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General Metal Discussions » The vocalist topic !
Every forum should have it : the VOCALIST topic !

In my humble opinion the vocalist is a substantial part of any metal band.
I truly believe that good music can be superb with a kick ass singer, on the other hand,
great music can be raped with a singer who cannot hold key...

Don't kick me in the butt but I am NOT AT ALL a grunt fan.
I am always on the lookout for bands with great singers.

Sure there is only one Ronnie James but if a vocalist in any way lifts
up the music I am a fan.

This is my top 10 favorite vocalists (in no particular order) :

Ronnie (of course)
Doogie White (rainbow, Empire, Cornerstone, Liesegang White, Tank...)
Matthias Blad (Falconer)
Lance King (Avian, Pyramaze, Balance of Power,...)
Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche)
Patrick Johansson (Bloodbound, Astral Doors, Lion's Share,...)
Kai Hanssen (Helloween, Gamma Ray)
Jorn Lande (too many to mention...)
Sean Peck (Cage)
Bernhard Weiss (Axxis)

I am so curious about yours, fellow forummers... SHOOT !


(vking1)
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HAHAHAHA!! Yes indeed, man!

My List:

Dio (Ronnie and the caps, Eletric elves, Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell)
Rob Halford (Judas Priest, Fight, 2wo, Hiroshima)
John Lawton (Lucifer's Friend, Uriah Heep, Rebel, Zas, GunHill)
Glenn Hughes (Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion)
Martha Leatherwitch (Crystal Viper)
Jorn lande (Ark, Beyond Twilight, Masterplan)
David Bower (Hell)(man, this fellow knows how to do his work!)
Brian Ross (Satan, Blitzkrieg, Lone Wolf)
Dee Snider (twisted Siste, Desperato, Widow Maker)
David DeFeis (Virgin Steele)
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Dude ! Thanks a lot for the reply but if possible could you add the bands where these vocalists were or are active in ?
Thanks !

Aha : edit post : done ! thanks for the effort
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Jon Oliva (Savatage) and Midnight (Crimson Glory) deserve a mention.
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Looking on my my list there are a few singers (apart from those dead), who wouldn't make it in a Singer of the year 2011 List, they are included for their outstanding performance over long years earlier.

    John Arch - (Fates Warning; Arch/Matheos)
    RJ Dio - (Rainbow; Black Sabbath; Dio)
    David Coverdale - (Deep Purple; Whitesnake)
    Ian Gillan - (Deep Purple; Gillan; Black Sabbath)
    David Byron - (Uriah Heep)
    Mathew Barlow - (Iced Earth)
    John Bush - (Armored Saint, Anthrax)
    David Wayne - (Metal Church)
    Rob Halford - (Judas Priest; Halford)
    Paul DiAnno - (Iron Maiden; Battlezone; KIllers)
    John Lawton - (Lucifers Friend; Uriah Heep)


Well, this are already 11 singers and Bruce Dickinson, Brian Ross, Eric Hawk and bunch of others are still missing, Top Tens are always to small for my likings!
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Forget about top tens dude ! If you wanna post 45 be my guest !
Interesting list so far.
And you mentionned Di Anno in the top 10 and Dickinson in your 'to add list' *evil grin*

Unlike 99 % of the forummers I say : AGREE !
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These are my favorites that were not already posted already.


Dan Reed - (Vox Tempus)
Tony Horstmanshoff - (Visionary)
Lizzy Borden
Mark Kaleiwahea - (Sacred Rite)
David Taylor - (Drive)
D. Rick Forsgren - (Conditioned Response)
Joel Dubay - (Powermad)
John Gallagher - (Raven)
Jimmy Hamilton - (Inturder (US))
Peter Wagner - (Rage)
Steve Grimmett - (Grim Reaper, Onslaught, Chateaux)
Tom Mallicoat - (Lethal)
Chris Cronk - (Talisphere, Fates Warning (1987))
Chris Devore - (Thump-N-Crunch)
John McPherson - (Hatrik)
Vincent Paul - (Attila)
Far Cry - (Lords of the Crimson Alliance)
Steve Benito - (Heir Apparent)
Ben Zerr - (Black Edan)
Paul Miller - (Cain's Alibi)
Wayne Estrada - (Crash Alley)
Eric Swanson - (Fear Tech)
Tim Rice - (Katella)
Michael Olivieri - (Leatherwolf)
Steve Johnson - (Lightforce)
Mark Antoni - (Realm)
Danyl Johnston - (Scarlet Rayne)
Bill Carter - (Screamer)
Gary Stewart - (Tattoo)
Chris Ellis - (Traitor's Gate)
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I really love Kai Hansen's style, for me, he's one of my all-time favorites. I love John Arch with FATES WARNING as well. Obvious choices are Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate (up through the original O:M), Michael Kiske. Tony Moore from RIOT and John Cyriis of course. Valery Kipelov of the Russian legends ARIA and his solo band KIPELOV is one of my all-time favorites. And Eric Adams of MANOWAR definitely is one of the best ever. Tom Mallicoat does an unbelievable job on LETHAL's Programmed. Jon Oliva and Zak Stevens and Russ North of CLOVEN HOOF are way up there too. Joacim Cans is also a great singer. On the more snarly side, always loved Schmier of DESTRUCTION and Ron of CORONER. The singer for HOLY TERROR - can't remember his name offhand, shame on me, but he's fantastic as well. Whatever happened to him?????? Always loved Peavy from RAGE as well. And I'm a big fan of Tarja on the early NIGHTWISH albums. Ian Gillan is a legend and rightly so. Never did like Coverdale or Hughes though - both those for me are highly overrated bluesy/shoeshine-music crooners that annoy me no end. Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin is one of the best and Roberto Tiranti (Rob Tyrant) of LABYRINTH as well. Rick Mythasian of STEEL PROPHET is amazing. And let's not forget KING DIAMOND! I really like Tony Taylor of TWISTED TOWER DIRE. And Major Knoblich of SCANNER! Tony Kakko on the early SONATA ARCTICA's was amazing! Too bad he degenerated into soft stuff. Fabio Lione of RHAPSODY, Rhett Forrester and Guy Speranza of RIOT - great singers. Vagelis Maranis (I am probably massacring his name, but I'm going from memory) on the SANVOISEN albums is superb! I really like Andy Aldrian's voice too, I'm sure there are many STORMWITCH fans here. The singer of the Polish TURBO is excellent as well - Gregorz Kupzec or something like that - my memory is foggy on his name, but his voice is golden! Alright, that's who I think of off the top of my head, I'm sure I've forgotten a bunch!
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Ah, I just saw malinku's post, after I typed mine, and I see I've forgotten a few, I knew I would. Steve Benito for sure!
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Eric Adams and Bruce Dickinson have been my favorites pretty much forever. A few others:

Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray/Helloween)
Bernd Backhaus (Salem's Law)
"Etherial Magnanimus" (Lost Horizon)
Mathias Blad (Falconer)
Oliver Hohendorf (Pillow Killz/Ferngully)
Melanie Bock (Megace)

When it comes to growling you can't really beat Mille Petroza.
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It's surprising for me to see Kai Hansen mentionned here cause as much as his voice fits the bill (I love walls of jericho), I always though he was a mediocre singer, often singing out of key and lacking of power... Great guitarist tho. To each his own I guess.
My personal fave are

Rob Halford
RJ Dio
The singer of Lethal (can't remember his name right now)
Rhett Forrester
Guy Speranza
Messiah Marcolin
Johan Längqvist
Russ Anderson
Jeff Scott Soto
John Patrick Jr. McDonald (aka midnight from Crimson Glory)
Jon Oliva
Ray Gillen

And probably a lot more that don't come to mind right now.
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Well, when we talk for vocalists, maybe each one will change his "best of" list after 3-4 years... When I was 25 or something I was immpressed from high-pitched voices but now I don't. Now they bother me because there is no feeling, screams like someone constricts their balls, and "voice posing" for a few years and then silence...

Also, I can't consider someone as a great vocalist for just one demo, one ep or one album... that could be just the moment. It's like a football player who achieves a supreme goal and that's all. Nothing else in his carrer, no championship, nothing. This goal won't make him Maradona or Platini... It's so simple.

For me, at the moment (just to name a few) some of my fave singers are

Eric Adams (Manowar)
Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio)
Tony Martin (Black Sabbath)
JD Kimball (Omen)
Rob Halford (Judas Priest)

But mostly, I prefer characteristic vocals and not Dickinson or Tate clones. Also I don't like great (studio) voices that can't perform live...
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Some really interesting views about singers guys !

And yet some many bands I have never heard of.

Have some serious research ahead of me !
But hey, there are worst tasks in life right ?

Like my wife asking me to put out the garbage a few minutes ago... Hahahaha...

If you have more : please : keep 'em coming !!

(clap4)
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Shadowman, it's really good to know that we are of som assistence.

It is nice to share knowlege with other people, and nice to learn something. This I have to say that I'm learning a lot with you guys.

Keep the faith!!
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I like many different vocalists, but i really love singers who can wail.
Gutbucket belters who really open up their engines and roar.
Not all are specifically Metal singers, but i'm adding 'em regardless.
My top ten:

Ricky Medlocke (Blackfoot)
Just listen to "Highway Song - Live" & remind yourself that he only has one lung! How is that possible?
He can holler or emote with ease, a fine mix of depth, gravity and tradition.

Eric Adams (Manowar)
The likes of "Gates Of Valhalla" & "Mountains" are incredible, both technically & emotionally. Passion & technique perfectly in tandem.

Layne Staley (Alice In Chains)
Melodic but rough edged at the same time, he had a completely unique sound. Capable of real warmth and depth, but could scream and holler with the best of 'em.

Noddy Holder (Slade)
This guy had an absolute foghorn of a voice, try the devastating version of "Get Down & Get With It" from the "Live At Reading" EP for size.

Phil Anselmo (Down)
The guy's got great pipes. I really disliked Pantera, but he really shines in Down. Like a fine whiskey he's improving with age.

Angry Anderson (Rose Tattoo)
An incredible singer, he just blares! A voice full of character and passion perfect for bringing those grimy lyrics to life. Utterly authentic.

Snake (Voivod)
Not an obvious choice, but within the context of the band he's absolutely perfect. He breathes life into, and gives a human touch to, the bizarre lyrical content. Voivod just wouldn't work otherwise.

Janis Joplin (Big Brother & The Holding Co.)
What can i say? A once in a generation talent. Untouchable. A beautifully ugly howl of anguish.

Jim Dandy Mangrum (Black Oak Arkansas)
An aquired taste for sure, but i love his hillbilly preacher delivery and his gargling gravel/rusty hinge vocal style.

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
Some of that early 'garden stuff is verging on being Doom Metal, but Cornell's unique voice is capable of scaling the dramatic heights there and being utterly melodic on the mellower stuff too. Instantly recognisable.

Honourable mentions must also go to :
Bon Scott (AC/DC)
Glenn Danzig (Danzig/Misfits),
Jim Morrison (The Doors),
F - "The Mouth Of Satan" (The Devil's Blood)
(she's great!),
H.R. (Bad Brains),
Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath),
Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd),
Ronnie James Dio (Rainbow, Sabbath, Dio, H&H),
Tom Waits (Tom Waits)
Paul DiAnno (Iron Maiden).

All amazing singers too.
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Riptorn: very interesting analysis you made here...
read it with the greatest attention.
You are so right about the fact that a vocalist should not have THE perfect voice.
Singers with dedication and love for the music, although not technically superb can add quite a lot
to our beloved metal.

Guess I should make another list... (hmm)
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I'm very sorry to say that there is only one vocalist that really floats my boat. He's been doing that since the 1980's: John Arch

Yes, there are others that are also great singers (RJ Dio, Klaus Meine), but I can listen to him for hours and be intrigued by the vocal lines he sings everytime.

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Carl Albert (Vicious Rumors, Villain) and the mighty Mike Howe (metal Church, Heretic) haven't been mentioned yet. Both take music to the next level. Oh, and the guy from Apollo Ra. He is insane.

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My personal TOP-10 from least favorite to best singer:

10. Biff Byford (Saxon)
09. Michael Kiske (ex-Helloween, Avantasia, etc.)
08. Rock 'n' Rolf Kasparek (Running Wild)
07. Ilja Jalkanen (Kiuas)
06. Ian Gillan (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath)
05. Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius)
04. Jorn Lande (Jorn, Masterplan, etc.)
03. Eric Adams (Manowar)
02. Ronnie James Dio (Dio, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, etc.)
01. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden, Samson)
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Hello everyone!
There's my list of some vocalists:

D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt,Silent Force,Missa Mercuria,Steel Seal,Amaran's Plight...)
Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow,Brazen Abbot,Malmsteen,Sunstorm,Fandango...)
Russel Allen (Symphony X,Allen/Lande,Avantasia...)
Urban Breed (Tad Morose,Bloodbound,Pyramaze)
Damian Wilson (Threshold,Landmarq,Star One,Ayreon,Headspace...)
Tony O'Hora (Praying Mantis,Horakane,Statetrooper,Sweet...)
Tony Martin (Black Sabbath,Giuntini Project,Empire,Mollo/Martin...)
John West (Artension,Royal Hunt,Sun Red Sun,Emir Hot,Badlands...)
David Fefolt (Masi,Hawk,Forgotten Realm,Angels Of Babylon,Firewölfe,Valhalla...)
Jonny Lindkvist (Nocturnal Rites,Mogg)
Doogie White (Cornerstone,Malmsteen,Praying Mantis,Rata Blanca,Empire,Tank...)
Alan Clark (Change Of Heart)
Chitral Sompala (Civilization One,Power Quest,Faro,Moonlight Agony,Red Circuit...)
Lance King (Balance Of Power,Pyramaze,Avian,Defyance,Shining Star...)
Michael Vescera (Obsession,Loudness,The Reign Of Terror,Malmsteen,Dr.Sin...)
Ted Pilot (Fifth Angel)
Robert Soeterboek (Ayreon,Star One,Wicked Sensation...)
Pekka Ansio Heino (Leverage,Brother Firetribe,Cashmir)
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