The Valley, the new album from deathcore veterans, WHITECHAPEL, has debuted at No. 143 on the Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of roughly 5,800 in the United States. Meanwhile, the album bowed at No. 16 on the Top Album Sales chart, No. 7 on the Hard Rock Albums chart, and No. 5 on the Independent Albums chart.
While the band’s showing on the aforementioned Top Album Sales chart is impressive and represents Whitechapel’s second highest debut to date on said chart, the evolving landscape of Billboard charts and album sales continues to plague the metal genre, among others.
In 2014, Whitechapel had a Top 10 debut with their Our Endless War album, which sold more than 16,000 copies in its debut week. The band’s two previous albums landed in the Top 50 as well. Sadly, the past few years haven’t been as kind to Whitechapel.
The group’s previous album, 2016’s Mark of the Blade, bowed at No. 72 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 8,000, half the tally of its predecessor. Moreover, prior to The Valley, Whitechapel hadn’t sold less than 6,000 albums in a debut week since the release of their 2007 debut LP, The Somatic Defilement.
As an increasing number of music listeners opt to stream rather than purchase music, and with streams now factored into album sales tallies, it seems as though metal will continue to fade from Billboard glory as pop and hip hop continue to dominate.