Recommend me some quality Metal

Ray Alder and Einar Solberg are my two favorite metal singers. Roy Khan and Simone Simmons come in just behind.

James is a perfectly fine singer. Has enough range to do some fun things, but never has been the central draw. But he never detracts either.

But I am partial to DT as my personal favorite band.

To pick two vocals that really hit hard

The hit in Fates Warning, and you’ll know it when you hear it, goosebumps every time.


Oh I see, now we’re insulting the only true way of creating heavy metal artwork. That’s good, that gives me an idea for another series!

Yeah, I’ve mostly been going over stuff that I already listen to, and that seems to be the approach for the majority of bands. I think metal being metal (at least a lot of the genres I listen to) having an ugly voice or poor technique is not disqualifying - it can add a bit of edge - and I think bands also just kinda want a guy out in front who is fun, so being a gifted/trained singer is not the priority.

Having looked through my catalogue, I’m also kinda realizing that doom bands tend to have the best vocalists.

I guess because the music is so slow and boring! (Ha-ha don’t kill me, doom fans)

My friend just introduced me to these guys when we were heading up to Muskelrock. I knew the name, but I had never really dug in. Not bad at all!

I forget if it was them, but I believe there’s a song (off one of the old albums) where it sounds like he’s singing “Oh my little stripper!” and that became my refrain on the rest of the drive.

Here it is, enjoy!

That was the original vocalist John Arch. About 20 years ago when I lived outside NYC, we drove up to Connecticut for their hometown show opening for Savatage. John came out to catch the show and got to meet up with him and some of the older band members at the tour bus. Sadly I blew off seeing Savatage and they went on indefinite hiatus afterwards.

Oh man, that sounds like a great time!

One of the things that makes me love the metal scene is that I’ve gotten to meet so many of my heroes. Sometimes that’s a bad thing when they turn out to be dicks, but today I even have friendships with people I grew up idolizing, and whenever I think about that, it just stops me dead in my tracks. That’s fucking amazing.

If you had told 18 year old me that I’d be having beers with such and such from so and so, I would’ve been like “No fucking way”. They were gods to me, and they still kinda are, but somehow they walk the earth, and I get to annoy them.

I remember going to see Dismember back in 2004. They were my favorite death metal band, and being a 19 year old who didn’t know anything, I thought they were really tough guys, but then I ended up outside after the gig, chatting with David Blomqvist who is the guitar player, and he was just smiling like a drunk baby the whole time, because he had just had exactly as much fun as we’d had.

It’s a special place where stuff like that happens.

Ray also was singer for another band, Redemption, for a number of years, and he was fantastic there as well.

But here’s Roy and Simone

I do think Parallels is their best album. They have other very good ones as well, but that will always be my favorite.

I mean, you could’ve just said, “I don’t particularly like these bands” instead of writing “he’s kinda wasted on metal” as if to denigrate an entire genre of music with a blanket statement of 100% bullshit.

Personally, I consider it banter, and I think @Houngan is really funny :)

If I’m wrong, then he just sucks at insulting people and things, which is also not a bad quality!

Just as a rule, music is so subjective. You can certainly argue about it in an academic sense (arguing about the relative merits of composition and musical theory) or a more artistic sense (arguing about who achieves the perfect tone or feel) but I’m pretty sure most of us are arguing about it in a subjective sense, talking about what moves us personally, and what excites us.

Trying to use that as an insult is hopeless. It’s like saying someone sucks because they don’t like cheeseburgers, and you do. It’s just very silly.

And for the record, I don’t think that’s what @Houngan is doing, I think he’s just being funny.

I gotta think “The Metallica Section” gave it away. Hetfield is practically a younger Halford, the initial is even the same.

Indeed, I got some good laughs out of those posts. Don’t ever change.

I obviously appreciate @DaveLong being willing to throw down for the religion, but I suppose my own approach to it is that metal has to be able to take a joke, otherwise we’re goners. There’s so much shit to troll us with, we would never have peace of mind.

We’re responsible for corpse paint, Immortal videos, Manowar all naked and oiled up, Venom wearing loincloths and leather harnesses, and bands that write songs about UFOs and dragon slaying and killer robots, and that’s not even the dorky stuff.

Recently one of my friends reminded me that there are two separate metal bands that write all their lyrics in Klingon, and I was like: I’m only surprised there aren’t fifteen!

Without a sense of humor, it’s uphill.

I once had a guy who was a singer come up to me after a show, and he was like “Man, how come there are never any hot women at my gigs?” and I was like “Well, maybe it’s because you did a whole album about your favorite tabletop roleplaying game” and he just shrugged and he was like “Huh… Good point!”

The issue is that ‘metal is an inferior musical genre’ isn’t that much of a funny or smart joke.

If it helps, I also think that about pop, rap, and country.

Seriously though, you seem pretty banged up about this, so let me expand a bit: metal is great. I love metal in fact, though I’m a dilettante at best. However, it’s not the best genre to highlight vocal ability.

There’s a reason why you see reaction videos from vocal coaches “discovering” that there are some impressive singers in metal but you don’t see them doing that with jazz or a capella because that’s where the big voices live.

… It is if you want it to be? :)

Honestly, I love it. I don’t really want grandmothers (like @Houngan) or music snobs to like my music. It makes me feel cooler if they don’t, and it also gives me something to rebel against.

Obviously, if grandma likes metal, then I think grandma is a lot cooler, but I also think I become a tiny bit less cool as a result.

I think if you really need to, it’s pretty easy to disprove a statement like that. Metal is effectively a lot more intense blues, and blues has never been stupid. A lot of metal songs also borrow from classical music - aside from the elaborate phrasing of some guitar players, a thing that classical and metal shares is a knack for overwhelming people with really big sounds.

And there are plenty of brilliant musicians in metal, if that matters. Ultimately I don’t know why I would worry about that, because it’s the music that speaks to me. I don’t need it to speak to anyone else.

If someone knows three chords, but they have a shitload of attitude, and I have the best time of my life watching them, then I don’t care who’s yelling at us from the outside. Fuck 'em!

Haha, what a dick!

I think if we were to judge music in a purely objective sense, then the only thing we could really listen to is classical - or maybe jazz, because certain types of jazz has some pretty sophisticated composition.

But classical still makes jazz musicians look like confused toddlers who aren’t very good at sheet music.

Objectively, in terms of frequency, a string section is fifty million times finer than any electric guitar ever could be. And it does move me deeply when I hear a real orchestra play - and I would recommend it to anyone, you haven’t truly lived musically until you’ve heard a live symphony orchestra - but it still doesn’t speak to me in the same way metal does.

It doesn’t interface with my heavy metal molecules in the same way, and frankly, everyone at a classical gig is like 70 and I don’t think they remember how to mosh. I don’t trust people who are just sitting down all polite, while Beethoven is blasting them in the face with a bunch of sick cello.

Also, for your insult to country music, here’s Jerry Reed murdering an acoustic guitar.

Look @DaveLong I’m posting country in the metal thread. We’re outta control!

But also…

Today on @Houngan Presents Great Vocal Performances That Are [Not] Wasted On Heavy Metal:

I promised myself that I was only gonna do ONE song for each of these posts, but I’m gonna screw up on the second post already, because I don’t know how to pick between Red Sharks and Where Dragons Rule.

Red Sharks is the better vocal showcase, but that cheeky goddamn riff on Where Dragons Rule… Am I right? Yes.

Crimson Glory - Red Sharks (with Midnight)

Crimson Glory - Where Dragons Rule (with Midnight)

. . . so is it just how high they can sing? That’s like saying you should only eat Carolina Reaper peppers for every meal because they’re hotter than all the other food. Anyway . . .

Re: Country, it’s a good point but it also shows that my original point way back when that seems to have become so craw-stuck wasn’t appreciated. Country has some of the best guitarists that ever were, Chet Atkins and Roy Clark to name two, but that’s fine because Country has long been an acoustic and string-based genre, so you’d expect them there and their talents are well used. Country (and let’s be specific, modern country) is infantile with lyrics and the mainstream stuff is just Rock Lite with dumber ideas. Like how metal isn’t the best place for a talented vocalist to land, a serious lyricist is probably going to be an artsy anomaly in modern Country. But then lyrics aren’t my thing, I’m not sure where the best would be found.

It’s like a 7 foot tall guy that weighs 230 pounds and can crossover dribble and shoot the three. The offensive line of the football team is probably not where you’re going to see his best use.

You don’t eat Carolina Reapers with every meal? Wuss…

Oh hell yeah, I cannot stand it. I feel like it was written by an algorithm.

I have the same problem with a lot of pop music. I think sometimes it has to do with the production - pop music is nothing if not overproduced - but I feel like it’s manipulative, and I need music to feel intuitive if I’m gonna get into it.

Pop is one where I’ve never really gotten it at all. There’s good and great metal, country music, rap, polka, whatever but pop in general just bounces right off of me. I didn’t even like Michael Jackson, and I was like 12 years old, prime pop territory. I’m the last of the people who actually have an Mp3 player since I prefer wired headphones, and if I had to categorize it it’s probably 40% rock/math rock/alt rock, 30% metal/angry rock, 20% rap, 10% country.

OH, and let’s not fucking forget autotune. FFS.

That really makes me want to link some Grimes, because I think she’s a god-gifted musician, but I feel like I’ve desecrated the metal thread enough for one day.

The album to listen to is Art Angels. I’m amazed by how good she is at arranging a bunch of sounds that, by themselves, have nothing to do with music, but somehow end up becoming a seamless part of a soothing pop song.

It’s really complex, and if you actually dissect the music, sometimes it sounds like someone banging on a garbage can or firing a toy laser pistol, but she arranges it in a way that ends up so pleasing and delicious.

I have her down as a 140 IQ for sure. I can’t believe she picked Elon Musk, of all people. There are 8 billion people on earth.

Musically built on the Classical, and one of the greatest vocal stylists of our time…

Also… in case you all haven’t heard it, the new Accept is excellent. Wolf is amazing. This one though… total Accept groove. Probably my favorite so far.

Indeed, and one of the strangest!

The first backpatch I ever bought was the Manilla Road viking (I still have it nailed to my door) but that is one profoundly weird voice. I thought about including it in the vocal performances as a gag.