Slipknot are on course to end Ed Sheeran’s reign at the top of the charts with what would be their first number one album in 18 years.

The heavy metal group’s sixth studio offering, entitled We Are Not Your Kind, is in the top spot of the UK album chart at the midweek stage.

It is leading Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project by over 13,000 chart sales, said the Official Charts Company.

The masked group have sold the most physical copies and digital downloads across the weekend, while Sheeran – who has been number one for four weeks – still has the edge on streaming.

Ed Sheeran on stage
Ed Sheeran (Ben Birchall/PA)

We Are Not Your Kind is the group’s first album in almost five years and is on track to become their fifth consecutive top five album.

Slipknot’s breakthrough album, Iowa, is their only UK number one to date, topping the charts in September 2001.

Elsewhere in the top five, Welsh rock duo Feeder are heading for their ninth top 10 album with Tallulah.

The band’s 10th studio album is currently at three and could become their highest-charting record since 2006 retrospective The Singles.

Lewis Capaldi is at four with Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent, and Bon Iver are at five with their new album I,I.