One likes to think that in recent years, metal has become at least slightly less antagonistic toward the pop music world. As digital streaming and on-demand video make airtime and magazine space less of a battlefield, heavy metal has created a self-contained scene that doesn’t need to worry about how it stands up next to big radio acts. But let’s be real: it always feels good when a metal band shows up a bubblegum pop star, even if it’s the biggest metal band in the world. Which is why its gives us guilty pleasure — but pleasure none the less — to learn that Metallica’s S&M2 has beaten Katy Perry’s Smile in first-week sales numbers.
As reported by our friends at MetalSucks, S&M2 sold 56,000 copies in its first week, while Smile sold a mere 50,000. This of course is tallied in ‘equivalent album sales,’ which include pure sales (physical and digital sales of the album) as well as stream equivalents, with 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription audio and video streams counting as one album sale. Metallica placed #4 on Billboard’s Top 200 and Perry at #5 (Taylor Swift, Pop Smoke and Juice Wrld occupied the top three spots for albums that came out in July, though, so metal fans shouldn’t get too cocky just yet).
Here’s the thing: we’ll be the first to admit that Katy Perry isn’t quite as infuriating as some other Top 40 pop acts. Truth be told, she has a sense of drama and overkill that could be cool if she upped her leather gauntlet game; our own staff writer once an open letter urging the singer to start her own extreme metal band. But Smile is also a saccharine-sweet single that’s all about how bright and happy the world is, which is the most depressing thing most of us can hear at any given moment, and in the eternal war that is Which Music Rules The Most, we’ll take the Four Horsemen over the Teenage Dream any day.
Listen to Metallica’s S&M2 below: