Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Vocalist Too Many

I just watched an Amaranthe music video. "Oh boy, he watched a music video" you say, "Why should I bother reading this?". Well I've had just about enough of you, I'm getting to the point already if you'd stop interrupting. "Fine" you say. Good. The point is that they have three vocalists.
Yes, half of this band is vocalists.
I have never been a fan of multiple vocalists in bands. One is enough. Two is fine if you want some male an female vocals, but it should stop there. Having a vocalist to do harsh and another to do clean vocals is just overkill. There are plenty of talented vocalists that can do both. I can spend the rest of the post naming them. If the main vocalist sings very high and does not do harsh vocals to prevent ruining their voice, fine, I can accept that. In those cases it's fine to have someone doing harsh vocals, as long as that's not all they're doing. And vice versa. Dimmu Borgir and Fleshgod Apocalypse have both proven that a bassist singing backing vocals can add another layer to the song. If there are so many musicians that can play an instrument and sing backing vocals, why the need for multiple vocalists?

Having more than one main vocalist in a band presents one big concern. All their songs will be the same crap. A vocalist will always sing in their style. Whether or not they mix it up with different vocal types, you still start a song knowing what to expect. When you bring more in, it just means that there needs to be sections in each song for each one of them. Take for instance Kivimetsan Druidi. I know it's not the best example but it's the first that came to mind. Their main vocalist is their guitarist. He does harsh vocals. They also have a female singer though that doesn't play any instruments. She literally stands around and is useless for the majority of the song. When I saw them live, she literally danced around on the stage for half the song before she was needed. Then her obligatory part comes along. She pipes up, regardless of if the song needs it or not, and afterwards proceeds back to doing nothing. For some songs it's a nice change of pace, but there's only so many times I can stand the exact same 'change of pace'. Here's a music video where she gets lost in a forest because the other band members didn't tell her they were having a video shoot that day.

Having multiple band members doing vocals is fine. Just as long as they're playing another instrument the rest of the time. It's always nice to mix things up with different vocal styles and even guest musicians. The problem comes when it's the exact same person every time. Bands should only have one main vocalist. Any more and it ruins the experience.

This rant does not apply to Van Canto of course, which is made up almost entirely of vocalists. They have my blessing to add as many as they need. After all, where would metal a cappella be without them?

-Zombie Viking

Rakka-takka mother effers!

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