It’s week three of Metal Power Rankings, a weekly look at the movers and shakers in the metal world. 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, Machine Head take the top slot, one they’ll probably hold on to when the album’s first week sales come through next week.
1) Machine Head (last week 2)
It takes balls to make the announcements that Machine Head have about touring. Whether it’s not playing festivals or not having openers, they’re taking a stand. They also released a bizarre video for “Now We Die.” They could have a pretty monstrous debut next week too, now that the album’s out.
2) Slipknot (last week 1)
It’s not out of the realm of impossibility that Slipknot will sell more albums next week in their fourth week that Machine Head does in its first. With 185,000 copies moved in three weeks, that’s not Taylor Swift-like, but it’s still extremely impressive, given the fact that nobody’s buying albums any more.
3) AC/DC (last week 4)
AC/DC continues to be in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. This time, it’s because they’ve released what just might be the worst music video of the year. At least Phil Rudd was cleared of some of the charges, even if he was acting a bit odd during the recording of Rock or Bust.
4) Opeth (debut)
Not that this year’s Pale Communion wasn’t an excellent album, but the band’s announcement that they’ll be playing Ghost Reveries next year for it’s 10th anniversary reminded us why we love them (and that album) so much. Also, 25 years. Wow.
5) Slayer (last week 6)
The band’s tour is now in full effect, but the main reason they moved up a slot…
6) Metallica (last week 9)
…Is that we could echo our buddies at Metal Sucks and have Slayer come in one over Metallica like they did in their Top 25 Artists of All Time poll, which we were a part of.
7) Cannibal Corpse (debut)
Their officially-announced tour with Behemoth would almost be enough to get them on this list in and of itself, but when a scientist that landed a probe on a fucking comet is pictured rocking one of your shirts while getting a tattoo, you’ve made it in our book – and our power rankings.
8) Five Finger Death Punch (last week 10)
You’re keeping these guys up here, people! And by “you,” we mean “people that probably aren’t reading this because they can’t read so good.”
9) At the Gates
This remains in Billboard‘s Top 200 for a second week, selling about 10,000 copies so far. It’s one of the best comeback albums for a band that’s been away for a long time in forever. It’s also #1 at CMJ’s Loud Rock charts this week, which is awesome because your average college student was a fetus when Slaughter of the Soul first came out.
The Slayer/Exodus tour is up and running, and Gary Holt’s all-world double-duty on that tour (plus Zetro, obviously) will keep them up here for some time.
11) Cavalera Conspiracy (debut)
Pandemonium is the record the last Soulfly album should have been, but as much as we’d like to put this thrash-fest up higher, it sold just over half as much in its first week as 2011’s Blunt Force Trauma. Not a great look for their first album on Napalm.
Did you realize Misha Mansoor contributed to the Halo 2: Anniversary OST, out this week? Periphery’s fans sure as hell did. After last week’s tour announcement, Periphery might be a sleeping giant until new music comes out, but Bulb and Co. are going to keep finding small ways to get people excited about that prospect.
13) Job For A Cowboy
Sun Eater has reignited interest in the band considerably, and they’re not even back on tour yet! On Tuesday, they had the #2 metal album on iTunes after Machine Head.
After a strong first-week debut, Obituary’s outing on the Death To All Tour will keep fans talking through the end of the year.
15) Obliterations (debut)
This week’s Dissident Aggression reminded us of what a killer album this is.
On the bubble: Mastodon, Unearth, In This Moment, Bloodbath
Dropped out: Devin Townsend Project, Black Crown Initiate