Neilstein Soundscam

NEILSTEIN SOUNDSCAM: AMON AMARTH ARE THE [VI]KINGS!

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Neilstein Soundscam

If you’d’ve told me in 1993 that some Swedish metal band that sings about Viking lore would sell more records than Pearl Jam 18 years later, I’d’ve called you crazy. Shit, if you’d have told me earlier this year that Amon Amarth would sell more records than Pearl Jam I’d’ve called you crazy. But that’s exactly what happened this past week. Sure, the Pearl Jam release in question was a reissue, but still; how unlikely is it that Amon Amarth, of all bands, have one of the strongest metal debuts of 2011 so far, strong enough to net them #1 on the Hard Music chart — selling roughly 14x the number of copies The Haunted’s new album did (in the U.S.) — and to beat out the enduring monolith that is Pearl Jam? Pretty fucking unlikely, and pretty fucking awesome too. Slow and steady wins the race, I suppose… 13 years and 8 albums in, Amon Amarth have broken through.

No doubt, it’s all due to this 10-year old Amon Amarth fan (WARNING: severe metalhead overload alert!).

Whitesnake (!), Within Temptation, Cavalera Conspiracy, Becoming the Archetype, Obscura and The Haunted also cracked the Top Hard Music Top 100 in their first week of U.S. release; those releases and other notable charting albums after the jump.

1 AMON AMARTH –  SURTUR RISING
Last week: 14,696 (debut)

Hail!

2 PEARL JAM – VS. / VITALOGY REISSUES
Last week: 13,074 (debut)

(Included for reference.)

3 RISE AGAINST – ENDGAME
Last week: 13,050
Cume: 119,572

I’m checking this band out right now at the behest of the many MS commenters who said I should following last week’s query, and I totally get it. Energetic, catchy and mostly harmless old school punk rock ala Bad Religion. I definitely see why these guys are popular, and I can totally get down with it too.

4 FOO FIGHTERS – GREATEST HITS
Last week: 12,365
Cume: 389,431

Did I miss something or did a specific event precipitate a 482% rise (literally) in this greatest hits’ package’s sales from week to week? I mean… wow. I know the Foos are creating some buzz right now whatwith a sweet new video featuring Lemmy and all, but the new album’s not even out yet! Clever endcap positioning? Firesale? Someone please explain this to me.

5 WHITESNAKE – FOREVERMORE
Last week: 12,116 (debut)

I guess I should check this one out, huh? I mean, Ratt did it… so I guess it stands to reason that Whitesnake can too.

6 WITHIN TEMPTATION – UNFORGIVING
Last week: 11,682

I have nothing interesting or clever to say about this release. Go figure.

10 CAVALERA CONSPIRACY –  BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA
Last week: 4,933 (debut)

Serious question: which will sell more records first week, this or a new “Sepultura” (current lineup) album?

23 GUNS ‘N ROSES – CHINESE DEMOCRACY
Last week: 3,158
Cume: 618,763

3,158 people paid $1.99 for this Best Buy dust bunny last week… which means Best Buy is exactly $6,284.42 closer to recouping the $14 million they spent on purchasing 1.6 million copies of this bad boy in 2008. Congrats! Baby steps.

32 SOUNDGARDEN – LIVE ON I-5
Last week: 2,439
Cume: 13,580

New music plz kthxbai.

33 SALIVA – UNDER YOUR SKIN
Last week: 2,427
Cume: 8,987

So, ummm…. that happened.

34 BORN OF OSIRIS – DISCOVERY
Last week: 2,402
Cume: 8,904

Spearheading the miraculous resurrection of recorded music 2,402 units at a time.

42 BECOMING THE ARCHETYPE – CELESTIAL COMPLETION
Last week: 2,133 (debut)

No doubt all due to the stupendous Final Fantasy homage music video they premiered on MS!

47 OBSCURA – OMNIVIUM
Last week: 1,983 (debut)

Score one for ze German tech death masters! No one does it as well as Obscura.

57 CHILDREN OF BODOM –  RELENTLESS, RECKLESS FOREVER
Last week: 1,802
Cume: 19,154

Gonna crack 20k next week… will someone with full-fledged Soundscam access please pull chart numbers for their past releases and email it to me? I’d love to see how they stack up against each other.

63 ART OF DYING – VICES AND VIRTUES
Last week: 1,672
Cume: 6,482

Hopefully this band will master the art of dying off the charts next week for good. Hyuk hyuk.

66 DEVILDRIVER BEAST
Last week: 1,636
Cume: 23,534

I’m still surprised to see this album in the charts every week, but I’m not sure why — it’s a good album.

69 AIDEN –  DISGUISES
Last week: 1,592 (debut)

I thought this band was really popular. Guess not.

75 HALESTORM –  REANIMATE: THE COVERS EP
Last week: 1,503
Cume: 4,076

Worth the price if just for the “Slave to the Grind” Skid Row cover, which you can stream here.

98 HAUNTED*THE – UNSEEN
Last week: 1,226 (debut)

Strikes me as a disappointingly low number for a once mighty band. Despite all the public haterade, I actually really dig this album.

100 EMMURE – SPEAKER OF THE DEAD
Last week: 1,210
Cume: 22,269

This is the last week I will have to type “Emmure” in this column. I hope.

-VN

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