9 Best High-Pitched Metal Singers

You gotta sing high or gotta go home.

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9 Best High-Pitched Metal Singers
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High-pitch singing has been at the heart and soul of metal since Ozzy's shrieking, nervous vocals and Robert Plant's falsetto in Immigrant Song.

Here's the list of the 9 best high-pitched metal singers.

9. Michael Kiske (Helloween)

Throughout Europe and parts of South America, where power metal bands make the covers of magazines, Michael Kiske is a living legend. Though he fronted Helloween for four albums, only a couple of them can honestly be called all-out metal. The German’s performances on classics like “Eagle Fly Free” and “Dr. Stein” showcase a singer at the top of his game rocking the kind of vocal cord gymnastics only dared by true masters.

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8. Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth)

Cradle of Filth was, at a time early on in its career, one of the scariest bands in extreme metal, and were at the forefront of black metal's mainstream popularity in the U.S., in the mid to late '90s. Vocalist Dani Filth was a singer with not just lyrics, but eloquent, biblical, vampiric, and evil tales and mythologies, sung in a demonic high pitch death growl. It alternates between grunting and a terrifying howling shriek that is like a black metal, grindcore version of Bruce Dickinson.

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7.Geoff Tate (Queensryche)

Queensryche is no longer fronted by Geoff Tate, but he will always be remembered for his work from its early days. The sound and music of Queensryche with Tate as the front man is timeless, and was instrumental in the development of power metal, and prog rock. Even though Tate is no longer with the original incarnation of Queensryche, after numerous legal battles and a settlement, he continues on as a heavy metal singer, keeping the legacy of the album alive, with his band Operation Mindcrime.

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6. Geddy Lee (Rush)

Although not a heavy metal band, Rush is in a category of bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The band might have a cult following, but these Canadians are celebrating 40 years, as a rock band with all original members, and at the front center, is the voice of Geddy Lee. As the band's bassist, singer and keyboard player, Lee is instrumental in the unique sound of Rush, and his higher toned voice is, to many either love or hate it. 

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5. King Diamond (Mercyful Fate)

From insanely high pitch howling to singing, the King's voice is so distinct, it's one of a kind, and instantly recognizable from the first note. His obsession with evil intensified with his solo career in the 1980s, making him as influential as great acts like KISS and Alice Cooper, internationally, with a cult following of millions of devoted followers.

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4. Dio (Dio, Black Sabbath)

Ronnie James Dio is one of the best heavy metal vocalists of all time. His vocal range and ability to hit and keep long notes in head banger's anthems and ballads secured his legacy and influence for a long time.

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3. Axl Rose (Guns N Roses)

Notorious, unstable, violent, and fueled alcohol and drugs at the time, Rose's performance on the record is immortal and his vocals made the GNR release one of rock music's classic albums of all time. The notes Rose hits and sustains make his singing sound like it was an effortless performance. Not only is Rose forever revered as an iconic singer with dynamite stage presence and, but his voice, look and attitude make him a rock star, and a rebel.

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2. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)

Although he wasn't the original first voice of the British powerhouse heavy metal group Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson has been the voice behind one of England's biggest bands, since he has become to establish himself as one of heavy metal's greatest singers and front man since 1982's seminal record, Number of The Beast. Dickinson's high pitched screams and long reaching echo of a singing range is perfect for Maiden's songs, about historic figures, ancient battles, modern turmoil, warfare and tales of evil and darkness.

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1. Rob Halford (Judas Priest)

There is a reason that Rob Halford, of the mighty Judas Priest is known as a metal god. With a voice that is rainy, raspy a very much in tune with proto-metal/hard rock bands of the time, Halford's true talent makes high pitch notes like an opera singer and a scream like no other. Judas Priest are one of the most influential of all heavy metal bands, inspiring legions of fans such as Venom, Slayer, Pantera and so many others to pick up instruments and form bands themselves. The band's direct influence and Halford's trademark scream can still be felt and heard in punk and metal to this day.

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123 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Iceman10129
    I mean Sebastian Bach is no slouch in the upper range.  Worthy of a top spot in my book!
    bonekrusha27
    Replace Geddy Lee with Bach since Rush ins't metal.   
    BassFishin
    At the time, they were considered heavy metal by many, just a different 'kind'.  Though, I guess by today's standard they really have made their mark as being a prog-rock band, primarily.  So I guess it's fair to take Geddy out of this list, specifically.
    ha_asgag
    Well maybe you could add in David Coverdale and Sammy Hagar from the hard rock genre.
    ng117
    Bach is a master of vocal distortion, incredible technique.
    Spinnerweb
    It's amazing how Rob Halford can still sing Painkiller. He's really larger than life
    jvokes
    Milijenko (Mike) Matejevic from Steelheart could probably break windows with his range.
    Nero Galon
    Devin Townsend.
    Rohlikator
    Cam Pipes (3 Inches of Blood) is beast.
    Fausch
    Devin Townsend, James LaBrie, Daniel Gildenlow, and arguably (Fortress was pretty metal) Myles Kennedy. 
    Vampire_State
    Seriously, this is a terrible list. The metal singers that are here (mostly) belong here but Guns n' Roses and Rush? And what about Kyo, Jon Oliva, Eric Adams, Tony Kakko, Tim Owens and Mike Patton?  Ya dun fucked up, UG.
    ng117
    Definitely missing those. Kyo and Patton are such innovative vocalists. Absolutely crazy the stuff they can produce.
    ecthelion79
    No Eric Adams? Also, I was expecting a list of heavy metal singers who can scream really high notes. In the specific style that was first introduced by Ian Gillan, to the best of my knowledge. Also, Fabio Lione and Andre Matos definitely deserve a spot in that list. I also agree with the Dani Filth entry, since his high notes are actually real. But Dio? Lee? Dickinson? Rose?   Letting aside the fact that half of them are not heavy metal singers, none of them can reach as high as most power metal singers without it sounding like some kind of otherwordly screechy sound. I have to stress here that I love all four of them, but the title made me believe that I was going to read a list of HEAVY METAL SINGERS who can reach REALLY HIGH NOTES.
    Scarface88
    I see what you mean. Though I reckon the four you mention - while not as high-reaching as some power metal guys - definitely have power and soul in their vocals across their respective ranges. You mentioning Gillan reminded me of Justin Hawkins too, who I really like. I know The Darkness aren't everyone's cup of tea, though.
    Anjohl
    Are you insane?! Dio almost NEVER used falsetto on his highs!
    ecthelion79
    Yeah, Dickinson and LaBrie don't use falsetto either, and listen to their screams when they're trying to go REALLY high. Sounds like they're throwing their vocal chords out.
    Anjohl
    I dunno man, Dickinson is flawless IMHO. Just about as good as it gets.
    ecthelion79
    Come on, listen to his scream e.g. in Be Quick or Be Dead and compare it to Eric Adams' screams in Triumph of Steel or to Michael Kiske. Dickinson is among my top three vocalists along with Ronnie Dio and Freddie Mercury, but this subject is pretty objective; you can either reach that high or you can't.
    Anjohl
    Dickinson breaks off, because he typically puts vibrato on all of his highs, which is a sign of a MUCH higher effective range.
    ecthelion79
    Others put vibrato on their -much higher- notes, and they don't break. Eric Adams, Michael Kiske (I Want Out is a good example). Dude, I'm not trying to dis Dickinson. As I mentioned, he's probably my favourite singer of all time. But high notes are simply not his strong suit. Never was. He's the best at what he does though.
    black-belt-boy
    No Claudio Sanchez from Coheed and Cambria?
    Anjohl
    It's bands, not duos.
    black-belt-boy
    Coheed and Cambria is anand with 4 members.
    Anjohl
    Huh? I am sure they have a few session guys behind the two main guys, but like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,witgout Cambria or Coheed, it doesn't work.
    black-belt-boy
    Nope. Definitely a steady drummer and bassist. They have changed a few times over the years, but they aren't session musicians, they are members of the band.
    Anjohl
    Ok, so it's Cambria, Coheed, the drummer, and the bassist. Four members.
    black-belt-boy
    "Coheed and Cambria" is the band name, not the names of two members. Claudio, Travis, Josh, and I can't remember the bassists name at the moment. Check Wikipedia.
    Anjohl
    Well of course it's the band name! You don't see Crosby, Stills, Nash,  and Young call themselves "The Troubadors"! Cambria and Coheed obviously want the band to be named after them, likely to protect against roster changes and the like, similar to Van Halan or Danzig.
    black-belt-boy
    No, man. It's named after Claudio's comic book series, The Amory Wars. The main characters are Coheed and Cambria. Nothing to do with the band members' names at all.
    Anjohl
    Well of course any comic book about the band is going to be named after them! Who is this "Claudio" guy tho, one of the backing band members?
    black-belt-boy
    Alright, that's about all I can take of this conversation. I have a headache. You win, internet troll.
    Anjohl
    Hmm? I hope you feel better soon, and so do both Cambria AND Coheed! I dunno about this "Claudio" tho.
    terranraptor
    another half-assed list by UG. Despite having the most recognizable voices in history, Dio and Axl Rose are not actually THAT high pitched. Also... WHERE THE FUCK IS ERIC ADAMS FROM MANOWAR!?
    ng117
    Honestly wouldn't put Dio or Bruce Dickinson on this list. No doubt they have the potential to hit those fifth octave notes but for me they utilize way more power/chest in their voices than the others on this list who are more famous for that shrill ear piercing scream (Think "Shouty" quality vs "Screamy"). Geddy Lee and Axl on a metal list? Why not throw in Brian Johnson and Ian Gillian while we're at it. Also from the top of my head: Daniel Heimann, Midnight from Crimson Glory, Chris Cornell, 90's Labrie, Matt Barlow, Chuck Schuldiner, Mark Boals, Daniel Gildenlöw, Michael Sweet, Ray Adler, Dan Arlie, Andre Matos... many others
    EnslaveTheWorld
    No Eric Adams? For shame! He should have been in there instead of Geddy Lee, which the author admitted isn't even metal! So why is HE in a METAL listing instead of an actual metal singer that clearly got the chops??
    rcm93
    In what world is fucking Dani Filth higher than Michael Kiske? Also, how is King Diamond (who sings in Falsetto) above Geoff Tate? Sigh, so many metalheads know nothing about singing [h][/h]
    markosloizou
    Not a single mention of Udo so far... Both his solo work and accept work are great and high pitched...
    howyjr
    Really? Surely if you're gonna include a non metal singer like Axl Rose, Chris Cornell would've been more suitable and closer to being from a metal band
    LaciLC
    Some nice names on the list, but what about Ray Gillen, Daniel Heiman, Russell Allen? 
    sean_getchapu
    Halford is truly a metal God. Immense range, but focusing on that high range, mannn, stuff like Blood Red Skies, Heavy Metal, Painkiller, Dissident Aggressor, etc are just insane. The guy from Steelheart should be mentioned though too, couldn't he actually shatter glass on stage or something?!
    ridley177
    While maybe not as good as a bunch on the list, Rody from Protest the Hero can really hit some notes
    mjuzikos
    The first drummer of Rush was John Rutsey. Neil Peart replaced him on "Fly by night" album, so they're not celebrating 40 years in original line-up...
    N@trium
    Who in their right mind thinks Judas Priest is a metal band?
    Immortal`Guitar
    First the Maiden guitarists duo placed second and now Bruce. As a passionate Maiden fan, my faith on these lists is running loowwwww.  
    xdancakesx
    Myles Kennedy! Best vocalist since 2000 or later. Fortress and The Last Hero both could br considered metal