Metallica's Hardwired... To Self-Destruct earns third-biggest opening week of 2016

Heavy metal rockers Metallica soar to the top of the weekly US Billboard 200 album chart.
Metallica performing at the Global Citizen Festival at Central Park in Manhattan, New York, US, on Sept 24, 2016.
Metallica performing at the Global Citizen Festival at Central Park in Manhattan, New York, US, on Sept 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Metallica leads a crop of new releases on the latest Billboard album chart, as the veteran metal band topped Bruno Mars and Miranda Lambert to score its sixth consecutive No. 1 debut this week.

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct, Metallica's first studio album in eight years, sold 281,000 copies in the United States in its first week out, according to Nielsen.

That is the third-best showing of the year, after albums by Drake and Beyonce.

Hardwired, which is the band's first studio release on its own label, Blackened Recordings, also had 9.3 million streams, which helped to bring its full "album equivalent" sales to 291,000 for the week.

Since Metallica (better known as the Black Album) in 1991, every new studio album by the band has opened at No. 1 on the Billboard chart.

Also this week, Mars' new 24K Magic (Atlantic) opened at No. 2 with the equivalent of 231,000 sales (including a solid 33 million streams), and Lambert's The Weight Of These Wings (RCA Nashville) opened at No. 3, with the equivalent of 133,000 sales.

Pentatonix's A Pentatonix Christmas (RCA) fell two spots to No. 4 in its fifth week out, and last week's best seller, A Tribe Called Quest's We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic), fell to No. 5.