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Mastodon’s Hushed and Grim: First Week Sales Revealed

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Mastodon’s eighth studio album, Hushed and Grim, sold approximately 20,000 album equivalent units — 18K of which were pure sales — during its first week of release in the U.S., Lambgoat reports.

Those sales landed it the following positions on the various charts:

  • No. 20 — Billboard 200
  • No. 1 — Hard Rock Albums
  • No. 2 — Top Rock Albums
  • No. 3 — Top Current Album Sales

That makes Mastodon’s fifth album in a row to crack the Billboard 200 top twenty in its first week of release… although it’s also the band’s first album not to crack the top ten of that chart since 2011’s The Hunter.

Furthermore, Hushed and Grim‘s first week numbers mark a significant 46% decline from those of their last album, 2017’s Emperor of Sand. That record sold 43K during the same window, and debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200.

That’s a much steeper drop than Mastodon usually experience from album to album:

  • Blood Mountain (2006) – 24,000 copies – No. 32 on the Billboard 200
  • Crack the Skye (2009) — 41,000 (+170% increase) — No. 11
  • The Hunter (2011) — 39,000 (-5%) — No. 10
  • Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014) — 34,000 (-13%) — No. 6

And then The Hunter was +126%.

So what happened with Hushed and Grim?

Some of it is surely the usual factors — the pandemic, the nature of the modern music business, etc.

Some of it may also have to do with the fact that Hushed and Grim is a double album. That means physical copies are more expensive than their other releases. How much more expensive depends on which Mastodon album you’re talking about and from which outlet you’re purchasing it. But it’s not completely unthinkable that at a time when physical media has never been less important to the general public, asking for an extra ten bucks may have been enough to turn off non-completists.

Or maybe releasing it Halloween weekend was a mistake. Maybe people decided they’d rather spend their money partying.

Or maybe people just didn’t like the singles.

Or maybe not having Neil Fallon from Clutch on the album — the first time they’ve done so since Remission way back in 2002 — was much more detrimental to the record’s popularity than anyone could have imagined.

Or maybe it was just shit luck. An act of God. Force majeure.

I dunno. This definitely isn’t great for Mastodon. But it’s also not the end of the world. If their next album also drops nearly 50% in first week sales, then I might start to be worried.

Mastodon will head out on a co-headline tour with Opeth later this fall, with Zeal & Ardor opening. Dates:

Nov 16 – Asheville, NC – ExploreAsheville.com Arena [tickets]
Nov 18 – Boston, MA – The Wang Theatre [tickets]
Nov 19 – Albany, NY – Palace Theatre [tickets]
Nov 20 – New York City – Hammerstein Ballroom [tickets]
Nov 21 – Washington, DC – The Anthem [tickets]
Nov 23 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium [tickets]
Nov 24 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern [tickets]
Nov 26 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at the Moody Theater [tickets]
Nov 27 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom [tickets]
Nov 28 – Sugar Land, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land [tickets]
Nov 30 – Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre [tickets]
Dec 01 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium [tickets]
Dec 02 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater [tickets]
Dec 04 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Union [tickets]
Dec 05 – Denver, CO – The Mission Ballroom [tickets]

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