Some fans in the heavy metal community find utilizing screams, and clean vocals are controversial, plenty of singers make the two styles work. Often time bands will have the lead singer do one or the other while someone plays an instrument and sings the other method. Not everyone has those limitations. These 10 vocalists in the scene are able to belt out horrifying screams then switch to singing with a beautiful voice that will soothe you into sleeping at night happily.
#10: Randy Blythe (Lamb of God)
Blythe has had a long, successful career being a brutal vocalist in one of the biggest heavy metal bands. His range tends to be in the middle, but he can impress the biggest enthusiasts of screaming with his highs and lows. On the band’s last album, VII: Sturm und Drang, he surprised the whole community by the song Overlord. The long-time screamer jumps on the clean singing train for a majority of the track. If you managed to not hear the legendary singer try out some clean singing, then you will not believe what you are hearing.
#9: Ryan Kirby (Fit for a King)
The metalcore frontman stayed in his seat as the band’s screamer, while letting the bassist Ryan O’Leary take over the lighter vocals. He dabbled with Deathgrip then dove right in with the band’s latest album Dark Skies. While his harsher vocals sound much better, he progresses with this skill. His admirable efforts land him a position on this list.
#8: Caleb Shomo (Beartooth/Ex-Attack Attack)
Shomo remains to be one of the most immensely talented people in modern metal. He manages to do everything in Beartooth, and do it well. His mid-range screams always continue to be enjoyable and emotional. His voice fits the powerful subject manner that remains to be the face of Beartooth’s music. What makes him exceptional happens to be his clean vocals. A variety of tones flow out along with a catchy melody in his choruses, I find it hard to get his voice out of my head.
#7: Chino Moreno (Deftones)
The highly experienced singer manages to have an angelic voice will having such ear-piercing screams that set him apart from the rest of the scene. While everyone has their unique sound, Chino’s style and tone stand out more than most singers.
#6. Chris Motionless (Motionless in White)
The frontman of the gothic industrial metal band has quite the range. Going from a low tone like Marilyn Manson to high pitch singing in their early metalcore work. While his harsher vocal sounds have changed a lot over the years, he is able to belt out ferocious screams. The band’s early work displayed more range with impressive highs to brutal lows.
#5. Alisa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy/Ex-The Agonist)
While Gluz has not utilized her clean vocals since her previous band The Agonist, she has continued some heavy screaming with Arch Enemy. While many women in the metal scene are heard clean singing, Gluz stands out with her beautiful voice while managing to switch to ferocious growls.
#4. Jeremy McKinnon (A Day to Remember)
The diversity in A Day to Remember’s music is impressive. The decision to mix pop-punk and metalcore seems insane but works wonderfully. McKinnon’s catchy vocals in the poppiest of songs can easily stay in a fan’s head all day. While on the flip side his screams are far from the best, but what puts him high on the list is his ability to go in any direction he wants. The band’s heavy music is excellent, while the lighter material stands just as strong.
#3. Spencer Charnas (Ice Nine Kills)
Many tend to think of mixing clean singing and screams sounds like a higher pitched singer blending mid-range screams that adds to no range at all. One of the most definitive vocalists who have a tremendous range with that typical modern metalcore sound is the lead singer of Ice Nine Kills, Spencer Charnas. The vocalist delivers a death metal style to his vocals along with what many tend to hear from metalcore. His cleans are soft and beautiful to give excellent contrast to the heavy music.
#2. Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour)
The masked juggernaut continues with unstoppable talent in both his heavy metal outfit in Slipknot and his rock-oriented band Stone Sour. Taylor has the second highest range in the rock and metal world, and he still can surprise people. From catchy rapping, gorgeous acoustic work, and barking out hateful lyrics, the man does anything and everything.
#1. Spencer Sotelo (Periphery)
While it pains me to not put Corey Taylor at number one, I feel my choice is justified by placing the Periphery singer above the legend. Sotelo has excellent range in his screams from going deep, high, and everything in between. What sets him at number one is his angelic voice. I can listen to this man sing all day while still getting my fix for some heavy music. It makes sense that the most talented metalcore band, and one of the most talented groups in modern metal, has one of the best vocalists in the scene.
With all of the amazing singers out there who can switch from nightmare-inducing vocals to a beautiful sound that only an angel can make, plenty is missing from this list. Comment below what you think of my list and who you would rank instead.
Images via Wikimedia/Alice Wiegand, Wikimedia/Luiz Alberto, Flickr/Gage