Where Did Screaming in Metal Come From?

Where Did Screaming in Metal Come From?


– This is Sound Field. – We all scream, maybe
from happiness, anger, fear, shock, pain, but why
so much screaming in metal? And how do we do it without
destroying our voice? Nahre and I are gonna find out. (dramatic music) – We’ll likely never know when screaming and
music first intersected, but the best guess is that it occurred in tribal music from around the world. After hearing a common
Viking vocalization, a 10th century Arab traveler
in Denmark said this, never before have I heard uglier songs than those of the Vikings. The growling sound
coming from their throats reminds me of dogs
howling, only more untamed. – Sounds pretty metal, right? Screaming has appeared in operas and avant garde compositions
going back to the 1800s. ♪ Ah ♪ – But for its first
appearance in pop music, many people point to blues
musicians who often had to yell over the crowds in the clubs they played. One example is a song
deemed too scary for radio, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ 1956
classic, I Put a Spell on You. ♪ Because you’re mine ♪ ♪ Oh yeah ♪ – But the real groundwork for metal came with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Both bands took the blues
and made it heavier, adding theatrics, and of course, the howling of Ozzy
Osbourne and Robert Plant. ♪ Ah ah ah ah ♪ – That’s when metal
screaming really took off, whether it was the barroom mania of AC/DC, the leather-clad
intimidation of Judas Priest, or the black metal bands of Europe. I don’t have that much
knowledge about metal, hardcore, what is it, metalcore? – Metal
– Hardcore? Metal.
– or hardcore music. Metal, yeah, I don’t know
that much about metal. (“Deceiver” by Judas Priest) ♪ Oh, let me tell you ♪ – This is, I like this head voice. ♪ Eh eh eh ♪ – That first bit was
quite, maybe not beautiful, but it was quite refined. – He had vibrato going real high. – Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– I thought that was tight. ♪ I was shaking at the knees ♪ – It’s so recognizable too, that– – Yeah. – It’s specific tone of screaming. – [LA] Yep. – I don’t think I’ve ever
screamed like that ever, even. Just in life. – I can see how. (Corey screaming) – Whoa. The areas that I did notice in metal were the virtuosity of the players, the guitarists, the drummers. – Metal drumming, double
bass pedal, and like, how fast you have to be.
– Super intense. – Yeah, how fast you have to be. – But I never really
thought about the screaming. And I just thought, okay
that’s just part of the genre, but now that I think about it, I’m sure it takes a lot of
energy, a lot of technique. There seems to be more to it than I previously thought maybe. I think it’d be hard to sing
and scream and growl that way while, you know, banging your head though. Kind of up and down? – They do it though, they do it, like. (Natalie screaming) – So, that’s kind of how you do it. – Keep it.
(Natalie chuckles) That was cold. – That was cool.
– Cool, I’m glad you all, glad you all liked that. When you’re playing aggressive music, you have to give an
aggressive performance. For me, it’s like this is
a very emotional experience playing this sort of music. – So, how do these metal vocalists scream? Well, they basically
do it just like babies. (baby crying) Dr. Krzysztof Izdebski of the Pacific Voice and Speech Foundation told Inside Science, a little
baby has all the sounds, it has the sounds of scream and growl, and inhalation and high pitch,
and whistle and low pitch. – I’m not really a metal kid,
I’m just kind of a den mother. (Melissa screams) What I just did is I made
my true vocal folds flutter. When you speak, your vocal folds, which are at the top of your windpipe, they come together like this, right? They’re actually horizontal in your body, but I’m gonna do it like
this so you can see better. When we talk, they do this. When we sing, they do waves, cycles per second, they’re pitches, right? In other words, this is like a 440, right? If you’re singing A, that is
440 sound waves per second. When I sing that note,
my vocal folds vibrate 440 times per second, right? But in screaming, it’s not
a repeating periodic wave, it’s chaos, it’s a
flutter, it’s like a fart, it’s like (blows raspberry) like that. – What’s the maintenance, or
like, what are the exercises you do so you don’t–
– Oh, I just do normal vocal warm-ups, like, entirely just your basic run of the mill vocal warm-ups. – Okay. – First two shows that I ever
did doing vocals like this, I like, destroyed my voice. – Word.
– And you know, I haven’t blown out my voice since then ’cause I figured out, like okay, well this is just how you do it, and– – You take care of your voice.
– Yeah. Just like, not like you’re
just gonna go for a run and like, be like okay,
I can run a marathon now, and I’m just gonna do
this and I’m gonna be fine the next time, no you have to like, warm up, you have to stretch,
you have to practice. For instance, opera singers also like, really push their voice. I could guarantee you that we
sort of all use our diaphragms in very similar ways. I just learned how to use
it a little bit differently. – Add your own texture. – Exactly. – Okay.
– You can’t imitate this. When you imitate, you’re
in your left brain, right? That’s the brain that does math problems. But like, when you were
a kid on the playground and you were going (mimics
siren wailing) I’m a fireman, (mimics siren wailing) you’re just like, straight up right brain. So, I have to take all
the technical information and put it in the right brain, and that’s how it gets super wacky because I say okay, pretend you’re a cat. (mimics cat meowing) Pretend you’re a cat that has laryngitis. (mimics raspy cat meowing) Right? You know, but you cannot
think about your diaphragm, you can’t think of air in your windpipe because there’s no neural steering wheels to close your vocal folds
in the front or the back. I just pretend there’s
particles coming out of my eyes and then I go (screams). – The larger the larynx and lungs, the greater your potential
is for a louder scream. Some people are just built better for it, like Jill Drake, a classroom
assistant from the UK. (Jill screams) That’s 129 decibels, almost
as loud as a gunshot, and definitely powerful
enough to damage your hearing. Okay, so screaming is a
skill, but how do they compare to the great singers like
Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey? Take Faith No More’s
Mike Patton for example. (Mike screams) His vocal range is
reportedly over six octaves, going from E flat one to to E seven. Compare that to Mariah Carey’s range of G sharp two to G seven. – So, you don’t scream
because you can’t sing, screaming is just an expression of rage. And it’s wonderful. See, it’s not a skill that you develop because you can’t do anything else. Who cares if it’s not music? Okay, it’s theater, okay,
whatever it is, it’s cool. Most importantly, it’s a connection. It is an opportunity to connect, and that’s what music really is, no matter what the genre is, right? – The early 2000s saw the
rise of a number of groups that blended thrash and hardcore metal with punk and alternative rock for mixtures of harshness
and complex melodies. The genres were known as
metalcore, screamo, post-hardcore, and whatever else bands and
their fans decided to call them. Bands like Underoath. ♪ I swear we need to find some ♪ – [Nahre] Bullet for My Valentine. ♪ There’s always something
different going on ♪ – [Nahre] Bring Me the Horizon. ♪ Can you feel my heart ♪ – [Nahre] And dozens more cut their teeth on the Warped Tour. – All right, you wanna call it this time? Rock Paper Scissors, shoot? – Okay, one, two, three. Go.
– Boom. ♪ Oh my God ♪ – [LA] Nahre and I are gonna listen to the screaming vocal track of a mystery song chosen by our producers, and we’re gonna try to
create our own music that we think would fit under it. (singer screaming) ♪ I wear them proudly ♪ – What are they saying? ♪ Whoa ♪ – Okay. We got a key. ♪ Clock counting down ♪ – Okay, so it goes like. (light piano music) I’m so clueless, I don’t
even know where to start. – If we came from like,
an avant garde angle, we don’t know what the original, I’m sure the original is just like. ♪ Da da da da da da da da da ♪ You know what I’m saying? Like, if we came left field with it. – Mm-hmm, let’s try to just
find ways to use our resources. – [LA] Yeah. – And see if we can tap into
that kind of primal energy. A lot of motives that I hear in metal also are in Baroque music. – Really? – [Nahre] Like all the. (frantic piano music) – [LA] That! That!
– That’s Vivaldi! – All of that! That’s what I’m talking
about, all of that. – You know that’s Baroque,
that’s Baroque music. – We gotta get, see, yeah, we gotta get all that into the draft. ♪ Stand up and scream ♪ (Nahre laughs) – Yeah, that’s right. (LA laughs) (thunder crashes) ♪ Oh my God ♪ (singer screaming) – [Nahre] And now that
you’ve heard our version, let’s listen to the original. – Three, two, one. – Oh. – I knew it was gonna be a six, I knew it. ♪ Oh my God ♪ – Oh, interesting. I totally hear it now. ♪ If only he knew ♪ ♪ If only he knew ♪ ♪ Just stand up and scream ♪ ♪ The tainted clock is counting down ♪ ♪ Da da da dum da da da dum ♪ – I mean, you have to be
very on top of your playing. – Your rhythm has to be spot on. – Hardcore players. ♪ Da da dum da da dum
da da dum da da dum ♪ (gentle music)

47 thoughts on “Where Did Screaming in Metal Come From?

  1. Holy shit. It was super intresting seeing musicians that don't specialise in metal but also don't belittle it study and play around with the genre.

  2. There is no worst band than zeppelin. Page is a hack. Bonham is way overrated. Every songs stolen. Plants voice is trash. Literally they're not good

  3. 2:17 that is actually not a proper scream it is a yell with forced disortion actual screaming will not sound like that

  4. Corey Taylor Jonathan Davis both do it while headbanging jumping etc while coming from screaming to singing to screaming again it’s art.❤️🤘

  5. I think growling, which I definitely consider different than halford’s screams, definitely comes from just being pissed off. I think it simply evolved from screamin jay and other blues musicians like y’all said in the beginning.

  6. Because they can. It's not easy to scream without losing your voice. Any freak can get famous. The screamers included. It is a gimmick that turned into a style. Not a musical tool, other than as a gimmick. You might say, you can go see a two hour show featuring a gimmick called screamiing. It is one percent of all the possible ways of using your voice. And the associated styles are thus equally limited when it comes to vocal work. And then there are the lyrics, harder to uncode because of the limitations to the voice, just like opera, which focuses solely on volume, and is also unintellible.

  7. Why do people scream in music? Because they can. It's not easy to scream without losing your voice. Any freak can get famous. The screamers included. It is a gimmick that turned into a style. Not a musical tool, other than as a gimmick. You might say, you can go see a two hour show featuring a gimmick called screamiing. It is one percent of all the possible ways of using your voice. And the associated styles are thus equally limited when it comes to vocal work. And then there are the lyrics, harder to uncode because of the limitations to the voice, just like opera, which focuses solely on volume, and is also unintellible.

  8. Opera singers also had to be heard over loud and drunk crowds. This actually the reason it sounds so ugly. Go back to before modern microphones and listen to how they sing: It is up against the technology!

  9. Couple of quick recommendations:
    Ben Duerr from Shadow of Intent: effortless and flexible guttural vocals.
    Tatiana Shmailyuk from Jinjer: impressive contrast between clean and guttural vocals.

  10. As a subscriber of Narhe Sol's channel, it is AMAZING to see her talk about other genres I love. Definitely subscribing to this channel.

  11. Part of its when john lennon got into primal screaming because he never liked his singing voice and thats where it basically start there was nothing like that before it

  12. Great video but wasn't some of that loud death growling rather than screaming and wasn't Ozzy wailing rather than screaming? For me screaming is more like Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) on 'Child in Time' and in 'Disturbing the Priest' with Black Sabbath

  13. But still no mention of Ian Gillan of Deep Purple,- only the greatest screamer of all time… have they been completely forgotten about though along with Sabbath and Zep they wrote the book?

  14. Anyone interested in this video should check out the song Blue-Eyed Hexe by the Pixies. https://youtu.be/FhjEZJFkr9c

    It features several singing styles by Black Fransis and incorporates the most amazing screaming for at the climax at about 2 minutes in that should impress anyone, especially considering all the other vocalizing styles the Pixies are famous for.

  15. Can we please stop saying that the stuff that ozzy and led zeppelin (deep purple, james brown, etc) did at all counts as metal screams? Anyone with ears can tell they are doing forceful singing not screaming vocals anything like what we hear today. The band death is the earliest example that I can think of that had a semblance of the direction the vocal style went. Saying the others are screaming is like saying tap dancing is the original twerking….

    Side note, I know you guys don't know much about it, but the comments section should know better.

  16. When I think of vocalists that can scream and have a huge vocal range, I'm always reminded of Lacey Sturm. Formerly of Flyleaf, currently touring solo. She hits these amazing high notes but then drops to guttural growls and back up to high screams. There's even a video floating around Youtube somewhere where she discusses techniques on how to scream without destroying your singing voice. She would have been an amazing talent to have on this episode.

  17. Interesting, nice to see metal looked on non judgmentally, but I think the bigger picture was missed. Take Mike Patton or Corey Taylor. You played them both screaming, but not singing in the sublime voices they possess, and how they move back and forth between the two in the same song. They use the scream to emote, it's a tool. They are very skilled and technical singers.Corey Taylor has the sweetest voice too. They are multi dimensional and that didn't come across.
    And ironic you mentioned Bring Me The Horizon. Ollie did not scream with good technique and blew out his vocal chords, and can no longer do it.

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