Friday, January 28, 2011

A tiny spotlight on some thrash vocalists

I mentioned in my post on VIO-LENCE about how I was originally put off by Sean Killian's vocals during my first few listens of Eternal Nightmare. After spending quality time with the music, I can honestly say I love them now.

In fact, I've been digging through cyberspace to see if Killian is involved with any other projects, with search results leading to zero. I don't know if he is, but I'd love to hear Sean shouting over some aggressive metal once again.

Anyway, speaking of vocalists, I'd like to concentrate on a few within the new wave that have caught my attention.

-Bobby Fuentes from Blunt Force Trauma.
There's no way around it - the dude sounds a LOT like Billy Milano, but damn, can Bobby belt it out. His vocals possess a strength that makes you want to swing your fists. The way he can bark out lyrics to to songs such as Brutal Fucking Truth is forcefully intense and in-your-face.

-Jose "Aladdin" Barrales, formerly of Bonded by Blood.
I've heard people dis his vocals as whiny. I disagree. I actually like the sound of his voice (as well as BBB's killer music behind it), but what I can not get past is Aladdin's monotonous vocal patterns on 90% of BBB's songs. At times, the consistent use of his thrash chant on song after song becomes such a huge distraction that I cannot pay attention to the music. That is unfortunate, since I actually do like his voice and I absolutely love the music.

I will be interested to see how Aladdin will tackle the vocals in his new band (and with equal interest in how BBB's new singer Mauro Gonzales will do).

-Nate Olp from Demiricous.
Just freaking brutal. Death thrash with a mix of Slayer meets…uh, Slayer, but with gravely harsh vocals that could sand down petrified wood. Not completely indecipherable with great vocal patterns - Olp's vocals blend with Demiricous' head-slamming brand of death thrash perfectly.

-Dr. Ape from Dr. Living Dead.
I've pimped these guys on my blog a couple times, and I love 'em. Ironically the vocalist's name is Dr. Ape, since he does a near perfect job of aping Mike Muir's vocals (I doubt I am the first to use this oh-so-witty observation).

Others may disagree, but I see his near perfect mimicry as a bonus. If Ape did the typical metal grunts (death style or otherwise), they may not have earned as much attention, no matter how good the music thrashes.

-Philly Byrne from Gama Bomb.
I'll admit that I did not like Philly's vocals when I first listened to Gama Bomb. What killed it for me more than anything was his atrociously off-kilter wails that sounded like he was *almost* there, but failed.

However, no matter how I felt about the vocals, I could not stop listening. The riffs, the speed, and the full-throttle thrash are played with such tight precision that it is impossible for any well seasoned thrasher to turn away.

Inevitably, the vocals grew on me. Philly gives them a unique sound, adding to the wall of unstoppable thrash.

All the vocalists I mentioned sound completely different, singing different styles over different branches of thrash. But it IS all thrash, baby, and I freaking love it.


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