Metal By Numbers is a weekly coluimn in which we look at the top sellers 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, as well as SiriusXM, Music Choice, and more.
For those of you that aren’t in the music industry, as far as new music is concerned, with the exception of a few big releases, labels are pretty much done after Thanksgiving. As a result, there aren’t any notable chart debuts this week. FMQB‘s also finished for the year, but they have released their list of the 100 most-spun albums at metal radio in 2008, which we’ll look at before recapping the week in metal sales.

FMQB‘s Top Ten Albums of the Year

01) Testament, The Formation of Damnation (Nuclear Blast) 8148 spins
02) Slipknot, All Hope Is Gone (Roadrunner Records) 7869 spins
03) Cavalera Conspiracy, Inflikted (Roadrunner Records) 7291 spins
04) In Flames, A Sense Of Purpose (Koch Records) 7134 spins
05) Kingdom of Sorrow, Kingdom Of Sorrow (Relapse Records) 6513 spins
06) Meshuggah, obZen (Nuclear Blast) 6497 spins
07) Bullet For My Valentine, Scream Aim Fire (Jive/Zomba) 5777 spins
08) Opeth, Watershed (Roadrunner Records) 5561 spins
09) Metallica, Death Magnetic (Warner Bros.) 5464 spins
10) Death Angel, Killing Season (Nuclear Blast) 5394 spins
you can find the whole list here.

Notable Sales

AC/DC, Black Ice (Columbia) #11, 84,000 copies sold
At the end of the year, this is going to be one of the top five biggest-selling albums. They’re selling albums like it’s pre-Napster.
Guns N’ Roses, Chinese Democracy (Geffen) #18, 56,500 copies sold
Wow. Just wow. A whopping 78% drop from its first week. No one can deny that this album’s a flop. Axl Rose not doing any promotion for the album can’t have helped things. Or the fact that Best Buy isn’t necessarily promoting this as much as they could be. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
Metallica, Death Magnetic (Warner Bros.) #36, 30,500 copies sold
Another week, another 30,000 copies for ‘Tallica.
Slipknot, All Hope is Gone (Roadrunner), #84, 12,300 copies sold.
Consistently performing, All Hope is Gone was #84 last week as well.
Mudvayne, The New Game (Epic) #88, 12,300 copies sold
While dropping from last week by almost 50%, the album’s still sold 83,000 copies so far.
Hollywood Undead, Swan Songs (Octone) #106, 8,800 copies sold
Even though the band isn’t doing a national tour until next year, they’ve sold almost 120,000 copies of their self-titled debut
Staind, Illusion of Progress (Atlantic) 4,900 copies sold
Remember when Staind was a metal band, and not a rock one? Their latest album might not be on loud rock’s radar, but it’s still sold a respectable 270,000 copies in only four months.
Five Finger Death Punch, The Way of the Fist (The Firm) 3,700 copies sold
The winners of FMQB’s Most Promising New Band continue to consistently sell impressively for a (mostly) unknown band on an indie label.
Bring me the Horizon, Suicide Season (Epitaph) 2,200 copies sold
A third straight week of good sales for the UK band.
Dir en Grey, Uroboros (The End) 900 copies sold
J-Rock gettin’ it done!
Becoming the Archetype, Dichotomy (Solid State) 900 copies sold
A pretty decent second week for them. Once radio picks up, it might jump up in sales as well.
The Answer, Never Too Late (The End) 750 copies sold
A 21% increase from last week shows that their tour opening for AC/DC is paying off.
Austrian Death Machine, Total Brutal (Metal Blade) 671 copies sold
The winners of FMQB’s Best New Band have an uptick in sales as well.
Gojira, The Way of All Flesh (Prosthetic) 650 copies sold
This album just plain rules. Go buy it.
Cynic, Traced In Air (Season of Mist) 550 copies sold