Neilstein Rosenberg Soundscan: Soilwork, Ghost, Volbeat, and The Dillinger Escape Plan Build Buzz
HI EVERYBODY! Vince is at SXSW, so I’m running Soundscam this week. As has been the case since February, this edition of Soundscam will rank bands not only by album sales, but by tours, social networking popularity, critical acclaim, general buzz, and my own whim. Please keep in mind moving forward that Vince is the even-headed one, so please don’t read any further if you’re a total pussy who can’t handle opinions that may differ from yours.
As a reminder, if you’re after pure sales figures from Soundscan, they’re available at Metal Insider this week and every week.
Alright, let’s do this!
1. Soilwork / Peak: 1 / Last Week: n/a / Weeks On: 1
Their new album, The Living Infinite, sold 7,775 copies in its first week of release, making it the band’s best debut ever. There are almost 13k people “talking about them” on Facebook. They just kicked off a North American tour with Jeff Loomis, Blackguard, The Browning, and Wretched, and while I have no idea how attendance has been on the first few dates, I know there’s a lot of buzz around the trek because Dirk Verbeuren will be playing drums for Soilwork and Loomis on the last eleven dates of the tour. Therefore, they win this week’s imaginary crown. HOW SHINY!
2. ↔ Within the Ruins / Peak: 2 / Last Week: 2 / Weeks On: 2
The band’s new album, Elite, sold 3,750 copies in its first week of release, and another 1,450. Which is probably not impressive if you’re Rob Zombie, but you’re talking about a second generation deathcore band here and I know groups that would kill to sell 1,450 of any of their albums total. They’ve only suffered a 36% drop in people talking about them on Facebook, and there were 74k more views of their new video for “Feeding Frenzy.” Just a few months ago I kept confusing this band with any number of other deathcore bands, and now I actually know who they are. So they’re doing something right.
3. ↓ Suffocation / Peak: 1 / Last Week: 1 / Weeks On: 5
Sales for their new album, Pinnacle of Bedlam, are dropping dramatically with each passing week (this week’s drop was a little over 60%), which is to be expected given that a) almost everyone’s sales drop dramatically with each passing week these days and b) they’re like 100,000,000x more br00tal than what 99% of the world’s population listens to or even considers to be “music.” But there are also 6,000 fewer people talking about them on Facebook. Their upcoming tour with Exhumed, Jungle Rot, Rings of Saturn, Adimiron, and Lord of War will mostly likely push that number back up again, but that’s still like three weeks away and this is now so there ya go.
4. Pig Destroyer / Peak: 4 / Last Week: n/a / Weeks On: 1
They just released a new EP, Mass & Volume, to benefit the family of Pat Egan, Relapse Records’ recently deceased (and much-beloved) director of retail sales and marketing, which is a mitzvah unto itself. But frontman J.R. Hayes was also just placed on a very prestigious list, and they just became the first grindcore band ever to have their own beer (I’m not counting the time I saw the guys from Lake Bukkake drink beer, piss into beer bottles, and then serve the contents to the members of a rival band). I think they’ve played a live show like once a month since the release of Book Burner, which in PxDx terms is practically a world tour, and a little birdie told me they have another big announcement coming up very soon, which is only gonna increase the buzz. Also, I’ll take any excuse to try and get more of you to check them out that I can. Also also, Scott Hull just had a birthday, and while that kind of thing probably should not be taken into account for this kind of thing, fuck you it’s my website.
5. ↓ Kvelertak / Peak: 4 / Last Week: 4 / Weeks On: 6
Although they’re just a couple of weeks away from the release of Everyone Loves This Album But Me, there’s only 200 more people talking about them than last week, and they barely got an additional 20,000 views of their video for “Bruane Brenn.” I’m sure once the album is actually released and they begin their tour with Black Tusk and Cancer Bats their status on this semi-arbitrary list will increase, but it seems like whatever people were buzzing about this week, it wasn’t Kvelertak.
6. ↑ Clutch / Peak: 6 / Last Week: 8 Weeks On: 2
Last week, 9k of their fans were chatting about them on Facebook; this week, that number is more than 12k. They’ve also seen a slight increase in “likes.” Their new album, Earth Rocker, continues to garner rave reviews, and there’s still that Decibel Magazine cover and upcoming tour with The Sword. Factor in general awesomeness and they get to climb the ladder a couple of spots.
7. Ghost / Peak: 7 / Last Week: n/a / Weeks On: 1
8. Rotting Christ / Peak: 8 / Last Week: n/a / Weeks On: 1
Their ridiculously good new album, Kata Ton Diamona Eaytoy, only sold 620 copies in its first week of release… but you’re talking American sales figures for a Greek band called “Rotting Christ,” and i) everything the Americans know about the Greeks we learned from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and that very special episode of Full House where Uncle Jesse’s uncle dies, and ii) you still can’t take the Lord’s name in vain on American television despite the fact that Jesus H. Christ, every fucking person I know takes the Lord’s name in vain at least twelve times every hour. What I’m saying is, 620 copies is a Christ-like miracle. There’s also almost 3,000 people talking about them on Facebook, more than twice as many as are talking about Kvelertak, who should be whipping Rotting Christ like they were Actual Christ. And they score bonus points for not having any members who are also Fascist politicians. Really the only way Rotting Christ could realistically be more popular at this point were if they gave out free blowjobs with every album purchased. And I don’t think Season of Mist has room for that in their promotional budget.
9. Volbeat / Peak: 9 / Last Week: n/a Weeks On: 1
As Mr. Jerry Seinfeld might ask, “What is the deal with this band?” Generally speaking, I don’t get their appeal — but there’s no denying that they’ve got big buzz going for them. Vimeo doesn’t display viewing stats publicly the way YouTube does, so it’s hard to gauge how many people have watched the video for their new single, “Cape of Our Hero.” But the bootleg rips on YouTube have a combined 27k+ views, so it’s a safe guess that a lot of people have watched the video. Only a small percentage of their Facebook fans are talking about them, but given that they have over a million of said Facebook fans, that number is still 13,ooo, which is amazing by metal standards. And as if all the Rob Caggiano drama didn’t get enough people talking about them (seriously, when was the last time you heard so many people discussing Rob fucking Caggiano???), they just landed an album cameo by King Diamond. I’d say things are on the up n’ up for these fellas.
10. The Dillinger Escape Plan / Peak: 10 / Last Week: n/a / Weeks On: 1
Their new single, “Prancer,” isn’t just good — it’s also more popular than weed at a Sleep show. To wit: the single almost got as many views on YouTube in three days as most bands’ on this list’s actual music videos have gotten in as many weeks, and 6,000 people are talking about them on Facebook. We’re still two months away from their release of their new album, One of Us is a Killer, but buzz is clearly building. I would bet on them topping this list come this time in May.
Well, this was fun. Vince will be back next week. In the meantime, feel free to argue about my choices in the comments section below!