Neilstein Soundscam

Neilstein Soundscam: Out With the Old and In With the New


Neilstein Soundscam


Welcome to the new and improved Neilstein Soundscam. As promised at the close of 2012, this year the column will broaden its horizons by including more than just album sales to rank bands.

Using album sales figures as the sole metric for ranking bands has become outdated and no longer feels relevant. Although sales are certainly still one useful measuring stick for gauging a band’s success, they’re just that: only one, in a world that now has many. The new Neilstein Soundscam ranking system will take into account not only album sales, but tours, social networking, critical acclaim, general buzz, and, most importantly, my own subjectivity. Every week, I will be posting a Top 10. It’ll be a shitshow, and you are definitely going to be really mad at me.

If you want to have a look at expanded Soundscan numbers for metal releases, you can (and should) do so every week at Metal Insider.

Here we go!

Rank / Artist / Peak / Last Week / Weeks On

1. ↑ Hatebreed / 1 / – / 1

Sales of their new record Divinity of Purpose hit nearly 18,000 first week — outpacing the nearest competitor by several orders of magnitude — and it’s hard to argue that Hatebreed shoudn’t have this week’s top spot. In this case, sales figures do speak.

2. ↑ Suffocation / 2 / – / 1

Pinnacle of Bedlam won’t come out until next week, but the album is already garnering praise from esteemed critics such as our own Sammy O’ Hagar (4.5/5 horns). Peep our interview with studio vocalist Frank Mullen.

3. ↑ Ghost / 3 / – / 1

Our favorite cloaked Swedes announced a slew of North American tour dates and had to slightly alter their band name due to legal issues. They also announced that their new album Infestissumam will be released on April 5th. The media hits and buzz just keep coming for Ghost.

4. ↑ Meshuggah / 4 / – / 1

Came out of nowhere to release a free EP via everyone’s favorite sock manufacturer Scion. Social media pages were aflutter and endorphins were flowing. They lose points since the EP was a bit disappointing; only two tracks, none of which were new, contrary to the way Scion usually does these things.

5. ↑ Cult of Luna / 5 / – / 1

New album Vertikal came out last week and everyone seems to dig it, even people who heretofore couldn’t get into the band (like moi). Stream it here and read Dave Mustein’s review here.

6. ↑ The Bronx / 6 / – / 1

New album The Bronx IV brings it hard by all accounts, including that of our own Mad Sourman. And I concur. The band is also on tour right now, and, we’re sure, killing it nightly. Stream The Bronx IV here.

7. ↑ Kvelertak / 7 / – / 1

These Norwegians took the steam they’d gathered from their announcement they’d signed with mega-metal-label Roadrunner Records and parlayed it into a fun, new music video for their infectious track “Bruane Brenn.” And they’ve still got a month and a half to go until the release of Meir.

8. ↑ Intronaut / 8 / – / 1

The California stoners followed up an awesome song with an awesome video for it on the eve of their tour with Meshuggah and Animals as Leaders. Momentum is in Intronaut’s favor right now heading into the release of their new album in March.

9. ↑ Tomahawk / 9 / – / 1

Anything Mike Patton does is worthy of attention, and for that reason alone Tomahawk appears here. New album Oddfellows sold 5,675 units first week.

10. ↑ Audrey Horne / 10 / – / 1

The dad rock band featuring Enslaved’s Arve “Ice Dale” Isdal brings the jamz like no jamz have been brought since last year’s phenomenal Night Flight Orchestra album. New album Youngblood is out now and can be pre-ordered here.

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