It's a Battle of the Bay Area in the Stage Dive Region of Round 1 in our March Metal Madness tournament to determine the Best Debut Metal Album of All Time! This one is especially interesting considering Kirk Hammett was once a member of Exodus before jumping ship to join Metallica.

Most point to Kill 'Em All as the first-ever thrash album as a new, harder take on heavy metal was developing in San Francisco in the early '80s. With a bit of a stuttered gallop, Metallica spearheaded the genre, carrying over some of their New Wave of British Heavy Metal influences as they delivered now renowned classics like "Seek and Destroy," "Phantom Lord" and "Hit the Lights."

Back in the day, Exodus were the band all the Bay Area thrash acts idolized. It's not difficult to hear why with Gary Holt's insatiable thirst for pit-first riffs, unleashing torrents of angsty guitar work while Paul Baloff's feral howl was unlike any other in the scene. With "Piranha," the title track and "Strike of the Beast" in tow, Bonded by Blood is hard to mess with, but stacked up against Metallica, we're set for one great matchup early on!

So which album will move on to Round 2 of March Metal Madness 2017? Vote below for either Metallica’s Kill 'Em All or Exodus’ Bonded by Blood 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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