Welcome to Metal Power Rankings: 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. It’s not always good news that get a band on this list, and while everyone is hopeful for new Iron Maiden news, the wrong kind of news landed this week. Thankfully, things seem to be going well.
1) Iron Maiden (debut)
As if to remind everyone of just how badass Bruce Dickinson is, the announcement of his cancer operation this week roughly amounted to “Bruce had a tumor on his tongue, no big deal, he’ll be running all over stages again in a few months.” When you and your band appear far more preoccupied with metal than cancer, that’s good enough for #1 on our power rankings.
2) Behemoth & 3) Cannibal Corpse (debuts)
In one corner: the greatest Polish metal band in history (sorry Vader), with a book about their history landing next week. In the other: one of death metal’s founding fathers, recently honored for selling 2 million albums worldwide despite being the exact opposite of Justin Bieber. They’re about to tour together. No question about it, this is an event.
4) Periphery (last week 1)
The tour and new album has been massive, but after only two weeks, Juggernaut isn’t even on the board at Billboard. Hopefully that’ll change, as they’re still one of metal’s biggest bands right now.
5) Torche (debut)
Restarter is on the verge of hitting everywhere, it’s Torche’s Relapse debut, AND it’s their heaviest album yet. So far, critics seem to be embracing the sludge welcomely.
6) All That Remains (re-entry)
Also coming out next week, ATR may not have Torche’s metallic teeth these days, but they’re undoubtedly successful, especially in the rock world.
7) AC/DC (last week 3)
Hard to argue with a Grammy bump for Rock or Bust, even as more overtly metal bands continue to take the spotlight back.
8) Faith No More (last week 6)
A third new song made itself known, and the anticipation for the new album continues to grow.
9) Metallica (last week 14)
If you read about that private corporate gig they played and didn’t think, “Damn, I wish that was MY office,” you’re not a Metallica fan. Meanwhile…hey Metallica, want to play our office?
10) Kylesa (debut)
Long a favorite of ours, they’re officially recording a long-awaited new album.
11) Black Sabbath (re-entry)
Speaking of more metal than cancer: survivor Tony Iommi turned 67 this week.
12) Slayer (last week 10)
New song on Record Store Day! That alone is excitement enough.
13) Stick To Your Guns (debut)
Their biggest career debut happened this week! They may be more –core than metal, but that’s something worth celebrating.
14) 36 Crazyfists (last week, 13)
Time and Trauma is that rare anthemic metalcore record where even extreme fans have had to give it respect, judging from reviews and what we’re hearing. With the band out of the spotlight for a while, we’re expecting this to be a dark horse success.
15) Deicide (re-entry)
They may not be as big of a headliner for the Metal Alliance Tour as Behemoth was last year, but the dependably extreme tour will only mean good things for Deicide in the public eye.
Falling Off: Napalm Death, Five Finger Death Punch, Blind Guardian, Machine Head, Anthrax, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage, Tenacious D, Mastodon