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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 4:30 pm 
 

I'm not a performing musician or anything, but I've been practicing some screams and growls. Nothing I've been doing hurts, but my throat gets a little raw after a while, and I start to lose my voice. Is that normal when you're starting out, or am I risking injury? What should healthy vocals feel like?
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narsilianshard
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2022 1:55 pm 
 

Look up Melissa Cross' screaming lessons. She's the industry-standard for learning the proper technique. Throat getting raw is totally normal, but you'll want to do a little bit of research to make sure you're not doing any damage.

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interstellar_medium
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:41 am
Posts: 922
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2022 7:56 am 
 

EvergreenSherbert wrote:
I start to lose my voice. Is that normal when you're starting out, or am I risking injury?


Yes, if you feel your voice go after practice, you are risking injury.

I don't know if Ms Cross' lessons actually address the basics like breathing, alignment etc, - in case you find out they don't (supposing they were developed not for 100% beginners), you may need to look into starting with these foundations. Even public speaking needs them. The voice works the same way whatever you do with it :)

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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 10:30 am 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
Look up Melissa Cross' screaming lessons. She's the industry-standard for learning the proper technique. Throat getting raw is totally normal, but you'll want to do a little bit of research to make sure you're not doing any damage.

I'll check out her lessons. Do you know any good resources for researching this stuff? I know there's a lot of conflicting information on the internet.
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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 10:56 am 
 

interstellar_medium wrote:
Yes, if you feel your voice go after practice, you are risking injury.

Noted. Is the issue here usually overprojection, or is my technique at fault? My voice doesn't ever completely go, but it does start to wear out. Then it goes back to normal after a couple hours. But I haven't been losing my voice as much lately, I think the issue might have solved itself after I got my technique nailed down.

interstellar_medium wrote:
I don't know if Ms Cross' lessons actually address the basics like breathing, alignment etc, - in case you find out they don't (supposing they were developed not for 100% beginners), you may need to look into starting with these foundations. Even public speaking needs them. The voice works the same way whatever you do with it :)

I'm pretty confident about the basic stuff, I taught myself to sing long before all of this. That's been improving too lately.
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DanielG06
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 4:01 pm 
 

Straining your voice is normal, but if you ever hurt while doing vocals, then you're probably going to damage your voice. Mainly push from your diaphragm (puff out your chest like you're vomiting out the words) rather than using your vocal chords.
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ShaolinLambKiller
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2022 5:47 pm 
 

Do it and drink heavily after. but most my strain naturally has been from the muscles in my neck working and not from my exit esophagus. I'm like something like 100 releases deep with a 500 live show career though only the shows were back to back for a solid bit. only thing i lost as I aged was the normal higher mids for black metal that I used for my skramz band.
lot of from the gut less from the throat aside from knowing almost naturally how to constrict or dilate your throat and obviously tongue placement
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interstellar_medium
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:41 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2022 5:12 pm 
 

EvergreenSherbert wrote:
Noted. Is the issue here usually overprojection, or is my technique at fault? My voice doesn't ever completely go, but it does start to wear out. Then it goes back to normal after a couple hours. But I haven't been losing my voice as much lately, I think the issue might have solved itself after I got my technique nailed down.


Could be anything actually, hard to assess without hearing and seeing you. If you say things appear to be straightening themselves out, it's possible it was your technique that didn't initially work, but either way I'd still be a bit more cautious than usual for a while if I were you... you say you're confident about the basics, that's great, and hopefully you aren't skipping your warm-ups and cooldowns, they're really important when learning new things.

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:09 pm
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Location: CHRAWNA, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2022 6:09 pm 
 

interstellar_medium wrote:
EvergreenSherbert wrote:
I start to lose my voice. Is that normal when you're starting out, or am I risking injury?


Yes, if you feel your voice go after practice, you are risking injury.

I don't know if Ms Cross' lessons actually address the basics like breathing, alignment etc, - in case you find out they don't (supposing they were developed not for 100% beginners), you may need to look into starting with these foundations. Even public speaking needs them. The voice works the same way whatever you do with it :)


Her Zen Of Screaming DVD does indeed go into those details. I'm a bit fuzzy on them myself as I haven't watched my copy too many times, but I do remember a lot of it being similar to when I used to play saxophone. I would rather you go watch the DVD though, rather than take my word as authority on this matter as I'm definitely not a professional vocal coach.

Mary Z's channel Voicehacks also has some great vocal tutorials - I've been curious about taking some of her skype lessons, as Melissa Cross is great but expensive (and I believe you have to travel to New York for them, but don't quote me on that)

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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2022 3:34 pm 
 

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
...but I do remember a lot of it being similar to when I used to play saxophone.

I play tenor sax!
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Lord_Of_Diamonds
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 5:03 pm 
 

This is a very informative video on the subject of harsh vocals and how good for you they are:
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Bad at Life
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:47 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 12:54 am 
 

You just gotta push through it. I've been screaming and puking my guts out for over 20 years and I'm fine. Sometimes you will get a little raw, and a lot of vocalists blow their voice out or their tone changes over time. The things that I have found that help are tea and honey, if you don't have any of that lying around take a few shots of vodka and chase it down with some beer.

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EvergreenSherbert
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:48 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2022 9:48 am 
 

Bad at Life wrote:
You just gotta push through it. I've been screaming and puking my guts out for over 20 years and I'm fine. Sometimes you will get a little raw, and a lot of vocalists blow their voice out or their tone changes over time. The things that I have found that help are tea and honey, if you don't have any of that lying around take a few shots of vodka and chase it down with some beer.

Gotcha. I've tried honey before, and that seems to help. Which makes me think that any rawness I'm feeling is probably just my throat, not my vocal cords.

Can you do growls too? Every time I try them, the tone sounds fine, but my voice gets raw and shot really quickly.

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Bad at Life
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 8:44 am 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JezcFv5RIpc

I'm the dude in the middle playing bass and vox.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urntqHp3rfc&t=411s

In this one I am in doing lead guitar and vox


If you are doing extreme metal vocals there is always the risk of injury. You have to break your voice in. Do a little each day and work your way up. I don't have the opportunity to practice like I used to, so when I do, I take it easy. You have to condition your vocals chords to handle the strain you are putting on them. I hope you find your bearings and it works out for you. And if you are a drinker don't be afraid to have a shot of liquor or a beer handy.

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CaptainJackass
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2022 9:17 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2022 9:29 pm 
 

Rawness is generally gonna happen. But pain like "I gotta stop now" pain after a couple minutes can be a sign you need to stop or reapproach your vocal technique. Otherwise, it is very hard to diagnose or offer help without hearing you perform.

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saphuchan
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:43 am 
 

Over the timespan of practicing and doing warm-ups, your vocal cords and body will become used to the strain. Although, it is pretty good to do some home remedies to fix some aches. Such as drinking a cup of warm tea (herbal is recommended) and yes...honey, but we've heard that before. Just like working out your muscles, when you work something out a lot, your body gets used to it and becomes stronger, and less sensitive. There are cases when the vocalist does damage their voice, but you really don't have to worry about that as long as you take care of yourself.

BUT, if you do notice your throat is starting to hurt, take a break, do not continue to strain your throat, as you can damage it. Take care of yourself and be smart while vocalizing. And perhaps you'll be good! :)

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Zerberus
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Location: Silkeborg, Denmark
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 5:15 am 
 

I've been singing (yelling? screaming??) in my current band since 2019. Never did vocals before then. It was definitely a steep learning curve. My throat used to hurt for days, and I could seldom sing for more than an hour or something. Over time I just kind of improved naturally, learning to push with my diaphragm and altering my singing style to be better for my throat.

Warmups of sorts definitely helps me too, but I rarely do them.
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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:36 am 
 

Zerberus wrote:
Over time I just kind of improved naturally, learning to push with my diaphragm and altering my singing style to be better for my throat.

Working on my singing definitely helps for me too. It seems like the vocal control you learn from belting and riding the top of your range is the same control you need to produce a proper scream.

To update you all on my progress, I went off while listening to Knocked Loose a couple days ago, and I didn't feel raw at all. I think I've really solidified my screaming technique. I still get pretty raw when I try to growl though, so I think I'll try to find out how to do that comfortably.

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Sovl_Ov_Mvn
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Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:53 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:55 am 
 

EvergreenSherbert wrote:
I've been practicing some screams and growls. Nothing I've been doing hurts, but my throat gets a little raw after a while, and I start to lose my voice. Is that normal when you're starting out, or am I risking injury? What should healthy vocals feel like?


I'm no professional but for me, When my throat got scratchy after a while I would stop myself. I've been doing vocals for about 3 years and got my tone a in late 2020. As I learned how it all works, i found out my irritation was from trying to sound like the vocalist and or pushing too hard. Mostly it was trying to sound like the band i was hearing. I took a while to learn my tone is unique. Everyone has a different voice and everyone's tone is different. Besides that, drink alot of water. I can't express the regret i feel from not doing that.
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XSpidercideX
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:43 pm
Posts: 170
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2022 11:44 am 
 



This is a great video series to get started and I learned how to do my growls following this series. I have found no pain, fatigue, or discomfort doing grows. Growling isn't "screaming" and puts no more fatigue on your vocal cords than normal singing. I've never lost my voice or had any problems with singing normally after growling. Learn mongolian throat singing first so you can isolate your false cords for the distortion and then just sing in a falsetto / head voice over it. The false cords don't create the sound but they do create the distortion.


This guy seems to say he knows a lot more than he actually does:



The guy only was familiar with deathcore bands for bands doing it a long time and claims most everyone is steering away from growling. What about bands doing this 30+ years like Dark Tranquility, Satyricon, etc... LOL. He claims no one will be able to do harsh vocals into their 50s but we literally have all the veterans closing in on that age or reaching it and still growling fine.

He thinks it's actually screaming or yelling. Growling is no louder than talking or normal singing. If you try to scream or yell your growls you will hurt yourself. Don't. It's very gentle and relaxed, no strain on voice.


BTW, I've never done the Melissa Cross stuff but what I've seen seems a bit innacurate/outdated so I was turned off and wouldn't trust those.

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XSpidercideX
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:43 pm
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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2022 7:54 pm 
 

Bad at Life wrote:
You just gotta push through it. I've been screaming and puking my guts out for over 20 years and I'm fine. Sometimes you will get a little raw, and a lot of vocalists blow their voice out or their tone changes over time. The things that I have found that help are tea and honey, if you don't have any of that lying around take a few shots of vodka and chase it down with some beer.



WTF, I don't think that's normal LOL. I do growls half the day while I work (from home), EVERY DAY and sing along to songs and stuff and don't feel any problems at the end of the day.

The only uncomfortable part of learning to do this was breaking in my false cord to move easier, since then as long as you get the right relaxed state and DON'T squeeze your stomach in like everyone tell you to (that triggers your vocal folds to close), it's really easy on the throat and actually feels nice when doing it and after.

Basically do this:
1) learn to throat sing (a gentle variation, not loud or hard, though you may have to start hard to break in false cords) - this may take several months to a year
2) learn growl coordination by opening vocal cords more while throat singing, either by removing voice from it or switching to falsetto tone (you can rev up your false cords by closing your mouth and making an mmm sound like a motor boat first and then transition into the growls)
3) work your way up to louder by adding more voice back in to growl with more projection by tensing your core and standing up straight, learn to be open and relaxed for more louder and resonate sound
4) rock the vibrations between your false cords and your soft palette behind your tongue
5) learn songs and sing along, imitate singers, make your own sound, and have fun
6) if it hurts your doing it wrong, stop and think about your technique and try to adjust again later when feeling good


Last edited by XSpidercideX on Thu May 05, 2022 1:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 10:11 am 
 

Gotcha, I'll try those steps. I'm not completely clear on what kind of throat singing you're talking about, but I think I can make the necessary sounds. My problem is just getting raw, but I've noticed that's not happening quite as much with my growl. Do you know what usually causes strain with false chord growls? You mentioned the vocal folds closing, what exactly does that do?
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XSpidercideX
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:43 pm
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 11:18 am 
 

EvergreenSherbert wrote:
Gotcha, I'll try those steps. I'm not completely clear on what kind of throat singing you're talking about, but I think I can make the necessary sounds. My problem is just getting raw, but I've noticed that's not happening quite as much with my growl. Do you know what usually causes strain with false chord growls? You mentioned the vocal folds closing, what exactly does that do?


Here is a good video explaining the throat singing:





As far as rawness goes, maybe you are dry or something or straining and need a break. I live a humid area, but today the air feels dry and my growls have been a little weak today. Yesterday they were amazing so it's frustrating that today it's not the same. I do have off days here and there where its not coming out as easily but that can change on same day or next day. Usually I do better later in the day than the morning and a shower can help get things going with the air getting moist which will help improve my sound.

I haven't found a warmup method that 100% works, somedays are just better than others. Then again I've only been doing this for a couple years so maybe I'll find a trick to get my growl up to peak performance if I'm in a rut.

As far as strain goes, if I'm try to scream or yell through my growl too loudy, you can strain your voice. It usually works best when you are relaxed and don't try to push air out too much. Kind of let it just come out like a slow deflating balloon. Don't take big breaths in.

Just sing with the air you have and engage your core but don't squeeze your stomach in too much. You can see what I mean if you let out air and you squeeze your stomach in the reflex cuts the air off. That's your vocal cord closing. While you need some constriction for false cord you still want your vocal cords relaxed and more open.

Here is a video regarding that:


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EvergreenSherbert
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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 11:33 am 
 

Aight, thanks for the info. Based on that second video, I think I'm using the false cords correctly. Now that I think of it, the rawness usually goes away with stuff like honey. I'm guessing that means the strain is in my throat, not my voice. So you're probably right about being dry or needing a warm-up.

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XSpidercideX
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:43 pm
Posts: 170
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2022 1:31 pm 
 

EvergreenSherbert wrote:
Aight, thanks for the info. Based on that second video, I think I'm using the false cords correctly. Now that I think of it, the rawness usually goes away with stuff like honey. I'm guessing that means the strain is in my throat, not my voice. So you're probably right about being dry or needing a warm-up.


Cool, glad to help.

Funny enough, practicing the 3 basic steps of:

1) kargyraa throat singing
2) remove voice for growl
3) add voice back in to growl

In the videos got my growl back on point today. Sometimes good to just go over the foundations of technique if something is off instead of forcing it!

Another thing, for a long time I though I needed to go louder by pushing more air and voice. Sometimes I would pull it off for a few mintues and my volume would go up like i was belting growls super loud without any microphone / amplification. It was so cool that I thought I needed to master that, but I have since decided there is no need and that is not sustainable and you will probably hurt yourself trying to be super loud and cool like that. So basically now I just shoot for a volume that's similar to normal singing and not yelling/screaming volumes. You do need some "oomf" but not so much that you can't do it for hours without hurting yourself. You should be at a level you can do for a couple hours every day. If you can't do that then you probably need to adjust what you are doing. Finally, if you do feel strained and tired do take a day off. It can help come back fresh and strong when your voice is rested.

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hakarl
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Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 1:41 pm
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 3:48 am 
 

XSpidercideX wrote:
This guy seems to say he knows a lot more than he actually does:



The guy only was familiar with deathcore bands for bands doing it a long time and claims most everyone is steering away from growling. What about bands doing this 30+ years like Dark Tranquility, Satyricon, etc... LOL. He claims no one will be able to do harsh vocals into their 50s but we literally have all the veterans closing in on that age or reaching it and still growling fine.

He thinks it's actually screaming or yelling. Growling is no louder than talking or normal singing. If you try to scream or yell your growls you will hurt yourself. Don't. It's very gentle and relaxed, no strain on voice.


BTW, I've never done the Melissa Cross stuff but what I've seen seems a bit innacurate/outdated so I was turned off and wouldn't trust those.

Yeah, his main argument seemed to be that "it's not natural" which is simply an irrelevant opinion, and "Melissa Cross is bullshit" which may be true but is pretty irrelevant.
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XSpidercideX
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 3:56 pm 
 

hakarl wrote:
XSpidercideX wrote:
This guy seems to say he knows a lot more than he actually does:



The guy only was familiar with deathcore bands for bands doing it a long time and claims most everyone is steering away from growling. What about bands doing this 30+ years like Dark Tranquility, Satyricon, etc... LOL. He claims no one will be able to do harsh vocals into their 50s but we literally have all the veterans closing in on that age or reaching it and still growling fine.

He thinks it's actually screaming or yelling. Growling is no louder than talking or normal singing. If you try to scream or yell your growls you will hurt yourself. Don't. It's very gentle and relaxed, no strain on voice.


BTW, I've never done the Melissa Cross stuff but what I've seen seems a bit innacurate/outdated so I was turned off and wouldn't trust those.

Yeah, his main argument seemed to be that "it's not natural" which is simply an irrelevant opinion, and "Melissa Cross is bullshit" which may be true but is pretty irrelevant.


Nothing like a guy who doesn't sing in a certain style (and clearly doesn't understand how its done) telling everyone how its harmful. He seems to have it dead set in his mind that it's bad. I mean he is misleading as hell. Saying Mikael Akerfeldt stopped growling and that means its harmful. If you ask Mikael Akerfeldt its because his heart wasn't into growls anymore plus he had a period where his earplugs in concerts were screwing with them. If you check recent concerts his growls are on point again since he has corrected the earbud issue. Also, if he doesn't practice growls anymore they simply aren't going to be as good. Finally, even clean singer's voices deteriorate with age. That's a simple fact of aging and life. Meanwhile we've got growlers like Ross Dolan from Immolation growling like he's in his 20s at age 52.

Notice he doesn't bother mentioning all the veteran harsh vocalists because that would go against his agenda.

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