Blabbermouth.net reports that SHADOWS FALL‘s Atlantic Records debut, Threads of Life, moved only 24,000 units in its first week of release to land at #46 on the Billboard 200 chart. Shadows Fall’s last proper release, The War Within on Century Media (not counting their B-Sides / rarities release Fallout From the War) moved 36,000 copies in its first week of release.

This is especially distressing for Atlantic Records, and even more so for the band. The idea of moving to a major label was to exploit their marketing manpower; apparently it didn’t work, unless Atlantic has more in the tank. Labels usually adjust their budgets based on first week sales figures, so the future is unclear.

This is not at all a slight against the fine folks at Atlantic; but I think it just speaks to the viability (or lack thereof) of metal bands signing to major labels. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; major labels are just not set up for metal bands to make money. There are exceptions, but you can probably count them on two hands. This may be premature, but you can probably add Shadows Fall to the list of metal bands for whom major labels have failed to deliver (see: MASTODON).

Click through for other noteworthy hard rock / metal first week sales figures…

CHEVELLE – “Vena Sera”: 62,000 (#12)
STATIC-X – “Cannibal”: 30,000 (#36)
BLACK SABBATH – “Black Sabbath: The Dio Years”: 21,000 (#54)
POISON THE WELL – “Versions”: 8,000 (#147)
THE CHARIOT – “The Fiancee”: 7,000 (#169)
MANOWAR – “Gods of War”: 2,000
AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE – “Can’t Stop The Machine”: 1,900


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