It's Italy vs. Sweden as Fleshgod Apocalypse's bludgeoning album Oracles faces off against progressive masters Opeth and their landmark disc Blackwater Park. It's brawn against, well, brawn and beauty in Round 1 of the Extreme Metal Olympics!

Before fully indulging in their symphonic proclivities, Italy’s Fleshgod Apocalypse help put the country back on the metal map with Oracles. Hinting at some classical influences like the piano introduction of “Embodied Deception,” the influence was truly felt in the arrangements. With a manic performance of endless kicks and flurries of blast beats, Fleshgod kept the pedal fixed to the floor for 38 minutes of sheer, unrelenting hatred and overt brutality.

Opeth’s Blackwater Park, for many, is the Swedish progressive death metal band’s finest hour, marrying bleak, distorted passages with crushing rhythms and, of course, their lighter and softer nature. The duality of Opeth’s sound reached an apex in 2001 as songs like “The Drapery Falls” and “The Leper Affinity” seamlessly flow in and out of each moment; a darkly sublime coalescence.

Which album will move on to the Quarterfinals of the Extreme Metal Olympics? Vote for either Fleshgod Apocalypse's Oracles or Opeth's Blackwater Park in the poll below and check out a song from each album beneath the poll if you're unfamiliar.

(This poll will end on Thursday, Aug. 11, at 9AM ET. Fans are able to vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure your favorite song wins!)

Fleshgod Apocalypse, "Embodied Deception"

Opeth, "Blackwater Park"

Extreme Metal Olympics Matchups

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