We're kicking off the Opening Round of our Extreme Metal Olympics with some of the heaviest and most legendary innovators of brutality from around the world. Featuring acts from countries such as the USA, Norway, Germany and Greece, Group 1 includes eight of the 32 bands who will compete for gold as the Extreme Metal Olympics runs side-by-side the 2012 London Olympic Games.

We begin with a matchup between the architects of death metal, the legendary Death. The late Chuck Schuldiner and his legacy will face one of modern metal's most purely interesting bands -- Greece's own Septic Flesh.

Veteran British act Venom are also competing in Group 1. Venom are the band who coined the term "Black Metal," helping give birth to the genre that their Norwegian opponents, Satyricon, have taken on to become one of black metal's biggest acts.

New school 'Pure American Metal' band Lamb of God will be one of four bands representing the USA, and they will be met by German technical death masters Obscura for a bloody battle.

Arguably the most commercially successful black metal band of the 2000s, Dimmu Borgir represent their home land of Norway, as they face American death metal giants Dying Fetus.

Check out music from these eight bands and vote for your favorites below!

(The Opening Round polls will close on Tuesday, July 31, at 12 noon ET. Fans are able to vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure your favorite band wins!)

Death, 'The Philosopher'
Septic Flesh, 'The Vampire from Nazareth'
Venom, 'Raise the Dead'
Satyricon, 'Mother North'
Lamb of God, 'Desolation'
Obscura, 'Anticosmic Overload'
Dimmu Borgir, 'Progenies of the Great Apocalypse'
Dying Fetus, 'Your Treachery Will Die With You'

 

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