In this Mosh Pit Region matchup in Round 1 of the March Metal Madness tournament to determine the Best Debut Metal Album of All Time, we've got albums from two different schools of metal, both a bit ahead of their time, as Iron Maiden's self-titled debut takes on progressive death metal luminaries Cynic and their Focus record.

Iron Maiden were a local sensation for years before finally landing a record deal. Refusing to give in to current trends, the Brits took some of punk's rollicking rhythms, marrying it with their infectious guitar harmonies, Paul Di'Anno's street-wise lyrics and from-the-gutter vocal charm and, on occasion ("Phantom of the Opera"), their progressive influences. Raw and unhinged, Iron Maiden exploded from here.

As death metal branched out into numerous styles, Cynic were among the brainiest, injecting jazz fusion influences into their progressive styled brutality. The use of a vocoder added a new clean vocal element to the genre's ever-expanding sound, offering a nice counter to raspier vocal emanations. Receiving a mild reaction upon its release, fans have come to recognize Focus as a crucial piece of death metal's history; it just took time for people to realize.

So which album will move on to Round 2 of March Metal Madness 2017? Vote below for either Iron Maiden’s Iron Maiden or Cynic’s Focus as the Best Debut Metal Album of all time in the poll below!

(Voting in Round 1 will end on Friday, March 17, at 10AM ET. Fans are able to vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure your favorite debut album advances to the next round!)

Headbanger Region Round 1
Mosh Pit Region Round 1
Stage Dive Region Round 1
Devil Horn Region Round 1

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