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mirons
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 12:59 pm
Posts: 307
Location: Latvia
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:02 am 
 

oilerfan wrote:
For me, one of the things that completely kill the vocals are lack of variation in tone and pitch. The vocals must have personality and emotion.


Good point; sometimes it's not so much the voice as it is the delivery. Case in point:o Dark Angel - Time Does Not Heal. It would be such an amazing album, jam-packed with incredible riffs but the vocals or so fucking monotone throughout the whole album that it makes listening to it like a chore.

AWinterShadow wrote:
From Metallica's 'Kill em All' to '...And Justice For All' you can practically hear James Hetfield getting older, going from pimply youth to bearded veteran.


I agree on the growth, but 5 years seems a bit fast for turning from a "pimply youth to a bearded veteran" - James had just turned 25 when AJFA came out :D (well, outside from a war scenario, I guess)

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The_Grindcrusher
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:46 pm
Posts: 57
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 5:33 am 
 

Depends, really.

For something like Six Feet Under, I can't stand it because the instrumentation is boring and... Well you all already know ol' buddy Barnes.

But that's because the instrumentation is boring, something like Megadeth, for example, I still like because it has good instrumentation even though I never really liked Dave's voice.

Basically, if instrumentation is good and vocals are bad, eh it's fine I can give it a shot. If instrumentation is good and vocals are REALLY bad, then no, I will not listen to it.
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des91
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:51 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2021 12:58 pm 
 

^^ A good example of that line of thinking for me is Gammacide. In this case, the vocals ruin it all for me. The music is pretty damn good though not great. Still would’ve liked it if they had an actually Metal and not a hardcore vocalist.

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Yuli Ban
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:07 am
Posts: 183
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:43 am 
 

^I'm convinced that punk vocals in metal bands is actually what kept back some early NWOBHM bands from greater success. Holocaust in particular comes to mind. Brats is another; it works for the punk tracks, but the clearly hard rock/metal ones seriously could've used some greater vocal range.

Motörhead made it work because Lemmy had such a distinctive, gruff voice anyhow, and the band was never shy about being a fusion of punk, metal, and bluesy rock and roll more than any one genre specifically.

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Yuli Ban
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:07 am
Posts: 183
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 2:53 am 
 

mirons wrote:
oilerfan wrote:
I agree on the growth, but 5 years seems a bit fast for turning from a "pimply youth to a bearded veteran" - James had just turned 25 when AJFA came out :D (well, outside from a war scenario, I guess)

They're not metal (for the most part), but I thought of Rage Against the Machine when reading this post. Zack de la Rocha sounded way different and had this noticeable "reggae drawl" (for lack of a better way to put it) on Battle Of Los Angeles compared to their debut, and that was 6 to 7 years.

I also think of this old video I saw about Metallica themselves, comparing Hetfield's live voice performance for "Creeping Death" over the years. From the late 90s onwards to about the mid-2000s, he clearly sang in the Load/ReLoad "country boy" style, but sometime around 2005-2006, he shifted right back to the "metal shout" of the 80s, and it was very noticeably different.

Vocalists just like experimenting and do evolve.

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Pelata
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:16 pm
Posts: 186
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:13 pm 
 

Vocals can absolutely make or break a band for me. It's not about preferring clean vocals or harsh vocals. The vocals have to sell it. The vocals have to carry some intensity and urgency. The vocal style, IMO, doesn't matter as much to me as hearing a vocal that puts the song over the top.

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Floodland
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:58 am
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:23 pm 
 

Case in point: Mercyful Fate / King Diamond. Awful, simply awful. Oh, but the riffs, and those guitar solos!
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Pelata
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 3:16 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 5:31 pm 
 

Floodland wrote:
Case in point: Mercyful Fate / King Diamond. Awful, simply awful. Oh, but the riffs, and those guitar solos!


I used to not be into King's voice much. I was more into singers (at the time) like Tate, Dickinson, Halford, etc and considered King's voice "thin".

Over the years, my perspective shifted and I hear him a bit as a character actor, manipulating and sculpting his voice for the overall vibe of the presentation...now I love it.

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Floodland
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:58 am
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:05 pm 
 

Pelata wrote:
Floodland wrote:
Case in point: Mercyful Fate / King Diamond. Awful, simply awful. Oh, but the riffs, and those guitar solos!


I used to not be into King's voice much. I was more into singers (at the time) like Tate, Dickinson, Halford, etc and considered King's voice "thin".

Over the years, my perspective shifted and I hear him a bit as a character actor, manipulating and sculpting his voice for the overall vibe of the presentation...now I love it.


I keep trying for more than 3 decades. It gets worse.
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Ill-Starred Son
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 1164
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:24 pm 
 

Sometimes, yes.

I don't usually like high pitched vocals with the rare exception of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond who I love.

I guess I have an appreciation for Judas Priest as for how important they were, but I wouldn't normally like that kind of vocals. Iron Maiden I've always liked. But I guess it depends on your definition of "high pitched" and I can't really give one, it's more of a case by case basis but I know it when I hear it.

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Vadara
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 393
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:53 pm 
 

Vocals are one of the main reasons I can't get into much DM. The entire genre uses such incredibly monotone growls that it just grates on my ears after a while. This is gonna ruffle some (or a lot) of feathers here but I've sampled DM and I can safely that no-name deathcore vocalists from bands with like 500 listeners on spotify blow most DM vocalists out of the water.

The overwhelming focus in nearly all metal is on the guitars and drums and vocals always come off as a complete afterthought, frankly. Most metal bands could be instrumental and not much would change.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1794
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 6:57 pm 
 

Vadara wrote:
Vocals are one of the main reasons I can't get into much DM. The entire genre uses such incredibly monotone growls that it just grates on my ears after a while. This is gonna ruffle some (or a lot) of feathers here but I've sampled DM and I can safely that no-name deathcore vocalists from bands with like 500 listeners on spotify blow most DM vocalists out of the water.

The overwhelming focus in nearly all metal is on the guitars and drums and vocals always come off as a complete afterthought, frankly. Most metal bands could be instrumental and not much would change.


Your hot takes are some of the worst in this current incarnation of the board.
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Ill-Starred Son
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:08 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
Vadara wrote:
Vocals are one of the main reasons I can't get into much DM. The entire genre uses such incredibly monotone growls that it just grates on my ears after a while. This is gonna ruffle some (or a lot) of feathers here but I've sampled DM and I can safely that no-name deathcore vocalists from bands with like 500 listeners on spotify blow most DM vocalists out of the water.

The overwhelming focus in nearly all metal is on the guitars and drums and vocals always come off as a complete afterthought, frankly. Most metal bands could be instrumental and not much would change.


Your hot takes are some of the worst in this current incarnation of the board.


Yeah seriously. I mean, I don't want to hate on people for their tastes but thinking that low-level deathcore bands have better vocalists than death metal bands??

I can't fathom thinking that.

I mean I don't like much deathcore period, other than a couple like Rings of Saturn but really, their vocalists are generally directly influenced by death metal and they growl a lot so what's to like about those deathcore vocalists if you don't like death metal vocals?

This also has to mean he doesn't like most grindcore vocals, and possibly some black metal vocals, i mean basically you'd think it means he likes zero extreme metal vocals, except he DOES like deathcore vocals?

Makes no sense.

Deathcore is basically IMO a weak attempt at mixing death metal and hardcore. They probably have some decent bands I haven't heard, but few deathcore bands IMO have much of anything on the best death metal bands.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1794
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:12 pm 
 

It's the "most metal bands could be instrumental and not much would change" statement for me today.

I've read when he slams death metal in general for deathcore before.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.

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oldmetalhead
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:30 am
Posts: 411
Location: Helltown, United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:12 pm 
 

I like clean vox, that's why I don't care for most BM and DM bands. I do like some bands that incorporate all aspects. But nothing but cookie monster or shrieking vocals, is not my thing, I don't care how good, skilled or technical the riffs are.

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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
Metalhead

Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 6:38 am
Posts: 1794
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:18 pm 
 

oldmetalhead wrote:
I like clean vox, that's why I don't care for most BM and DM bands. I do like some bands that incorporate all aspects. But nothing but cookie monster or shrieking vocals, is not my thing, I don't care how good, skilled or technical the riffs are.


When I heard "Lord of All Fevers and Plague", I was drawn in by how the vocalist seemed to be conversing with me in this alien tongue. I don't want a hint of clean singing staining a song like that. You are vastly underrating extreme vocal styles. It's stimulating stuff for the imagination sometimes.
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Gas_Snake wrote:
....my attention span is not your guinea pig. If even one of your songs exceeds 10 minutes, you're either a fucking genius or you need to self-edit that shit.

Empyreal wrote:
Seems like a pretty reductive way to see art.


Last edited by Metal_On_The_Ascendant on Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
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Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:21 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
oldmetalhead wrote:
I like clean vox, that's why I don't care for most BM and DM bands. I do like some bands that incorporate all aspects. But nothing but cookie monster or shrieking vocals, is not my thing, I don't care how good, skilled or technical the riffs are.


When I heard "Lord of All Fevers and Plague" I was drawn in by how the vocalist seemed to be conversing with me in this alien tongue. I don't want a hint of clean singing staining a song like that. You are vastly underrating extreme vocal styles. It's stimulating stuff for the imagination sometimes.


Yeah that kind of thing plus bands like Entombed, Demilich, The Chasm - I'm a big clean vocals fan too but I don't need them on that kind of music. Harsh vocals are just different and fit in different kinds of atmospheres.
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Ill-Starred Son
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 1164
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 7:28 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:
oldmetalhead wrote:
I like clean vox, that's why I don't care for most BM and DM bands. I do like some bands that incorporate all aspects. But nothing but cookie monster or shrieking vocals, is not my thing, I don't care how good, skilled or technical the riffs are.


When I heard "Lord of All Fevers and Plague", I was drawn in by how the vocalist seemed to be conversing with me in this alien tongue. I don't want a hint of clean singing staining a song like that. You are vastly underrating extreme vocal styles. It's stimulating stuff for the imagination sometimes.


Some people can just never grow accustomed to it.

I don't understand why.

We could say it's just a personal preference thing, but ideally someone should be able to find SOMETHING from each style that appeals to them.

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Vadara
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 393
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:00 pm 
 

Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:

Your hot takes are some of the worst in this current incarnation of the board.


I aim to please ^.^

Ill-Starred Son wrote:

I mean I don't like much deathcore period, other than a couple like Rings of Saturn but really, their vocalists are generally directly influenced by death metal and they growl a lot so what's to like about those deathcore vocalists if you don't like death metal vocals?

This also has to mean he doesn't like most grindcore vocals, and possibly some black metal vocals, i mean basically you'd think it means he likes zero extreme metal vocals, except he DOES like deathcore vocals?



The two genres actually have very little in common vocals-wise. The typical DM growl is a very monotonous mid that doesn't sound anything like the typical -core growl, and that's not including the fact that -core bands regularly employ highs, gutturals, pig squeals, and far more variation in their vocals than almost any DM does.

This band has like 2500 listeners on spotify and I can safely say that the vocalist absolutely massacres any DM vocalist I have EVER heard. To say nothing of the variation he employs, his basic growl just sounds way better to begin with. (vocals start about a minute in)

You compare that to, like, Suffocation and the latter's vocals are this monotonous growl without any bite that bores me after like one line. And this dude is supposed to be one of the most famous DM vocalists ever? Jesus. That Gravewalker vocalist sounds like an inhuman monster from the bowels of hell compared to this.

There's a reason DM almost always fronts the instruments, it's because they're where 90% of the effort goes into.

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Metallic Shock
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:01 pm
Posts: 632
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:49 pm 
 

I can't think of many bands I dislike solely because of the vocals. I can generally dig Thin Lizzy for instance even though I don't really like Lynott's voice. As long as the musicianship and songwriting is good enough the singer has to be really bad to ruin it for me. The closest I can think of is the vocals on Psycroptic's The Scepter of the Ancients which actually do grate on me too much to get into the instrumentation, though tbf the instrumentation wouldn't be among my favorites in tech death regardless.

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Ill-Starred Son
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:10 pm
Posts: 1164
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:56 pm 
 

Vadara wrote:
Metal_On_The_Ascendant wrote:

Your hot takes are some of the worst in this current incarnation of the board.


I aim to please ^.^

Ill-Starred Son wrote:

I mean I don't like much deathcore period, other than a couple like Rings of Saturn but really, their vocalists are generally directly influenced by death metal and they growl a lot so what's to like about those deathcore vocalists if you don't like death metal vocals?

This also has to mean he doesn't like most grindcore vocals, and possibly some black metal vocals, i mean basically you'd think it means he likes zero extreme metal vocals, except he DOES like deathcore vocals?



The two genres actually have very little in common vocals-wise. The typical DM growl is a very monotonous mid that doesn't sound anything like the typical -core growl, and that's not including the fact that -core bands regularly employ highs, gutturals, pig squeals, and far more variation in their vocals than almost any DM does.

This band has like 2500 listeners on spotify and I can safely say that the vocalist absolutely massacres any DM vocalist I have EVER heard. To say nothing of the variation he employs, his basic growl just sounds way better to begin with. (vocals start about a minute in)

You compare that to, like, Suffocation and the latter's vocals are this monotonous growl without any bite that bores me after like one line. And this dude is supposed to be one of the most famous DM vocalists ever? Jesus. That Gravewalker vocalist sounds like an inhuman monster from the bowels of hell compared to this.

There's a reason DM almost always fronts the instruments, it's because they're where 90% of the effort goes into.



Ok, I'll admit that that band you linked is better and has a better vocalist than most of the deathcore I've heard, but first of all 1) I just think that death metal is a WAY fucking better genre overall 2) there are plenty of death metal vocalists I prefer to that one you linked. Although honestly my taste in death metal as well as black and grind and other genres is more about the instruments than vocals for me, but, for example, i prefer all these vocalists and bands to that band and vocalist (some are death metal, others grindcore and others a mix of black/death/grind, etc.

Note: Since some of these are a mix, take particular note of Killjoy's vocals starting around 1:20 on the first Necrophagia track as that is a pure death metal album and you'd be HARD PRESSED to find a deathcore vocalist as sick as that:

Necrophagia> Skip to 1:20: https://youtu.be/qGF-HNHnqvg

https://youtu.be/kUcFAA1dKPY

https://youtu.be/SXz_J3-sbB0

https://youtu.be/U4xYtwZ9Qe0

https://youtu.be/gSbGdw6Rowk

https://youtu.be/0r9UzMWZK_I

https://youtu.be/hxg_WbuZQFo


I mean, whether you are talking the vocalist or the band, all of these sound FAR better than the band you linked in my opinion, so give this a little and maybe they'll open your mind.

I mean, do you not like ANY death metal? What about black metal or grindcore? Because if not then The Metal Archives is an odd place for a deathcore fan. Sure, deathcore is metal to some extent, but you'd probably be better off at R/deathcore or some place like that.

Most people around here prefer death, black and grindcore to deathcore, not to mention that vocals or not, Suffocation just kicks serious ass and is in my and most people's opinions here a FAR better and more talented band than the one you linked.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:19 am 
 

I recall him talking in a recent thread that he's not actually that into metal. It might have been in the Trivium thread where he said the album was way too metal and not -core enough. I don't agree with some of his opinions myself, but it's kind of refreshing to have some reasonably well-articulated contrarian opinions to keep things from becoming too much of an echo chamber. On the current discussion though, I think I'm going to start a thread on it soon...

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Corpsey the Clown
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Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:38 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 6:22 am 
 

Sometimes. Pig squeals and bree-brees are a deal-breaker. Beyond that I can appreciate all sorts of growls and screams. Clean vocals are all right as long as they fit the music and the singer has some bass in his voice. Ideally the vocals are like another instrument, but also clear enough that I can make them out without a lyric sheet. That's a tall order but some bands have pulled it off (Death for example).

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Vadara
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 393
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 2:59 pm 
 

Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I mean, do you not like ANY death metal? What about black metal or grindcore? Because if not then The Metal Archives is an odd place for a deathcore fan. Sure, deathcore is metal to some extent, but you'd probably be better off at R/deathcore or some place like that.

Most people around here prefer death, black and grindcore to deathcore, not to mention that vocals or not, Suffocation just kicks serious ass and is in my and most people's opinions here a FAR better and more talented band than the one you linked.


Well for what's it worth, I DO like some genres of metal: namely trad and power (everyone likes badass riffs, unintentionally corny shit like Dragonforce and Sabaton sucks though), some thrash/NWOBHM, some tech-death (a genre that has been incestuously fucking its special ed half-brother of deathcore since the latter was born), prog, and my friend likes the really fuzzier and grimier kind of stoner and I can see the appeal in that too. It's just most extreme metal I'm not much for, and shit, I DO like some extreme metal like Xoth for its emphasis on shreddy leads and I think the vocalist is actually pretty good. I also thought Scream Bloody Gore was fun enough, but that's probably because it's so thrashy being one of the first death metal albums like ever. I've found much less BM I've enjoyed, but shit like Bathory's You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give a Fuck) does, as the children say, whip, because it's just basically like a dark as fuck heavy metal song with badass riffs (jesus, listen to that groovy lick at 1:03, holy fuck that's awesome) and I quite like Quorthorn's hardcore-esque shouts a lot more than the high shriek that BM would eventually settle upon as the default vocal technique.

There's a certain charging, almost rock-and-roll esque way to that the earlier forms of metal--trad, NWOBHM, thrash, etc.--sound that gives them a certain energy that DM and BM intentionally eschew at least from what I've heard, both tending to focus on incredibly dark and evil atmospheres. This gives their riffs a more murderously chaotic (DM) or alienatingly cold (BM) feeling and I don't jive with that as much as I do something like, idk, Judas Priest which is just completely "yeah let's do badass shit on the guitar, what the hell else do you want".

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Ill-Starred Son
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:32 pm 
 

Vadara wrote:
Ill-Starred Son wrote:
I mean, do you not like ANY death metal? What about black metal or grindcore? Because if not then The Metal Archives is an odd place for a deathcore fan. Sure, deathcore is metal to some extent, but you'd probably be better off at R/deathcore or some place like that.

Most people around here prefer death, black and grindcore to deathcore, not to mention that vocals or not, Suffocation just kicks serious ass and is in my and most people's opinions here a FAR better and more talented band than the one you linked.


Well for what's it worth, I DO like some genres of metal: namely trad and power (everyone likes badass riffs, unintentionally corny shit like Dragonforce and Sabaton sucks though), some thrash/NWOBHM, some tech-death (a genre that has been incestuously fucking its special ed half-brother of deathcore since the latter was born), prog, and my friend likes the really fuzzier and grimier kind of stoner and I can see the appeal in that too. It's just most extreme metal I'm not much for, and shit, I DO like some extreme metal like Xoth for its emphasis on shreddy leads and I think the vocalist is actually pretty good. I also thought Scream Bloody Gore was fun enough, but that's probably because it's so thrashy being one of the first death metal albums like ever. I've found much less BM I've enjoyed, but shit like Bathory's You Don't Move Me (I Don't Give a Fuck) does, as the children say, whip, because it's just basically like a dark as fuck heavy metal song with badass riffs (jesus, listen to that groovy lick at 1:03, holy fuck that's awesome) and I quite like Quorthorn's hardcore-esque shouts a lot more than the high shriek that BM would eventually settle upon as the default vocal technique.

There's a certain charging, almost rock-and-roll esque way to that the earlier forms of metal--trad, NWOBHM, thrash, etc.--sound that gives them a certain energy that DM and BM intentionally eschew at least from what I've heard, both tending to focus on incredibly dark and evil atmospheres. This gives their riffs a more murderously chaotic (DM) or alienatingly cold (BM) feeling and I don't jive with that as much as I do something like, idk, Judas Priest which is just completely "yeah let's do badass shit on the guitar, what the hell else do you want".



Listen to the bands I linked in my last post to you and see what you think.

They aren't all death metal, some mix other genres like black, grind and sludge, but for sure for the first sample Killjoy from Necrophagia is an example of one of the sickest death metal vocalists ever, and then Anaal Nathrakh's vocalist has incredible range. Some of the others are more about the instrumentation and just kicking ass musically than the vocals, but they all rule IMO.

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Deathdoom1992
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 11:15 am 
 

I'll echo the thoughts of other here that vocals won't make but can break a band. To give an example, at the risk of outing myself as a poser, I can't listen to Eternal Nightmare because Sean Killian has the most annoying fucking voice ever to feature on a "classic" album.

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Gas_Snake
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:11 am 
 

Vocals breaking a band:

Already said everything that could be said about Ken Nardi from Anacrusis. He doesn't work.

A far more generalized example: metalcore vocalists tend to be pretty freaking terrible. It may be just a stylistic choice, but one specific thing that drives me up the fucking wall is when some Labonte/Jones/whoeverthefuck guy starts to layer harsh vocals on top of clean vocals during the chorus. It doesn't just sound like insincere trash, it clashes so hard with the cleans and kills any sort of dynamics because it's usually this all-encompassing monotone shout that smothers everything else. Out of all vocalists in that style I've heard, I could name probably Strid and Heafy who make that work because their vocals still let the whole thing breathe enough to at least convey something decent.

Vocals making a band:

Eric A. Knutson from Flotsam & Jetsam. This might be a rather obscure example, but this guy's the best vocalist in any thrash band I've heard. The combination of that youthful timbre and wailing high notes is excellent, and his mid-range is some of the coolest shit I've heard in anything, ever. It's like everything awesome about that street PUNK AS FUCK aesthetic combined with a level of class and control on par with all of the Halfords and Dickinsons of the world, he just sounds like this invincible swaggering badass. It's so damn good that I'm willing to give a pass to all of their mid-life crisis albums from 1992-2012 solely because of him. AND he's even maintained his voice all the way to the newer stuff. Just... holy fuck.

If this doesn't convince you, I don't know what will:


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DoomMetalAlchemist
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:07 am 
 

Deathdoom1992 wrote:
I'll echo the thoughts of other here that vocals won't make but can break a band. To give an example, at the risk of outing myself as a poser, I can't listen to Eternal Nightmare because Sean Killian has the most annoying fucking voice ever to feature on a "classic" album.


I have never once in my life heard a Vio-Lence recording, be it studio, live, or demo, but I did see them in concert very recently in person. No complaints at all about the instrumentation but Sean Killian was so awful, and annoying is a pretty good descriptor. He seems like he would be a way better fit for a punk band than any kind of metal band. It sounded like he was going for the rapid-fire delivery such as Tom Araya on Reign in Blood, but his delivery was completely without any kind of edge and basically sounded like a kid shouting. People say Paul Di'Anno was a punk singer in a metal band, but compared to Killian (at least the concert I was at) Di'Anno's practically Dio.

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colin040
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:01 am 
 

There's definitely some stuff that I can think of that features pretty bad vocals.

Enchantment - Dance the Marble Naked

Decent UK doom/death metal...but shit, why did they let a cow handle the vocals? Bad move!

Dark Angel's Time Does Not Heal should have been called Guy Does Not Sing...now the album isn't my kind of thrash to begin with but crap, how one-dimensional can you get?! Ron sounded a lot better on Leave Scars.

Although they've grown on me now, Johan Edlund's vocals on Clouds kind of suck; especially once he starts to shout. I mean, can you really listen to this @ 1:00 without cracking up? :lol:


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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:13 am 
 

Gas_Snake wrote:
Vocals

Vocals making a band:

Eric A. Knutson from Flotsam & Jetsam. This might be a rather obscure example, but this guy's the best vocalist in any thrash band I've heard. The combination of that youthful timbre and wailing high notes is excellent, and his mid-range is some of the coolest shit I've heard in anything, ever. It's like everything awesome about that street PUNK AS FUCK aesthetic combined with a level of class and control on par with all of the Halfords and Dickinsons of the world, he just sounds like this invincible swaggering badass. It's so damn good that I'm willing to give a pass to all of their mid-life crisis albums from 1992-2012 solely because of him. AND he's even maintained his voice all the way to the newer stuff. Just... holy fuck.

If this doesn't convince you, I don't know what will:



Yup. Eric is outstanding.....truly one of a kind.

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Vadara
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 6:58 pm 
 

Gas_Snake wrote:
Vocals breaking a band:

Already said everything that could be said about Ken Nardi from Anacrusis. He doesn't work.

A far more generalized example: metalcore vocalists tend to be pretty freaking terrible. It may be just a stylistic choice, but one specific thing that drives me up the fucking wall is when some Labonte/Jones/whoeverthefuck guy starts to layer harsh vocals on top of clean vocals during the chorus. It doesn't just sound like insincere trash, it clashes so hard with the cleans and kills any sort of dynamics because it's usually this all-encompassing monotone shout that smothers everything else. Out of all vocalists in that style I've heard, I could name probably Strid and Heafy who make that work because their vocals still let the whole thing breathe enough to at least convey something decent.




Lmao...

Metalcore is a very vocals-driven genre in comparison to metal proper and I'd say that on average metalcore vocalists are very skilled. I can name very little metalcore I've heard with bad vocalists because the genre basically requires good vocalists due to the underlying instrumentals taking a backseat in most variants of it besides wanky djent/technical kinds like Periphery and ERRA (who have amazing vocalists as well too). Vocals like half the reason I prefer the genre.

And "monotone"? Metalcore vocals are almost always emotional and varied in comparison to many metal vocalists who intentionally stick to a very rigid style (Power metal vocalists for instance are "emotional" in the sense that they are melodramatic but it's a thespian kind of emotion, same goes for trad metal wailing. They're enjoyable techniques, but incredibly rigid).

Naming Heafy of all people as a good vocalist is throwing me for a goddamn loop. He's incredibly monotonous and frankly sounds like he should be in a thrash band with his one-note shout. Strid is also one-note. I could name like fifty bands with singers better than either of those two lmao

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:01 pm 
 

Gas_Snake wrote:
Vocals breaking a band:

Already said everything that could be said about Ken Nardi from Anacrusis. He doesn't work.


After hearing Screams and Whispers I just really don't know how anyone could have this opinion honestly. Outstanding singing.
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Gas_Snake
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:02 am 
 

Vadara wrote:

Lmao...

Metalcore is a very vocals-driven genre in comparison to metal proper and I'd say that on average metalcore vocalists are very skilled. I can name very little metalcore I've heard with bad vocalists because the genre basically requires good vocalists due to the underlying instrumentals taking a backseat in most variants of it besides wanky djent/technical kinds like Periphery and ERRA (who have amazing vocalists as well too). Vocals like half the reason I prefer the genre.

And "monotone"? Metalcore vocals are almost always emotional and varied in comparison to many metal vocalists who intentionally stick to a very rigid style (Power metal vocalists for instance are "emotional" in the sense that they are melodramatic but it's a thespian kind of emotion, same goes for trad metal wailing. They're enjoyable techniques, but incredibly rigid).

Naming Heafy of all people as a good vocalist is throwing me for a goddamn loop. He's incredibly monotonous and frankly sounds like he should be in a thrash band with his one-note shout. Strid is also one-note. I could name like fifty bands with singers better than either of those two lmao


I am aware that your bias towards -core genres is not something often seen here, but most of what you consider to be bad in metal vocals is exactly what I think of when I hear almost anything in the style. The melodrama's there, the rigidity's there (albeit mostly in a structural sense), the one-note bullshit is... admittedly not quite what I meant, it's more that those vocalists superimpose themselves on top of the music so much that I get annoyed because it drowns out the instruments and forces me to contend with their umpteenth attempt at a breakup song or rebellion anthem or whatever else.

Regarding the examples I picked: I may also just be projecting my thoughts on other aspects of the music onto the vocals, but I picked those two primarily for the clean vocals and the fact that they're at least trying to do something that works. Heafy's there because Trivium's really, REALLY good at smothering you with big catchy hooks, and he lets the music breathe enough to let you focus on that, Strid's there because there's something about his vocals (cleans especially) that's much more sincere than what the other guys are doing. I'm not sure if I can accurately describe what I mean, but there's something about his tone and lyrics that just WORKS that I can't find anywhere else.



What do you like in metalcore vocals? Can you show me an example of what you're looking for?

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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:22 am 
 

Vadara wrote:
And "monotone"? Metalcore vocals are almost always emotional and varied in comparison to many metal vocalists who intentionally stick to a very rigid style (Power metal vocalists for instance are "emotional" in the sense that they are melodramatic but it's a thespian kind of emotion, same goes for trad metal wailing. They're enjoyable techniques, but incredibly rigid).


It kind of depends upon the subgenre and band. A lot of the vocalists I like I'd consider quite dynamic and often emotional as well, in different ways. A lot of it is just taste and preference for timbre. The thing about metalcore singing for me is that while many of them are clearly talented and have many varieties of expression, too much of it comes across as kind of whiny and nasal, even in vocalists I otherwise like.

Vadara wrote:
Strid is also one-note.


I don't see how you can say that at all, he has far more range and versatility than most vocalists. The aggressive upper-range shrieks on The Chainheart Machine, the more lower-range approach of parts of a track like "The Pittsburgh Syndrome", the melodicism of "Nerve", the grittier melodicism of "This Momentary Bliss", the almost rap-metal of "Figure Number Five", the nuance of Earthside's "Crater", anything from the Night Flight Orchestra, or "A Whisp of the Atlantic" as a sampling of a panoply of things he can do all in one track. He's practically a different vocalist on most of those tracks and I think it's actually harder to come up with singers who have more shades than he does. He's probably been involved with or guested with nearing 100 bands of many genres, and it's not because he's just a one-trick-pony. I mean, just listen to these two songs and tell me he's monotone.

Spoiler: show


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The_Grindcrusher
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:21 am 
 

SladeCraven wrote:
Well, at least I'm not alone for the most part. ;)

Another example that comes to mind is Burzum. For the exception of Filosofem I can't stand Varg as a vocalist, and even then his vocals are layered with distortion, so almost anyone could have made them sound halfway decent. They fit well with the atmosphere of the album and add to the experience versus being distracting, at least. But his vocals on other Burzum albums have always struck me as more amusing, than anything. "This is war, huh? WOW!" and then his voice literally cracks when he tries to get through that first verse. So, so bad.

Not that I'm overly trying to get into Burzum or anything, but when I was exploring black metal before I was really familiar with it, I remember hearing Burzum and being turned off immediately until I heard Dunkelheit from Filosofem.


I remember hearing Burzum for the first time after hearing about all of Varg's murdering racism stuff, and I when I first heard his vocals I remember thinking: "This guy burnt down 3 churches?"
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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:37 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:

Yeah that kind of thing plus bands like Entombed, Demilich, The Chasm - I'm a big clean vocals fan too but I don't need them on that kind of music.


This is more, or less, how I feel regarding vocals. Be they harsh, clean, or whatever, they need to fit the music and the feel of the song. When a specific vocal is "shoe horned" in, it can ruin a song.

The band Epica is the greatest (worst?) example of this. Their music coupled with the angelic vocals are a perfect match. But it all falls apart when the ill-fitting death vox forcibly enter the picture. I find their music unlistenable as a result.

Modern Enslaved - while arguably one of my fav current bands - creates music for which Grutle's black vox are no longer truly appropriate. To me, it feels like they continue to utilize them simply as a bridge to their black past. I'd not be opposed to 100% clean vocals in their recent music. Conversely, Id never want to hear any of their 90s material without Grutle's harsh vocals. Wouldn't really fit...

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:48 am 
 

I keep meaning to give Epica more chances, but I just have a feeling it will still utterly bore the shit out of me.
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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:18 am 
 

The vocals aren't the problem for me with them, it's the orchestration. It always feels like they're fighting with the band rather than collaborating, unlike Delain, Within Temptation, and others.

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thePowermetalLynx
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:25 am 
 

LilTito wrote:
I guess power metal would be listenable without the god awful cringey operatic vocals

Try Mystic Prophecy my friend, the power/thrash metal band after my heart, Lia definitely kickass
And Herbie Langhans , Ralph Sheepers, Apollo Papathanasio... there are plenty in the genre that don’t follow the line of those “cringed” operatic vocals
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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:53 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
I keep meaning to give Epica more chances, but I just have a feeling it will still utterly bore the shit out of me.


They are a bore, ultimately. They're a band that's better in theory, than in practice.

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