Metal By Numbers is a weekly column in which we look at the top metal sellers and debuts of the week as well as what’s getting played at Metal radio courtesy of radio trade magazine FMQB, whose metal panel consists of about 80 college and commercial stations that have metal shows, as well as SiriusXM, Music Choice, and more.
If you couldn’t tell from the holiday commercials already running or a mall visit, the holidays are just around the corner. You can also get a big hint by looking at the charts. Trans-Siberian Orchestra, best known for their 1996 hit “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24,” had a huge debut for their double-album, Night Castle. Formed from the ashes of Savatage, they’ve made an industry of their orchestral blend of classical and metal, reaching far outside the realm of metal for holiday music. Atreyu and Wolfmother also have solid debuts, but the most impressive debut goes to Between the Buried and Me, whose proggy The Great Misdirect lands at 36. Slayer debuts at #1 on FMQB, as well as being most added.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Night Castle (2 CD) (Atlantic) #5, 83,000 sold
Considering that their last album peaked at #25, this is huge. Especially for a band that developed from the ashes of Savatage.
Wolfmother, Cosmic Egg (Interscope) #16, 28,000 sold
While considered hipster metal (or not metal at all), this band puts on a live show and is heavy enough for us to include them on this list.
Atreyu, Congregation of the Damned (Hollywood Records) #18, 25,500 sold
A pretty solid debut from the Victory graduates’ second album for Hollywood.
Between the Buried and Me, The Great Misdirect (Victory) #36, 13,350 sold
This is quite possibly going to be on my top ten of the year. Building on their last album, Colors, the band is slowly evolving into a band that’s more prog than anything-core.
The Red Chord, Fed Through the Teeth Machine (Metal Blade) #180, 2,700 sold
Good start for the grindcore band’s fourth album. Always awesome to see extreme music debut in the top 200!
Pelican, What We All Come to Need (Southern Lord) 1,800 sold
The post-rock instrumental band’s first record for Southern Lord is on par with the performance of their last few.
Jesu, Opiate Sun (Caldo Verde) 850 sold
Everything Justin Broadrick touches turns to… well, 850.
Gorgoroth, Quantos Possunt Ad Satanitatem Trahunt (Regain Records) 570 sold
The Norwegian black metal band’s 8th album in 15 years is off to an ok start.
Breaking Benjamin, Dear Agony (Hollywood Records) #26, 17,300 sold
This will cross 250,000 sold next week. Faceless corporate rock still sells, just ask Nickelback. That said, these guys are a solid live band.
Alice In Chains, Black Gives Way To Blue (Virgin) #40, 13,000 sold
Alice In Chains sold exactly 10 more records than KISS did this week.
KISS, Sonic Boom (KISS Records) #41, 13,000 sold
…but KISS has sold about 40,000 less copies of their album in four weeks than AIC have in five.
Rammstein, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da (standard version) (Vagrant) #73, 7,300 sold
A somewhat steep, but not too dramatic 67% dropoff, this album will keep selling pretty consistently through the holidays.
Dethklok, Dethalbum II (Williams Street) #84 6,400 sold
In case you forgot, the new season of Metalocalypse finally debuts this Sunday on Adult Swim!!
Five Finger Death Punch, War Is The Answer (Prospect Park) #85 6,400 sold
This will be at a solid 100k sold next week.
Hollywood Undead, Swan Songs (Octone/A&M) #108, 4,900 sold
Really? Almost 5,000 people shelled out for this? Out of curiosity, I checked and only 1,100 people bought it digitally. If I was going to stereotype, I’d guess that it’s less kids and more older, less-educated people that don’t download that bought the bulk of the physical CDs.
Chevelle, Sci-Fi Crimes (Sony) #109, 4,800 sold
At a respectable 115,000 sold 9 weeks in, this is what happens when the Breaking Benjamins of the world are ten years older.
Rodrigo y Gabriela, 11:11 (ATO) #152, 3,300 sold
Up to 50,000 sold. Very solid.
Megadeth, Endgame (Roadrunner) #156, 3,200 sold
This sold about the same number as it did last week. If it can stay in the 3,000/week area, it should definitely be at 100,000 by Christmas.
Converge, Axe to Fall (Epitaph) #163, 3,000 sold
A 58% drop off isn’t that bad, but if that happens again, it will fall off the top 200.
Austrian Death Machine, Double Brutal (Metal Blade) 900 sold
Just like a Schwarzenegger movie, the sequel isn’t as good as the original. Know what I’m talking about, Predator II?
Skeletonwitch, Breathing the Fire (Prosthetic) 850 sold
Up to about 5,500 sold. Pretty solid number.
Despised Icon, Day of Mourning (Century Media) 700 sold
It didn’t take long for me to run out of things to say about this band.
Russian Circles, Geneva (Suicide Squeeze) 700 sold
A 52% drop off from last week, but Russian Circles don’t strike me as the kind of band to worry about album sales too much.
Immortal, All Shall Fall (Nuclear Blast) 560 sold
Why so grim, fellas?
Shrinebuilder, Shrinebuilder (Neurot Recordings) 550 sold
This is like the thinking man’s metal version of the Damn Yankees.
Scar Symmetry, Dark Matter Dimensions (Nuclear Blast) 550 sold
Those Swedes know how to craft a catchy/heavy song, that’s for sure.
Attack Attack!, Someday Came Suddenly (Rise Records) 500 sold
It’s astounding that these guys have sold 500 copies this week. Or, like 500 copies at all.
Bring Me The Horizon, Suicide Season (Epitaph) 450 sold
This is finally slowing down a bit. Although if you’re really a fan, you can shell out for the forthcoming import-only remix album.
FMQB Most Added
1. Slayer, World Painted Blood (Columbia/American)
2) Hypocrisy, A Taste Of Extreme Divinity (Nuclear Blast)
3) Nile, Those Whom the Gods Detest (Metal Blade)
4) Shrinebuilder, Shrinebuilder (Neurot Recordings)
5) Pelican, What We All Come To Need (Southern Lord)
FMQB Top Ten Albums
1. Slayer, World Painted Blood (Columbia/American)
2. Hatebreed, Hatebreed (E1)
3. Dethklok Dethalbum II (Williams Street)
4. Megadeth, Endgame (Roadrunner)
5. Shadows Fall Retribution (Everblack Industries/Ferret)
6. Black Dahlia Murder, Deflorate (Metal Blade)
7. Arch Enemy, Root of All Evil (Century Media)
8. Every Time I Die, New Junk Aesthetic (Vagrant)
9. Five Finger Death Punch, War Is The Answer (Prospect Park)
10. Gwar, Lust In Space (Metal Blade)