Heavy Metal FTW! Rock defeats Rap, 41 to 16

Great profile of Andy Sneap in the WSJ today. It includes this interesting statistic about metal versus rap:

[Andy Sneap] and old-school producer Tom Allom co-produced Judas Priest’s 18th full-length studio album, which was released in March. “Firepower” won critical praise and sold nearly 100,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. It also rose to No. 5 on the Billboard album chart—the highest spot in Judas Priest’s 50-year career. “Andy had always been a big fan of Judas Priest,” the group said by email. “He brought all of that love and sound knowledge into the studio.”

Mr. Sneap’s success reflects the enduring appeal of classic metal in the age of hip-hop. In the first half of 2018, rock, including metal, accounted for 41% of U.S. physical and digital album sales, compared with 16% for hip-hop/R&B, according to Nielsen Music. Including streaming, Metallica was America’s third-most popular rock act, after the Beatles and Imagine Dragons.

The resurgence of bands like Judas Priest comes amid a swing back to the traditional in metal. For years, younger acts enlisted dizzying chord changes and growly vocals in a bid to sound less commercial. Now, bands like Ghost, Kvelertak and Deafheaven are re-embracing the hummable melodies of metal’s glory days.

The future belongs to rock! Keep making great albums, dude. The metal-heads will be there for you.

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