If you’re a regular reader of Metal Insider, you likely check out Metal by Numbers, in which we look at the week’s biggest-selling heavy titles. Of course, streaming is more or less taking over as the way many people consume music, but hard rock and metal fans tend to be more loyal. With this current week’s chart marking nearly the halfway point of 2018, here’s a look at what sold the most. First off, it’s brutal in terms of sales. There’s only one album that’s sold more than a million copies, and that’s the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman. The tenth biggest-selling album, by Imagine Dragons, hasn’t even sold 175,000 yet. And if you’re expecting Metallica to not be all over this list, you’re wrong. The year is already off to a solid start, however, and while there are still plenty of older titles in here, a solid amount have been released this year so far.
Metallica, Hardwired… to Self Destruct (Blackened Recordings)
#22, 136,000 sold
It’s no surprise that this is this year’s biggest seller, but it’s pretty insane that in six months, it’s sold less than half of what it sold in its first week. This has to do with them announcing their Summer tour and bundling a copy of the album with anyone that bought a ticket, but it’s still impressive.
Bon Jovi, This House is Not for Sale (Island)
#25, 131,000 sold
Much like Metallica, a lot of this 2016 album’s sales this year are due to a concert promotion. This album returned to #1 fifteen months after it topped the chart in it’s debut week due to this.
Breaking Benjamin, Ember (Hollywood)
#30, 117, 500 sold
More than a year after it’s release, people keep buying Breaking Benjamin’s sixth album. No offense to the band, but does anyone know anyone who’s favorite band is Breaking Benjamin?
Greta Van Fleet, From the Fires (Republic)
#37, 98,000 sold
Metal? Not particularly, but this group of Zeppelin-worshipping kids are keeping rock music alive in a world where guitar-based music has fallen out of fashion with people their age. They’re one of the few new acts to be on this list.
A Perfect Circle, Eat the Elephant (BMG)
#40, 94,000 sold
Turns out there’s still quite an appetite for A Perfect Circle despite the fact that it’s been well over a decade since their last album. And now that we know Tool will be releasing new music next year, we’ll likely be seeing Maynard’s other band on here come a year from now.
Five Finger Death Punch, A Decade of Destruction (Prospect Park)
#42, 87,300 sold
AKA the contractual obligation album that helped finish up their deal. Two new songs and a compilation of their material set up their last full length for Prospect Park. Why they didn’t call the album Greatest Fists is beyond us though.
Metallica, Metallica (Blackened Recordings)
#43, 87,000 sold
These guys again? No surprise that the biggest selling record in SoundScan history makes an appearance on here. Metallica buying back their masters was the best idea they could’ve had, and it’s paid them back many times over, even if they occasionally lose millions on a film.
Judas Priest, Firepower (Epic Records)
#47, 84,000 sold
The gods of metal are showing these other whippersnappers how it’s done! Great to see them still selling albums and selling out arena tours. Helps that the album is a good one too. Hopefully they’ve got a few more in them.
Five Finger Death Punch, And Justice For None (Prospect Park)
#48, 82,500 sold
Every one of the band’s albums before this have at least gone gold. This one’s only been out a month or so, so it’s got potential to do the same, as it’s off to a good start. These guys can do no wrong in the eyes of their fans.
Shinedown, Attention Attention (Atlantic)
#52, 80,500 sold
The band’s sixth studio album is continuing to do pretty well, and they’re a reliable touring band as well. It’s the band’s first concept album about a guy overcoming problems and negativity and being reborn. Deep, man.
Ghost, Prequelle (Loma Vista/Concord)
#67, 62,000 sold
This is on here based on just one week of sales. Look for it to be up a lot higher when the year end recap rolls around. This is an artist development story, and another of the few new bands on this list. And they’re giving back by sinking money into their production and touring a ton.
Godsmack, When Legends Rise (BMG)
#71, 60,000 sold
They’re not quite doing the best they ever have, but this is still pretty solid for the Boston-area active rock hitmakers. After a career on Universal, this is their first album for BMG.
Kid Rock, Sweet Southern Sugar (BMG)
#76, 59,500 sold
Who? Oh yeah, the guy that announced he was running for office and then hung out with Nuge and the Donald at the White House. He used to be a rap-rocker as well. His third album, Devil Without a Cause, is diamond, having sold over 10 million copies.
Metallica, Master of Puppets (Blackened Recordings)
#77, 58,500 sold
Yet another Metallica album, a familiar fixture on these lists. In fact, the big surprise is that another mainstay, Kill ’em All, was replaced by another one of their releases. No Load or Reload on here, and don’t even talk about St. Anger.
Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory (Warner Bros.)
#99, 49,000 sold
One year after Chester Bennington’s death, the band’s debut album continues to sell. Like Kid Rock, it’s another diamond album, which we probably won’t see the likes of from a new artist ever again. It remains to be seen what they’ll be doing as a band, but their diehard fans have Mike Shinoda’s solo album to look forward to.
Guns N’ Roses, Appetite For Destruction (Interscope)
#113, 43,500 sold
This will be higher at the end of the year with the deluxe box set of the album coming out. A double album not deluxe version of this should elevate their sales if they’re combined. And while the announcement they made fueled rumors that Izzy and Steven might return to the band, that hasn’t happened…. yet
Nightwish, Decades (Nuclear Blast)
#122, 41,250 sold
This is the only power metal release on here unless you consider Judas Priest power metal. It’s definitely the only symphonic female fronted power metal on here, and it speaks to the ravenous fandom of Nightwish fans that they’d put a compilation album on the charts.
Guns N’ Roses, Greatest Hits (Interscope)
#123, 41,150 sold
The real Guns N’ Roses greatest hits album is right above this one. We’d imagine that the Appetite box set will goose sales of this as well, however. As for a follow-up to Chinese Democracy? Don’t count on it, even though it’d be interesting to hear what Slash and Axl would sound like on newer material.
Metallica, …And Justice For All (Blackened Recordings)
#124, 40,500 sold
The band’s proggiest and muddiest-sounding album continues to sell. We can’t wait to hear what the remastered version of the album sounds like. Jason Newsted probably can’t wait to finally hear what his bass sounds like either.
Nickelback, All the Right Reasons (Atlantic)
#130, 39,000 sold
Yep, Nickelback. Are they metal? No. However, and this is a sad fact, it’s the only of the releases on here to feature Dimebag Darrell, who contributed a posthumous solo to “Side of a Bullet,” the band’s tribute to him.
AC/DC, Back in Black (Columbia)
#134, 38,000 sold
The classics never go out of style, and while the future of the band is in doubt, as long as there are arenas, you’ll be hearing “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black.”
Metallica, Ride the Lightning (Blackened Recordings)
#141, 37,000 sold
This isn’t the last Metallica release to be on here, but the band’s sophomore album continues, like most of the rest of the first half of their catalogue, to keep on selling albums.
Nirvana, Nevermind (Interscope)
#145 35,000 sold
The biggest album of the ’90s? Nope, that’d be Metallica, but to many in the 120 Minutes generation, this will always be the best to them. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is the “Angel of Death” to the grunge generation.
Black Veil Brides, Vale (Republic/Lava)
#146, 35,000 sold
The band’s fifth studio album was their first in three years. They’re a reliable seller to the Alt Press Hot Topic-y crowd, and their tour with Asking Alexandria was a pretty apt one.
Metallica, The $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited (Blackened Recordings)
#159, 33,000 sold
Bet you were expecting Kill ’em All. Nope, the re-release of this one just around the time of Record Store Day helped the long-out-of-print EP between Master and … Justice made it’s way back on the charts.
Def Leppard, Vault: Greatest Hits (Island)
#167, 32,000 sold
Do you wanna get rocked? Apparently a lot of people did. Def Leppard’s first compilation continues to sell as the band are currently on the road with Journey, another band who was on this list that we left off, because at least these guys were considered metal at one time.
Aerosmith, Best of Aerosmith: The Millennium Collection (Interscope)
#168, 32,000 sold
Tyler and Perry – they aren’t just Medea! With their retirement tour looming, the band have been making hits for nearly 45 years (well, not so much this decade).
Three Days Grace, Outsider (RCA)
#169, 31,600 sold
Another rock band from Canada that keep making hits. Not Nickelback, however. I guess this is respectable for them. It’s the band’s sixth album.
Nirvana, Unplugged in New York (Interscope)
#174, 31,200 sold
Kurt Cobain, a martyr for a generation. Too bad about the guitar he played on this album, which is now in the hands of his daughter’s ex-husband.
Beastie Boys, Licensed to Ill (Def Jam)
#175, 30,000 sold
Perhaps as sad as Nickelback featuring the only appearance of Dimebag Darrell on this chart is that this album is the only appearance of Kerry King on this chart. And while many of the Beasties’ albums are better than their debut, it keeps on selling.
Stone Temple Pilots, Stone Temple Pilots 2018 (Rhino)
#176, 31,000 sold
The first Stone Temple Pilots album in eight years (and the second self-titled album in eight years), this features the debut of their new singer, Jeff Gutt.
Bon Jovi, Bon Jovi Greatest Hits (Island)
#178, 30,750 sold
From hair metal to soccer mom music, Bon Jovi’s greatest hits album will keep selling as long as their anthemic “Living On a Prayer” is still a guaranteed singalong at bars and arenas.
Black Label Society, Grimmest Hits (eOne)
#193, 29,000 sold
Zakk is bakk! Black Label Society’s 10th album sold enough to make the list, and despite the album title, is an album of all-new music. There may be some confused fans out there, but thankfully, it’s a pretty good BLS album.
Underoath, Erase Me (Fearless)
#194, 29,000 sold
Underoath’s first album in eight years had a pretty solid reception from fans