Saturday, November 20, 2010
The "art" of death metal vocals has been lost. There was a time when each band had a vocalist with a distinct sound. You could tell Martin van Drunen from Kam Lee. Or Brett Hoffman from Barney Greenway. John Tardy, Karl Willetts, Marc Grewe, Chuck Schuldiner, Dave Ingram, Matti Karki, LG Petrov, Chris Barnes, Johnny Hedlund, Jeff Walker, Chris Riefert, David Vincent... all of these men had (and most of them still have) their own unique style. These days, what passes for death metal vocals seems to fall into two camps. First, there's the "bastard sons of Barnes," who still try their best to emulate the gutteral gurgling from "Tomb of the Mutilated." This used to be the way that most newer bands went for many years. The idea of sounding lower than low and as unintelligible as possible was appealing to many. But this lot have started to die out over the years in favor of the current "deathcore" sound. More and more vocalists just go for a gruff style with a strong hardcore influence. There's no substance to their voices. No soul. They get the job done, and barely even manage that. They all sound the same, and I doubt that many could tell one from another. There was a time when a death metal vocalist's sound was just as important as the band's guitar tone. Somewhere along the way, that mentality has been lost. There are some bands that still do care about having a unique voice. But the majority of the popular newer bands have vocalists who are indistinguishable from each other.But for a few rare exceptions, the shock value and true extremity of the death metal vocalist has become watered down and diminished to the point of worthlessness.
Posted by Metal Nightmare at 1:32 AM