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10 Metal Vocalists Who Can Sing You to Sleep + Scare You to Death

Maynard Keenan / Mikael Akerfeldt / Corey Taylor
Gary Miller, Getty Images / Roadrunner / Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

The world of metal is beaming with vocalists whose talent is undeniably captivating. Along with soaring and beautifully sombre styles, the family tree of metal extends to demonic gutturals and hellish shrieks. Many vocalists have impacted millions of fans by developing one style of singing, but there are very few whose material spans masterfully along the entire vocal spectrum.

This list celebrates the most dynamic vocalists in metal. Combining a comforting sense of warmth cathartic as a security blanket while conjuring evil and terror in its most affective sonic forms, these 10 frontmen can blast you into any emotional realm.

Check out these 10 Metal Vocalists Who Can Sing You to Sleep + Scare You to Death!

Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth / Bloodbath):

Opeth frontman Mikael Akerfeldt may possess the most bi-polar vocal cords in metal. In Akerfeldt’s more mellow moments, his voice is angelic to say the least. Its warmth levitates the listener as Akerfeldt’s soft, yet unwaveringly solid approach weaves in and out of complex musicianship, even taking hold of entire Opeth albums such as ‘Damnation’ and ‘Heritage.’ Akerfeldt also arguably has the most demonic guttural in all of metal, which he also brandished unapologetically while fronting Bloodbath. The mixture of vocal styles gives the impression of a fallen angel, which means that more likely than not, Mikael Akerfeldt is Lucifer in the flesh.



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Maynard James Keenan
Puscifer Entertainment

Maynard James Keenan (Tool / A Perfect Circle / Puscifer):

Throughout his work with Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, Maynard James Keenan has captivated fans with the enticing bloom of his voice. Following in the footsteps of no man, Keenan brings a sense of enlightenment to his vocal approach, which has been known to bring Maynard’s manliest listeners to tears. The paradoxical singer leans toward warmth most of the time, but without using more obvious approaches to express anger. Keenan emotes in a way that entwines with beauty, evoking the desire of deep, introspective thought from the listener. Such as in Tool’s ‘Ticks & Leeches,’ the panic and desperation in Keenan’s voice is psychologically chilling.


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Ihsahn (Emperor / Solo):

Within a piece of black metal perfection, Ihsahn first rose to prominence when Emperor released ‘In the Nightside Eclipse’ in 1994. Ihsahn’s brash and sonically terrifying voice washes over the album’s soundscape, but over the next 20 years, Ihsahn proved he was no one-trick pony. As Ihsahn progressed with his solo career, his voice became … well … gorgeous, although the singer’s abrasive croak continues to be welcomed by fans. Much like the world we live in, beauty and evil live side-by-side in the works of Ihsahn.





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Corey Taylor
Spencer Kaufman, Loudwire

Corey Taylor (Slipknot / Stone Sour):

The talent of Corey Taylor has brought him to the apex of both the metal and hard rock worlds. With Slipknot, Taylor’s injection of angst and misanthropic messages connected with a young worldwide audience, allowing the band’s debut album to achieve double-platinum status. On the other hand, Stone Sour focuses on alternative rock and even ballads, inspiring Taylor to show both his face and the range of his vocal abilities. Listening to Stone Sour’s ‘Bother’ and Slipknot’s ‘Disasterpiece,’ it’s tough to image that the same singer occupied the vocal booth during both recordings.



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Jeffrey Moreira of Poison the Well
Facebook: Poison the Well

Jeffrey Moreira (Poison the Well):

Poison the Well vocalist Jeffrey Moreira is one of the most instantly identifiable vocalists in the metalcore / post-hardcore world. Before calling it a day in 2010, Poison the Well were consistently miles ahead of their contemporaries, most of whom based their sound heavily on the style Poison the Well helped pioneer. Always striving to remain unique, Poison the Well injected contradictory methods into their music, with Moreira grasping onto beauty and patience in tracks such as ‘Are You Anywhere?’ while proving to be more brutal than his copycats in the near-death metal piece ‘Crystal Lake.’




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Tomi Joutsen of Amorphis
Nuclear Blast

Tomi Joutsen (Amorphis):

Finnish progressive metallers Amorphis have been going strong since 1990, although current vocalist Tomi Joutsen has only been with the band since 2005. Joutsen was quickly embraced by Amorphis fans thanks to his masterful vocal approach on the act’s seventh studio album, ‘Eclipse,’ in 2006. Joutsen’s clean voice is gorgeous, but he furthered the sound of Amorphis by reintroducing guttural vocals into their music. What became was a rebirth for Amorphis, polarizing their sound with tracks such as ‘Silver Bride’ and ‘A Servant,’ while maintaining the foundation of Amorphis’ character.




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Niklas Kvarforth of Shining
Photo Credit: Martin Strandberg

Niklas Kvarforth (Shining):

Shining vocalist Niklas Kvarforth wants to harm you with his music. Exploring suicidal thoughts, self-harm and a black metal style that can feel overwhelmingly depressive, Kvarforth is one of the most affective metal musicians around today. Strangely enough, as the Swedish band progressed, its production values became cleaner and Kvarforth’s voice morphed in an angelic direction, although the mastermind still dwells in the gutter. There’s beauty to be found in self-destruction, and with hundreds (if not thousands) of knife wounds and cigarette burns plaguing his skin, Kvarforth has, in a sense, martyred himself for Shining’s music.




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Jonas Renkse of Katatonia

Jonas Renkse (Katatonia):

Jonas Renkse possesses a phenomenal vocal tone and a vast understanding of sonic hypnosis. During his time with Katatonia, Jonas has become a slick expert of down-tempo nuances. Although the singer currently sticks with a clean vocal approach, Jonas’ earlier work with Katatonia contains some deep gutturals. For Jonas Renkse, we’re spanning his whole career with Katatonia, bringing the extreme via ‘Without God’ and the beauty with ‘Dead Letters.’






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David Gold of Woods of Ypres

David Gold (Woods of Ypres):

Before Woods of Ypres mastermind David Gold tragically died in a 2011 car accident, he created gothic metal masterpieces widely celebrated in the underground. Gold was truly unique, mixing his baritone / bass vocal range with comparably high shrieks. Dealing with depressive themes while exploring the natural and religious worlds, Gold inspired his fans to think deeply about Woods of Ypres’ music and the meaning which directs their own lives. As you may guess from the titles of the two tracks below, all themes are represented.





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Aaron Stainthorpe of My Dying Bride

Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride):

English act My Dying Bride has evolved over the past 24 years, not only with band members, but with style as well. My Dying Bride have juggled goth rock and doom metal, and luckily, that dynamic is perfect for this list as we explore the soothing and frightening corners of the group’s music. From ‘Songs of Darkness, Words of Light,’ My Dying Bride singer Aaron Stainthorpe is far more extreme in nature, while ‘For You,’ released earlier on ‘Like Gods of the Sun’ is radio-friendly and anthemic thanks to the veteran vocalist.




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Which vocalist sings you to sleep and scares you to death? If they didn’t make our list, post about them in the comments section below!

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