Avenged Sevenfold gets first No. 1 album

'Nightmare' sells 163K; Eminem's 'Recovery' drops to No. 2

Avenged Sevenfold garners its first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart as "Nightmare" arrives atop the list, bumping Eminem's "Recovery" to No. 2 after a five week reign at No. 1. Avenged begins with 163,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan, trumping "Recovery" (159,000; down 15%) by less than 4,000 units.

"Nightmare" is the rock band's highest charting set, surpassing the No. 4 debut and peak of its 2007 self-titled effort. That album also earned the group's previous best sales week of 94,000 when it arrived.

The new album easily beat initial sales projections, as some industry prognosticators thought it would move somewhere in the range of 120,000 to 130,000 copies. But those early forecasts were tossed aside by late last Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, when it seemed like the "Nightmare" album had a solid shot at No. 1 with a much larger sales number.

With only "Nightmare" arriving in the top 10, it's the first time we've had this few debuts in the top 10 since the chart dated March 13 (reflecting the sales week ending Feb. 28), when Johnny Cash's "American VI: Ain't No Grave" was the lone top 10 debut at No. 3.

As for the rest of the top 10 this week, Rick Ross' "Teflon Don" drops one rung to No. 3 in its second week (63,000; down 64%), Justin Bieber's "My World 2.0" climbs two spots to No. 4 (38,000; down 3%) and Drake's "Thank Me Later" falls one spot to No. 5 (34,000; down 28%). The "Kidz Bop 18" collection falls just one notch to No. 6 in its sophomore frame (29,000; down 32%), Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" rises two to No. 7 (27,000; up 11%) and Sheryl Crow's "100 Miles From Memphis" slips five positions to No. 8 (24,000; down 57%). Rounding out the top 10 are Lady Gaga's "The Fame," up one to No. 9 (just under 24,000; down 3%) and the "Now 34" collection, falling two to No. 10 (22,000; down 18%).

Though Eminem is sidelined from No. 1 on the Billboard 200, perhaps he can take solace in the knowledge that he still owns the No. 1 slot on the Digital Songs chart as "Love The Way You Lie" sells another 300,000 downloads (down 10%). The biggest movers into the Digital Songs' top 10 are Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" (11-4 with 183,000; up 119%) and Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" (12-7 with 135,000; up 68%). The tally's highest debut is Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" at No. 12 with 93,000.

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Aug. 1) totaled 5.21 million units, down 1% compared to the sum last week (5.29 million) and down 13% compared to the comparable sales week of 2009 (5.96 million). Year to date album sales stand at 174.9 million, down 12% compared to the same total at this point last year (199.2 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.7 million downloads, down 2% compared to last week (21 million) and down 2% stacked next to the comparable week of 2009 (21.2 million). Year to date track sales are at 681.3 million, down 1% compared to the same total at this point last year (685.1 million).