This Is What Death Metal Gutturals Look Like From Inside the Throat
Yeah science! Ever wonder what a death metal singer’s vocal cords look like while they’re performing gutturals? Thanks to science and technology and fancy gadgets and whatnot, a camera was able to capture exactly what a guttural scream looks like from inside the throat.
This new study was spearheaded by Dr. Krzysztof Izdebski from the Pacific Voice and Speech Foundation. Dr. Izdebski specializes in helping people who injure or exhaust their vocal cords, whether they’re athletes, musicians, actors or teachers. Since so many people damage their voice from simple acts like speaking, Dr. Izdebski decided to investigate how death metal vocalists were able to perform night after night without shredding their vocal cords.
Dr. Izdebski found that metal vocalists and newborn babies actually use similar techniques to communicate. “A baby has all the sounds,” says Dr. Izdebski. “It has the sounds of screaming and growl and inhalation and high pitch and whistle and low pitch. All of this we have, we learn, but we somehow lose it.”
So what did the good doctor find with his high speed camera? “The images that we recorded clearly shows that it’s produced predominantly by structures above glottis, so the vocal folds do open and vibrate but actually don’t collide,” he says. “The entire area above — aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids, epiglottis — everything collapses and dances and creates vibrations and creates acoustic orchestration.”
Dr. Izdebski actually plans to continue his study of how the throat reacts to metal vocals so he can better help individuals with serious injuries to the area. He even believes further research could help victims of vocal trauma restore their speaking voices. His studies have also led to Dr. Izdebski developing a deep appreciation for guttural vocalists. “These guys do produce very specific melodies. It’s not just going onstage and screaming and doing random stuff,” he proclaims. “They really compose this stuff.”
Check out the video above to see death metal gutturals from inside the throat!
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