General Question

archaeopteryx's avatar

Why do Melodic Death Metal bands use ultimately stupid and disgusting spooky vocals in their songs?

Asked by archaeopteryx (873points) February 5th, 2009

For example. Kalmah, Children of Bodom, Chimaira, Nightrage.. etc.
Their music usually sounds cool, however when they start singing, the only thing I will can do is stopping the song and deleting the entire album completely.
Do they ever listen to their own songs? And if they do, do they REALLY think they sound cool?

Or is it some sort of a satanic ritual? (because if it is, then that’s a good reason for me to quit listening to melodic death metal for good).

The only exception is Dark Tranquility, though.

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23 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

It’s just a different form of expression. Of course they listen to their own songs, they likely enjoy it. Many of the songs are written by the band members themselves.

Your question implies that you have a distaste for this music, but you did not explicitly mention why you find it distasteful. I conclude that one aspect you don’t like is the “spooky vocals”. Well, do you like Celine Dion’s vocals? Or Yanni’s vocals? Or Slayer’s vocals? Or Beyonce’s vocals? Music is all about exploring sounds and enjoyment, and it often doesn’t take the form of what we would traditionally associate with music. A great example is Primus – they often use unique instruments which they make themselves sometimes, and some of their creations aren’t as much music as they are explorations of sound and the nature of music itself.

Another example is the Dead Kennedies. Their singer/writer Jello Biafra wrote a lot of songs that have very deep yet strong views of items, such as Holiday in Cambodia. Not everyone agreed with their views or their music, but not everyone agrees with everything else in life.

It’s not a satanic ritual, although I’m sure there are people who listen to it while being anywhere from zero to very satanic. It’s just a different form of expression. Why do they use creepy tones and words? Because it causes a reaction from the audience that the band desires. Same as any other band.

asmonet's avatar

Different strokes for different folks, dude.
Almost nothing is ever a Satanic Ritual as a general rule, that’s just alarmist and silly.

buster's avatar

Because thats part of what makes it Death Metal. You got to sound like Cookie Monster if you want to scream/growl for a death metal, black metal, or grindcore band.

Blondesjon's avatar

@dynamicduo…lurve for the Dead Kennedys.

let’s go out and beat up drunks. i’d offer to go in my bitchin’ camaro but i’d have to invite my undead dairy specialist to come along.

El_Cadejo's avatar

i feel the same way with a lot of “screamo” its like they will be pretty musically talented and then the lyrics come in and all of a sudden im looking for the nearest pencils to shove in my ears

archaeopteryx's avatar


Exactly! Thank you! :-)

asmonet's avatar

@buster: That’s a lot of emotional problems as a teen manifesting as a need to shock the public as an adult. Bleh. Satanism is probably the least understood thing on the planet, everyone throws it around but very few people actually read about it.

Blondesjon's avatar

@asmonet…Are you going to start quoting Crowley and LaVey? Perhaps some Golden Dawn chants?

arrested development warned us “serpent’s all for self”

Knotmyday's avatar

Asmonet’s right-o, as usual. Satanism is pretty benign- especially compared to some of the shenanigans some Christians get up to. (Not all Christians, of course.)

@Blondesjon, Crowley and LaVey are hardly in the same league.

@archaeopteryx- I agree. Black Metal is generally good enough without most of the vocal stylistics. Sometimes, however, the vocals and lyrics fit the song (whether you can understand them or not).

Here’s the site I listen to at work. Good stuff, Maynard.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Knotmyday…Would you care to qualify that statement?

Knotmyday's avatar

Crowley was a scholar and an adept. LaVey was a circus performer.

Blondesjon's avatar

@Knotmyday…So this us something you have bought into? Or is this a casual observation?

Knotmyday's avatar

Common knowledge, my friend. Common knowledge.

asmonet's avatar

@Blondesjon: Haha, I think I’ll pass, but thanks for the giggle. :)

@Knotmyday: Teehee, danke.

tjpot's avatar

I have to tell you people that basically none of you have any idea what you are talking about. i have been a hardcore melo death fan for as long as i can remember and i don’t have any problem with the lyrics or the sound of their voices. for the most part their lyrics are fantasy and doesn’t mean anything most of the time.(come to think of it, does any song in any genre really mean something?) for the lyrics to mean anything to you, you should know the band very well.

here we go again with the satanist approach. stop being an idiot dude. just because they scream and growl and sometimes sound really brutal doesn’t mean they are performing a satanic ritual, for god’s sake man. it’s like saying that just because the guys in pop music sound gay, they are gay. if you really want satanic, try Morbid Angel out for size. band sucks ass. but there you have satanic.

don’t diss kalmah dude, one of the best melo death bands out there. you sound like you are quite new to death metal, stick it out dude. with time and pacience you will come to appreciate the music, style of singing and lyrics. its all for the atmosphere. a death metal band won’t be any good if the guys sing like Alton John.

think about your question for a moment. please. it will all make sense in time.

El_Cadejo's avatar

“come to think of it, does any song in any genre really mean something?” Yes, generally.

Who’s Alton John?

Knotmyday's avatar

Goo-goo ga joob to that, Uber. I think he meant “John Elway”; an I kinda see his point. Guy can’t sing for shit.

tjpot's avatar

or elton john. some british singer. he did a song for diana when she kicked the bucket.

El_Cadejo's avatar

ohhhhh elton john. i could have sworn you said alton.

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Xentrix's avatar

Dark Tranquillity is also my favourite band. Exceptional musicians.

Melodic Death Metal is a complex form of music. Of course it cannot be “tamed” so easily. Melodeath/any extreme metal is like taming a tiger. You have to be patient and give it a chance. It will grow on you.

I remember when I was getting into extreme metal, I disliked the vocals same as you do. But it grow on you. It took me 5 years to “tame” metal music. During these 5 years, I listened to heavy metal in small doses. Metal music inspires and energizes you.

The vocals in extreme metal are highly trained and possess a wider range.Screaming/growling is very hard to do and people who listen to these sings just appreciate what a phenominal thing human voice is capable of.

The instruments in MeloDeath are excellent and melodic which makes it bearable than other straightforward death/black metal.

Metal music is all about appreciation of talents. It is very hard to perform these music. The rich sound of metal music inspires you to move on in this bitter world.

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