Metal vocalists: careful masters of their craft, or dudes reciting forensic case files through mouthfuls of Oreos? Other than the guitar, and maybe the drums (the bass has its merits, too), vocals are the most identifiable aspect of metal music, if only because they’re the part that your non-metal friends imitate when they try to talk about the music that makes you feel complete (and then the whole room laughs at you, and you dream of their murders). But not all metal vocalists are equal, and some don’t seem to get the respect they deserve. Which begs the question: which metal vocalists ought to get more credit than they currently do?
On this week’s episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, one of contemporary hardcore’s most powerful vocalists, Lauren Kashan of Baltimore hardcore crushers Sharptooth, joins hosts Jordan Olds (Two Minutes To Late Night), Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), and Travis Reilly (This Is Hell) in discussing which vocalists in metal and hardcore deserve a little more lip service than they’re getting.
“For metal, for me, I always felt [Nevermore’s] Warrel Dane was greatly under-appreciated,” says Katy. “A lot of people thought his voice was really weird, and it is, but I think there’s something inviting and intoxicating about how weird his voice is, and I think that’s what made the music what it was…I think it’s very divisive, because I’ve met others who think his voice was so incredible, and unique, and greatly under-appreciated, where there’s others who think, ‘What are you talking about? His voice is so weird.'”
“Any women,” says Lauren. “Any women, any women, any women. But! Especially Courtney from Spiritbox and iwrestledabearonce. There’s this obviously really fucking annoying idea that all female vocalists sound the same, or all female screamers sound the same, and that’s obviously not fucking true…You listen to Courtney and she doesn’t sound like stereotypically might think that a woman would sound.”
Watch the full episode here: