The number of very talented and much scarcer thrash metal shriekers we hear? I couldn't help but think about this as a result of the Slayer discussion in another thread. It seems like in the 80's there were a lot more heavy metal, speed, and thrash bands that had singers who were singing really magnificently high notes, but because of their interest in heavy and brutal music, could also sing really viciously. As the 90's came on, the big thing was sounding as harsh as possible, and the demand for extreme technicality was (For the most part) replaced with a demand for brutality, and as a result, a huge increase in growling in extreme metal singing occurred. Unfortunately, it seems that the desire for high pitched screaming and shrieking has been forgotten. Even in modern thrash bands, most of the lead singers sound like they're second rate punk or hardcore singers.
I know the population of singers capable of hitting really high notes didn't shrink, so are they just ignoring that style to pursue a different one, or are they all playing in copy-cat 80's bands nobody notices? If Lord Worm wasn't singing extreme metal, would he be capable of pulling of Araya Screams? Could he do it now? Is there a conscious neglect of this style of singing in extreme metal today? I recall this happening
in studio with CC once, and wondered why it doesn't happen more often.
Just to be clear, because you mentioned "extreme technicality" above, are you just talking about guys who can belt high screams (like your Araya example) or guys who are actually proficient singers?
Cause it doesn't actually require any technicality whatsoever.
To answer more generally, revisionists thrash fans have downplayed the more intricate, technical and melodic side of thrash in favor of the rawer style because they're still butthurt about Metallica selling out. A rawer side which was ironically popularized by plagiarists who just couldn't cut it when it came to adding melody, but worshiped the big four and other giants and tried as best as they could to be half as good. Since they didn't really cut it melodically, they often only featured vocals as an afterthought. For some reason, many of those bands are cult now. And that may explain why more and more, that's what we're hearing. Cause it's perceived as "true".
I think these days, the new pink is really raw thrash with blackened vocals, or whatever this type of shitty croaking is called.
Interestingly, there are now a lot of pretty accomplished vocalists in death metal bands. Guys who can switch from growls to pretty cool clean voices.
Regardless, I think thrash from the beginning was seen as a riff-heavy style with someone playing the strings also singing. There are exceptions, but I think that's the template of the style. For a lot of fans, it seems to be what this is about. Sometimes, it seems the whole song is about the riffs, with not a lot of room or thought for vocals. Most technical vocalists will want to work with songwriters who care about such things.
So it might be a natural evolution.
Noble Beast's debut album is way beyond MOST of what Priest did in the 80s.