Avenged-Sevenfold
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Avenged Sevenfold's 'Hail to the King' Tops Music Chart

Southern California metal unit Avenged Sevenfold has taken its second consecutive album to the top of the U.S. album chart.

The Huntington Beach quintet’s “Hail to the King” (Warner Bros.) claimed the pinnacle with first-week sales of 159,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan data for the week ended Sept. 1. The band’s previous release, “Nightmare,” topped the list in 2010; the act was only slightly off the pace of that set, which tracked 163,000 in its first frame.

The album dislodged country singer Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party” from its perch after two weeks at No. 1. Bryan claimed No. 2 with 92,000 shifted (off 42%).

Two new rap albums also placed in the top five. Big Sean’s “Hall of Fame” (Def Jam) bowed at No. 3 with a 72,000-unit tally. The Detroit hip-hopper took the same slot in 2011 with “Finally Famous.”

Juicy J, a member of the Oscar-winning Memphis rap act Three 6 Mafia, made by far his best showing yet with his third solo release “Stay Trippy” (Columbia), which reached No. 4 behind a 64,000-copy launch. His 2009 set “Hustle Till I Die” peaked at No. 106, while “Chronicles of the Juice Man” (2002) topped out at No. 93.

The week’s other top 10 debut was “Alabama and Friends” (10 Spot), which came aboard at No. 8 with 32,000 shifted. The collection matches the titular country vocal group with such contemporary genre stars as Bryan, Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Florida Georgia Line.

Some familiar titles saw strong bumps from a week of post-Video Music Awards sales: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” saw a one-rung uptick to No. 5, selling 55,000 (up 20%); Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” leaped 16 positions to No. 6 with 37,000 sold (up 148%); and Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” was lofted nine slots to No. 9 with 27,000 moved (up 29%).

The week’s other holdovers included John Mayer’s “Paradise Valley” (No. 7, 36,000 sold, down 75%) and TGT’s “Three Kings” (No. 10, 27,000, off 65%).

Nine Inch Nails’ new “Hesitation Marks” is the prime candidate for a powerful debut on next week’s chart.

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