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. This week, Mastodon, buoyed by the surprise release of their most melodic song ever, return to the top.
1) Mastodon (re-entry)
“White Walker” is arguably the most haunting song Mastodon has ever released, and it’s reason enough alone to download the new Game of Thrones mixtape. (Anthrax and Killswitch Engage also made very solid contributions.) These guys should just make a new album every year.
2) Slipknot (re-entry)
The Gray Chapter was a popular enough album to return the band to the spotlight, but a knife fight between brothers gave them the most press they’ve gotten since the unfortunate incident that gave the album it’s title.
3) Anthrax (from 5)
Anthrax are back thanks to the Game of Thrones mixtape, and thankfully, the new song’s a ripper that bodes well for the album coming this year.
4) At the Gates (from 8)
In about two weeks, the Decibel tour kicks off. Can you tell we’re excited about it?
5) Metallica (from 1)
No word out of the Metallica camp about the new album beyond the interview last week. Here’s hoping it’s more pre-Load than Reload.
6) Melvins (debut)
Tour date announcements and an late (late) night talk show appearance are keeping the band more in the spotlight than they usually are.
7) Steven Wilson (debut)
More of a silent cult power than a commercial juggernaut, the Porcupine Tree founder quietly notched a top 30 record on Billboard this week. That’s a major victory for prog, be it rock or metal.
8) Faith No More (from 6)
You know when you’re a little kid, and you hope it snows so you’ll have off? And then you grow up and it delays the first Faith No More physical single in years? Yeah, fuck snow.
9) Missing (debut)
In the wake of Indian dissolving and Lord Mantis apparently blowing up a huge chunk of its lineup, Missing is suddenly looking like the biggest powerhouse in American black metal. Just check the member list: Charlie Fell (ex-Lord Mantis mastermind), Ken Sorceron (Abigail Williams mastermind and also ex-Lord Mantis), Jeff Wilson (Abigail Williams), Jef Whitehead (Leviathan, whose new album rules by the way), Sanford Parker (Corrections House/the Kurt Ballou of black metal production), and Fade Kainer (Statiqbloom). They haven’t even recorded the debut album yet, and Profound Lore is suddenly sitting on a nuclear warhead. Mark our words now.
10) Torche (from 4)
The band are currently on tour. If you haven’t seen them yet, do yourself a favor and pick up tickets. You’ll thank us later.
11) Deftones (debut)
Chino opened up about their next album, which will be out this year. The only bad news is that you’ll have to wait your own summer to hear it.
12) All That Remains (from 9)
This probably won’t end well. Prediction or song title? With a 75% second week drop for their album, it could be either.
13) Royal Thunder (no change)
Anticipation is growing for the release of the band’s third album, which will be out on April 7.
14) Ghost Bath (from 12)
The next Deafheaven? Maybe, but keep in mind that a lot of people probably don’t even know who the first Deafheaven are.
15) Byzantine (from 14)
If you’re in Austin, you should go see these guys at Metal Sucks’ showcase.