Friday, 15 May 2015

The 10 Best Death Metal Vocalists (In My Opinion)

10. George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher (Cannibal Corpse)

Perhaps the most popular of the bunch, Corpsegrinder has been unfairly ridiculed for being monotonous and boring. The thing is, Corpsegrinder still has one of the most powerful screams in the business. He has speed, (relatively more) clarity and a tone of voice that highly complements the band regardless of tempo. More impressively, Corpsegrinder can conjure up ridiculously long screams, such as this 13 second long scream at around the two minute mark in the following video:

9. Jeffrey Walker (Carcass)

Some may complain that he doesn't exactly fit the bill of pure death metal, since Carcass has gone on to play melodic death metal. However, Jeff Walker's vocals are clear, sharp and vicious. He brings in as much energy as his bandmates, and as shown on their latest comeback album, age has not stopped this madman on the mic.

8. Chris Reifert (Autopsy)

An unorthodox choice, Reifert is more popularly known for his drumming, either from his main band or on the first Death album. Unlike most vocalists in this genre, Reifert's vocals almost feel more like spoken word than actual screaming, which he rarely does. His approach has been an integral part of the hybrid doom / death metal that Autopsy does, and he matches the atmosphere of terror and ominousness quite faithfully with his restraint. Also, his band is such a breath of fresh air in this genre. Reifert even overshadowed Nick Holmes in his guest performance on the last Bloodbath album.

7. Chuck Schuldiner (Death)

It's hard to make any death metal list without its godfather. Chuck Schuldiner's vocals may not always have been the focal point of his band's ambitious musical direction, but he always screamed / singed with a passion that is rare in this genre. He also has one of the bigger vocal ranges, with energetic, high-pitched shrieks in the band's first album, gradually turning to mid-pitch on the band's groundbreaking albums since Human, and returning back to high screams on their final album, with an unforgettable performance with their cover of Judas Priest's Painkiller.

6. Julien Truchan (Benighted)

Another unorthodox choice, this Frenchman's band may be regarded as deathcore or even nu-metal by some of the elitists of the genre, but Truchan's vocals are highly impressive. He runs the gamut with high pitched shrieks, death growls, pig squeals and demonic low-pitched screams, all while matching the intensity of his band mates.

5. Paul Kuhr (Novembers Doom)

Paul Kuhr's band is also known as the 'American Opeth', but he is still a different beast from Mikael Åkerfeldt. Paul Kuhr has one of the best growls in the business, that somehow retain their intensity even with the band's arguably slow tempos. Besides that, he also has a competent low baritone voice, that serve as a break between his vicious growls.

4. Jason Netherton (Misery Index)

Another band that seems to fly over most people's heads. Jason Netherton has the unusual ability to pronounce his words with so much clarity even at his intensity level, a skill that many forget in this genre. O top of that, he brings in punk shouts and pacing to his vocals that distinguish him well apart from the crowd.

3. Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation)

Travis Ryan is a mad man. He uses a ton of variety in his vocals, even coming up with his own brand of clean vocals that make him sound like he is being strangled. His one shortfall is his total lack of clarity, but he makes up for it with the sheer variety of styles he incorporates in his music.

2. Mikael Åkerfeldt (old-Opeth, old-Bloodbath)

How far the mighty have fallen...  Åkerfeldt might be more well-known now for his clean vocals, which are fantastic in their own right, if it weren't for the fact that Åkerfeldt has one of the best death metal growls of all time. From the length of his screams (especially in the band's first three albums), to his pitching and tone and his absolute clarity, Åkerfeldt is the whole package.

1. Dan Swanö (Witherscape, Moontower, Edge Of Sanity, backing on Bloodbath and a million other bands)

Well, he is the best. No question about it. He is perhaps even the greatest musician in the metal world, having played guitars, drums and bass and being one of the best metal producers in the industry, his knowledge of everything on stage and off is perhaps why he understands how to make his vocals stand out. His screams are an art in itself, and no one matches his ferocity in death metal screaming.

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