Guttural singing

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Under guttural singing ( latin guttur , throat ') refers to throat singing, mainly with the ventricular bands is formed.


During throat singing, parts of the larynx are narrowed, among other things. In English, rough sounding vocal techniques are often called throatsinging . Throatsinging also describes the throat singing from Tuva and Mongolia, which includes overtone singing and is therefore partly synonymous with overtone singing. Some of these chants are similar to the process of yawning or deep, sonorous sighs . For the “growls” and the “normal screams” in Metal, you use the normal, full voice. The "screams" are slightly higher in pitch of the voice (cf. pitch when roaring), while the "growls" are mostly lower. With these, however, a height variation is also possible, which is achieved by deforming the mouth . Thus, when contracting (as when speaking an "o") a lower tone is created and when opening (as with the sound "a") a higher tone. These two styles of singing are contrasted by the so-called "high-pitched screams", which are "screamed" in falsetto and are therefore higher than the "normal screams".

There is no uniform technique for these styles of singing. Nevertheless, one cannot yodel, “scream” or “growl” without a lot of practice, because vocal cords run the risk of damaging the vocal cords if the vocal cords are violently singing (especially if the distorted part is formed with the “real vocal cords”). This is achieved with practice and "correct" technique, i. H. the formation of the distortion with the pocket or "false vocal cords" but avoided or minimized. Some singers of this style recommend professional singing lessons in order to learn singing technique , to be able to control your own voice better, or to learn breathing technique . The best known singing teacher for guttural singing is the American Melissa Cross, who has already given many popular metal singers great recognition. Some of her students were Corey Taylor from Slipknot , Matthew Tuck from Bullet for My Valentine , and Randy Blythe from Lamb of God . She received a lot of attention with the release of her The Zen of Screaming tutorial DVDs. Thomas Fischer, Aachen singing teacher and former singer of the band 10 Fold B-Low, criticizes the sale of the DVDs as irresponsible: “People somehow imitate it and ruin their vocal cords in the process.” He also demands physical training from his students; For the singer, the body is "the tools of the trade, the basics have to be worked out as with any instrument". Guttural singing is hard work.

Folk music

Guttural singing is an integral part of folk music in many regions. Examples:

Metal, hardcore punk, post-industrial and electronic music

The guttural singing is used in sub-genres of metal ( death or black metal , and often also in pagan , folk and viking metal , and partly in symphonic metal ) but also in hardcore punk ( digital hardcore , emo and metalcore , in the Grindcore environment) as well as in the industrial , EBM and dark electro area. It is generated through the use of (partly distorted ) croaking, grunting and growling (grunting and growling) , clear calling (shouting) or high-pitched screaming or screeching (screaming) . Sometimes the screaming is classified as guttural singing, but often one only calls the grunting or growling that way or screaming is at least viewed as less guttural. In folk metal the singing techniques mentioned under folk music are sometimes used, e.g. B. the Joik at Korpiklaani or the Khoomei at Tengger Cavalry .


The word growling comes from English and means 'growl' because it is similar to the deep growling of an animal - the word grunting is also used as an alternative . A forerunner here was the deep, "barking" vocals of Charles "Evil Chuck" Schuldiner , the singer and guitarist of the US death metal band Death , but the actual growling came about later, among other things, from Swedish and Florida death metal -Bands. It is used as vocals in various musical styles (mainly Grindcore and Death Metal, more rarely also Black , Gothic , Doom Metal , as well as Dark Electro and parts of Swedish Electronic Body Music ).

The pitch of the growling is usually relatively low.

The growling is often used to musically reproduce the primarily brutal lyrics. You can hear this well with Chris Barnes (current singer of Six Feet Under ) or George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher ( Cannibal Corpse ). In particular in Death Doom and Gothic Metal, but not only there, it supports the conveyed melancholy . In Gothic Metal / Symphonic Metal, a female counterpart in soprano is not uncommon (for example in Epica , Tristania , After Forever , or Theater of Tragedy ).

Some representatives


Screaming , especially high-pitched screaming (screeching with very high frequency peaks), is the highest of the guttural chants in terms of pitch. Quorthon played a pioneering role here , whose vocals on the early Bathory albums ranged from high-pitched screeching to low-pitched croak and thus differed significantly from the high, clear singing in traditional heavy metal as well as other vocal styles in extreme metal. It is mostly used in Black Metal to add emotions to the already aggressive style of music through the singing , such as B. Aggression or " cold " (especially in connection with effects like reverberation ), and hardness . The latter also applies to use in digital hardcore . Benjamin Hedge Olson describes screaming in his master's thesis on diversity, mysticism and identity in Black Metal as "genderless, inhuman, tortured screeching". The range of sounds can range from high-pitched screaming to deeper croaking, but not reaching the depth of the growling . Screaming is also used in crunkcore - but over hip-hop beats and without any connection to extreme metal .

Some representatives


Shouting comes from English and means something like 'to call' or 'to scream'. When shouting, often only the "real" vocal cords are used or the voice is only partially distorted, which ensures that the scream appears clearer and the text is often easier to understand. The pitch of the shouting is usually the same as the normal “speaking voice” of the singer, but some singers (e.g. Tom Araya, Mille Petrozza) change the shouting to a very high-pitched squeaky screeching, which basically works just like lifting it the speaking voice. Shouting is preferred in hardcore , thrash metal and metalcore , but also in any other (more aggressive, more emotional) rock style. In punk, for example, the opportunity is often used to sing melodically by means of shouts (through the portion that is not formed with the pocket bands). Shouting can quickly lead to vocal cord inflammation due to too much air pressure and too short recovery times.

Some representatives

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Verena Töpper: Heavy metal singing teacher. Roar for the advanced. In: Spiegel Online . August 1, 2013, accessed August 27, 2013 .
  2. On Sardinian Folk Music , accessed July 29, 2012
  3. "Yes, the vocals are low paced growls and guttural screams that fit the riffs quite well." Alexis Rivers: MISTAKEN ELEMENT . ENGRAVED IN MEMORY . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 14, January-March 2008, p. 64.
  4. "The band are definitely testing the limits of Black Metal and the vocals are guttural. There is a great variation of riffs that together with the vocals of D. Deviant and 666 Torturer result in a massive attack of brutality. Both vocalists work very well and manage to mix guttural vocals with shrieks in a superb way! ”Sónia Fonseca: ARKHON INFAUSTUS: PERDITION INSANABILIS . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 13, p. 19.
  5. ^ "While most Black Metal bands focus their darkness on grim furious riffs and high pitched vocals, Janvs hailing from Italy embraces melancholy as one of the key (if not the principal) factor on their compositions. The song structures have a fast sense of gloominess intermingled with beautiful guitar passages and a raspy semi-guttural vocalization by Vinctor. “Nuno Santos: JANVS . FVLGVRES . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 14, January-March 2008, p. 41.
  6. ^ "RM 'vocals are wicked occult vociferations from the outer world and possess a strength and darkness of its own. While remain sharp as deadly knifes he uses a style of its own where he blends an harsh sometimes almost guttural effect in his grim vocalization yet never crossing the boundaries of Black Metal not even when he uses a chanted / spoken mode. "Nuno Santos: LOCUS MORTIS . VOUST . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 14, January-March 2008, p. 60.
  7. “The scream is chilling, reminding me of Varg Vikernes on“ Hvis Lyset Tar Oss ”, it fits very well into the overall atmosphere on this output. At other times the sparse vocals are more guttural, like a growled whisper. ”Anders Peter Jørgensen: BENIGHTENED LEAMS: FERLY CENTESMS . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 13, p. 22.
  8. "The band crafts long moody songs alternating between sublime and ethereal moments to tor- turous and abysmal dirges where long instru- mental passages leaves place for guttural, cavernous rumbles and high pitched screams." Eric Massicotte: ESOTERIC: SUBCONSCIOUS DISSOLUTION INTO THE CONTINUUM . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 13, p. 22.
  9. ^ A b "The high operative vocals of heavy metal and the low grunting of death metal are exchanged for sexless, inhuman, agonized screaming in black metal. The overall affect is claustrophobic, haunting and evocative. A black metal fan whom I interviewed explained his first impression of black metal to me by saying, 'The vocals were more shrieking, it wasn't so guttural. Yeah, it was just something different. Something about it just struck a cord. '“Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 9.
  10. a b c “Quorthon's vocals ranged from a high wailing shriek to a low croaking moan. Bathory's vocals are one of the earliest examples of the departure from traditional singing that would characterize extreme metal in years to come. Around the same time in the United States the band Death was experimenting with a low barking style of vocals that would give birth to the 'death growl' style of vocals popular in death metal, but nothing at that time sounded anything like the unholy caterwauling that Quorthon was inflicting upon his listeners. "Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 18 f.
  11. ^ "Apart from Bathory, there were other experimental rumblings coming from Sweden's metal scene in the late eighties. Stockholm became a fertile breeding ground for what was gradually becoming known as death metal. Inspired by a combination of hardcore punk and American thrash metal, Swedish bands like Grave, Nihilist and Entombed began to form. As Natalie J. Purcell explains, death metal took the speed, technicality and aggression of thrash metal bands like Possessed and Slayer, tuned down the guitars, sped up the drums and added the low, guttural, grunting 'death growl' vocals that characterize the style. "Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 21.
  12. "In Florida, bands like Morbid Angel, Death and Obituary were taking thrash metal to another level of speed and 'brutality." The low, barking 'death growl' style of vocals was perfected in Florida as was the clean, crisp production sound characteristic of numerous Florida bands. "Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 22.
  13. "They are always screamed with a growl which is not too throaty and low but not really high-pitched, they fit the music well, and provide a great melancholic and depressive touch." Kostas Antonatos: THE ABSENCE . RIDERS OF THE PLAGUE . In: Ancient Ceremonies , No. 15, July-September 2008, p. 91.
  14. "The First Wave of black metal (the aforementioned Venom along with the Danish band Mercyful Fate fronted by King Diamond, Sweden's Bathory, and Switzerland's Hellhammer, who later became Celtic Frost) influenced the future sound of black metal by laying down the general aesthetic and sonic template. Bathory's lo-fidelity recordings, Satanic lyrics, and grim vocal style were especially important. "Brandon Stosuy: A Blaze in the North American Sky .