)
280 sold

A 14% drop slips by like a snake.



glennhughesresonatecdGlenn Hughes, Resonate (Frontiers)
260 sold

A 35% drop doesn’t resonate so well.






starkillStarkill, Shadow Sleep (Prosthetic)
250 sold

A 34% drop into shadow.






hammerfallHammerfall, Built to Last (Napalm)
240 sold

A 44% fall.






sireniadimdayscdSirenia, Dim Days of Dolor (Napalm)
210 sold

A 71% second week drop.






Vader - The EmpireVader, The Empire (Nuclear Blast)
200 sold

A 31% drop. Maybe people looking for Star Wars tickets will stumble on this one?






darkthrone-artic-thunderDarkthrone, Arctic Thunder (Peaceville)
200 sold

Another 8% drop.






Nails-You-Will-Never-Be-One-of-UsNails, You Will Never Be One of Us (Nuclear Blast)
200 sold

Sales surge after fans learn the band isn’t dead.






geminisyndromemementomoriGemini Syndrome, Memento Mori (Another Century)
190 sold

This has popped back up again as well.