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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:33 pm 
 

I think all these goth singers should just give up; none of them will ever be as sexy as Christopher Lee.

And people often dont' like high wailing metal vocals because they hurt the poor childrens' ears.
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:39 pm 
 

If the vocals are terrible, I dismiss the whole thing, unless the music is too damn exceptional, excepting thrash that I can't listen to it anymore as a whole, unless the singer really sings instead just using a semiharsh voice which most of times sounds terrible and laughable. I still listen some Kreator and Sodom, but they are exceptions given the brutality of their music.

I have some problems with some heavy/power metal vocalists as well. I don't have a problem with high pitch/range (I'm a HUGE fan of John Arch and his vocals are not precisely the most loved ones) but some singers just sing like girls or the complete lack of balls/power is simply annoying, add their terrible live performance... like the Sonata Arctica guy or Dragonforce. I also hate LaBrie's vocals, excepting in Images.

In death and black metal great vocals are a plus, but average/generic vocals doesn't harm too much, since I look there for atmosphere, riffs and heaviness, not for beautiful vocals (but then again, if there are some good vocals, be harsh or clean, the better).

Sometimes, the vocals can change the whole impression of a band. I didn't give a shit about Bloodbath until I heard Nightmares made Flesh. Peter's delivery is so brutal and intimidating that he alone made me check again the other Bloodbath albums or a similar quality - at least on the riffs.
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Last edited by Kveldulfr on Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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joppek
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:36 am
Posts: 805
Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:40 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
And people often dont' like high wailing metal vocals because they hurt the poor childrens' ears.


i think it's more to do with the sound provoking strong empathy toward the poor wailing man who's had his balls cut off
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Xlxlx
May contain traces of nuts

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5250
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:40 pm 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
I think all these goth singers should just give up; none of them will ever be as sexy as Christopher Lee.

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Abominatrix wrote:
And people often dont' like high wailing metal vocals because they hurt the poor childrens' ears.

I always thought (that is, until recently) that high vocals were very accesible overall. I mean, I loved guys like Rob Halford and King Diamond from the start, yet some people seem to have problems with them and their kind. Fuck, I even saw an old comment here in this very forum where someone called Rob Halford's voice "annoying"! Can you fucking believe it? Or whatever, maybe there's something I just don't see.....
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:48 pm 
 

Xlxlx wrote:
I always thought (that is, until recently) that high vocals were very accesible overall. I mean, I loved guys like Rob Halford and King Diamond from the start, yet some people seem to have problems with them and their kind. Fuck, I even saw an old comment here in this very forum where someone called Rob Halford's voice "annoying"! Can you fucking believe it? Or whatever, maybe there's something I just don't see.....


If someone listen Halford live today or Angel of Retribution onwards, I can get why they dislike it.

King is something else and his vocals are hard to get at first at least. I didn't like it when I heard the band + 20 years ago, but the music was excellent, so I gave it a chance.
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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10120
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:54 pm 
 

joppek wrote:
Abominatrix wrote:
And people often dont' like high wailing metal vocals because they hurt the poor childrens' ears.


i think it's more to do with the sound provoking strong empathy toward the poor wailing man who's had his balls cut off


Hmm, those people clearly listen to too much watery power metal from Finland, then. And I think they are more afraid than empathic...afraid that if they had their balls cut off they wouldn't even make the cut in the fourth-tier castrato choir.
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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:46 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:05 pm 
 

Ah yes, high pitched vocals. Lots of people can't get into that. I've always liked it provided there's power behind them, like any other kind of singing. I like King Diamond, but the first times I heard him I was certain he was trolling.
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Desperta_Ferro
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:45 am
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:11 pm 
 

haha Kotipelto's voice is the only thing I can think of now

In my experience, for non-metal people, the power metal singing is far more annoying and hard to get than growls or harsher styles.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:16 pm 
 

Desperta_Ferro wrote:
haha Kotipelto's voice is the only thing I can think of now

In my experience, for non-metal people, the power metal singing is far more annoying and hard to get than growls or harsher styles.


That depends entirely on what sort of musical background they come from. Certainly not true for someone whose preferred diet is classic rock 'n' roll. I'll agree though that these sorts of vocals can be as extreme in their own way...
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u_sir_r_a_faggot
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: Bangladesh
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:18 pm 
 

If the vocal is annoying its impossible for me to listen to the music no matter how great it is. The main reason I can't enjoy one single thrash metal band because of the half assed vocals. I can get used to a death or black metal vocalist even though I don't like him at first. But I just can't get into this thrash metal vocal style. I even enjoy a lot of hardcore punk but whenever I hear thrash metal singing it annoys the fuck out of me. Slayer might have great music but I hate them for the awful vocals and The Haunted might have mediocre music but I still can enjoy them because I have no problem with the vocals.
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Desperta_Ferro
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:45 am
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:21 pm 
 

u_sir_r_a_faggot wrote:
If the vocal is annoying its impossible for me to listen to the music no matter how great it is. The main reason I can't enjoy one single thrash metal band because of the half assed vocals.


Same here, (except for hardcore) that's why I could never get into Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Exodus... is the half-assed shouting isn't it?

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u_sir_r_a_faggot
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:06 pm 
 

Yeah definitely. The fail to sound pissed off which the music suggests they should. Its just so confusing that its annoying. The vocals just don't go with the music.
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TheEvilSocky
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:34 pm
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Location: In your basement
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:29 pm 
 

Thrash vocalist don't sound pissed off to you?
:scratch: but ... what?
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u_sir_r_a_faggot
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:42 pm 
 

Not totally completely pissed off. They sound they are holding something back. I really tried to get into Slayer as they are considered to be a major influence on death metal but then I thought I should not force myself to like them and ended up. I could even enjoy pop music more easily and ended up listening to Christina Aguilera. Kill me.
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TheEvilSocky
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:13 pm 
 

u_sir_r_a_faggot wrote:
Not totally completely pissed off. They sound they are holding something back. I really tried to get into Slayer as they are considered to be a major influence on death metal but then I thought I should not force myself to like them and ended up. I could even enjoy pop music more easily and ended up listening to Christina Aguilera. Kill me.

:snipe: :boo:
:-P It's strange how perception works, cause to me Thrash vocalists sound the MOST pissed to me, but thats interpretation for ya.
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HenryKrinkle31
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:43 pm 
 

I can't stand extremely generic vocalists or extremely terrible vocalists. I actually love unique voices that really fit the music, like Vio-Lence. The vocals help make Eternal Nightmare a classic masterpiece. Can't imagine it without them.

Stand out, but not in a sucky way. Standing out in a unique way that fits the music is perfectly fine and welcomed in my book.
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soul_schizm
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:38 am 
 

I've heard completely acceptable Metal ruined by bad vocals.

It's pretty damn important, like anything else. Think about it: would you listen if the drums were off time or horrible in some way? How about if the guitars just sucked or were out of tune or horribly produced?

I don't think so.

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joppek
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:36 am
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Location: Suomi Finland Perkele
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:38 am 
 

soul_schizm wrote:
I've heard completely acceptable Metal ruined by bad vocals.

It's pretty damn important, like anything else. Think about it: would you listen if the drums were off time or horrible in some way? How about if the guitars just sucked or were out of tune or horribly produced?

I don't think so.


i think the whole point of the thread was that it's much more common for the vocals to be putting people off compared to any other instrument
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jorgepereira
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:20 am
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:16 am 
 

I think the most notable one is opeth´s vocalist. I think the riffs kick ass but when he starts singing i just change the song. Of course im a thrash fan so im not one to talk but its my opinion. But there are vocalists that you think that suck but when you start to listen carefully you love (Dave Mustaine)
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u_sir_r_a_faggot
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:29 pm 
 

Definitely agree with Opeth. Based on the kind of music I love they should be one of my most fav bands but I just fucking hate 'em. The vocals just plain sucks and I don't even know whats wrong with it. Its just fucking annoying.
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Grapist
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:56 pm 
 

I tend to give a break to most vocalists, as I see a lot of them grow on me, given the chance. A lot of grindcore and tech-death bands initially underwhelm me on the vocal front, but I always saw them as another instrument. In a group/genre where fewer instruments are being used (or just have a lot less going on in general;ex. less layering, simpler song structures/musicianship) the vocals matter more simply because I don't have much else to latch on to.
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BasqueStorm
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:58 pm 
 

Erisgaroth wrote:
Me too, i focus more in the riffs than in the vocals.

+1.
I focus on the music, riffs especifically.

MalignantTyrant wrote:
It depends, it usually takes me a while to get used to certain vocalists.

Desperta_Ferro wrote:
For me, technique doesn't matter, with the voice, it's about emotion.

When music is nice, it doesn't matter if vocals are, relatively, not.

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dreadmeat
Metal freak

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:04 pm 
 

i recently discovered the band Merciless Death [i bought their album 'Realm Of Terror']
really enjoying the vocals, they remind me of master and nuclear assault, maybe not his voice but style? anyway it sounds cool.

http://www.myspace.com/mercilessdeath
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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:31 pm 
 

I love good vocal lines, so even if a singer isn't crystal clear or anything, having some catchy singable hooks makes it fine with me. But I love a great singer too, so whenever I come across a Bruce Dickinson or Tobias Sammet it's always a treat. Someone who just completely owns the music and makes it even more of a treat to listen to.
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thomash
Metal Philosopher

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:31 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:53 am 
 

On the topic of high-pitched singers, it really doesn't make sense to listen to metal with clean singers at all and not appreciate singers with high voices (generally high tenors or even, as with Klaus Meine, countertenors). A high voice is the best suited for metal since the lows and mids are fairly well dominated by the instruments in metal. The best way for a vocalist to be heard is for him/her to sing 'over' the other instruments; otherwise, it's almost impossible to be heard clearly. A metal band will generally sound better if their singer isn't competing for the same frequencies as the other members of the band.

Also, I'd just like to point out that, while a lot of attention has been given to the ways in which vocals can ruin a band, I think a lot of posters here overlook the importance of vocalists in their function as the personality of a band. People hear significantly more nuance and differences in various human voices as opposed to various instrumentalists, regardless how unique their sound. When people think of Iron Maiden, they identify the band with the voice that has defined their sound for most of their career: Bruce Dickinson. The point is that singers can define the bands they front in a way that other instrumentalists rarely are able to do.

Obviously, for a singer to truly define a band requires considerable talent but, at least in certain genres, that's not really all that uncommon. Metal has a pretty low batting average compared to other genres in this respect simply because so many metalheads are more concerned with instrumental virtuosity than vocal talent, which is fine; it certainly lets bands explore the myriad sonic possibilities of the electric guitar far more than in most rock. However, that doesn't mean that bands should completely lose sight of the importance of a good vocalist - certainly not if they want to achieve anything more than underground respect. To make really memorable music, you need a great vocalist with a unique style.

Musicians in many different styles are liable to forget the vocalist's importance but I have noticed that metal musicians are particularly liable to it. Thus, I think it's particularly important to remind metal musicians about the vocalists importance; a lot of bands don't seem to put any thought into the vocals.

Disclaimer: As a singer who has some experience in metal bands, I may be a bit biased. :oh shit:

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Necroticism174
Kite String Popper

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:20 am 
 

That's a very interesting point. More modern bands should put more effort into instantly recognizable frontmen.
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Seelenfeuer
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:02 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:21 am 
 

For me, the vocalist is only as important as the band makes him out to be. This matters more for some bands than others. I won't listen to boring albums even if they have an amazing vocalist.
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Metallic Shock
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:13 am 
 

I don't know what the guy a few posts above was thinking, but Klaus Meine is in no way a countertenor and there are not really that many high tenors in metal. The only one I can think of and he's only sort of a metal singer is Tony Harnell. Most of the high pitched singers in metal are either low tenors or just tenors (standard/medium whatever you want to put it as). Hell some of them are just higher baritones like Eric Adams, Ralf Scheepers, or Hansi Kursch.

Anyways, I would say that the singer can be very important in my enjoyment of the band but I'm fairly forgiving on bad vocals if the music is good. However, if the music is so-so and the vocals are great I can generally still enjoy the band too.

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caspian
Wanderer of the Wastes

Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2004 11:29 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:17 am 
 

It's the same way I view lyrics, I think:

good vocalist + good band = amazing (metallica)
bad vocalist + good band = pretty tolerable, unless if the vocalist is really god awful (Megadeth)
good vocalist + bad band = pretty tolerable, unless if the band is really god awful (rammstein is a very good example)
bad vocalist + bad band = really horrible (nightwish. slough feg?)

Also depends on the way the stuff gets mixed. bad vocals are super easy to ignore if they're been mixed down; if they're too loud they'd better be damn good 'cos every fault gets highlighted.
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joppek
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:33 am 
 

thomash wrote:
A high voice is the best suited for metal since the lows and mids are fairly well dominated by the instruments in metal.

i'd put quite a lot of emphasis on your disclaimer (of being a singer yourself) with this - you're assuming the vocalist is supposed to be the center piece of the band (of course that sometimes is the case); as a listener, i view the vocals as just another instrument
you make it sound as tho' all the other instruments are only there to back up the vocals and i just don't see it like that

thomash wrote:
The best way for a vocalist to be heard is for him/her to sing 'over' the other instruments

it's not a competition
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TheEvilSocky
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:34 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:37 pm 
 

joppek wrote:
thomash wrote:
The best way for a vocalist to be heard is for him/her to sing 'over' the other instruments

it's not a competition

Never mixed music before have you? one of the biggest things is the "competition" for a set frequency space. Guitarist drop a lot of their lows in exchange for mids to avoid mushing all together with the bass and bassist a lot of the time have to play all sorts of fucking games anyway to avoid the death trap of finding more than one or two instrument on the same frequency, which basically sounds like shit.
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Desperta_Ferro
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:49 pm 
 

thomash wrote:
Musicians in many different styles are liable to forget the vocalist's importance but I have noticed that metal musicians are particularly liable to it. Thus, I think it's particularly important to remind metal musicians about the vocalists importance; a lot of bands don't seem to put any thought into the vocals.


I bet that's far more common in extreme genres.

thomash wrote:
Disclaimer: As a singer who has some experience in metal bands, I may be a bit biased. :oh shit:


That's cool, I'm a vocalist too, but I never really tried to be involved seriously in bands, it's more like a hobby for fun, besides, I sound like a poor man's Sammet, and we know that's so uncommon in power metal...

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Death_Welder
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:53 am
Posts: 188
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:00 pm 
 

joppek wrote:
soul_schizm wrote:
I've heard completely acceptable Metal ruined by bad vocals.

It's pretty damn important, like anything else. Think about it: would you listen if the drums were off time or horrible in some way? How about if the guitars just sucked or were out of tune or horribly produced?

I don't think so.


i think the whole point of the thread was that it's much more common for the vocals to be putting people off compared to any other instrument


Time and time again people have heard death metal in my car or wherever and they say "wow, this music is great until they start singing!" I've heard it more times than I could count, and it's true for me. I think thrash vocals sound "lame" compared to death growls because it seems kind of cheesy and I can't take them seriously. Same with power metal. The instrumentation can be off-putting at times, especially in black and death, but nowhere near as much as the vocals in my experience

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iAm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:31 pm 
 

I find it hard to get into a lot of Japanese Metal because the accent is just so outrages. Not to mention I can't take engrish seriously at all :lol:
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Xlxlx
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:35 pm 
 

iAm wrote:
I find it hard to get into a lot of Japanese Metal because the accent is just so outrages. Not to mention I can't take engrish seriously at all :lol:

I hope Intestine Baalism is an exception to that rule.
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Necroticism174
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:52 pm 
 

I love those guys ^ riff after riff after riff.
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thomash
Metal Philosopher

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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:20 pm 
 

Metallic Shock wrote:
I don't know what the guy a few posts above was thinking, but Klaus Meine is in no way a countertenor and there are not really that many high tenors in metal. The only one I can think of and he's only sort of a metal singer is Tony Harnell. Most of the high pitched singers in metal are either low tenors or just tenors (standard/medium whatever you want to put it as). Hell some of them are just higher baritones like Eric Adams, Ralf Scheepers, or Hansi Kursch.

Just because Klaus Meine doesn't generally show off how freakishly high in Scorpions he can go doesn't mean that he's a garden-variety tenor. He's undoubtedly capable of singing countertenor parts. If you pay attention to how he sings after his vocal operation in the early '80s, you'll notice that he effortlessly hits some very high notes with very little use of falsetto. He has a lot of range that is not being used with Scorpions. (I grant that my use of the term in this context is a bit loose since I often use it to refer to very high tenors regardless of whether they're trained as countertenors or not - i.e., tenors who are potentially countertenors, as, I submit, Klaus Meine can.)

Also, I would like to point out that I didn't claim there were many high tenors in metal but, rather, that a high tenor range was the best suited to the genre. That being said, many of the most famous metal singers may not be particularly high tenors but they do tend to be tenors as opposed to baritones (who are rare) and basses (who are almost unheard of in metal). Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Harry Conklin, Ian Gillan, and almost every power metal singer in history are tenors. Indeed, even the high baritones you mentioned tend to sing at the high end of their range where their range overlaps with a tenor's. The point is that metal really does tend to encourage singers to sing in higher registers.

joppek wrote:
i'd put quite a lot of emphasis on your disclaimer (of being a singer yourself) with this - you're assuming the vocalist is supposed to be the center piece of the band (of course that sometimes is the case); as a listener, i view the vocals as just another instrument
you make it sound as tho' all the other instruments are only there to back up the vocals and i just don't see it like that

I did make the argument that vocals shouldn't be treated just like another instrument, although I would like to clarify that I'm primarily talking about clean singing. Allow me to clarify a little bit my position on vocals "as just another instrument."

I like the atmospheric approach that many extreme metal bands take to harsh vocals. Hell, occasionally you can find atmospheric clean singing, although it's not common in metal. But atmospheric or background vocals aren't being treated as 'just another instrument:' they're actually less prominent than the other instruments. Atmospheric effects (including vocals) are most effective when the listener is not paying attention to them.

Conversely, as should be pretty clear, I like it when vocals are given a special place in the foreground for the band. It makes sense if the vocals have a lot of lyrics and vocal lines. However, trying to put them in the position of 'just another instrument' wouldn't work in most cases. The human voice naturally draws the listener's ear, particularly when it's saying something, so it's just more frustrating to hear a recording where the singing is not readily audible as opposed to bass or guitar.

Let me put it this way: How irritating would it be for a guitar lead to be mixed as just another instrument? I think most people would agree that the answer is: extraordinarily irritating. Since guitar leads function very similarly to vocals, it makes sense to mix them in a similar way.

But all this is something of a moot point since, as TheEvilSocky pointed out, it all has to do with the frequencies occupied by the various instruments in a band. If everyone is comfortably situated within non-competing frequencies, then it really isn't hard to adjust the volumes as appropriate for the parts without having any instrument completely eclipse the others (including vocals).

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thomash
Metal Philosopher

Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 6:31 pm
Posts: 1855
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:26 pm 
 

Desperta_Ferro wrote:
thomash wrote:
Musicians in many different styles are liable to forget the vocalist's importance but I have noticed that metal musicians are particularly liable to it. Thus, I think it's particularly important to remind metal musicians about the vocalists importance; a lot of bands don't seem to put any thought into the vocals.

I bet that's far more common in extreme genres.

Granted. I live in the US, though, where the extreme genres seem to be the only styles that anyone cares about. Traditional, speed, and power metal aren't big here and even the thrash metal bands tend to have one of the instrumentalists just yell into the mic. Hell, even the successful metal bands in the States tend to either have shitty vocalists or something more akin to extreme metal vocals.

Also, Intestine Baalism kicks all sorts of ass.

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splyu
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:09 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:01 pm 
 

I've learned to just phase out the vocals when listening to music, as pretty much all of them annoy me except in folk music. Some rock vocalists I like are Peter Gabriel, Ian Anderson and Geddy Lee. Metal? Ozzy, Dio and Eric Adams. Maybe Dickinson.
The worst offender of all of the bunch has to be that tool from Tool though, he totally ruins the music for me with his "I'm having a dump" wannabe-tortured vocals.

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Xlxlx
May contain traces of nuts

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 5250
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:06 pm 
 

splyu wrote:
I've learned to just phase out the vocals when listening to music, as pretty much all of them annoy me except in folk music. Some rock vocalists I like are Peter Gabriel, Ian Anderson and Geddy Lee. Metal? Ozzy, Dio and Eric Adams. Maybe Dickinson.

Get away from me, you weird person!
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