Who Really Invented the Sing/Scream Thing in Metal?
Where did the whole sing/scream thing in metal come from? You know what we're talking about — bands who blend extreme vocals and clean singing together as part of their dynamic. That's what we take a dive into on Episode 22 in Loudwire's "50 Years of Heavy Metal" video series.
Obviously, the style is most commonly associated with 2000s era metalcore and onward, but the emergence of this vocal duality came much, much earlier on in metal and even rose to prominence outside of metalcore right around the same time that exciting new subgenre exploded.
Unlike many stylistic evolutions in metal, the sing/scream thing can't necessarily be traced back to just one band. Quite a few groups had ventured beyond the limitations of either just screaming (growling, barking, gutturals... you get the idea) or just singing. Each band that did this early on wielded influence over different factions of future generations, so this timeline is not as neatly compacted as some other areas we've explored in previous episodes of "50 Years of Heavy Metal."
The gothic doom (death/doom) scene in England had an enduring impact on what was to come, but bands such as My Dying Bride didn't place a tremendous emphasis on light and shade when it came to singing, more so using short, clean-sung passages as mood pieces. Still, it counts toward the evolutionary cycle.
Others such as Edge of Sanity began experimenting with the concept too, far removed from England all the way over in Sweden. Countrymates Opeth really doubled down on this formula, using clean sung passages over clean-toned instrumental bits that countered the band's burly, death metal-esque prog and those legendary growls from Mikael Åkerfeldt.
Building off the gothic doom scene's foundation, Lacuna Coil further explored the dynamic using female and male singers.
Oh, yes, and let's not forget oddball Mike Patton in Faith No More, who presented the idea with more mainstream appeal despite the band's outlandish eccentricities.
Without any of this, the new millennium would sound radically different. But really, who did it first? With some help from members of Killswitch Engage, Opeth, Lacuna Coil and In Flames, that's exactly what we try to answer in the video at the top of the page.
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