Hatebreed Don’t Debut on Billboard 200 Chart for the First Time in 23 Years

  • Axl Rosenberg

The first-week sales figures for Hatebreed’s eighth album, Weight of the False Self, are in, and relative to the band’s past releases, they are disappointing.

According to Lambgoat, Self sold 5,250 copes in the U.S. in its first week of release — less than a third of what the band’s last album, The Concrete Confessional, did during that same time frame in 2016. And while every metal band suffers something of a sales drop from album to album these days, that’s, y’know, a lot — by way of comparison, Concrete only saw a a 6% sales drop from its predecessor, 2013’s The Divinity of Purpose.

In fact, Weight of the False Self is the first Hatebreed album not to debut on the Billboard 200 chart since their 1997 debut, Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire (Concrete bowed at #25, Divinity at #20). Furthermore, every Hatebreed album between Desire and Self cracked the Top 50 its first week out of the gate.

Before Hatebreed haters start celebrating, it’s worth noting that the album did land on five other Billboard charts:

  • Hard Rock Albums chart – #12
  • Top Current Album Sales chart – #28
  • Top Album Sales chart – #48
  • Independent Albums chart – #48
  • Top Rock Albums chart – #50

Still, I have to imagine neither Hatebreed nor their label are exactly thrilled about this.

So went wrong? I don’t think it’s a quality issue — Weight of the False Self is as good as anything Hatebreed have ever released. And it’s clearly not fans getting bored with the group’s sound, which has remained more or less consistent all the years, ’cause that approach never hurt Slayer.

Could Weight the False Self simply be yet another victim of COVID-19? That seems more plausible to me: plenty of us have had to cut back on spending this year, and without touring, bands can’t properly promote new releases.

But that explanation is still kinda far-fetched, ’cause in the scheme of things, an album, in physical or digital form, isn’t overwhelmingly expensive. And at this point it seems safe to assume that the entirety of the metal and hardcore communities know Hatebreed, so regardless of their inability to tour, it’s likely people knew this record was coming out.

All of that being the case, I think there is only one logical explanation for the massive dip in Hatebreed’s sales: backlash against Jamey Jasta for dissing Chvrches. SYNTHPOP FANS NEVER FORGET AND NEVER FORGIVE!!!

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