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.]

MAX CAVALERA: “Cavalera Conspiracy has a new album in the making”

The Cavalera brothers are back! Max and Iggor Cavalera, who created some of the most influential metal records in music history with SEPULTURA and inspiring the heavy and extreme music scene over decades, are currently hard at work in the studio in Phoenix, Arizona, to record the fourth album of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY!

Set to be released in the Fall of 2017 on Napalm Records, Max and Iggor have now left a message to their fans and the worldwide metal community with a first teaser and greetings from the studio. Produced by longtime friend Arthur Rizk, the recordings of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘s upcoming album will be documented by Horns Up Rocks, titled ‘The Conspiracy Diaries‘. These exciting studio episodes will be released over the next months and will share an in-depth view behind the scene’s of CAVALERA CONSPIRACY‘s work in the studio. The brothers Max and Iggor Cavalera formed the legendarily trailblazing heavy metal band SEPULTURA as teenagers together in 1984. Across six studio albums the Brazilian punishers perfected the art of darkness and extreme music with thrash classics such as Beneath the Remains, Arise and Chaos AD, while exploring the underbelly of third world political issues and broadening the genre’s horizons with an exploration of indigenous culture, culminating with the landmark Roots album in 1996. A decade after Max left SEPULTURA and meanwhile released seven successful records with SOULFLY, the two brothers got back together in 2006 to form CAVALERA CONSPIRACY: A bold testament to the talent and power these two possess together. An invigorating mixture of speed and aggression, finest thrash power and the fiercest riffage

Get ready for one of the most heaviest and hotly anticipated metal records of 2017, as the CAVALERA CONSPIRACY will strike back this Fall!

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY – The Conspiracy Diaries #1 | Napalm Records

CAVALERA CONSPIRACY are:
Max Cavalera – Vocals, Guitar
Iggor Cavalera – Drums, Percussion
Marc Rizzo – Lead Guitar
Johny Chow – Bass

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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)

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[ALBUM REVIEW] CHAOS- All Against All

Indian Thrash Metal band, CHAOS is all set to put out their next album, ‘All Against All’, which is gearing up for a Transcending Obscurity India release on June 15th, 2017. This isn’t the first release of the band that I have heard, their previous album ‘Violent Redemption‘ gave these guys a solid designation. For a band that hails from one of the remotest parts of India, they have pretty much clasped the attention of many metalheads over the last decade or so with their grade of Trash Metal with Groove and Crossover influences. Often reminding people of bands such as Pantera, Municipal Waste, Nuclear Assault to name a few.

‘All Against All’ is one such album. An album that would speak for itself. The Great Divide seemed like quite a start for the album with exploding drum work and sleek guitar solo. I particularly liked how the variety was carried through out this track, without losing any momentum. It was also interesting to watch the band make an official music video for the title track ‘All Against All‘. It’s one of the fastest tracks and also a personal favourite. Really enjoyed the concept of the video that mirrors the theme of the album itself. It was definitely an ingenious attempt at it’s best. Probably one of the best music videos for an Indian band in terms of concept, intensity and cutting edge shots.

Watch All Against All (Official Music Video)

The second half of the album is churned well with a lot of ‘Groove’ elements in contrast to more ‘Thrash’ laden riffs in the first half. However, the blend has been brought out well with some great production value and writing skills. The balance is well epitomized. This band is purely influenced by the typical Bay Area Thrash scene which can be observed in their compositions. The album ending on a high with a track like ‘The Escape‘ is a good reason to press the replay button. You can already sense that the album has left a lasting impression. It is good, powerful and wild!

One of the striking things about this band is the originality. While you listen to their songs, you can definitely sense that these guys are heavily influenced by a lot of Thrash Metal and Crossover bands from the late 80’s; but in their own unique style causing room for a lot of improvisation. I think this has given them the freedom to incorporate their own perception. It’s worth mentioning about guitar areas in this album. The sections have been well written. I honestly think that this is the biggest strength of the album. Particularly the quick opening track ‘The Great Divide’‘Indoctrination’‘The Enemy‘ to name a few. Blistering solos and the playing style has definitely left a strong mark. The drums played by Manu Krishnan is as good as ever. It’s so good to hear him play. He is energetic and immensely capable. That’s what makes him one of the best drummers from the sub-continent. One thing that I wish to have a take on, is the vocals. While you have an umpteen amount of variety in this album, it must be noted that the vocals have only left a little to be desired. I am not saying it’s bad in it’s entirety but it could have broken the monotonous singing style and display. While the vocals are good and the portrayal might have been good in a way; the vocal exhibition could have been improvised with a lot more ‘diversity’ in this record.

Bandcamp

Nevertheless, it’s a neat album. Particularly recommended for fans of Municipal Waste, Ultra-Violence, Pantera, Overkill as such.

Ratings- 80%

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Reviewed 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)

THE DOWN TRODDENCE: Mumbai is one of our most beloved cities ever, without a question.

THE DOWN TRODDENCE is one of Kerala’s better known Metal bands. A band that plays a fusion of Folk Metal with lots of Groove Elements, with their lyrical themes that revolve around Mythological content, social and political issues. The band is all set to play at The Grand Mammoth Festival in Mumbai, this March 26th, 2017.  We are speaking with the band’s bassist Nezer about what’s cooking in The Down Troddence camp, the new album, TGMF and the upcoming shows. Excerpts:

MJM. First of all, how does it feel to be back after a gap? We missed you!

Nezer: We missed you too. Wouldn’t technically call it coming back till we put out our next album. Ganesh is still expected to return by march, 2018. But we really missed playing live and its important to play live to keep the morale of the band in check. So we roped in Manu Krishnan as a sessions drummer to play TGMF. We have been rehearsing with him. Hope it goes well on 26th.

MJM. How do you classify your band? Many call your band genre to be grove metal/thrash/folk and even Vedic metal.

Nezer: All of us have given up the categorising business long back. We just make music which resonates a good energy within us now which is fresh for us. Tags are the least important of our concerns right now.

MJM. What is the main influence behind the song Shiva and the crazy video?

Nezer: This was way back in 2010. We just wanted to compose a good song which said something significant, for us. And we were really into the folk traditions of our land and the stories it told us. So we converged two of those stories into one song which became Shiva. The video was just a random burst of “lets do this. its now or never” situation amongst the band. And we acted on that drive and materialised the video.

“If more people feel that way, more successful a band will be according to us.”

 

MJM. What does it feels like to look back from where you guys started?

Nezer: It was a crazy journey for us. Many peaks and Valleys. I think more than anything else, the whole journey has been a humbling experience. It keeps us grounded and rooted at the same time makes us aspire for more. When we look back, it was testimony that we followed our heart and felt alive at each step of the way.

MJM. Many Indian bands after reaching the level where you guys are and you know when they tend to ‘raise their collars’. How focused are you towards the future?

Nezer: We don’t consider ourselves to have hit any ‘level’ to raise our collars to say the least. Its easy to get stuff into your head when some level of success finds you. But we have learnt that it is a crime to rest on ones laurels. At this point in time, we are committed and focused to creating more music which excites us and lead our way to the second album.

The Down Troddence – Shiva

MJM. What is success to you?

Nezer: Music marketing “gurus” will blurt out a number of performance indicators for a band to be deemed as successful. Like album sales, social media impressions, number of live shows, demographics covered yadiyada. But at the core of all those peripheral number games, If someone gets moved inside listening to the music you present and genuinely feels the chill at the back of the spine and touches the soul in some way, that is true success. If more people feel that way, more successful a band will be according to us.

MJM. How long did it take you to understand your band’s sound?

Nezer: To say that we have figured out our sound is to some extent arrogant. We feel there is no answer to a band’s sound. Most of the us reconcile with some combination of sounds and musical direction as “the sound”. While the true fun is in the process of exploration and continuous seeking. If we settle for a definite sound, that will be passe’ before you know it. We are constantly seeking.

“We will try and play a new song too.”

MJM. Is TDT is going to continue its path down this music genre? Or switch to experimentation?

Nezer: That is time’s doing. We were always about experimentation. That’s what gave us our current sound. We will continue exploring whatever the song and the theme demands.

MJM. The album, “How are you? We are fine thank you” has set up the bar very high. Are you guys very careful about the next album?

Nezer: In many ways, yes. We tend to judge the motifs and passages more than how we used to back then. We think that’s an integral part of growth. On the other hand, if I were to use an analogy, we are still making random brush strokes on the canvas. So not too careful that way. We are more careful of things not sounding the same than making it sound similar to the existing sound frame.

MJM. I have read it somewhere that you guys are going to bring in some old instruments which could be used in metal. How does the study go on? Is it the time for the fans to be exposed to a different style?

Nezer: Like I said, experimentation is what drives the sound forward. We’ve been collecting a lot of new sounds and instruments and hopefully incorporate that tastefully into our music. And yes, listeners deserve something fresh. And listeners include us too.

The Down Troddence – Nagavalli ( Lyric Video By Riaz Hassan )

MJM. How are you prepared for the show TGMF? Is there going to be any surprise? Any new songs?

Nezer: Depends upon how the rehearsals will unfold. Most likely, it will be our existing playlist. But if things go well, we will try and play a new song too.

MJM. You guys have performed in many cities. What makes them different to you?

Nezer: All of them are unique and different in many ways. Every city has something which really captures its essence. Mumbai with the coast, food and people, Pune with its chilled out vibes, Delhi with all the history and the extreme weather, Chennai with all that tamil-coffee-dosa vibe, Hyderabad with its savoury Biryani. But one thing is constant. The love and warmth we have received from our supporters. That makes us want to come back for more.

MJM. TDT is going to share stage with great bands in TGMF. How do you feel? Any message for the readers?

Nezer: We are really excited to be back in Mumbai sharing stage along with some slamming bands in the country. Mumbai is one of our most beloved cities ever, without a question. Keep supporting good music and the makers. That’s about it.

MJM. Finally, what is the plan in future?

Nezer: ALBUM 2. GIGS. Taking things to the next level.

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Interviewed by-

Aatish Gade (Metaljesus Magazine)

Ten Best Thrash Metal bands who have put out great material in recent years | Metaljesus Magazine

Thrash Metal is one of the most popular genres to be recognised in the Metal music spectrum not only from a standpoint of metalheads in general but also in mainstream media and rightly so. With bands like the Big Four of Thrash popularising the genre in the 80s followed by the Teutonic Thrash bands, and many of the other Bay Area and East Coast Bands. The genre saw a decline in the 90s as the Grunge scene took over and quite a few of the bands who pioneered the genre in the first place either went with the flow and experimented with their sounds (Metallica, Anthrax, etc.) or the sales of most of the thrash metal bands was severely affected in some way or the other. However, at the turn of the century, Thrash Metal scene was witnessing a resurgence of sorts with bands like Slayer returning with an album like God Hates Us. All after a few detours into the Nu Metal waters with albums like Diabolus in Musica and Anthrax returning with a more Thrash tinged album in the form of their record We’ve Come For You All and while the classic bands were trying to return to their old form, new bands formed like Vektor, Havok, Evile, etc. who released some of the very best records this genre has to offer in this century. 2016, was a year where a metalhead could safely say that it was the year of thrash with not only the legends but also the modern bands coming out with some of the best, most potent albums in the genre which was brought back to life from the brink of obsolescence.

The following list of Ten Best Thrash Metal bands who have put out great material in recent years and are still going strong despite the odds being stacked up against them. We have included Thrash Metal bands from both the old school and new school category.

10. Overkill – Spearheaded by Bobby Blitz and D.D. Verni, Overkill, though one of the oldest bands in the Thrash Metal scenario (formed in 1980), they were always the lesser known band in comparison to the bay area bands and their east coast contemporaries as well. However, they never compromised on their playing and style and churned one phenomenal album after the other. With a vile blend of Punk and NWOBHM elements incorporated together, their brand of thrash always stood apart. Their latest offering ‘The Grinding Wheel‘ is once again the Overkill brand of Thrash Metal and the unrelenting speed and brutality is never a tiresome journey and we hope that the mammoths of Thrash continue to make great records for years to come.

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9. Exumer – These German mammoths who reformed in 2001 briefly and then again in 2008 have been going strong. Two powerful records in the 21st century and it doesn’t seem like the band has any plans to look back. Their latest release ‘The Raging Tides‘ was a monster of an album and one which could easily put most of the new Thrash Metal bands to shame.

8. Anthrax – The most underrated of the Big 4 of Thrash, their 2003 record ‘We’ve Come For You All‘ was a record which redeemed the band in a way as it was a record which was a return to the more heavier spectrum of metal with a pinch of Thrash following their previous releases under the John Bush era but, it was not until 2011’s ‘Worship Music‘ which was the first album featuring Joey Belladona  that the band really shifted its gears and put out a record which is arguably their best in a long time featuring some thrashers like Fight Em Till You Can’t, The Giant and more. Their latest release ‘For All Kings‘ was a more focused and cohesive offering which was a well balanced mix of some mid-tempo Thrashers like ‘You Gotta Believe‘ and ‘Evil Twin‘ to some of the more heavier tracks (Also featuring ‘Blood Eagle Wings‘ which is the bands biggest song in their entire discography) and a balls out finisher ‘Zero Tolerance‘ which could might as well be one of their fastest track alongside Gung Ho.

7. Havok – One of the bands which formed in the 21st Century. Havok plays a vile blend of thrash in the veins of Bay Area mammoths Exodus while adding its own unique touch. The band has put out some very strong releases the most critically acclaimed of which happens to be their sophomore effort titled, ‘Time is Up‘. That album paired alongside their debut full-length release ‘Burn‘ are some of the best thrash metal releases in the modern era. Their last offering ‘Unnatural Selection‘ was a more mid-tempo thrasher, it still was a very powerful record. The band is now gearing up for their 4th album titled ‘Conformicide‘ which is set to release in March this year.

6. Kreator – One of the most well known bands from the German thrash metal scene, Kreator has consistently been putting out records worthy of accolades with some of the best albums in this century like ‘Phantom Antichrist‘ and their latest Record ‘Gods of Violence‘ with the latter featuring some new elements (albeit very little) and it looks like Kreator is not going to stop the Thrash Metal madness anytime soon!

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5. Death Angel – Ever since the band reformed in 2001, Death Angel has been releasing some quality albums each better than the last. With easily distinguishable vocals of Mark Osegueda and the phenomenal instrumentation, Death Angel had always been a band overlooked in the 80s, however, their revival was more than enough to create a buzz. Their latest offering titled ‘Evil Divide‘ is one of the best the band has made and it stands on par with with their classics. It also features Andreas Kisser from Sepultura in one of their tracks and it would be surprising if this band still does not get the respect it deserves.

4. Voivod – The most underrated band of its time, Voivod is the band which still releases quality Thrash. Their EP ‘Post Society‘ which was released in 2016 is a proof. The band released their full-length titled ‘Target Earth‘ in 2013 which was essentially the first to not feature Piggy (RIP) on guitars and even though the legend passed away years ago yet, the band has soldiered on bravely and it seems they are not keen on pulling the plug anytime soon.

3. Exodus – While Exodus had been existing even before most Thrash Metal bands, they never got their due as much as the Big 4 did, possibly because line-up changes and bad marketing decisions but that hasn’t stopped them from making some of the best Thrash Metal  albums in this century and the last. With the the return of Steve Souza (his third outing with the band) and their first record with him (also their tenth full-length record) since ‘Tempo of the Damned‘ album titled  ‘Blood in, Blood Out‘ which was released in 2014, was a breath of fresh air with more compact and relatively shorter tracks full of energy and piercing vocals Steve has always been known for and while Rob Dukes was handling the vocal department really well for the band, Steve was the vocalist for Exodus for the majority of the band’s fans. The band is working on their next full-length currently and it looks like this record will also be a blistering assault of thrash and brutality. Read our old interview with Steve from Exodus here.

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2. VektorVektor really upped their game by releasing possibly one of the best thrash metal albums in this decade titled ‘Terminal Redux‘. As of now, the only member left is the vocalist and guitarist Dave DiSanto but the three full-length albums the band has released are absolute gems and the very mix of thrash with progressive elements (something Voivod is also known for) and the Chuck Schuldiner-like vocals by DiSanto make this band stand apart from the sea of other thrash bands which have come to exist in recent times. While the future of the band now seems uncertain but the mark they have made is one which will stay for generations to come.

1. Testament – One of the most famous bands who were not part of the Big 4, the bay area legends have been on a roll since they released ‘Formation of Damnation‘ in 2008. The follow up to that release, ‘Dark Roots of Earth‘ was a step up from the predecessor as well containing some really great tracks and also consists of Alex Skolnick‘s most memorable solos in the song ‘True American Hate‘ and their recent release ‘Brotherhood of the Snake‘ just seems a step up from both the albums that Testament has released in the 21st century. The band has released some earth shattering albums, one after the other and each more cohesive than the other. While the band never made it as big as its bay area contemporaries in the Thrash Metal heydays, it’s Testament who are now coming out with the strongest old-school Thrash Metal material and hope so will continue to do so.

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Honourable Mentions : Metallica, Slayer, Onslaught, Annihilator, Anvil, Destruction.

[PS: The original images belong to the rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended.]

Compiled by-

Anirudh Gollapudi (Metaljesus Magazine)