Metal By Numbers 9/21: A Dramatic Turn Of Album Sales

Posted by on September 21, 2011

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

To say that this is a massive week for metal and hard rock albums on the charts is an understatement. Out of the thirteen new releases, six metal/hard rock albums debuted in the top 20. That’s right, we did not forget to add a 0 there. In fact, the seventh highest ranking new release missed the top 20 by only 1 spot (you’ll have to read on to find out who).

Making this week’s column even more special is the fact that two of these debuts came from Anthrax and Dream Theater. So much was riding on both band’s new albums. For Dream Theater, it was their chance to prove themselves to fans and critics following drummer/founding member Mike Portnoy’s departure. For Anthrax, it was an eight year process that saw the band having to re-record an entire album with Joey Belladonna following the public fallout with Dan Nelson. Thus, seeing these two bands overcome the obstacles and charting in the top 15 is an extreme victory for them both.

However, though Dream Theater and Anthrax ranked in at #7 and #12 respectively, it’s nu metal group Staind’s seventh studio album that reigns supreme with the #5 album of the week. It just goes to show you how packed the charts are this week with new releases.


Notable Debuts:

Staind, Staind (Atlantic) #5, 47,370 sold
Despite having another top 5 album, sales lack in comparison to 2008’s The Illusion Of Progress (which sold slightly under 92,000). Nonetheless, the fact that they can sell more than half of what they did in 2008 nowadays is (sadly) an accomplishment. Plus, it’s arguably their heaviest material in a long time.

Dream Theater, A Dramatic Turn of Events (Roadrunner) #7, 35,750 sold
The prog legends tenth studio album, but more importantly first without Mike Portnoy, is only around 4,500 short of topping  what 2009’s Black Clouds & Silver Linings did (selling just under 40,300 copies). The later album also only outranked A Dramatic Turn Of Events on the chart by 1 spot. Considering all of the drama that surrounded the band for the past year (and not to mention how poorly album sales are nowadays), this is an enormous victory for Dream Theater.

The Devil Wears Prada, Dead Throne (Ferret) #9, 32,420 sold
The Christian metalcore group’s fourth studio album sells over a thousand more copies than 2009’s With Roots Above and Branches Below did in its first week (selling 31,000 and debuting at #11).

Anthrax, Worship Music (Megaforce) #11, 28,470 sold
This is the first time Anthrax have even made it to the top 20 since 1993’s Sound Of White Noise (which debuted at #7, their highest ranking debut). The band’s last album, 2003’s We’ve Come For You All, debuted at #122 selling under 10,000 copies. Considering all of that and everything that the band went through during the eight years it took to make this album, this is an amazing accomplishment for Anthrax. And we’re sure the Big 4’s Yankee Stadium show helped out a lot as well. That said, 41,451 people were in attendance, which means that 12,979 people were doing it wrong.

Primus, Green Naugahyde (ATO) #14, 24,370 sold

The funk/prog rockers’ first album since 1999’s Anti-Pop is also the band’s highest ranking debut since 1993’s Pork Soda (which debuted at #7).

We Came as Romans, Understanding What We’ve Grown to Be (Equal Vision) #20, 19,160 sold
The metalcore group, whose debut album To Plant A Seed pretty much became a staple in Metal By Numbers for about a year, gain an impressive top 20 debut with their sophomore album.

Alice Cooper, Welcome 2 My Nightmare (Universal) #21, 18,490 sold
The sequel to his 1975 classic Welcome To My Nightmare is Cooper’s best ranking debut since 1989’s Trash (which came in at #20). Guess it shows that getting inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, touring with Rob Zombie, and hanging out with Ke$ha (who appears on the track “What Baby Wants,” by the way) can really provide one with good press.

Arch/Matheos, Sympathetic Resonance (Metal Blade) 1,830 sold
A solid first week for the group who is pretty much Fates Warning 2.0 (in addition to guitarist Jim Matheos and ex-singer John Arch, the album’s lineup includes current Fates Warning bassist Joey Vera and Bobby Jarzombek, plus former guitarist Frank Aresti).

Vader, Welcome to the Morbid Reich (Nuclear Blast) 1,470 sold
Pretty solid first week for Vader’s ninth studio album, especially since it’s been available in Europe since August.

Wolves in the Throne Room, Celestial Lineage (Southern Lord) 1,450 sold
The black metal group’s fourth album has a strong first week.

Edguy, Age Of The Joker (Nuclear Blast) 1,240 sold
Although this album was originally released back in August, Amazon’s “MP3 Exclusive Version” came out last week. Though we’re still surprise at how well the German power metallers did.

Madina Lake, World War III (Razor & Tie) 1,030 sold
Though they sell slightly less than their previous two records, the post-hardcore group’s first album through Razor & Tie has a solid first week.

Pathology, Awaken to the Suffering (Victory) 560 sold
You have to feel kind of bad for the death metal group. Out of all the weeks they chose to release their fifth album, they chose the same week that Anthrax, Dream Theater, The Devil Wears Prada, Primus, Alice Cooper, Vader…do I need to continue?

Notable Sales:

Foo Fighters, Wasting Light (RCA) #75, 5,900 sold
A 9% increase keeps Dave Grohl and co. roughly around the same place they were last week. They were already one of our favorite “non-metal” groups, but the way they handled the Westboro Baptist Church’s protests made us love them even more.

Hank III, Ghost To a Ghost/Gutter Town (Megaforce) #130, 3,580 sold
Hank’s that’s part country/part cajun double album experiences a 56% decrease in sales, dropping 83 spots down the chart in its second week. Pretty big drop, but still decent considering that he released three albums (all of which charted) last week.

Breaking Benjamin, Shallow Bay: The Best Of Breaking Benjamin (Hollywood) #140, 3,400 sold
Looks like the band’s drummer Chad Szeliga found himself a new gig.

Kid Rock, Born Free (Atlantic) #145, 3,220 sold
A 14% decrease in sales kicks the American badass down the charts by 44 spots.

Avenged Sevenfold, Nightmare (Warner Bros.) #142, 2,960 sold
After 60 weeks on the charts, A7X are a little less than 7,000 units away from having sold 600,000 copies of Nightmare.

Hollywood Undead, American Tragedy (A&M/Octone) #173, 2,600 sold
Though they may have fallen 33 spots down the charts, chances are their tour with A7X will give them another boost in sales.

Hank III, Hank III’s Attention Deficit Domination (Megaforce) 1,200 sold
A 57% decrease in sales kicks Hank’s “doom” album off the charts.

Volbeat, Beyond Hell/Above Heaven (Universal) 1,070 sold
The Danish garage metallers experience a 15% increase, though they could receive another big boost if recent touring rumors come true.

Hank III’s Bar Ranch, Cattle Callin’ (Megaforce) 1,050 sold
Similar to the “doom” album, Hanks auctioneer rock (?) album gets booted from the top 200 thanks to a 56% decrease.

Chthonic, Takasago Army (Spinefarm/Fontana) 510 sold
This album actually came out two weeks ago. However, it didn’t show up on the charts in its first week because it sold a little less than 300 copies. This comes as somewhat of a surprise since you’d think their opening slot on the road with Arch Enemy, Devildriver, and Skeletonwitch would’ve helped sales out a lot.

Jasta, Jasta (eOne) 450 sold
Even Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe and All That Remain’s Phil Labonte can’t help Jamey Jasta’s solo album sell more copies. Maybe his upcoming tour with Five Finger Death Punch and All That Remains will give sales a boost. Oh wait, that’s Hatebreed…

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Categorised in: Metal By Numbers