Heavy Metal Singers

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Judas Priest – Turbo Love (live) – Rob Halford is one of the most powerful voices in rock history, he’s basically got three voices he sings in, Turbo Lover is a great example of his ‘regular’ voice and his lower voice, and it’s live so you can really hear what he can do. It’s also my favourite JP song. I absolutely love his vibrato.

Judas Priest – Painkiller – Rob singing in his high voice (head voice?), amazing power, he can’t do these ones live anymore. It’s also a face meltingly amazing song.

Queensryche – Empire – not a great bad, one amazing album (not this one) and one not bad album (this one) but Geoff Tate has a wonderful, almost operatic voice. The band were also known for their inanely perfect playing, like session players.

Iron Maiden – The Trooper – Terrible recording… most IM albums were recorded inexplicably bad… but it still shows what Bruce Dickinson can do, he’s an unbelievable live performer too.

Pantera – Cemetery Gates – you know the awful Cookie Monster vocals you hear in awful thrash metal? It started from guys trying to sound like Phil from Pantera, Phil was amazing, could sing high and clear and growl and everything in between, his screams towards the end are perfection. The guitar solo is also amazing and was played on the same guitar you were plucking in my bedroom.

Mr. Big – To Be With You – proof that a bunch of virtuoso musicians do not necessarily make for an amazing band, this song is pretty wonderful though, Eric Martin shows off the wonderful smooth abilities of his voice for the entire song, I cannot believe how smooth and nice he sounds, the rasp is perfect and his high range shriek at the end to me sounds exactly like a woman singing those notes. That key change! His phrasing! I know this was recorded when he felt his voice was shot and he had protesting that they wouldn’t get anything useful from more takes.

Dio – Holy Diver – awwww… Dio…. Ronnie James Dio was about 5 feet tall and looked like an Italian granny but his voice, full and amazing, he was one of the most beloved characters in metal. His tone! His vocal footprint! I was never into Dio other than the hits but I can pick out a RJD vocal in a half second in any song.

Skid Row – Monkey Business – amazingly underrated singer, a balance of grit and gravel with range, perfect for the material. After SR broke up Sebastian Bach became a Broadway star, most notably a decade long run in Dr Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.

The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary – Ian Astbury’s voice is, to me, hard to categorize. Very British for sure, gothic? Opera-like? Nasal? What is his timbre? I love him.