Welcome to our second week 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.
While Slipknot is still holding strong at #1, they’re joined by Machine Head, whose eighth album is coming out next week and can be streamed now. Periphery, Job For a Cowboy and AC/DC debut, only one of which was because of soliciting a hitman. Here we go!
1) Slipknot (last week, 1)
Slipknot’s album is still in the top ten, having sold over 33,000 copies in Week 2. That’s a hell of a lot more records than most bands, metal or not, sell in their first week.
2) Machine Head (last week, 13)
Now that the album is streaming, and living up to the hype that precluded it, the band is on everyone’s mind. They also released a video for “Night of Long Knives” and a teaser for “Ghosts Will Haunt My Bones.” They’re leaving no stone unturned in the promotion, and the hype appears to be working.
3) Periphery (debut)
Look at Periphery go! We’ve known that Juggernaut was coming for about a year now, but we weren’t expecting there to be two of them!
4) AC/DC (debut)
Hey, did you know that AC/DC have a new album coming out in December? All of that got obscured by the arrest of their drummer Phil Rudd, who’d been absent from promo shots and a video shoot. Now we know why – he was accused earlier this week of trying to have two men killed. Oops. By the way, AC/DC have a new album coming out in December.
5) At The Gates (last week, 2)
Only falling behind the Machine Head-Periphery-AC/DC media train that kept a-rollin’ all week, At The Gates quietly had At War With Reality debut near the top 50. Hard to believe that the band who once personified the Swedish death metal underground nearly had a top 50 record on Billboard, but it’s amazing to see sales on par with quality for one of the year’s best metal records.
6) Slayer (last week, 3)
We got a better look at that car this week, and now we want all of our cars to come with instrument inputs! Also, the band’s tour is kicking off next week. Big surprise here – it’s sponsored by Scion!
7) Devin Townsend (last week, 4)
Devin Townsend had the highest-charting album of his career with the top 72 debut of Z2.
8) Mastodon (last week, 6)
The band’s second tour with Kvelertak and Gojira ends this week. Kudos to them for taking two such great bands on tour with them. It’ll be interesting to see if that companion EP to Once More ‘Round the Sun ever comes out.
9) Metallica (last week, 5)
Metallica doesn’t even have to do anything to stay in the top ten.
10) Five Finger Death Punch (last week, 10)
We know, we know. Not necessarily anyone’s idea of true metal, but people keep buying their records. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, who are those people?
11) Obituary (last week, 15)
They might not be catching FFDP any time soon in terms of pure sales, but Inked In Blood sold a full 4,000 more copies than 2009’s Darkest Days. Clearly Relapse, and the Tardy brothers, are doing something right with this comeback. They have a ways to go to catch their own benchmarks, though: Obituary’s 1992 classic The End Complete sold an insane 550,000 albums worldwide.
12) Exodus (last week, 11)
An album that’s a return to form, with a singer that’s a return to singer.
13) Job For A Cowboy (debut)
Damn, their fourth album, due out next week, is good. The band keep evolving, but still remaining true to their death roots. Listen to the new album and you’ll agree.
14) Black Crown Initiate (last week, 12)
Still the #1 band at metal radio, according to CMJ. Plus, they’ll be touring with Napalm Death and Voivod next year. They’re surrounding themselves with great bands.
15) Taylor Swift (debut)
She’s not metal at all, but she’s deserving of being in here for four reasons:
– Anyone that can sell 1.3 million copies of an album in one week has the weight to make the cut.
– When you’re so successful that Slipknot fans are trying to measure the success of that album against a gentle, electronic-tinged pop record, you’re having a noteworthy impact on the metal world.
– Your mom loves Taylor Swift, and us talking about her is your one chance to get your mom into Black Crown Initiate.
Also, if you slow down “Shake it Off” enough, it sounds downright satanic.
On the bubble: Unearth, Old Man Gloom, Psycroptic, Anthrax (from 7)
Dropped off: DevilDriver (from 10), Bring Me The Horizon (from 11), Amaranthe (from 14)