First I want to start off by thanking everyone who took the time to vote in the tournament because after all, none of this is possible without your help. The first round of the 2017 Pedal To The Metal Tournament started off with a bang and some upsets along the way. The first division we are looking at is the Dio/Lemmy division which featured some cool match ups and was the late bloomer of the tournament meaning all of a sudden at the last minute, it blew up in votes. The first match up between Queensryche and Ghost seemed like a match that was pretty cut and dry with Ghost winning the match most of the time. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere, Queensryche fans show up and get the band the win by 11 votes. The match was between tournament first timers U.D.O. taking on tournament favorites Primal Fear and while Primal Fear always does it best to promote the tournament, unfortunately they never stood a chance against the legend as he won the match by 28 votes. The third match was much like the first match, it looked like for a while that maybe Saxon was going to pull off the win, but the former two time champions fans showed up when it counted and gave Judas Priest a come from behind win. Accept is one of those bands that you cannot take lightly because they have slayed some giants in their day and they did that in the first round beating last year’s runner up Iron Maiden by 44 votes.
The trash metal division a.k.a. The Jeff Hanneman division is a very tricky one because you never know what direction fans will head in when the tournament starts. They have done that since day one with them voting the giants out of the tournament (Metallica is a constant victim of that). This year’s first round was a little different than usual with fans going in the direction you thought they would. Megadeth owned their first round match up against newcomers Sepultura winning by 12 votes. Slayer had similar luck as Megadeth beating Death Angel by ten votes setting up a mega match in the next round. The Exodus/Suicidal Tendencies match was a true toss up and that is what I loved about it. You couldn’t really choose a clear winner between the two, but you were fine with what ever result. It was a great match up as well as the voting went back and forth with several lead changes, but in the end Exodus gets to live another day. The last match up features the unlucky Metallica who I believe for the second or third time has now been ousted from the tournament in the first round and Testament did it in convincing fashion beating them by ten votes.
One of my favorite divisions in the whole tournament is the Chuck Schuldiner division because of the fan participation that the division gets is second to none. Ever since I introduced it, it has been magic from the start and it’s produced our last two winners. Not much has changed as Destruction easily handled Entombed A.D. by a whopping 55 votes. The next match featured tournament newcomers Amon Amarth and Witchery as both were looking to make an impact. Unfortunately for one of them, only one can move on and Amon Amarth easily handled their opponent. The next match featured 2015 winner Kreator taking on newcomers Vader and for a while, it looked as if Vader was going to pull off the upset, but never count out Kreator and it’s fans as they brought the band back to a huge win. Death Metal legends Cannibal Corpse entered the tournament last year, made an impact from the start, and they are continuing it this year with a huge come from behind win against Blackened Death Metal legends Behemoth. That was a great match up that kept me on the edge of my seat.
The last division that we are going to talk about here is the brand new Metal To The Core division featuring Metalcore, Deathcore, Hardcore, and New Wave Of American Metal bands. This division is an absolute toss up because you don’t know what direction fans are going to be heading in. The first match up featured metalcore acts All That Remains and Upon A Burning Body go head to head. It was a match was heading in different directions as it looked like UABB was going to win, but in the end, All That Remains pulled it together and won. The next match featured New Wave Of American Metal flag bearers Lamb Of God take on Deathcore act Whitechapel in an epic match that was going back and forth. Like I said before, only one can move on and in the end Lamb Of God proved to be the mightier of the two. Trivium pulled off the win against Parkway Drive who led the match for most of the weekend and Killswitch Engage was able to hold off Suicide Silence. Check out the bracket below and get ready for the sweet sixteen.