Science Explains: How do Heavy Metal vocalists perform without damaging their vocal folds?

True story: I was sitting in my dentist’s chair this past Monday morning and we got to talking about metal (I recently turned him onto Gojira). He asked me how it was possible that all these metal vocalists are able to scream their guts out for extended periods of time and not constantly a) blow out their voices and b) develop nodules on their vocal cords? Fair questions, and I was somewhat embarrassed to admit that I didn’t have any good answers.

Luckily, science does! According to this new video from Inside Science, San Francisco’s Dr. Krzysztof Izdebski of the Pacific Voice and Speech Foundation, who specializes in working with patients that have damaged their vocal cords, believes that metal singers have basically figured out a way to do what comes naturally to human babies. And no, he’s not talking about Lead Singer’s Disease/throwing tantrums:

A little baby has all the sounds — it has the sounds of scream and growl, and inhalation and high pitch and whistle and low pitch, and so I thought, wow, you know, all of this we have, we learn from the beginning. We have it and then we somehow lose it, and the patients who suffer can’t learn how to do this.

Dr. Izdebski goes on to explain that by using a very, very high-speed camera (16,000 frames per second — by way of contrast, note that a movie is traditionally only 24 frames per second) placed inside a singer’s throat, he was able to determine that the vocal cords of your average metal frontman or woman never collide, which is how damage to those cords is normally created:

The images that we recorded clearly show that it’s produced predominately, predominately by structures above the glottis. So, the vocal folds do open and vibrate but actually don’t collide, and the entire sick area above — aryepiglottic folds, arachnoids, epiglottis — everything claps and dances, basically, and creates vibrations and creates acoustic orchestration… It’s that the area above [that’s] very loose and the air turbulence that comes through. The air that comes through produces turbulence, and the turbulence produces the sound.

Dr. Izdebski also believes this knowledge could be helpful to his patients:

When you crush the larynx it cannot be repaired, and these people suffer — they cannot talk. So, you know, we can use this, this technology — this artistic technology — perhaps to try to restore some phonation in these individuals.

Fascinating stuff, right?

Heavy Metal Singers are Just Big Babies (watch video here):

Source: Metalsucks | Inside Science

[All original images/ videos belong to respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.]

OVERKILL recruits new member!

Legendary thrashers, OVERKILL, have just released their highly-acclaimed eighteenth album, The Grinding Wheel. The band has been pretty busy on the road too. The band has dropped a surprise for the fans by announcing none other than Jason “Sticks” Bittner of SHADOWS FALL fame as their new drummer. Here is the statement from Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth: “OVERKILL would like to announce it’s newest member, behind the kit and steering the ship, Jason “Sticks” Bittner.” He adds, “We wholeheartedly would like to thank Eddy “The Mexicutioner” Garcia for holding down the ship and keeping the momentum up for the band over this past year plus. Eddy has and always will be part of the OVERKILL machine. Jason is a long time friend of the band and his abilities have always spoke for themselves. Let the touring continue…onward-upward!

Jason “Sticks” Bittner states, “When my phone rang about 2 months ago and Blitz said ‘Hey, me and DD are wondering if you would be interested in joining?’ It really didn’t take much for me to write back a one word answer………ABSOLUTELY! I am extremely excited to be a part, once again, of thrash metal history, and I can not wait to get out on the road and wreck stages across the world with the ‘Mean Green Killing Machine!” We are looking forward for the new Overkill with their new member!

OVERKILL– Goddamn Trouble (OFFICIAL VIDEO)

Connect with the band-

Facebook | Website

KATATONIA [JONAS RENKSE]: We formed in 1991 as teenagers.

KATATONIA was born in Sweden in the year 1991 and have released around 10 Studio albums so far. Their music is characterised by an amalgamation of Progressive Rock and Metal but however does not adhere to a particular sub-genre. Their last album ‘The Fall of Hearts‘ released in 2016 and has garnered exceptional reviews and response since then. We are speaking to the band’s founder and front man, Jonas Renkse. Excerpts:

MJM. How did your 10th album, ‘Fall of Hearts’ come about? In the studio, or during tours?  How much time did the recording process take?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: We wrote most of it during the downtime after the releases ‘Dead End Kings’ and the ‘Dethroned & Uncrowned’ version of the aforementioned album and their respective tours. Recording took a couple of months I think.  

MJM. What were the inspirations for the album, both lyrical and musical?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Same as always. Mostly ourselves. Some other music. And a drive to always get closer to the perfect album. 

MJM. When do we expect the next album?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: No idea. 

MJM. How has Katatonia’s music evolved or changed in the last years? And why?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Depends on what time frame you are talking about. In the more recent years, it hasn’t changed too much, as we have crafted a style where we are very comfortable. 

MJM. How do you prepare for shows? Is the essence more pure while writing or performing music?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: I prefer writing music. The live part is about trying to match the recording but also add a different energy. We usually have a drink or two and listen to some of our favourite music before a show. 

MJM. Could you tell us a bit about when the band was formed? Did you think you’d be going strong in 2017?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: We formed in 1991 as teenagers, I don’t think we could even see as far as to 2017 back then. The future then was of no interest, we were living in the “here and now” pretty much. 

MJM. The ‘The Great Cold Distance’ is also celebrating its tenth anniversary. Congratulations.

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Oh, yes! Thanks. 

MJM. How do lineup changes affect your music?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: I guess it depends on the individual members and their qualities etcetera. It’s always a problem if someone has to be replaced, but usually it works out.

MJM. You have an extensive tour lined up. When do you find time to write new material?  

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: After the touring. 

MJM. Do you guys get to pursue other hobbies, unwind or sight see?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Yeah, a little bit, if there’s time. Otherwise, we just relax between the shows, have some drinks, watch movies and stuff like that. 

MJM. What kind of music do you guys listen to? In other genres too? 

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Everything that’s good to our ears, and from all kinds of genres. 

MJM. Your playlist for today?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Today, I have only listened to the radio and the distant noise from outside my window. 

Katatonia– Shifts (from The Fall of Hearts)

MJM. Your favourite releases of 2016?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: I have no idea what has been released in 2016, sorry. 

MJM. Do any of you work on any side projects? 

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Yes, Anders and I have the band Bloodbath, Niklas is in death metal band called LIK, Daniel plays with a Death/ Doom band called Heavydeath and Roger plays with Tiamat sometimes. 

MJM. How do you feel when you look back at your earlier music?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: I feel proud that we had such a drive to become an original band.

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MJM. Your songs have a melodic backbone. How do you come up with initial melodies and lay the foundation?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Experimenting with chord progressions and trying to come up with interesting vocal melodies on top. 

MJM. Some songs have electronic elements in them. What are they exactly? And why use them?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: A lot of different sounds. We use them because we think it suits the music. 

MJM. Would you be open to use other ethereal instruments like sitar, to expand your musical horizons?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: You never know, it has a cool sound for sure. 

MJM. How was your experience in India with your recent most show? 

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: A bit different from last time. If we come back I’d like to play normal shows as opposed to festivals. 

Katatonia – Old Heart Falls (lyrics video) (from The Fall of Hearts)

MJM. India has a lot of active bands projects from a variety of genres and release music regularly, in spite of not being supported by record labels, unlike other countries. This gives the artists a freedom with their music but sometimes a lack of international promotions, global marketing and sales, studio capital etc. What are your thoughts on this practice? And how do record labels affect bands?

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Yes, it’s a balance between the freedom of doing your own marketing versus having a record label doing most of the promotion. I don’t really know what works best for the indian market. If bands from India want to go international I think having a record label would be best. 

MJM. Amidst all the commercialism and boom in artists from different genres, what is your advice to young artists pursuing metal? 

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Simple and effective way is to, develop in their own pace and not try to copy what’s hot at the moment. 

MJM. Thanks for speaking with us. All the best! 

(Katatonia) Jonas Renkse: Cheers.

Connect with the band-

Facebook | Website | Twitter

Interviewed by-

Varun Gopalkrishnan (Metaljesus Magazine)

MOTÖRHEAD and Amplified Ale Works collaborate on limited edition Beer series!

Amplified Ale Works is pleased to announce their newest beer collaboration with rock legends MOTÖRHEAD. Born to Lose IPA is a boldly aggressive West Coast-style IPA, befitting of the band’s loud, aggressive style. The 6.5% IPA is brewed with Cascade, Simcoe and Citra hops that provide an earthy, resinous aroma with notes of fresh citrus. In an ode to MOTÖRHEAD‘s British roots, the beer was also brewed with Maris Otter, a premium British malt that brings a sweet balance to the beer’s bold bitterness.

The limited edition beer will be sold directly from Amplified‘s two San Diego locations and will also be available for purchase via the website TheBeerConnect.com for refrigerated shipping throughout California. The can features an original design of band members in a dystopian “Born to Lose” future from LA-based artist Jack Gregory. The follow up beer in the series, Live to Win IPA, will be released later this year.

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The Most beloved Metal artists | Metaljesus Magazine

METAL has dependably had an exceptional place in the hearts of many metal heads and performers the world over. It is a kind that justifies itself with real evidence. As far back as the late 60’s there has been an ascent and fall of thousands of groups from everywhere throughout the world. We have (had) legends like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, Judas Priest who made a world mark with their brand of music during their initial years. Soon then the music started spreading like plague to other parts of the world, influencing thousands of them. Many musicians particularly drew the attention of the crowd with their music. We have limited the rundown to one part/ band to back off and furthermore have a decent assortment with respect to their popularity, artistic status, influence in today’s music, their musicality and so on.

12. Zakk Wylde (ex- Ozzy Osbourne/ Black Label Society)- This American artist has made written some great songs since his tenure with Ozzy Osbourne‘s solo project in the early years of his career. How can we possibly forget some of his heart warming works in albums such as No Rest for the WickedNo More Tears to name a few? Although throughout his career, Zakk has quite possibly experimented and explored other genres outside Heavy Metal such as with his solo project and some of the later Black Label Society albums/ songs; he will be remembered as one of the greatest guitarists and also for his close interaction with fans at shows and elsewhere, showing his down-to-earth character.

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11. Abbath (Abbath/ ex- Immortal/ ex- Old Funeral)- Often called as the funniest Black Metal demigod. Primarily known as the founding member of Norwegian Black Metal overlords Immortal; Abbath or Olve Eikemo, had to part ways in 2015 and then form another project by the name Abbath. People have always had a very jovial opinion about this man, for cracking jokes in between his shows, crowd interaction, close association with fans and so on. Abbath always admitted to having fun was a part of his ‘inner self‘ and that Black Metal can also be fun as opposed to an always serious imagery.

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10. John Petrucci (Dream Theater)- John, is one of the most reputed guitarists in the Heavy Metal/ Progressive Metal world. He is known for using complex time signatures and playing at high speed precisely adding a lot of variety with great emotion and musical content. John‘s career took a peak during the G3 Tour which got him exposed to millions of fans worldwide along the likes of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai among others. Although John‘s primary writing has been focused on Progressive Metal content, he has however experimented with various other genres throughout career and has inspired millions of aspiring guitarists the world over with his playing style and writing.

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9. King Diamond (Mercyful Fate/ King Diamond)- Kim Bendix Petersen or popularly called as King Diamond, known for having a great vocal range, thereby using a falsetto is a Danish singer. King Diamond has however had strict beliefs over Satanism and has remained mum over politics. King Diamond‘s unique stage attitude, corpse paint, presence is enough to get his fans in a state of frenzy.

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8. Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth)- You cannot just make a list without this man. Known for his lively stage presence, guitar playing, roaring growls and soothing clean vocals complimented by his on stage humor and close interaction with fans. This man would have just made it to the list easily.

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7. James Hetfield (Metallica)- A man who is in his mid 50s and fronting one of the greatest Heavy Metal bands in the world ever. The man is still known for singing and playing guitar so precisely even at this age; with three and a half decades of industry expertise since his first days with Metallica. His energetic live performance, interaction with fans, timeless playing skills and singing has fetched him various accolades and has won him many hearts over the years.

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6. Chuck Schuldiner (RIP) (Death)– Known as the nicest guy in the Death Metal industry and often cited as the ‘The Godfather of Death Metal‘, by his beloved fans. He is known for using a distinct vocal style by infusing death growls and high pitched screeches against Death Metal music; which was a huge influence for many new wave bands all over the world. Chuck was known for disavowing the stereotypical mindset of people and their general views about ‘metalheads’. This idea, view and particularly the ‘Extreme Metal Music‘ in the early years got him many fans from all corners of the industry. The legacy of Death continues even today.

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5. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)– Most of you would have expected his name to be in the list already. And here you are. Known as one of the pioneers to include operatic vocal style in his singing, Bruce has always found a way to tease his fans with his on stage being and performances. The man holds a Pilot’s license and had spent years in the British Aviation industry, hosted Radio shows, among tonnes of other career driven activities.

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4. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath/ Heaven and Hell)- One of the greatest Heavy Metal guitarists and a True pioneering force behind every riff you hear today. Tony would have already played that decades ago. Several artists and fans from all over the world refer to him as the true ‘Father of Heavy Metal Music‘. The man is known for using deep and heavy tone known as his signature style. It is his contribution to music that has earned him a massive name in the Rock/ Metal Music industry. Several metal guitarists cite Tony as one of their primary influences with regards to their playing.

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3. Rob Halford (Judas Priest)- One of the most recognizable voices in the Heavy Metal music, Rob is known for his wide operatic vocal range with his impeccable high pitched screams and vibrato. His singing style and performance criteria has influenced thousands of vocalists the world over and most importantly, Power Metal. Judas Priest is known for endorsing badass costumes on stage with Hardcore biker style which had a massive cult following; that also edged their primary influence on the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Thus, playing a pioneering force behind it. Several Old school bands are noted today for using such costumes in their performances and photoshoots.

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2. Lemmy Kilmister (RIP) (Motorhead)- Probably the coolest guy in Heavy Metal with a ‘No fucks given’ attitude. Known for his infamous mutton chops, distinct vocals and bass playing style, the man earned his fame over the years for his solid presence, rebellious imagery and unusual lifestyle.

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1. Ronnie James Dio (RIP) (Dio/ Rainbow/ Black Sabbath)- I am sure many of you would have guessed it right. We did say about including one member per band, but we simply couldn’t make this list without this man. This had to be it. He was known by many personally for his humble and warm nature; besides, being involved with his wife for philanthropic activities. Dio dedicated around 5 decades of his life for Heavy Metal music. From fronting several bands over the years; he was also affected by severe illness towards the end of his career. Known for his powerful operatic vocals that was also popularised with the likes of Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford during the NWOBHM.

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Dio throwing the horns that was popularised by him during his era.

Honorable mentions- Tom Araya, Nergal, Dave Mustaine, Devin Townsend, Corey Taylor. 

[PS: The respective images belong to the respective owners/ editors/ photographer/ whosoever concerned. No copyright infringement intended] 

What is your list like? Let us know what you got in mind by commenting below.

 

Compiled by-

Harsha Vardhan (Metaljesus Magazine- Chief Editor/ Owner)

The Last Stand Tour- SABATON, TWILIGHT FORCE, ACCEPT | 31.3.2017 | Live Review

We started the evening slowly by walking to the concert hall. We arrived 40 minutes before the doors were to open.

The show started on time and the lights were dimmed down. TWILIGHT FORCE, a newly established Power Metal band, was the opening the gig. The band was dressed as if they came right out of The Lord Of The Rings. It’s always nice to see a band that has a concentrated onstage wear. The band was formed in early 2011 and very recently released their second full length album Heroes Of Mighty Magic via Nuclear Blast. These guys surely  know how to make a big entrance. Power Metal is sadly an underrated genre.

Swedish band Twilight Force proved to be something quite different, with blistering guitar solos and an insane amount of fast drumming. The songs were done to perfection, a really good  stage presence and most of all a surprisingly good band. The group set the standard for the night. Twilight Force, inspired by Stratovarius and Rhapsody, showed that they have the potential to become one of the big names in Power Metal. I think it’s safe to say that Ronnie James Dio would have been very pleased with them. After a short break to give you just about time to wander off to the merch stand, ACCEPT enters the stage.

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Accept, formed in the 1970s in Germany, is well known as the pioneers of Heavy Metal.  Accept is a great live band, no doubt about it. I miss their earlier singer Udo Dirkschneider fronting the band, but I must admit that the new singer Mark Tornillo does a good job filling in the shoes for Dirkschneider. My impression is that the set list was taken out of their old and new materials. With the audience consisting of people from the ages of 15 up to 70, for a band like Accept that has been around for a while and the elderly fans felt more connected. The top hits for the night were two classic tunes, Fast As A Shark and Balls To The Walls. SABATON was the band everyone had been waiting for. The intro to the song Ghost Division began as the band is about to enter the stage.

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While watching Sabaton, you already know what exactly what you’ll get. For the real fans of Sabaton, truly are the greatest. And they usually have a big stage show with pyros and loads of light. There were so many things going on the stage, that I found it hard to really focus on the actual songs, even though it looked beautiful. The set list for the night  was as always the same as you’d expect from a Sabaton show. Some older and some new songs. You have a feeling that you have seen and heard it all before. Sabaton is one of those bands that you either love or hate. In my opinion, Sabaton needs to come up with something new to keep their position as one of the leading bands. The crowd as a whole  seemed to enjoy them and sing along to their songs. To sum it up,  the band TWILIGHT FORCE was the only band, I felt with some sort of desire to see more. ACCEPT was good and tight but it was not the best set list. They should have been given more time. SABATON is just like always good but not great.

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Live review by-

Oliver Dahlback (Metaljesus Magazine)

Why do metalheads prefer Black?

Outside your favourite metal club the air smells like cigarette smoke, grungy looking guys stand around talking about their favourite bands, and asides from the music they all have one thing in common. Everyone is dressed in black. What motivates metalheads to wear black all the time? The phenomenon is so common that it has become something of a joke.

So what makes black such an important colour in the world of metal? Well, on one level you could say that it is due to metal being, by nature, a dark music. It wouldn’t make sense for fans of music about the darker side of society to be dressed in white right? Yet maybe, there are some deeper roots behind this. On a more primitive level black is often viewed as the colour of death, since ancient times in Indo- European culture. For the ancient Greeks, whose literary culture is strongly associated with metals themes black was the colour of the underworld. If you want to tie wearing black to more atavistic Norwegian black metal traditions then one should consider the Oskorei, who rode horses from the sky down onto their enemies.

So, next time you see a metalhead in a black T-shirt, consider that maybe, there is something beyond conforming to the groups norms. On some level, our wearing of black clothes represents the darkness that the pagan and Roman forefathers of Europe were so disturbed by. So by extension wearing a black t shirt, in a way represents a level of comfort with the darkness of society. Or maybe, black t shirts just look cool.

Written by- Matt Bacon