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 been a long long time since Refused put a record out, and the instant excitement over “Elektra” shoots them right up to the top of our list this week.
1) Refused (debut)
They aren’t technically a metal band, but no one else is touching them this week. Refused shocked the world on Monday by releasing “Elektra,” their first new song in nearly 20 years. Even more shocking – it’s awesome, AND there is a full album (Freedom) coming June 30! What will happen now that this game-changing, highly political hardcore band is widely appreciated in ways that they never were in the 90s, with a bigger platform for punk protest than ever? We’re excited as hell to find out.
2) Black Sabbath (re-entry)
The last album and tour will hit in 2016. As long as they don’t call it 16, it’s sure to be an epic grand finale. Now they all just need to get there in one piece.
3) Deftones (reentry)
New album in September! If a whole lot of metalheads have babies in June 2016, you can probably blame this band for it.
4) Metallica (from 1)
Quiet week on the ‘Tallica front, but dragons always need time to sleep. Megadeth and Slayer, don’t forget: peace sells.
5) Slipknot (reentry)
Corey Taylor’s book looks like a fascinating read, and the tour with Lamb of God will take metal by storm this summer, and they’re on the road now with Hatebreed. The new album is well over the 300,000 mark now.
6) Lamb of God (from 2)
We mentioned them in the same breath as Slipknot, and you got excited right away. That’s why Lamb of God is sitting here. Any questions? No? Good. In the meantime, Randy Blythe would like to extend you a motherfucking invitation to a gallery showing of his photography in NYC tomorrow.
7) Faith No More (from 5)
There’s some decidedly middling buzz around Sol Invictus, but that won’t stop it from being the most hotly anticipated rock album release of this May.
8) Clutch (reentry)
They debuted a new song with the help of an ironing board, and their tour with Mastodon is a blast from the Remission days of past that will put them in some huge venues.
9) Tool (reentry)
Any news is huge around these guys, and the fact that Joe Barresi might, MIGHT be working on a new Tool record just gets us more interested.
10) Megadeth (from 3)
The mudslinging from Nick Menza is starting to stick, probably because very few fans are doubting anything being said. New music would fix that in a second.
11) Slayer (from 3)
Another case where the chatter around the band – Dave Lombardo is never coming back, ever, no really guys, they mean it – is overpowering the music. The difference is, the current band members are the ones talking, and that’s always worse. Mayhem Fest will boost them up in short order, however.
12) GWAR (reentry)
Between GWAR-BQ and the 30th anniversary tour, the scumdogs continue to show healthy vital signs without Oderus.
13) Nightwish (from 11)
They sold almost another 2500 albums this week. They may not be as huge here as in Europe, but Floor Jansen’s debut with them is still leaving a considerable impression.
14) Kamelot (debut)
If you’ve already heard sickening amounts of Nightwish and are still listening to it anyway, Kamelot’s impending Napalm debut Haven should be next on your list. A little smaller both here and overseas, their headlining tour with DragonForce still has them on track to make a very big splash when the album hits Tuesday.
15) Lucifer (debut)
One of the coolest new bands we heard this week, this intriguing supergroup – The Oath, Angel Witch, Cathedral and Ladytron (?!?) can all claim prior ownership of members – looks like Rise Above’s newest chance to continue knocking killer 70s-indebted metal out of the park, after Ghost (before they had to add the BC) and Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. Keep an eye on them.