There were a ton of metal releases that hit the shelves last week, but the biggest success story for metal is Demon Hunter's 'The World is a Thorn,' which sold over 14,000 copies its debut week in stores. That's a huge number for a band that never tours (and yes, we had to mention since we're bitter about not seeing Demon Hunter play, since they don't very often!); other impressive debuts include Eluveitie, the folk metal outfit, which shifted nearly 2,000 copies of 'Everything Remains as It Never Was';

Arise, 'The Reckoning' (Regain): Arise craft Gothenberg melodic metal with crisp-as-ice-cold-water production and lots of throaty, screamy vocals and a guest appearance from Dark Tranquility's Mikael Stanne. 'No Memory of Light' and 'Adrenaline Rush' are front-loaded with choppy, scorched earth riffing.

Dillinger Escape Plan, 'Option Paralysis' (Season of Mist): New Jersey noiseniks Dillinger Escape Plan are revered -- worshipped, even -- by metal fans who like jarring, unpredictable metal that does whatever the spirit moves it to do. With 'Option Paralysis,' the band isn't quite as "out there" as it used to be, but things are still fresh, off-the-beaten path and intense as ever. These aren't songs as much as they are equilibrium-f---ing blasts of noise!

Scorpions, 'Sting in the Tail' (Universal): The Scorps are back for one final round and it's a stinger of a release, titled 'Sting in the Tail,' which sounds like a more modernized version of these German stalwarts. Klaus Meine's fingerprint-distinct vocals are the biggest clue that we're listening to the Scorps on 'Raise on Rock,' the title cut and 'Slave Me.' It's the band's 17th and final album, as they've announced their retirement. At least they went out with a sting! R.I.P.

Triptykon 'Eparistera Daimones' (CMR): This Swiss terror troupe -- featuring Celtic Frost's Tom G. Warrior -- really slathers on the doom on the deliberate 'Esparistera Daimones.' The album is fully committed to darkness and moves like a barge and has an overall haunting, soul-destroying atmosphere on 'Abyss Within My Soul' and 'Shrouds Decayed.' There's distortion and blowing winds that will leave a chill in your bones.

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