Death metal vocals: a powerful expression of the beast within, or a bad imitation of Cookie Monster? Since the first thrash singers decided they didn’t give a shit about whether or not people could understand what they were saying, death metal’s guttural vocal style has been both an honored metal tradition, to the point where it is now how non-metal people imitate metal as a joke. But are these vocals really a necessary aspect of metal culture? And how exactly does one use their throat to sound like Frankenstein getting his dick chopped off at a slaughterhouse?
We answer these important questions and more in the latest episode of our heavy metal talk show Last Words, as our faithful hosts Katy Irizarry (Season Of Mist), Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves/Ex Man Podcast), and Zeena Koda (Everything’s Political Podcast) are joined by one of modern metal’s most celebrated bellowers, Gatecreeper frontguy Chase Mason. Together, the crew look at the legacy and honest ridiculousness of death metal’s guttural vocal style. And surprise surprise, Doc “Mainstream Sensibilities Are The Mark Of A Talented Band” Coyle? He don’t like ’em!
“There’s a civil war going on in the heavy metal scene,” says Doc. “Are you Team Clean-Singing, are you old-school, or are you Team Dirty Singing, screaming, heavy?”
“Obviously, I don’t do cleaning singing in my band,” says Mace Chason. “I couldn’t if I wanted to! Maybe that’s why I don’t…I wouldn’t say I take either side. I think they both just as cool. But my opinion on that is I think that you should keep them separate. I call them the Good Cop/Bad Cop vocals.”
CHRRRK RRRT THR LRRRTRRST RRRPRSRRRDE RRF LRRST WRRRDS BRRRLRRRRRR:
And if you want the pure audio fix of this sweet guttural debate, check out the sexy, uncensored podcast version of Last Words:
Words by Chris Krovatin