Metal Power Rankings: …And cassette tapes for all

Posted by on April 24, 2015

This is a bit of a hard reset after last week’s all-Metalfest edition of the Metal Power Rankings (spoiler alert: you missed out if you weren’t there). And what a hard reset it is when this week’s top band released a cassette. What is this, the ’80s? We live in a crazy world where a band (Metallica, if you haven’t figured it out) can break into the top 100 with a cassette-only demo. When’s Cassette Store Day?

1) Metallica
There’s a reason a cassette was the second-biggest-selling Record Store Day release this year, and it’s not because the Walkman is coming back in style. Not even Kirk Hammett losing hundreds of riffs off of his iPhone can really hurt the Metallica machine.


2) Lamb of God
All Randy Blythe (or not!) had to do was post one photo of a Mesa/Boogie amp head on Instagram, and the entire metal world reacted with joy. It’s clear now that a new Lamb of God album is on the way, and Randy’s gallery showing in NYC next weekend seems like a good chance for more carefully timed surprises.
3)  Slayer + Megadeth (t)
Some general controversy going around – Kerry King thinks Dave Mustaine is crazy! The new Slayer single is kind of underwhelming! Will Megadeth be able to make a better album than Slayer’s new one? – means that both are top-of-mind for metal fans everywhere right now.


5) Faith No More
Just casually premiering new songs on the road again. No big deal.


6) System of a Down
They finally played their ancestral home of Armenia to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. It’s rare that a band can do anything and have it feel like a culturally important event, but that’s exactly what SOAD did this week. If there was new music to go along with it, they’d be fighting Metallica for the top today.


7) Between the Buried and Me
“Bohemian Rhapsody” was greeted with so much excitement at New England Metal & Hardcore Fest that it might as well have been a new original song. That shows just how hungry everyone is getting for Coma Ecliptic.


8) Halestorm
It’d be hard to call Pennsylvania’s Halestorm a “metal” band, per se, but they put on a fantastic performance, they respect their roots, and just had a top 3 debut with their third album. Well played.


9) Byzantine
To Release Is To Resolve just became the first self-released album to hit #1 at the CMJ Loud Rock radio charts in years. The perennial underdogs sorely need more tour dates to keep sales going, but they’ll be going back out with Mobile Deathcamp next month.


10) Kamelot
There’s a genuine buzz growing for the symphonic power metal band’s Napalm Records debut, Haven, and the video for “Insomnia,” which looks like the best trailer to science fiction movie that’s not coming out, will only help.


11) Nightwish
It really is impressive to note just how serious a force this band is with US audiences, as their massive international following is easily taken for granted. Quite rare to see only a 33% drop at Billboard after a metal band’s biggest chart debut ever.


12) Royal Thunder
Crooked Doors is still selling steadily, but the critical accolades aren’t equaling huge numbers yet. That said, their upcoming tour dates will help – they might be the only band in heavy music that can tour with Wilco (?), Wild Throne AND Halestorm comfortably, and that means lots of potential new fans.


13) Veil of Maya
With the band hitting the road just after the release of Matriarch, the Chicago deathcore outfit are going to have a pretty busy May and June.


14) Mutoid Man
With every new single this band releases, it’s clear that Bleeder is going to be a cult hit this summer. Will it get wider acceptance? We’d love that because everyone in Mutoid Man DESTROYS and they have killer songs, but their tour with Dillinger Escape Plan in June should clue us in.


15) DragonForce
Herman Li played “Through the Fire and Flames” underwater last week during a performance on a cruise ship. If we put the rest of DragonForce into a rocket and shot them off into the vacuum of space, the band would still automatically rule harder than many not on the list this week.


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Categorised in: Columns, Metal Power Rankings