The Billboard 200 chart is rocking. Bring Me the Horizon’s That’s the Spirit and Slayer’s Repentless are bringing both groups career-high ranks on the chart at Nos. 2 and 4, respectively, and Five Finger Death Punch and Iron Maiden made big splashes recently as well.
That’s the Spirit starts with 62,000 equivalent-album units earned in the week ending Sept. 17, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 55,000 were pure album sales — the band’s biggest frame yet. (It’s also the top-selling LP of the week, bowing at No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart.) The pair of debuts comes a week after fellow veteran hard-rock acts Five Finger Death Punch and Iron Maiden also bowed at Nos. 2 and 4 on the Billboard 200 with new releases Got Your Six and The Book of Souls, respectively. Five Finger claimed its best sales week ever (114,000), and Iron Maiden collected its biggest sales frame (74,000) since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in 1991.
While both Bring Me the Horizon’s and Five Finger Death Punch’s debuts led the Top Album Sales chart, neither could bump red-hot pop/R&B star The Weeknd and his Beauty Behind the Madness from No. 1 on the Billboard 200, where it sits for a third straight week. The LP reigns with 99,000 equivalent-album units earned, with 48,000 of those units from pure album sales.
Because the Billboard 200 ranks the most popular albums of the week based on overall consumption — blending album sales, track-equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming-equivalent albums (SEA) — The Weeknd is far and away the leader in terms of overall units earned, despite stronger sales from the rock albums stuck at No. 2 on the chart two weeks in a row. Beauty Behind the Madness benefits largely from the strong sales and streams of its two smash singles, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “The Hills,” which are at Nos. 3 and 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, respectively. For the week, 51 percent of Beauty Behind the Madness‘ units were earned by TEA and SEA.
In comparison, just 10 percent of the debut-week units generated by Bring Me the Horizon’s That’s the Spirit were owed to TEA and SEA. The same sort of scenario holds for the other three rock albums, which had strong sales but underperformed in other areas: Slayer’s debut was driven by just 2 percent TEA/SEA, while Five Finger Death Punch’s and Iron Maiden’s starts were 4 and 1 percent, respectively.