Machine Head’s Catharsis album has been on the receiving end of numerous bad reviews from fans and critics. Though Catharsis will likely end up as one of Machine Head’s less heralded releases, frontman Robb Flynn discussed why he’s proud of Catharsis, despite low early sales and a “staggering” amount of vitriol aimed at the band.

Catharsis sold just 8,761 copies in the U.S. its first week, less than half to what 2014’s Bloodstone & Diamonds moved during release week. Machine Head also had their worst Billboard 200 chart performance since 2003, peaking at No. 65 with Catharsis. Of course, streaming culture has greatly affected album sales, as Flynn points out in his newest General Journal, pointing out Catharsis did 600,000 in streams its first week.

However, Flynn points to “online hate” as a factor in Machine Head’s Catharsis numbers. “I really do gotta give the biggest SHOUT OUT humanly possible to the Head Cases of America who have stood their ground through a veritable hurricane of negativity, online hate, and belligerent-ass-reviews to go out there and grab this album,” Flynn writes. “Frankly it’s a miracle we did those kind of numbers!! The sheer vitriol aimed at myself and the band, is to put it mildly, staggering. We make no apologies.”

Flynn adds, “But the fact remains, you stood with us! You deserve to be applauded so fucking loudly our hands should hurt from clapping and our throats from cheering. We are unbelievably grateful to you… more than you will ever know. What I’d also add to that we will rely on you, build off you, and champion you for standing with us, in what are frankly ‘weird fucking times.’”

One possible factor in the way the album has been recieved is that Flynn has found himself under fire for criticizing Philip Anselmo following the Pantera vocalist’s racist comments at Dimebash 2016. Flynn’s outspokenness on political and social issues may also be alienating.

Check out Flynn’s full General Journal on album sales, streaming and backlash here.

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