Ahoy fellow vocalists. I've found that a big problem with me when singing is that, while I can hit most of the notes that I need to hit these days, I can't add any "intensity" to my vocals. Now I'm sure someone is going to say "Learn to sing from your diaphragm", but let me tell you that I DO. I have taken (and am still taking) vocal lessons, and diaphragmatic singing has already been covered thoroughly, as my coach views it as one of the most important things.

Now as to what I mean by intensity.. It's difficult to explain. It's not the volume, as I can get my volume as high as I need it and then some. It's also not "Vocal fry" done with normal singing (though that's also something I'd like to learn.. lol) it's just a certain way some singers sound in some of their songs. The only way I can really describe is by saying.. It sounds like they're using their entire body to squeeze this intense, powerful sound out. Like, "LISTEN HERE I'M TALKING RIGHT NOW GARGH".

I've tried asking my vocal coach about this, but unfortunately, she's trained primarily in "pop" and it is her belief that that's just what the singer of the songs that I present sounds like, yet he (it's usually a he in my case, don't like many female singers) does NOT sound the same in other songs. It's difficult to explain.. And I don't know any other vocalists, so I think asking here would be my best bet.

A good example of the sort of "Intense" sound I'm speaking about is We Drink Your Blood by Powerwolf. Once again, I'm not talking about volume or pitch, I can handle both with relative ease. ..Just listen to the song and I think it'll become clear.
Hyperglottal Compression. It uses balance of the vocals folds and compression to cause focused vibration of the upper pallette. Also, look at singing with Rasp as well.

It's essentially just adding the touch of distortion. If you have good diaphragmatic support it's not very difficult to get a hold of after a little time.

Doing this does some wear and tear on the vocal folds though it shouldn't hurt. It's just more intense than regular singing.

Also, the power wolf guy has some very nice production on his voice and that certainly helps it sound crisp and very forward. For the record, he's not singing very loud.

Let me know if you need anything else, but looking up videos on the above named techniques should get you started.

Edit: Ha! Just realized it was you Kamino. Adding grit shouldn't be as hard for you since you already know how to false cord. Just try adding a touch of false cord to your singing. It will be weird at first but after a bit you should start to hear some of the tone you are looking for.
Last edited by merriman44 at Aug 29, 2014,
The Powerwolf guy is singing kinda operatic, not to mention the music is driving too. That high note in the chorus is the peak and the catch of the song it seems. It is intentionally isolated to be noticed, along with the choir in the background and the building instrumentation. There is also probably some effects, like delay and reverb subtly added. You could really add intensity to this song alone if you sung harmony a third above him at that point.

If you're able to hit high notes like that with ease, go even higher until you reach your limit. At that limit, put in the most emotion (through note choice and lyrics) and tear through that line. You should find that your vocals are intense, or at least you have something to learn with.

Also, you might not even notice that your vocals are as intense as you want them. Most people don't like the sound of their own singing voice, so that might be an issue too.
From listening to the sample you provided, he is getting the intensity or the aggressive/angry sound by using more air than "necessary". Furthermore, he is very often adding slight vocal fry/rasp in the beginning or end of his phrases, and regularly also adding distortion.
Depending on the timbre of your voice and your vocal-type, it may be very difficult for you to get this sound. You can always learn distortion, but it may never come to sound as his.
To be honest, he is not really doing anything impressive or extraordinary, but most likely what you're looking for is that "shouting" feel. You get that by letting out more than that necessary, and really focusing on resonating in your chest.
@merriman44: Yo. We may venture out, but the screaming thread is home! HOME I SAY! I will look up all the techniques you've mentioned. I've tried adding false chord to my regular singing, though I'm not sure which to use, as I actually have two very different area's where I can cause it to come from. Feels different, sounds different. I'm going to keep experimenting, if the techniques you mentioned don't help out.

@Will Lane: Agreed.. I really like that sound though. I've never liked it BEFORE though. Now which words, particularly do you mean I should try singing over? The "Open your veins" part? There are quite a few parts which sound much higher to the rest to me. ..I can sing quite a bit higher than him, though it sounds very much out of place in the song (Yet when I sing low it sounds too low.. It almost seems to me as if he's singing in high AND low at the same time. Mind=Boggled.
As for not sounding intense to myself, but sounding intense to others, I could post a clip to show you why I don't feel like I sound intense, if that would help in any way. I could do it without the actual song playing in the background too, as I've practiced it quite a bit XD

KrisHQ: I had sort of guessed that. According to my vocal coach I have much more of a "Pop" voice, it's very smooth, kind of high.
Now as to what you're saying, it seems you believe you can create that "Shouting" sound by letting our more air, but not actually going much louder? If that's what you mean (And I could be wrong. I misunderstand these things regularly) then I really, really need to figure that out. I don't like shouting because I have this long vain that suddenly pops up on the one side of my neck and it pulsates like crazy when I sing too much louder than my regular voice. Doesn't hurt, I'm just worried about damaging myself.
Pop voice: I have a similar situation. My voice is low tenor but my tonality is very light without distortion. So you and I have much in common.

Don't go louder. At least not a lot. This is one way to get that compression I was talking about. You don't need to really move alot of air really, just more.

Tomorrow, I'm going to try and get you an actual track of me doing some distorted singing in the style you are talking about and we can talk about where you are at and where you want to be.

At least that's the plan.

And the screaming thread will always welcome you home, young traveler.
On the plus side, when one of us figures something out, it should be fairly easy to apply it to the other persons situation

I look forward to hearing the track, I'll try to figure out what you're doing.
Let's just hope the style that I currently think everyone is talking about, is what I'm also thinking of. ..After googling the "Hyperglottal Compression" I started listening to Black Tide/Seether/Godsmack and that's suddenly the sound I started trying to practice, then I came back here and realized.. It's probably not the same thing as what the guy from Powerwolf does. Doesn't sound the same to me, though I'm starting to think I have a bad ear for these things.

Also about Hyperglottal compression, the only guy I could find that teaches about it (With a quick search) was this guy: Ken Tamplin
And I can NOT afford his lessons XD

SO! I ended up watching stuff on rasp instead, ended up looking at this: This was what Kurt Cobain sounded like? I don't remember this.
I can do what he's doing, I can also say the words. It's NOT the sound I'm aiming for though.. It sounds kind of.. I don't know, "Buzzy"? As if I'm trying to copy the cookie monster, then throwing a little "Gollum" sound on top? Gonna put a sound clip under this to show what I mean.

Sound Clip
Now Idk.. Maybe I'm being too harsh on myself? But it just sounds way, WAY to buzzy and less, "Rock".

Anyway, yeah. Eagerly awaiting the track, merriman44
Last edited by Kimino394 at Sep 2, 2014,

Here you go. My voice didn't like the high notes this evening but meh, I wanted to at least get you something. By the way, this is one take that was cut up for editing purposes so when I weirdly move into a different segment it's because I didn't have time for any repurposing.

All the information is there if you can make it all the way through it. As alway, I welcome comments/criticisms and whatever. We are all still learning, and I'm not excluded from that .

I need to jump in here, no matter how much 'grit' you put in, you will not sound like the Power wolf singer. You are being trained by a pop teacher, so you are not learning Operatic technique. I am classically trained, and as a musical theatre performer, I meet a lot of people who are dumbfounded by my ability to sing operatically, and they can never do it, as they are either untrained, or the only trained in pop. Nothing anyone says here can substitute proper classical training, but if you want a quick fix, try this. Yawn. The easiest way I can describe Operatic technique is sing on a yawn, this makes sure your larynx placement is low, and as you develop your voice, you will gain power, and as you gain power, your voice will start to have weight behind it, and you will then be able to do what you want.

The Power wolf singer is distorting his voice to make his Operatic voice sound Metal, he is not adding Opera to his distorted voice, so, Classical training is definitely a must if you definitely want that tone. This is especially clear if you listen to their earlier stuff, where his voice is a lot cleaner, it's clear he's just building on his classical foundations with each album .
@merriman44: Very helpful. Thank you for that. I'm still not getting it totally, but I think I just need to figure out the exact angle at which to shoot my air. Getting there though, I think!

@CelestialGuitar: Luckily, I'm not actually trying to sound like him. I'm trying to add the same "Intensity" that he has. I've that intensity on singers that don't sound operatic, and singers who don't have grit. However: I feel both of those things do help work towards the sound.
I do still want to try to and get that sound ANYWAY though. I might not be able to get classical training anytime soon, but I don't see the point of NOT trying. I'm bored.. So.. Why not?

@both: So I made a clip where I show off my normal singing, then where I am on merriman44's technique, then I attempt CelestialGuitars "Yawn" suggestion. Then, finally, I try to throw them together.
'ere we go
Hey everyone. Sorry for bringing this up AGAIN, but I found that shows exactly what I'm talking about with the "intensity".

See, for most of the song, the singer doesn't sound intense. He does have grit the entire time, so it's not that. And when he adds intensity, he doesn't start to sound operatic, so it's not that either. It's really not a sound. I still don't know how to describe it. Maybe the energy? Anyway, if you listen to the song, he's not intense, but at 00:42 he suddenly turns the "intensity" on. I'm not talking about his scream, I'm talking about what happens right AFTER that. I guess it's the chorus of the song? Yeah.
Trapt - Headstrong

I've been practicing and getting better at the stuff from my previous post, and while it's awesome to be improving on something, it's still not what I'm -trying- to improve on.
Last edited by Kimino394 at Sep 10, 2014,
Compression and maybe try placement in the facial masque. Try placing the air at the front of your teeth or imagining it reaching to someone all the way in the back of a music hall.

What you are really after is energy. That, my friend, is totally performance. The distortion can help give an air of intensity, but truth be known, it's all about getting into the take without losing control.

So, to repeat, if you are not genuinely looking at the distortion as intensity and instead are honing in on the energy of the part, you just need to work on delivery and proper technique.