Progressive Metal Vocals II
The most distinct quality of Erik Rosvold is his calming, hypnotic timbre suited for the dystopian sci-fi stories he has written for the Tipton brothers in Zero Hour and Cynthesis; his melodic low-range style is more prominent in the mellower Cynthesis, but robotic aggressive styles lend additional drama when necessary. Rosvold is an ideal singer for my own vocal practice, relaxed and within my own range.
The ebullient heavy prog metal played by Lost in Thought is matched by the searing tenor of Nate Loosemore, a cross between James LaBrie and classic metal singers. He spends significant durations in his high register, elevating above David Grey's brutal riffage with personal, meaningful lyrics that subtly probe the soul, lent an even darker edge by his Welsh accent.
Blending Russell Allen's gravelly edge and projection with a wispy, thin low range and mastery of Arabic singing, Zaher Zorgati has grown into the role of Myrath's ideal vocalist, suited for the heavy, power, progressive and folk metal environments this Tunisian icon traverses. Zorgati acts in the role of a soldier losing motivation on the battlefield, switching from anguished howls to mournful Arabic melodies alongside a sludgy main riff.
The classically trained duo of keyboards and vocals by Gary Tubbs cloaks experimental prog band Tetrafusion with calm organicity. Unusual harmonies, abstract song structures and surprising mood shifts characterize Tetrafusion's mix of styles. Tubbs adopts slight vocal strain to portray the desperation of a schizophrenic who wakes up to find his wife dead by his other self's hand, alongside the tense guitar riff.
The Bulgarian Pantommind has unexpectedly become one of my favorites, possessing a distinct style based around light and shade, contrast and spacey technicality that wedges the listener between reality and dreams. Tony Ivan's tenor, reminiscent of Tony Martin and John Arch, sits behind the mix on "Lunasense," intensifying this feeling of disembodiment. The dreamworld Pantommind paints is a place of hope amid sorrow, one I could spend years within.
Alternately pleasant and serious, haunting and upbeat, Michael Turner's suave timbre fits into the vast musical terrain explored by eclectic prog band Hourglass, as a metal vocalist playing alongside a classically trained keyboardist and funk bassist. The divide between popular and underground sounds combined with Turner's harrowing melodies on "38th Floor" highlight the dilemma of a disillusioned corporate executive.
Raw talent produces sophisticated results in Temecula outfit Souljourners. Diluting classic prog metal with classical, hard rock, heavy metal, grunge and mainstream rock, the band paints a rough portrait of a society with all ideals repressed by the elite. Young guitar hero Michael Couts sings with a reedy, gritty baritone with missing vocal weight here and there, representing the emptiness and angst suffered by the only remaining man with ideals.
In a return to metal after sinking into adult contemporary rock, Anubis Gate bassist Henrik Fevre finds himself a perfect match for the group's futuristic, melodic prog metal. He belts out silken vocal lines with uptempo verve, a looming sense of danger, or both to suck a listener under, and also supplements heavier moments with an alkaline snarl accented by Danish pronunciation.
Within a sphere of darkness, loneliness and longing for salvation, Scott Martin's grievous, husky mid-range and softer whispering take the uniqueness crown. Silent Lapse's progressive style pushes walls of riffs against atmospheric clean guitars, with the dearth of keyboards leaving behind a certain hollow mystery associable with the band's Michigan country home. ("Birthright" is now for free!)
Among the most technically astounding prog vocalists, Daniel Gildenlöw places his talents front and center in Swedish icons Pain of Salvation. Alongside Mike Baker and Andy Kuntz, Gildenlöw is a masterful actor and can twist his voice into any shape and form to portray any possible emotion, even ones thought unknown; grief, anger, rage and disappointment reign over this track, a father's thoughts post-miscarriage.
One of the few theater performers in metal, Andy Kuntz is likely the most professional and prolific. When involving themselves in theater productions such as Jesus Christ Superstar, German quintet Vanden Plas combined musical with their Dream Theater, arena rock, classical and heavy metal influences to move into familiar but entirely different musical territory. Kuntz's passionate low tenor gained confidence and character, oozing the requisite class and emotion.