I love rock and metal music, there is no question about it. But some particular subgenres are an acquired taste that just aren’t for me.
Spend enough time around me, or maybe even a little bit, and you’ll get to know what kind of music I listen to. While I have a variety of tastes, heavy metal has always been my go-to genre. It’s original, reduces anxiety, and has a great community that is frequently undervalued.
I’m a Metalhead, it’s one of the parts of me that was never considered to be a phase, but even I have my gripes. I’ve talked about before many times where there are some aspects in the subculture that I have chosen not to participate in, but there’s also another that I just can’t get into.
When people think of metal, they think it’s mostly loud screaming vocals with ear-shattering sound in the background. This is far from the truth. While there are indeed, some metal bands that do have vocals like that, there are also plenty of metal and rock bands with cleaner vocals, some are crystalline while there are others in between that sound hoarse like Oderus, Mr. Lordi, Lemmy, Rob Zombie, etc. But with voices like those, I can still make out what’s being sung to me.
It’s simple, I prefer cleaner vocals because it’s easier to sing along to. The only Slipknot song I can sing is Snuff and I will sing Nightwish songs to my heart’s content. For the raspy things, well I don’t have to sound just like Lemmy to attempt my own version of Hellraiser flawlessly since singing is more of a private thing for me, but I can still do a solid cover of it. I only do it for people who aren’t quick to judge.
Everyone has their own vocal range and mine is on the cleaner side of metal vocals.
But I will gladly listen to a band like HammerFall over something like Shadow of Intent because I can not only understand the lyrics but I can sing it too!
I don’t hate bands with screaming vocals, it’s just not my cup of tea. That is why I wasn’t too thrilled over the metal “icons” that the devs of Metal Hellsinger picked for their soundtrack. I’m still going to play the game, but maybe I’ll just mod different music into it! I’ve had a couple of players tell me that Matt Heafy of Trivium had some cleaner stuff, but once again, the game’s soundtrack is more for modern metal fans rather than fans of classic metal and certain European metal bands with cleaner vocals, like myself.
That is also why a lot of modern metal hasn’t really appealed to me because it seems most of it that I’ve heard is screaming. It’s not that it’s hard on my ears or anything, it just once again comes down to being able to recognize the lyrics because let’s just say that I’ve got a song in my head and I have the urge to sing it, well I can’t really do that with a death metal band so there.
So if you’re getting into metal, read my lips, it’s not just screaming, I can list a ton of metal bands with clean vocals or those in between that sound hoarse but are still easy to make out the words. Some people can understand and like screaming vocals, but not everyone can. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk, pyjaks.
2 thoughts on “Keep It Clean, Let Me Sing”
I don’t listen to metal but for the exact same reason as you, I like songs with lyrics over songs without. I do not enjoy listening to movie or video game soundtracks (in fact, my brain barely recognizes them) because there are no lyrics. Being able to connect with a song through the lyrics is fun and important to me.
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I connect to songs through lyrics and melody if there isn’t any of the former but everyone is different.