Music Odds – Predicting Metal’s Best-Sellers of 2016

[This article was updated on November 16. Updates are in square brackets.]

When the average person talks about metal, they’ll throw out bands like Metallica or Slipknot.

People hear the loud screams, aggressive guitars, amplified distortion, and think, “oh that’s just heavy metal.” It’s pretty easy to decipher between metal and regular rock, punk, rap, and whatever the hell Nickelback is. But within heavy metal itself, there are many subgenres that the general public, with their unsophisticated metallic palates, aren’t aware of.

For instance, do you know the difference between death metal and power metal?  Neither did I until I wrote this. But just like fine wine connoisseurs, don’t tell a headbanger that it’s all the same. It’s not, dammit!

This is slated to be a big year for metal albums, with a host of highly anticipated album releases in a slew of subgenres. So I thought it would be fun to set the odds on who’s going to top the sales in metal’s major factions.

I’m sure someone – ok, a lot of people – will take issue with how some of the bands are classified, but know this: some bands fall within more than one subgenre whether you like it or not! (Don’t take my classification as gospel, but also realize that your own personal views on subgenres aren’t a trump card, either.)

Without further ado, let’s take a look at what new releases we’ll get from the smelter in 2016 and which ones will sell best.


Heavy Metal

Metallica – Hardwired… to Self-Destruct (November 18): 1/3

Avenged Sevenfold[Album name and release date TBA, the band is currently in a lawsuit with Warner Brothers]: 17/3

Megadeth – Dystopia (January 22): 9/1

Thrash Metal

Anthrax – For All Kings (February 26): 2/3

Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake [Release date TBA]: 3/1

Vektor – Terminal Redux (May 6): 17/3

Alt-Metal

Tool [Album name and release date TBA. This album has been rumored for years. It’s going to explode when it finally arrives.]: 1/19

Black Peaks – Statues (April 8): 35/1

Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain [Release date TBA]: 40/1

Nu-Metal

Deftones – Gore (April 8): 9/11

Korn[Album name and release date TBA]: 7/3

Rob Zombie: The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser (April 29): 17/3

Death Metal

Gojira – Magma (June 17): 2/3

Aborted – Retrogore (April 22): 13/7

Fallujah – Nuclear Blast (April 29): 19/1

[Ulcerate – Shrines of Paralysis (Oct.28): 50/1]

Metalcore

Hatebreed [Album name and release date TBA]: 11/9

Killswitch Engage – Incarnate (March 11): 3/2

Silent Planet – Everything Was Sound (July 1): 17/3

[Protest the Hero’s – Pacific Myth (Nov.18): 9/1]

Sludge Metal

Crowbar [Album name and release date TBA]: 1/4

Tombs – All Empires Fall (April 11): 9/1

Neurosis[Album name and release date TBA]: 9/1

Stoner/Psychedelic Metal

Red Fang – [Album name and release date TBA]: 1/19

Om[Album name and release date TBA]: 30/1

The Well – [Album name and release date TBA]: 50/1

Drone, Doom Metal

Sunn O))) – NOLIFE: Alive in Moscow 11 August 2015 (May 29): 3/2

Boris With Merzbow – Gensho (March 18): 13/7

Pallberer [Album name and release date TBA]: 3/1


(Photo credit: Kreepin Deth (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)