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#1
Screaming in music seems to be a lot more prevalent these days and as a big fan of good lyrics who isn't really into metal, or emo/screamo/box-social-or-what-ever-the-children-are-doing-nowadays, it got me thinking: can u (that would be, fans of such music) understand what is being said? like, is it a learned thing that u just get used to? Or do u listen to song, and then go read the lyrics elsewhere so u know what was just said no matter how long u listen to it?
#3
Yeah I can most of the time, although there are some moments where it'll take a few listens to understand it. Also it does depend on the vocalist, if its really hard to understand I might go and look them up though.
#4
It differs from vocalist to vocalist and from genre to genre, most of the times the more succesfull bands are easier to understand.
#5
You get better at it, but only for stuff that's actually decipherable. Some stuff, like Cryptopsy, is impossible to figure out without lyrics pulled up.

I've noticed that I'm not as good at figuring out the lyrics as I used to be, since I only listen to metal on occasion now.
#6
Depends on the vocalist. Understanding Devin Townsend's screams is easy, understanding Lord Worm's isn't.
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#7
normally, I can understand what they are saying-but it takes a little concentration.
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#8
here's something that i think is relatively intelligible in the way of harsh vocals:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO_C3hq8dVs

note that the chorus is some mumbo-jumbo satanic incantation though.
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Last edited by vIsIbleNoIsE at Nov 16, 2009,
#9
Quote by whalepudding
Depends on the vocalist. Understanding Devin Townsend's screams is easy, understanding Lord Worm's isn't.

Oddly enough, Devin Townsend was exactly who I had in mind when I was thinking of a vocalist who's easy to figure out, and, as you can see in my last post, Lord Worm was the example I provided of someone who's the exact opposite.
#10
Most proper death metal is pretty difficult to figure out. As is most proper black metal. Most of that 'core that the kids listen to these days is pretty easy to figure out once you know what to listen for though. Unless it's particularly aggressive deathcore. Eg Anaal Nathrakh's V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is completely indecipherable, and they don't publish their lyrics, where as BFMV's and Parkway Drive's lyrics are pretty easy to figure out from their screams.
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#11
I'd say it depends on the style of screaming, or growling. Sometimes I can hear what they're saying, but sometimes I need to read the lyrics.
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#12
Most metal/death metal vox are easy to understand but yes there are vocalists who are hard to understand and it may require more concentration to understand them.
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#13
Quote by Jimmy-G
Most metal/death metal vox are easy to understand but yes there are vocalists who are hard to understand and it may require more concentration to understand them.


Dunno what death metal you've been listening to lol.
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#14
Quote by Holy Katana
Oddly enough, Devin Townsend was exactly who I had in mind when I was thinking of a vocalist who's easy to figure out, and, as you can see in my last post, Lord Worm was the example I provided of someone who's the exact opposite.


I have a feeling that when Lord Worm goes into studio, he just improvs Haha.

Quote by Athabasca
Most proper death metal is pretty difficult to figure out. As is most proper black metal. Most of that 'core that the kids listen to these days is pretty easy to figure out once you know what to listen for though. Unless it's particularly aggressive deathcore. Eg Anaal Nathrakh's V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is completely indecipherable, and they don't publish their lyrics, where as BFMV's and Parkway Drive's lyrics are pretty easy to figure out from their screams.


Differentiate between growls and screams. Death metal is almost all growls, the screaming is more from the hardcore side. Btw, some major death metal bands aren't too hard to figure out. I could always make out Chuck's vocals in Death. And BFMV often mix singing in with screaming so that's not too hard to figure out.

As a whole however, death metal is hard to figure out but as others said, the styles make a big difference. Some vocalist's techniques also make a difference. I'm forgetting his name, but the vocalist on Quo Vadis' Defiant Imagination, his vocals are very harsh and epic (imo) but you can make them out without too much difficulty.
Last edited by Limaj_daas at Nov 16, 2009,
#15
Quote by Limaj_daas

Differentiate between growls and screams. Death metal is almost all growls, the screaming is more from the hardcore side. Btw, some major death metal bands aren't too hard to figure out. Death's lyrics for example. And BFMV often mix singing in with screaming so that's not too hard to figure out.


That's the stereotype, yeah, but there is a lot of actual screaming in modern death metal as well. Judging from TS' lack of experience with the genre, I don't think it's really necessary to go in depth with differentiating between the two though. Essentially, extreme metal vox are mostly indecipherable, although there are some exceptions of course, like Death. With regards to BFMV I was of course referring to the harsh vocals. My point still stands though; they're pretty easy to figure.

EDIT: After seeing your edit ^, yeah.
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Last edited by Athabasca at Nov 16, 2009,
#16
Yeah you get used to it, people like Laiho are easy to understand, but I have a hard time understanding some of the black metal.
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#17
As everyone said, obviously it depends on the vocalist and also on how loudly the vocal is mixed into the song. Goes for singing as well, try and decipher My bloody valentine lyrics
#18
It really depends on the vocalist and just how much of a "distorted" scream/grunt he utilizes. I can usually figure out most screaming from metalcore bands such as As I Lay Dying, 36 Crazyfists, August Burns Red; But when I try to decipher the screams and grunts of Deathcore bands like After The Burial & All Shall Perish, it gets noticeably harder.

But I usually look up After The Burial's lyrics anyway because they're amazing.

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#19
You get used to certain vocalists and a lot of the genre if you listen to a lot of it over time. I listen to harccore/punk stuff so it's probably closer to yelling in a way?
#20
Quote by bender424
Yeah you get used to it, people like Laiho are easy to understand, but I have a hard time understanding some of the black metal.


serious, you can understand alexi laiho's vocals? sometimes i try looking up lyrics online and decide that whoever posted them up was a total idiot. but then i listen again and again and can't decide for myself what he's actually yelling.
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#21
Quote by Athabasca
Dunno what death metal you've been listening to lol.
Most newer death metal is actually pretty easy.
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#22
Quote by Athabasca
Most proper death metal is pretty difficult to figure out. As is most proper black metal. Most of that 'core that the kids listen to these days is pretty easy to figure out once you know what to listen for though. Unless it's particularly aggressive deathcore. Eg Anaal Nathrakh's V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is completely indecipherable, and they don't publish their lyrics, where as BFMV's and Parkway Drive's lyrics are pretty easy to figure out from their screams.

I knew some people in a deathcore band in high school. They openly admitted to just screaming and growling random shit instead of the actual lyrics.

It makes me wonder if that's a common practice in deathcore.
#23
It all depends on the vocalist. For example, lyrics in Opeth or In Flames songs aren't really hard to understand. But bands like Cannibal Corpse are impossible to understand... all I hear is drum beats, random guitar notes and bear growls.
#24
Anyone that claims to understand what the vocalist in Torso**** or what ever is talking shit. There are no words its random grunting.
#26
Quote by McCannMalice
Most newer death metal is actually pretty easy.


Maybe melodeath...which isn't really "deathy". I personally find it exceedingly difficult to pick out what is being said in Devourment's music. Viraemia. Psycroptic. Ulcerate. Prostitute Disfigurement. Neuraxis. Even Necrophagist. Most brutal and technical death metal is quite difficult.

EDIT:
Quote by Holy Katana
I knew some people in a deathcore band in high school. They openly admitted to just screaming and growling random shit instead of the actual lyrics.

It makes me wonder if that's a common practice in deathcore.


I doubt it's overly common at the professional level. I recall Whitchapel's vocals sounding identical to on the record when I saw them. It wouldn't surprise me at the high school level though. Kids too busy headbanging to br00tz breakdowns to actually bother with learning their own lyrics lol.
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Last edited by Athabasca at Nov 16, 2009,
#27
Unintelligible vocals in metal don't bother me. It's rare that the lyrics are any good so most of the time I would actually prefer undecipherable vocals.
#28
Mikael Akerfeldt's harsh vocals are some of the best around, in my opinion. Very aggressive and brutal, yet you can understand most of what is said, even during the most intense screaming parts.

Now I also listen to a lot of old school and technical Death Metal, and I agree that it's hard to understand most of the time. But take a band like Nile for example, which is both known for their brilliant lyrics and their undecypherable growling (although it's easier to understand on the last album). You do fail to get most of what is being said at first, but reading the lyrics then coming back to the songs can be pretty rewarding.

There's also bands that focus on using brutal-sounding syllables and words, but the general meaning isn't important. So it's not really that much of a problem if you're unable to understand a word.

Still, I can perfectly understand that most people have trouble enjoying Death and Black Metal growling/screaming (I'm not really that much into Black Metal high-pitched shrieking by the way).
#29
Quote by Astyan
Mikael Akerfeldt's harsh vocals are some of the best around, in my opinion. Very aggressive and brutal, yet you can understand most of what is said, even during the most intense screaming parts.


+infinerdy
#30
I understand In Flames kinda half-ways, but Rise Agaisnt for instance, i hear clearly also while screaming.
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#31
Avenged Sevenfold - 1st album I have trouble, Waking the Fallen I have no problem understanding, however there is a huge gap in quality between the two of them.

All that Remains - No problem

Between the Buried and Me - Not a chance

Children of Bodom - No problem

Killswitch - No problem

Black Dahlia Murder (What a terrible night to have a curse) - This is the heaviest I go but have no problem understanding these either.

I think it primarily seems to be whether it's an inhale or exhale vocal style.
#32
Randy Blythe, Mark Hunter, Brandan Schieppati, and Jens Kidman are all pretty easy to understand.
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#33
I can understand Sam Carter (Architects), Bring Me The Horizon (second album, first album is crazy, Oli does this weird shotuing on Suicide Season), but cant make head nor tail of most of I killed The Prom Queen's lyrics.

Charlie Simpson from Fightstar has dechiperable screams.

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#34
A good amount of screamers are aware that you won't be able to understand their lyrics.
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#35
Just listen to Lord Worm, and try to understand his vocals. He doesn't even growl the right amount of syllables.

Sometimes vocalists let off a scream without meaning (see: Cryptopsy's Open Face Surgery) for added effect.

Understandability differs from vocalist to vocalist, and from genre to genre. Most Technical Death Metal growls are easier to understand than Depressive Black Metal screeches.
#36
It differs from vocalist to vocalist.
You have to get used to it though.

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Understandability differs from vocalist to vocalist, and from genre to genre. Most Technical Death Metal growls are easier to understand than Depressive Black Metal screeches.


Exactly what is written above.
#38
Quote by ChucklesMginty
You gradually get better at it because all the vocalists are singing the same crap.

Except Devin Townsend and Mikael Akerfeldt..


You need to expand your horizons then.

For one, there is more than one genre of music that uses extreme vocals, and Akerfeldt and Townsend's vocals are rather weak when put up against, say, Wrest from the band Leviathan.
#39
Quote by Nemm
Avenged Sevenfold - 1st album I have trouble, Waking the Fallen I have no problem understanding, however there is a huge gap in quality between the two of them.

All that Remains - No problem

Between the Buried and Me - Not a chance

Children of Bodom - No problem

Killswitch - No problem

Black Dahlia Murder (What a terrible night to have a curse) - This is the heaviest I go but have no problem understanding these either.

I think it primarily seems to be whether it's an inhale or exhale vocal style.


Not really, since all of those are exhaled.
#40
Quote by ChucklesMginty
You gradually get better at it because all the vocalists are singing the same crap.

Except Devin Townsend and Mikael Akerfeldt..



Quote by The Kreator
You need to expand your horizons then.

For one, there is more than one genre of music that uses extreme vocals, and Akerfeldt and Townsend's vocals are rather weak when put up against, say, Wrest from the band Leviathan.


+1
Or Silencer; Xasthur; Nachtmystium; Forgotten tomb; etc.
Even on the other side of extreme metal; such as Nile, Suffocation; Dying Fetus; etc.

Akerfeldt and Townsend are both good vocalists; though they can hardly compare to many extreme metal vocalists in some aspects.
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