Our weekly rankings take a number of factors into account: newsworthiness, record sales, internet buzz, word of mouth and overall importance in the genre. Ultimately, it’s subjective, but if a band generates enough buzz, they’ll wind up on the list. This week, we’re shamelessly pandering to Dimebag Darrell, not because we’re sucking up to him and his fans, but because he 100% deserves all the praise heaped upon him on the 10th anniversary of him leaving us.
1) Dimebag Darrell (debut)
10 years ago on Monday, we lost a legend when Dime was assassinated onstage. Everyone in metal is talking about what he meant to them, and even though he’s gone he’s still with us, perhaps more than ever. Be it with Pantera, Damageplan, or just hanging out with his friends, he touched a lot of people. This is for him.
2) Slipknot (last week, 1)
Congrats on the Grammy nom, dudes. Now that some tech guy blew up your rhythm section’s spot, you might as well admit it and move on.
3) AC/DC (last week 6)
Phil Rudd has a little cop problem. Basically that he can’t stop hanging out with them. While the AC/DC drummer might be the former AC/DC drummer before long, at least his band will be within striking distance of having a number one album next week.
4) In This Moment (last week 2)
Sure, the band had a big second week drop, but there’s still a lot of people talking about them, and radio is paying more attention than ever.
5) Dio (debut)
There’s a timelessness to Dio. So much so that two of the five songs nominated for Best Metal Performance in the Grammys are from his tribute album. We’ll leave bitching about the fact that two songs nominated for best song in 2015 are cover songs for another column, and concentrate on the fact that he’s back in the spotlight.
6) Attila (debut)
Whether you love them or hate them (and let’s be honest, it’s super easy to hate them), Attila have the best first week sales of their career. Plus, now you can hear them without all that pesky screaming and breakdowns.
7) Megadeth (last week 3)
It’s gotta be tough to lose half your band, but Megadeth are going to persevere. It’ll be interesting to see who fills Chris and Shawn’s shoes.
8) Periphery (last week 9)
A new song unveiled from the other Juggernaut makes them two for two, and January 27th seems so far away…
9) At the Gates (last week 12)
We’re predicting this one’s going to end up on quite a few year-end lists.
10) Lamb of God (last week 8)
Did you know there was a protest in Richmond over the Eric Garner case? Randy Blythe did, and we found out via his Instagram. If you’re not following him on it yet, you’re doing it wrong.
11) Metallica (last week 7)
Their Some Kind of Monster is out on DVD and blu-ray, so you can live the awkwardness all over again.
12. Machine Head (last week 4)
Robb Flynn’s moving words about Dimebag reminded us why his “General Journals” is a good thing. As opposed to when he’s bitching about money and headlining, which isn’t as good.
13) Five Finger Death Punch (last week 10)
Do we have to write about them? Oh yeah, they’re still selling records.
14) Pallbearer (debut)
This is another one we’ll see popping up on year end lists.
15) Killer Be Killed (debut)
Good news: this year’s metal supergroup will be actually playing some live shows! Bad news: you’ll have to go to Australia to see it.