AVENGED SEVENFOLD's seventh studio album, "The Stage", debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200, having shifted 76,000 equivalent album units in the week ending November 3.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).
In terms of pure album sales, "The Stage" opened with 72,000 copies.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD's previous album, 2013's "Hail To The King", sold 159,000 copies in the United States its first week of release. The disc gave the California band their second straight chart-topper after 2010's "Nightmare", which moved 163,000 copies to hit the top spot upon its arrival.
"The Stage" was released on Friday, October 28, making AVENGED SEVENFOLD the first-ever rock band to issue an unannounced album in both digital and physical form. The quintet revealed their album was out during their live-streamed performance from the rooftop of the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood, California. The band gave a 3D/360-degree live-streamed virtual reality performance, enabling fans around the globe to view the show.
As for "The Stage", it is a 71-minute, 11-song concept album centered around the theme of artificial intelligence and inspired by the work of Carl Sagan and Elon Musk. Instead of a science fiction storyline, however, "The Stage" takes what a press statement called "a futurist's look at the accelerated rate at which technology's intelligence is expanding and what that means — good and bad — for the future."
The album's epic 15-minute-plus closing track, "Exist", features a guest appearance by award-winning astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, giving a spoken-word performance he penned specifically for the album.
The marketing plan and launch of the album, the band's first for Capitol Records, was months in the making, starting with the projection of the band's logo, the Deathbat, on buildings in cities around the world. The campaign even included some misdirection, as the group had its friend Chris Jericho "accidentally" leak a fake album title and release date.