Avenged Sevenfold debuted at the plum spot of number one on this week's Billboard sales chart, with their new album 'Nightmare' selling nearly 163,000 copies its first week in stores and finally toppling Eminem from his month-long reign atop the charts.

That's a huge amount of records in today's marketplace, and the band has been clawing its way to the top since the early '00s, so it's a testament to their work ethic and to the devotion of their fans, who rallied behind the band when drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan unexpectedly passed away in late December. Moreover, it's one of two key factors that are proving that in a down music industry, metal is recession-proof.

In addition to 'Nightmare' outpacing its self-titled predecessor by nearly doubling its first week's sales tally, the third annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, featuring the likes of Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Hatebreed and Shadows Fall, among others, is bucking the summer tour trend that has seen acts like Christina Aguilera and Limp Bizkit cancel entire tours and more mainstream-leaning jaunts like the all-female Lilith Fair and the 'American Idol' tour axing dates.

The touring market is sluggish, with ticket sales plummeting to alarming, code red lows, but with Mayhem, it's full steam ahead. The tour is enjoying a 30 percent increase in sales this summer, thanks to an attractive and affordable ticket price for a 10-hour day of quality metal entertainment. Fans are turning out in droves, showing up for the side stage bands and staying through the headliner encore.

While there is no denying that the economy is in a tenuous state, the metal community is still looking for quality entertainment with value-friendly prices. The headbangers are still buying records and showing up for concerts. We may be flirting with a recession overall and record and ticket sales continue to dip, but Avenged Sevenfold, who will co-headline the Uproar festival starting later this month, which picks up where Mayhem leaves off, and Mayhem are two shining example of metal circumventing the recession and serving as a bright spot! Music heals and cures and metal fans are letting it the genre do its job.