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. Machine Head, with their top 20 debut for Bloodstone & Diamonds, sit atop our rankings for a second week, but there are plenty of new debuts.
1) Machine Head (no change)
The #20 album in the country this week sold a little more than 2012’s Unto the Locust and marks the highest chart position of Machine Head’s career. That’s great for both Nuclear Blast and Machine Head with the trend of people buying less music and choosing to stream it instead.
2) Slipknot (no change)
The #1 metal album at CMJ, closing in on 200,000 sold, and still in the top 30 at Billboard after nearly a month on the chart. And, it’s Revolver Mag‘s album of the year. The band has a juggernaut on their hands.
3) Metallica (last week 6)
A week of Craig Ferguson shows. Finally, this up and coming band can get a little bit of exposure.
4) Slayer (last week 5)
Slayer continue to tour, and if our Facebook feeds are any indication, everyone is going to see them.
5) Periphery (last week 12)
Did you hear “The Scourge”? It’s the first new song from Juggernaut. Every Internet gear forum junkie is trembling with anticipation.
6) AC/DC (no change)
Columbia pulled out all the stops for a major fan event when they played Rock Or Bust for a free-admission crowd in NYC two weeks early. The Phil Rudd debacle has been all but drowned out by pure fan excitement for this album.
7) Foo Fighters (debut)
Sure they’re a rock band, but they actually sold more albums first-week than Slipknot, and the Foos’ influence was enough to dent the power rankings on another band’s behalf (see #15).
8) Lamb of God (debut)
When all it takes to get your fans psyched is a few unexplained storm clouds rolling over your website, just think of what Lamb of God’s inevitable new album announcement is going to do.
9) Arch Enemy (debut)
Remember the time when Jeff Loomis joined Arch Enemy? No? You clearly weren’t at a computer on Monday.
10) Five Finger Death Punch (last week 8)
The weekly divider between bands who made huge power plays and bands who are just trucking along lies somewhere between a dormant Metallica and these guys. FFDP is the metal equivalent of Taylor Swift: they’re on the radio a lot (like, a lot), sell disproportionately more records than other artists like them, and listening to them on purpose will invalidate any argument you have with a metal nerd.
11) Obituary (last week 14)
This edition of the Death To All tour has drummed up a huge amount of excitement, and these veterans are poised to deliver.
12) At the Gates (last week 9)
Expect At War With Reality to leave a Carcass-sized footprint on year-end album lists everywhere.
13) System of a Down (debut)
John Dolmayan’s cryptic tweets were enough to start rumors of a new album. That’s all it took. No other info, just one guy with a 140-character limit. What’s the over/under for Serj Tankian showing a nipple on Instagram as part of the final reveal?
14) Exhumed (debut)
The band’s hilarious appearance on The Eric Andre Show took a couple weeks to get noticed by everyone, but it’s put a lot of new eyes on the long-running death metal band.
15) Kyuss (debut)
The Los Angeles episode of Sonic Highway featured lots of love for Kyuss’ 1992 cult classic Blues for the Red Sun, which promptly debuted in the top 20 at iTunes rock chart (it’s at #40 now). Better late than never!
On the bubble: In This Moment, Northlane, Soundgarden, Bloodbath
Dropped off: Opeth (4), Cannibal Corpse (7), Exodus (10), Cavalera Conspiracy (11), Job For a Cowboy (13) Obliterations (15)