Halford #1 on Top 10 High-Pitch Metal Screamers list.
Jim Gillette of Nitro & Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
Same outfit different hair style!
The high pitch scream is as synonymous with heavy metal as Dio’s "metal horns." Throughout the 80s, approximately two out of five metal bands employed a singer who rocked the high-pitched delivery and wasn’t afraid to use it. The next decade was especially rough for acts who favored this singing style. The onset of grunge and the pop-punk explosion put a lot of traditional sounding American metal groups out of business, but strangely enough the sound’s popularity actually grew in the rest of the world.
Now with bands like DragonForce flying the high-pitch metal flag and crossing over into the mainstream consciousness, there’s no telling where we’re heading. Don’t be surprised if you start hearing about metalheads trading in their Slipknot records for the latest Blind Guardian album.
So now Noisecreep has compiled a list of 10 high-pitch metal vocalists who deserve your attention. So sit back, check out our picks, and crank ‘Screaming For Vengeance’ but just don’t strain your voice trying to copy these falsetto terrorists!
#1 Rob Halford (Judas Priest, Halford, Fight)
We’re not really going out on a limb by saying that Halford might be the guy who first put the high-pitched singing style on the heavy metal radar. Most frontmen had been picking from the blues-rock tree, but after songs like "The Ripper" and "Victim of Changes" made their debut on 1976’s landmark Sad Wings of Destiny album, things would never be the same. Halford had inadvertently invented an entire new way of singing heavy metal. He would go on to revisit his higher register throughout his discography no matter what the current trends might have been at the time. On the title track to Painkiller (1990) he went even further, pushing his instrument to skyscraper-like heights confusing some fans into thinking it was a new King Diamond single. Anyone who has seen Priest in concert recently knows that Halford’s voice is as commanding as it’s ever been. You’ll notice that Halford is referenced often on this list. They don’t call him the Metal God for nothing!
#2 Russ Anderson (Forbidden)
#3 King Diamond (Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, Black Rose)
#4 John Arch (Fates Warning)
#5 Michael Kiske (Helloween)
#6 Michael Sweet (Stryper)
#7 Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear, Gamma Ray)
#8 Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche)
#9 Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen, Royal Hunt, Ring of Fire)
#10 Jim Gillette (Nitro)
When a non-metal outlet wants to write a piece mocking the genre, there’s a good chance that they’ll use a photo of Jim Gillette in it somewhere. The Nitro vocalist’s peroxide and Aqua Net covered hair and outrageous stage costumes clearly show us how ridiculous things got at the tail end of the hair metal invasion. As much of a punching bag as Gillette ended up becoming in the press, his high-pitched attack is nothing to laugh at. It’s hard to imagine a throat actually producing a sound as penetrating as the long shriek he lets out right before the guitar solo (at the 1:11 mark) on Nitro’s single "Freight Train." Showing no regard for the time period, Gillette also released a vocal training video during the grunge era entitled Vocal Power where you can actually see him shatter a wine glass with the sheer might of his voice!
We thank NoiseCreep.com for this killer article. Click >HERE< to see more on #2 thru #9!
High Pitch Sludge