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

Ok, so technically Shinedown, The Used and The Mars Volta have the top hard rock debuts (while someone named Madonna topping the charts). However, out of the 20 metal/hard rock debuts this week, 11 of which cracked the top 200, the real winners without a doubt is Meshuggah with a top 20 debut and well over 18,000 copies sold

First off, Meshuggah’s new album Koloss easily beats their previously most successful album obZen (which came in at #59 with 11,400 copies sold in its first week back in 2008). The fact that any band can sell more than what they did four years ago is an enormous feat. However, what’s even more surprising is that an extreme metal band like Meshuggah was even able to debut in the top 20. This very impressive first week in sales further proves how large Meshuggah’s following has grown over the years. Overkill also top their last album, debuting in the top 100. There’s a lot of new music this week, so let’s just dive in.


Notable Debuts:

Shinedown, Amaryllis (Atlantic) #4, 105,770 sold
While these guys are definitely more on the hard rock side than metal, it’s still encouraging to see a rock band that doesn’t rhyme with “pickleback” sell more than 100k in a week.


The Used, Vulnerable (Hopeless) #8, 31,520 sold
Interesting to see a band most people haven’t thought about in a while debut in the top ten with their first album on an independent label. Good for them.


The Mars Volta, Noctourniquet (Warner Bros.) #14, 20,900 sold
This is the band’s most accessible album since Deloused in the Comatorium. This is the band’s lowest chart appearance since that album, selling about 10,000 less than 2009’s Octahedron, which debuted at #12. It’s still a wonderfully weird album that’s worth digging into.


Meshuggah, Koloss (Nuclear Blast) #16, 18,340 sold
And chances are that Meshuggah’s tour with Baroness and Decapitated will continue to help sales.


Overkill, The Electric Age (eOne) #73, 6,500 sold
The band’s 16th (!) album, lands the band in Billboard‘s top 100, and sells about 2,400 more than 2010’s Ironbound. That’s an awesome improvement in this day and age, and speaks to the band’s newfound popularity.


Iron Maiden, En Vivo! (Universal) #75, 6,430 sold
Maiden have been putting a live album out after almost every release, and this is no exception. The companion documentary is a great follow-up to Flight 666, showing  a lot more of the behind-the-scenes footage.


Flying Colors, Flying Colors (Mascot) #76, 6,300 sold
Interestingly enough, Mike Portnoy’s proggier supergroup sells only a little less than his other group Adrenaline Mob did in their first week.


Stick to Your Guns, Diamond (Sumerian) #105, 4,420 sold
A solid debut for the fourth album from this melodic hardcore band.


God Forbid, Equilibrium (Victory) #133, 3,400 sold
The Jersey band’s first album on Victory sells about 2,000 less than 2009’s Earthsblood. You could blame that on the downward trend of record sales, but what about Overkill?


Ministry, Relapse (13th Planet/AFM) #154, 3,020 sold
Ministry’s first studio album of (mostly) original material in five years (and last?) debuts lower than The Last Sucker, which debuted at 130.


3 Inches of Blood, Long Live Heavy Metal (Century Media) #198, 2,360 sold
The band’s second album for Century Media has a similar debut as Here Wait’s thy Doom, which debuted at #194


O.S.I., Fire Make Thunder (Metal Blade) 1,900 sold
Fire may not make thunder, but these sales will certainly make do for Jim Martin and Kevin Moore’s collaboration.


Adestria, Chapters (Artery) 970 sold
This  San Diego melodic hardcore band have a pretty decent week for their first album.


Wretched, Son of Perdition (Victory) 800 sold
Whoa, a new album from the Maryland doom metal band? Nope. A new melodic death band.


Black Breath, Sentenced to Life (Southern Lord) 700 sold
The second full length from Black Breath has an ok debut. Hard to judge whether it’s a solid number or not.


Modern Day Escape, Under the Gun (Standby) 640 sold
This band, which features former Black Veil Brides drummer Sandra Alvarenga, is off to a relatively slow start for their second album. Anyone that likes catchy Black Veil Brides-like material should give it a listen.


Hour Of Penance, Sedition (Prosthetic) 540 sold
Looks like Hour Of Penance won’t last longer than an hour on the charts.


Angel Witch, As Above So Below (Metal Blade) 530 sold
The NWOBHM band’s first album in 14 years  proves that there wasn’t too much of an appetite for the band stateside.


Borknagar, Urd (Century Media) 500 sold
This is the last Borknagar album you’ll hear drummer David Kinkade on. He  left for Soulfly after recording the drum tracks.


Naglfar, Teras (Century Media) 450 sold
The melodic swedish black metal band’s first album in five years. Fun fact: the band is named after a ship.


Notable Sales:

Van Halen, A Different Kind of Truth (Interscope) #68, 6,890 sold
Seeing how Van Halen continues to take a dip in sales after eight weeks, it’s unlikely that they’ll jump back up the charts any time soon.


Five Finger Death Punch, American Capitalist (Prospect Park) #77, 6,200 sold
Now that you’ve heard what Ivan Moody sounds like in a trailer, any interest in hearing him on the musical’s soundtrack? Anyone?…Hello?


Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (RCA) #127, 3,500 sold
A 22% decrease in sales is enough to kick the Foo Fighters out of the top 100 after 51 weeks.


Korn, The Path of Totality (Roadrunner) #135, 3,390 sold
The nu metal pioneers drop 30 spots down the charts despite only experiencing a 4% decrease in sales.


Metallica, Beyond Magnetic EP (Warner Bros.) #169, 1,230 sold
Despite a 12% increase in sales, Metallica’s b-side EP drops 13 spots down the charts.


Volbeat, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven (Universal) 2,010 sold
After 72 weeks, the Danish rockabilly metal group have sold well over 90,800 copies of their latest album.


Corrosion Of Conformity, Corrosion Of Conformity (Candlelight) 740 sold
COC just filmed a performance clip for the song “Psychic Vampire” with a little help from Scion A/V.


Eluveitie, Helvetios (Nuclear Blast) 530 sold
Still Eluveitie the top folk metal release of the week.


Napalm Death, Utilitarian (Century Media) 440 sold
The death metal/ grindcore legends sell literally the same amount of copies as last week.


Goatwhore, Blood for the Master (Metal Blade) 390 sold
At this point, it doesn’t look like Goatwhore will still be on the charts by the time the Summer Slaughter Tour hits the road.