Careful With That Axe

"Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh!"
Lard, "Can God Fill Teeth?" official transcription

So you just got a brand new CD from your favorite band. You put in your stereo, lie down, and relax—HOLY CRAP, SOMEONE BROKE INTO THE STUDIO AND CHOPPED THE SINGER'S LEGS OFF!

Not literally, of course, but it sounds an awful lot like it. While some artists scream constantly, others will use unexpected bloodcurdling cries and screams to convey fear, pain, and madness, or just to freak listeners out. See also Scatting.


  • Pink Floyd's "Careful With That Axe, Eugene" is the Trope Namer, and quite possibly the Trope Maker.
    • The scream in the above song is by Roger Waters. The scream was used again in various songs, notably in the introduction of "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)".
    • And in "Run Like Hell".
    • Arguably "The Great Gig In The Sky", in combination with One-Woman Wail.
      • Certainly the use of Clare Torry's screaming in "Speak To Me" counts as this. It's all fairly creepy with the cash register noises and Peter Watts' creepy laugh, when suddenly you hear "AAAAAAAHHHH! AAAAAAHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" which leads you loudly and theatrically into Breathe - which seems almost like a Breather Episode.
    • Another example is "Don't Leave Me Now", which makes sense in context because scream at the end predicts the events of the next track on the album.
    • "Comfortably Numb" is yet another Pink Floyd example, arguably in the second verse.
    • "Sheep" combines this with Laughing Mad.
  • The Plasmatics: Wendy O. Williams could shriek like no other. During the tour to promote "Coup d' Etat" she pushed her vocals so hard she had to follow treatment to avoid permanent damage to her vocal chords.
  • One of earliest examples, Early Morning by Epitaph. Slow trippy rocking about pretty colors ant lovely summer days... WHOOAAAAAAAAAAAAA...
  • Anaal Nathrakh. No examples, since they could call themselves, "Careful With That Axe: The Band" if they wanted to.
    • Harry Pussy could also be "Careful With That Axe: The Band"
  • Every single Hair Metal band, ever. Practically the entire vocal style of Cindarella's Tom Keifer (the guy's already had two major vocal cord injuries).
  • The breakdown of "TV Eye" from Fun House by The Stooges.
  • Diamanda Galás has this down to an art with a healthy dosing of One-Woman Wail.
  • Marilyn Manson's song Anti Christ Superstar uses it in a way that can be best described as "Careful with that new-found power to destroy reality and the hatred of it to do so".
  • Suicide's "Frankie Teardrop" is probably the most disturbing example of this.
  • Coil/Zos Kia's "Rape".
  • Radiohead's "Climbing Up The Walls" has a disturbing scream near the end.
  • PJ Harvey - Oh boy does she love this trope
    • The end of this song as well
  • Cannibal Corpse - "Blood-Drenched Execution", "Devoured by Vermin", "Blunt Force Castration". And many more.
    • Chris Barnes lets out a few on Tomb of the Mutilated. He uses them sparingly, and it's very noticeable because it contrasts with his demonically low growl.
  • Kings of Leon's "Charmer" single from their third album Because of the Times features a pretty great example of axe-murder-victim screaming.
  • Gogol Bordello's "I Would Never Wanna Be Young Again" features some quite horrifying female screaming, especially at the end. "East Infection" also features him lapsing into even more frantic yelling towards the end of the song.
  • Funeral for a Friend have always had some songs with screamed vocals, but the demo version of "The End Of Nothing" takes the cake with Ryan Richards sounding like he's possessed by satan. Their original screamer Matt Evans provides scarily hoarse screeching on their first EP Between Order And Model, something which is apparent by comparing its version of "Red Is The New Black" to the one on their first album.
  • Ian Dury And The Blockheads' "Dance Of The Screamers" has random screeching over a catchy jazz funk backing track.
  • The Cure's "Subway Song" combines this with Last Note Nightmare.
  • Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator is prone to this, especially on tracks like "Arrow" and his solo track "Betrayed".
  • Rhoda Dakar with the Specials - "The Boiler"
  • Thrash Metal band Razor rips one of the mightiest in music history on the song The Marshall Arts. It's 27 seconds long and sounds closer to a tire squealing than a human being. This is in rather large contrast to the vocalist's typically low shout.
  • Vanilla Fudge's cover of "Season Of The Witch" uses this trope during the spoken word Freak Out at the end.
  • Portishead - "Half Day Closing"
  • Everclear's "El Distorto De Melodica", which is an instrumental, but has several shrieks and roars in the background at various parts of the song. Particularly Art Alexakis screaming right before the breakdown.
  • Played with in "Torture Me" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The song starts off with Anthony yelling, but cools down about halfway through, until...
    • "A vintage year for pop I hear. The middle of the end is near. It's soOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
    • The Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Transcending" whips this right out, just seconds after the particularly melodic and soothing bridge. This is especially jarring, because the song starts off of a much, MUCH calmer song. The best part, after the first wave of distressed lyrics, he starts screaming even harder. They have never recorded a song that saw Anthony screaming as hard as this.
  • Of all people, the rather vanilla Broadway actor Rob Evan pulls this off on the rockified version of "The World Has Gone Insane" on Jekyll & Hyde Resurrection.
  • Probably not as extreme as some other examples, but in Richard Cheese's cover of "Been Caught Stealing", Richard is attacked by a dog, which is conveyed with a mix of barks, growls, and Richard screaming for help.
  • The Smashing Pumpkins' song "X.Y.U." Rat-tat-tat, KAAAA-BOOOM!
  • "You're Gonna Miss Me" by The 13th Floor Elevators. Sounds almost exactly like the Wilhelm Scream, in fact.
  • The Beatles - "Revolution # 9" and "Helter Skelter". ("I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!")
    • You can also add the scream at the beginning of "Revolution" and the crazy laughing in "Hey Bulldog" (even more so when played backwards)
  • "The Great Southern Trendkill" (the song) by Pantera opens with a scream by Seth Putnam of grindcore band Anal Cunt. This is usually pretty unexpected. It could count for both the song and the album itself, since the song is the opening track of the album.
  • Dir En Grey's album "Withering to death" loves this trope very, very much. Especially notable are "Merciless cult", "saku", "Kodoku ni shisu, yue ni kodoku" and "dead tree".
    • Pfft, listen to "Obscure" from their Vulgar album. YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Bonus points if you watch the entire uncensored video without freaking out.
      • And then there is Dozing Green. After a very soft, almost lullaby like bridge, Kyo abruptly breaks out into a series of the most blood curdling screams ever heard in metal.
    • Most of Dir En Grey's music is practically married to this trope, if Kyo's diagnosis of edema of the vocal chords is any indication.
  • "Battle Song" by Ensiferum. Much of its Hot Blood comes from a very, very powerful warcry near the end of the song.
    • Jari Mäenpää does it on pretty much every Wintersun song, "Sadness and Hate" especially.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic put a hidden track called "Bite Me" on his album "Off the Deep End" to scare people who didn't turn off their CD players.
    • He did it again in "Albuquerque". Granted, at that point in the song he's being attacked by weasels...
    • Also in "Jurassic Park" and "Cavity Search".
  • Jack Black really likes doing this in Tenacious D, especially in "Master Exploder". It's played for laughs in the song's sequence in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, where he first sets the mic on fire, then makes a guy's brain fly out of his skull! All just from his singing! "My voice is fucking POWERFUL!" indeed.
  • Mike Patton of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle does this every other song, particularly frightening example being the ending of 'Cuckoo For Caca'....Jesus!
    • Also from his project Tomahawk the song Malocchio starts out with Patton screaming 'CHEW IT!! CHEW IT!! CHEW IT TO SPIT IT OUT!!'.
    • Fantomas' cover of the Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me theme is sort of an interesting case because it contains a scream that's not actually performed by Mike Patton at all: It's a sample from the final episode of the TV series, which is scarier if you've seen the episode in question.
    • The end of the bridge to Mr. Bungle's "Goodbye Sober Day" has one section in which Patton, unaccompanied, screams "CHAK! CHAK CHAK CHAK CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA CHAKA CHAK CHAK CHAK!" If you've never heard the song before, and it comes on while you're asleep, be prepared to wake up in terror.
  • "Sex Bomb" by Flipper. 7 minutes of punk with a saxophone, where the only lyrics are she's a sex bomb my baby, yeah and bar-long episodes of ungodly screaming.
  • The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" and "Love Reign Over Me" (the latter being the most melodic use possible of this trope)
  • James Brown LOVED this trope.
  • The Sonics' entire discography.
  • Tool's "Ticks And Leeches" from Lateralus.
    • To the point where they won't play it live, because it destroys Keenan's voice.
    • Oh yeah, and this. "PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE!!!!!!"
    • Also from Lateralus: a massive, 20~25-second top-of-the-lungs scream on the opening track, "The Grudge". Keenan does this live.
    • From "Opiate" there is Jerk-off, half the song is angry singing, including a downright inhumane one after the guitar solo.
  • Sonic Youth's Death Valley '69.
  • Metalcore fathers Converge live off this trope by way of their vocalist Jacob Bannon. This is considered one of their softer outputs.
  • The song "Sing Songs Along" by Tilly and the Wall starts off like this.
  • I'm In A Coffin being the current kings of the suicidal/depressive black metal genre are no stranger to anguished, distraught screams but the opening cry at the beginning of "I'm A Weapon Against Myself" stands as one of the most heart-wrenching, emotional and pained screams ever put to music.
    • Gris is on the same level with the scream of RASOIIIIIIIIIIRS choking into crying. Listen to the part from 5:46 in Veux-tu Danser? and hear for yourself.
  • Ill Remembered often switch between a The Who like deep baritone and Korn like screaming. But the singer just loses it around the end of "Oblivion" screaming over and over again.("GOD IS LAUGHING WITH A GUN TO YOUR HEAD!")
  • Chino Moreno of Deftones makes his screaming all the more captivating by preceeding it with a gentle spoken word whisper. See for example their major hit "My Own Summer (Shove It)."
    • Also the song "Knife Party" has a bridge that features a woman singing wordlessly, that turns into a woman screaming frantically.
  • The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is one of the most mellow CDs there us. Except for part two of the title song, which has no lyrics besides a girl screaming.
    • Not to mention "Riding to Work in the Year 2025."
    • Those who venture to listen to all six hours of "I Found a Star on the Ground" will have a pretty nasty surprise in the middle of the second hour...
  • Metal band Accept's album Restless and Wild begins with some sort of kooky German folk dance music that goes on for about thirty seconds, and then a Record Needle Scratch, before Udo Dirkschneider comes out of nowhere screaming at the top of his lungs and a speed metal riff kicks off. In 1982 that was about as heavy as heavy could get.
  • In the song "In Your Honor", by the Foo Fighters, near the end of the song - after what seemed to be the ending -, during the bridge, Dave Grohl lets out a long, bloodcurdling scream, for no apparent reason.
    • "White Limo" similarly has one after a Fake-Out Fade-Out... but at least the "for no apparent reason" applies less given the song is one of the most yelled in their catalog.
  • Australian retro-rock band Wolfmother started out "Dimension," the first track of their first album, with a shriek that tends to make unsuspecting listeners jump out of their chairs.
  • Deep Purple, fronted by the renowned 'screamer' Ian Gillan has this trope in a number of songs.
    • Most notably: "Child in Time", the crescendo of the song is almost a continuous banshee wail.
    • "Highway Star".
  • Judas Priest is famous for this, most notably "Dissident Aggressor", where a subdued guitar riff comes in and slowly gets louder until Rob Halford lets out the highest-pitch shriek of his career—a B just one semitone below soprano C.
    • As well as the song "Painkiller". Almost every word is sung in a voice that can be best described as if the singer's is being kicked repeatedly in the nuts. Good luck getting that one on Rock Band 2
  • Sugar Coma, a 75% female four-piece band with distractedly sung verses and yelled choruses: "I'LL KILL MYSELF IN YOUR BED! YOU WON'T REMEMBER WHAT SHE SAID!"
  • The notorious middle section of Ryuuguu Rena's Image Song, Egao Happy Peace: "USO DAAAA!"
    • Even more frightening is Shmion's "Futari no Birthday": cue the random, bloodcurdling "IYAAAAA!!" and desperate pleas not to be killed with the upbeat, cheerful music still going on in the background... fun.
  • Goldfrapp's song "Slippage". Makes it bloody hard to sing.
    • "Deer Stop" as well.
  • Nick Cave's Murder Ballads album is altogether terrifying, but when "The Curse of Milhaven" starts up, you will probably lose control of your bowels, because it sounds like someone is taking an axe to the entire band. Similarly, "Stagger Lee" ends with a full minute of guitarist Blixa Bargeld letting out a series of piercing, almost inhuman shrieks.
    • This trope is actually the reason Blixa was in the band to begin with. Nick Cave first saw him with the Einstürzende Neubauten, and realised he had to work with this guy when Blixa let out a scream that sounded "like someone was pulling thorns out of his soul."
  • Speaking of Neubauten- Here's Blixa Bargeld belting out some blood curling screams on one of EN's better known tracks. Also a live version.
  • Dream Theater have this on a few occasions, notably LaBrie's ultra-high F# at the climax of "Learning to Live" and "TRAPPED IN-SIDE THIS OC-TA-VAR-I-'UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUM!'" He's also hit a high A5 on a few live songs.
    • Before damaging his vocal cords in the mid-nineties, LaBrie was even worse better with this live. The Live at the Marquee version of "The Killing Hand" is practically made of high-pitched screaming.
  • Devin Townsend's debut solo album, Ocean Machine: Biomech. Just listen to the very end of "Things Beyond Things."
  • The Pixies: "Tame", "Debaser", "Isla De Ecanta", "The Holiday Song" etc, etc. Francis has attributed this to an early experience where a neighbour encouraged him to "sing The Beatles' 'Oh! Darling' like you hated that bitch!"
  • "Stein um Stein" by Rammstein. The shriek of "STEIN!!!" as the instruments suddenly stop perfectly suits the lyrics.
    • To clarify: the song is about building a wall/house around somebody. The full last line is "Und keiner hört dich schreien" (And nobody hears you cry).
  • Animal Collective never miss out on the opportunity to insert the sound of Avey Tare apparently doing something very painful to his mouth. A particularly full-on example can be found on "For Reverend Green" from Strawberry Jam, which devolves into increasingly demented screaming.
    • And there's that segment of "Peacebone". Which, in the video, is shown to be provided by a woman's Gigerian inner mouth!
    • "Street Flash" has a rather slow segment that suddenly takes this turn.
  • Most of the vocals on Lifelover's third album Konkurs are a blend of weird whispering and passionate speaking/shouting, which makes the demented scream that opens the song "Mental Central Dialog" so surprising.
  • In the song "Tourniquet" by Evanescence: "I WAANT TOOO DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!"
  • The 13-second scream in Iron Maiden's "Number of the Beast" from The Number Of The Beast is unexpected not only by the listeners, but wasn't a part of the original song. It was caused by Bruce Dickinson's frustration over the number of takes, and the producers decided to Throw It In.
  • There's a delightful blast of horns that could shatter windows in spontaneous intervals during the otherwise lovely and calming 'Starlings' from Elbow.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has "Do The Hippogriff" by the Weird Sisters (Fake Band turned superband - the screamer singer is Pulp's Jarvis Cocker) - it doesn't appear in the movie, but the soundtrack version linked there starts with 6-second scream (and must be a shocker, considering it follows 21 instrumental tracks).
  • Metal singer Daniel Heiman is an absolute master of this, frequently sounding like he's suddenly had a pair of very highly-tuned pencils shoved up both nostrils in the middle of songs. Increasingly unlikely moments are demonstrated in this video.
  • The beginning of Beck's "Lord Only Knows" off Odelay - for all of ten seconds, before the country-blues style song actually starts...
    • Likewise at the end of the happily loping "Sissyneck" that ends with a wailing shriek under wild percussion.
      • The end of "Canceled Check", a country-ish ditty, has shouting obscured by lots of percussion, random banging on a piano and laser gun-ish sounds; the subtlety of the screaming actually makes it more disturbing. This troper, while listening late at night, mistook it for someone screaming his name at the top of their lungs. To say the least, it was creepy.
  • Cindy Wilson of The B-52s starts out singing "Dance This Mess Around" in a sweet, doleful manner, then shrieks "WHY DON'T YOU DANCE WITH MEEEE/I'M NOT NO LIMBURGERRRR!"
    • "Rock Lobster" has its bouts of screaming as well.
    • As well as "Hero Worship". Also, "Don't Worry", which consists entirely of the title phrase being repeated with increasing intensity by the three vocalists. Naturally it has the exact opposite effect on the listener, although they were trying to emulate pioneering screamer Yoko Ono in it (it is a rewrite of one of her songs) so it's probably justified.
  • Hard rock band Hurt, known for infusing classical and folk stylings into its music, includes this in a lot of songs. It doesn't hurt that vocalist J Loren is a master at conveying emotion, particularly pain, through his voice. Notably, the last song on their album Volume 2, "Thank You For Listening", has a particularly epic scream that seems to last forever followed by a guitar solo.
  • Emilie Autumn usually alternates between sweet high-pitched vocals and lower, sultry singing, but will throw out a bloodcurdling scream in songs like "Opheliac", "I Know Where You Sleep", "I Want My Innocence Back" and "Liar".
    • The previously mentioned songs are on her album Opheliac; songs like "Fight Like a Girl" and especially "Time for Tea" on Fight Like a Girl have her being even less careful with the axe.
  • "Xenophobia" by Rudimentary Peni is comprised almost entirely of this.
  • The Doors odyssey Celebration of the Lizard has a very uncomfortable WAKE UP!!! a few minutes into the song.
    • 'The End' from The Doors probably counts as well. "Mother... I WANT TO... WWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH COME ON BABY!!!!!!!!"
    • Jim Morrison was a big fan of this trope during live performances especially. He'd deliberately segue a song like Moonlight Drive into a song like Backdoor Man (always begun with either a scream or a long, perverse grunt).
  • MC Lars's "Signing Emo" parodies this with the sample of Hearts That Hate's "Cry Tonight."
  • Linkin Park normally includes screamed vocals for their more hardcore songs. However, on their album Minutes to Midnight, Chester Bennington (the one who sings) went Up to Eleven with a 17-second, two-pitch, one-breath scream near the end of "Given Up".
  • The Veronicas experiment with this, Jessica has a habit of doing this, in Mother Mother and This Is How It Feels.
  • Right after the solo in Nirvana's "Drain You" from Nevermind starts, Kurt Cobain lets out a long, ear-piercing shriek.
    • Don't forget the scream on "Stay Away".
      • The godawful shrieking on "Scentless Apprentice" from In Utero, truly bloodcurdling.
    • The hidden track on Nevermind, "Endless, Nameless" follows a long silence after "Something in the Way". Cobain's loud, abrasive shrieking can really startle a listener.
  • All That Remains in general. The start of "This Calling" can scare the crap out of you if you're not prepared. —Inhales—YEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHGGGGG!
  • In Slipknot's song "Scissors" Corey Taylor sings quietly for some time until he blurts out with loud roars and screams. At the end of the song, he sounds as if he about to vomit, which is quite unsettling...
    • During live performances he has actually been known to vomit from the strain of singing so gutturally.
  • Fucked Up's album The Chemistry Of Common Life starts with a gentle flute tune and melodic guitar buildup, and then suddenly... WHAAAAAAAAGH!!!!
    • Don't forget in "Twice Born": WE ALL GOT OUR FUCKIN' HANDS UUUUUUUUUUUUPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream" by King Crimson has a sudden scream about a third into the song followed by a rather chaotic guitar solo.
  • While screaming is certainly to be expected from the band, Cryptopsy's "Open Face Surgery" is notable for ending with an ear-shattering 28-second long scream
  • Jag Panzer's Epic Rocking song "The Crucifix" off their Ample Destruction album introduces its heaviest part with Harry Conklin shrieking his balls off.
  • A more subtle example of this (yes, this trope can be subtle) is in Angelspit's track "Sleep Now". After settling into the calm, deep vocals, you can hear a screamed accompaniment layered on top every once in a while. By the end of the bridge, this accompaniment returns for the rest of the song, distorted randomly.
    • There's the occasional scream in Elixir. Makes the song even scarier when you connect the screams with the lyrics...
  • Beginning of the Soundgarden song "New Damage".
  • Jack Off Jill have based a whole career around this trope. Not helped by the fact that Jessicka sounds like a six-year-old child at times, which makes it even more disturbing when she suddenly breaks into screams.
    • Angels Fuck Devils Kiss made it into Touch Me, I'm Sick: the 52 creepiest love songs you've ever heard by Tom Reynolds specifically for this reason.
    • Scarling., her second band, have "Black Horse Riding Star", where you may find the most powerful "fuck you" that her angelical voice can muster. Its so powerful that you don't even see it coming that it may scare those who heard it first, and you may end up screaming it along her.
  • Hole's "I Think That I Would Die" from Live Through This, said to be about Courtney Love's custody battle for her daughter. Cue Courtney screeching "THERE IS NO MILK!" like a cat with a sore head. Then it calms down, with just Eric's guitar backing Courtney singing, "It's...not...yours." Then: "FUCK! YOOOOUUUUU!"
    • There's one other good contender for this- it's "Drown Soda"; specifically the studio version. While the live ones are more consistent screaming throughout, the studio version goes a long for a while with Love singing softly... that is, until 3/4 of the way through, where she lets out one of the most jarring screams ever recorded (she gargled whiskey during the recording session under which it was made, which explains a lot of it). She continues to scream for most of the rest of the song, then quiets down... only for what this troper can describe as a jump scare scream if you've got it on high volume, to come up.
  • Slayer's vocalist Tom Araya had this moment at the beginning of "Angel of Death".
    • Frankly, Araya is MADE of screams. Check out the beginning of "Evil Has No Boundaries", as well as "Kill Again", "Crypts of Eternity", the end of "Necrophobic"...
  • The Pearl Jam song "Blood," in which Eddie Vedder shouts "IT'S... MY... BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!"
  • The whole of the Dinosaur Jr.. song "Don't" is basically Lou Barlow screaming "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!? WHY DON'T YOU LIKE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!?!?" into the mic for five minutes over a background of vicious noise rock, which is a bit of a contrast from the rest of their work. According to the chapter on the band in Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life, Barlow was actually coughing up blood after he finished recording the vocals for the song.
  • Near the end of the song "Goliath" by The Mars Volta, the music is reduced to a repeating guitar riff alongside Cedric Bixler-Zavala's singing, culminating with the second chorus of the song, the music becoming much noisier and Cedric letting out an ear-piercing scream.
  • Masonna and Junko Hiroshige of Hijokaidan provide the best examples of this in the field of noise music.
  • Bonehead by Naked City is basically just this trope, and is used to great effect in the movie Funny Games.
  • Diamanda Galás uses this to good effect.
  • Passenger Of Shit loves this trope to death and is not afraid to use it several times per recording. In some circles, he is considered the best example.
  • As a very nearly literal example, the faint scream heard at the start of the Ohio Players' Love Rollercoaster was oft-rumored to belong to someone being murdered just outside the recording studio, a rumor that has since then been debunked.
  • AFI's Death of Seasons starts off with your typical hardcore style, and then there's an earworm of a chorus, and then there's a techno breakdown in the middle of the next verse which is very confusing, and then it ends with a string arrangement. Over which Davey Havok screams the lyrics from the bridge: "It won't be all right/despite what they say/just watch the sky/as stars go out".
  • Murder By Death (the band) has a song on their album "Who Will Survive, And What Will Be Left of Them" called "The Devil in Mexico", which starts out sounding like an old phonograph...and says kind of spooky and quiet...and by the end of the song, you have Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance lending some screaming vocals that sound like he's completely fucking possessed.
  • Flamenco music has a higher screaming tolerance than most genres due to the style of singing. Enrique Morente, however, once teamed up with the Spanish noise-rock band Lagartija Nick to create "Omega," a tribute to the poetry of García Lorca and the songs of Leonard Cohen. Sound tame? Listen to the title track, which is based on "The Poem of the Dead" by Lorca. At one point in the dark, haunting, 10-minute track, he yells "¡Las hierbas!" [i.e. the grass which grows upon graves] with a fury that etches itself into your brain. Then, shortly afterward, he does it again.
  • "Half A Canyon" by Pavement: It starts out with Perishing Alt Rock Voice run through a walkie-talkie-like effect, but about halfway through Stephen Malkmus suddenly lets out a high-pitched hoarse shriek. The song then jumps into a faster tempo and becomes sort of a psychedelic freakout punctuated by more lengthy screams, including a lampshade hanging cry of "oooohh mmmyyy goooodddd, I can't believe I'm still gooooooiiiinnnng!".
  • "The Dust Storm" by Those Poor Bastards. Lonesome Wyatt sounds like a serial killer, alternately groaning and crying out like a coyote in barbed wire. To quote the chorus, "Take off your dreeeeeeess, put on your faaaaaaaaaace, I'M FEELIN' WILD!"
  • Many of Trivium's songs are, for the most part, thrash metal with melodic singing. Until you get to the chorus, in which a mad axe murderer fights his way to the microphone and yells and screams over Matt Heafey's corpse.
  • Intestinal Disgorge built a name for themselves out of this trope, especially in their pre-Humiliated years.
  • CDR's "Soft Head or Hard Head." One could easily assume that while his top half is playing the drumkit, his bottom half is repeatedly being crushed by a steamroller.
  • The Deli Creeps were big fans of this trope. (Case in point.)
  • Disturbed's child abuse segment in "Down With The Sickness", which is quite easily the most violently screamy 40 seconds in the band's discography (their later work relies more on clean, traditional metal belting).
    "You tried to tell me you love life"
    "Then find another way to kiiii—OOOOOOWWWWL!!!
  • It's less Careful With That Axe and more Careful With That Foot, but about three-fifths of the way through "Lord of the Winter Snow," from Luca Turilli's album King of the Nordic Twilight, Olaf Hayer jumps about three octaves in one line and sounds like he just got kicked in the nuts.
  • Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody: "...aside for me, for me, for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! and Under Pressure: "Whyyyyyyyyy...why, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!"
  • Jeff Mangum's demo for the unreleased Neutral Milk Hotel song "Sailing Through" ends with over a minute of him screaming the chorus over and over again, with more and more vehemence. It is unbelievably disturbing.
  • Peter Gabriel's "Signal to Noise" features the Pakistani qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The live version, which combines his screaming with electric guitar, strings, and a drum machine, makes for an intensely emotional song.
  • Bikini Kill nails this in "Star Bellied Boy," going from singing to screeching and back again without missing a beat. '
  • "Luca" by Brand New. The song has a quiet, acoustic section that goes on for about a minute before being suddenly stopped in the middle of a sentence by the singer screaming at the top of his lungs, at which point the electric guitars come back in.
  • "Come To Daddy" by Aphex Twin, towards the middle.
  • Karl Sanders of Nile is primarily known for his extremely low and guttural vocals (to the point where if the bass guitar is too loud, the two pitches are competing to be heard over each other), but when he wants to, he can let out some quite creepy screams. Notable examples are the breakdown in "Cast Down the Heretic," where he screams the song title along with the rest of the band, as well as some truly unnerving high and distant sounding screams during the bridge of "Masturbating The War God."
  • My Chemical Romance, especially on the first two albums. "Helena" live is a good example, as is "Hang 'Em High".
    • In the studio version of their song "You Know What They Do To Guys Like Us in Prison", guest vocalist Bert Mc Cracken of The Used does this. "DO YOU HAVE THE KEYS TO THE HOTEL?!?! CAUSE I'M GONNA SET THIS MOTHERFUCKER ON FIRE!!"
    • Also the bridge in "Mama" starts with a "Hell" segueing into an epic rising scream.
  • Arthur Von Nagel (of the band Cormorant) delivers some truly blood curling screams at the end of the song "Two Brothers".
  • Opeth, on the song "Ghost of Perdition." Well, that's a nice little jazz riff, a bit spooky soundi-"GHOST OF!!! MOTHER!! LINGERING DEEAAAATH!!!"
    • Not their only example, of course. Even though the singer usually growls, every once in a while he'll let out one.
  • Björk has a lovely little cover song ironically titled "It's Oh So Quiet".
    • and "Army Of Me" in a remixed form.
    • Cover nothing, "Pluto" is by a long shot her Metal Screamiest song so far.
  • The end of the song "Cockroaches" by Voivod. Makes sense, though, seeing as it's about a swarm of possibly-alien mechanical insects eating their way across the country and finally getting to the narrator...
  • Underground British Indie-Rock Queen Adreena almost always shows elements of this in their albums.
  • Billy Talent front-man Benjamin Kowalewicz is very prone to this (the end of River Below comes to mind).
  • Voodoo Kungfu, particularly in "This Riverside".
  • Even Jewel lets one rip on her fourth album, "This Way'', during the bridge of "Love Me, Just Leave Me Alone". "Well, I tried to be unloveable.... WHY COULDN'T YOU DO THE SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME?!!"
  • Late 60's experimental band Cromagnon did this a good amount. Ritual Feast Of The Libido consists of their singer blowing out his voice while a low-tempo beat plays in the background.
  • Jacob of Normpeterson is fond of these. It's especially prevalent in "Absent" and "Attenuation."
  • Power Electronics acts can be fond of this trope. For example, RxAxPxE's "Chloroform Casanova," the Mad Oracle wail of Whitehouse's "Rapeday" and various Sutcliffe Jügend tracks. such as "Pigboy" and "This Is The Truth."
  • Quite a few Group Sounds bands (mid-60s Japan's response to The Beatles) inadvertently slipped this into otherwise harmless pop songs. They were obviously going for a more traditional Little Richard style yell, but over-did it just a bit
  • One of the most infamous examples, Bodies by Drowning Pool. *whispering* "Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the—" *two beats* "FLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!!!"
  • The video version of Korpiklaani's "Beer, Beer" opens with one of the band members loudly performing an incongruous, but remarkably accurate, imitation of a pig squealing over the tour bus's intercom.
  • Lady Gaga experiments with this in "Bloody Mary".
  • Even Houkago Tea Time (the Fake Band of Moe Japanese schoolgirls from K-On!) does this, but mildly, noticeably on "Fuwa Fuwa Time" and "Go! Go! Maniac".
    • "Girly Storm Sprint Stick" has Ritsu giving one hell of a yell on the last line of the last chorus.
  • The Pillows in "Hello, Welcome To Bubbletown's Happy Zoo" right before the solo.
    • "Hello, welcome to Bubbletown's Happy Zoo instant show...weeoeeeoeeeoeooo AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"
  • Rascal Flatts often employs this due to lead singer Gary LeVoxs incredibly whiny high-pitched voice. But quite possibly the best example is when he screams "BOB! THAT! HEAD!" really loudly at the top of "Bob That Head", and then again near the end. It got to the point that the label sent out an edited version that removed the screamed intro.
  • Cage the Elephant has a lot of perfect examples of these, you'd think he was getting murdered every time; in "Indy Kids", "Always Something", the end of "Sell Yourself" and "Around My Head", "In One Ear", and "James Brown", to name a few.
  • Though it would probably be more like Careful With That Revolver, Queens of the Stone Age's all-screaming piece "Six Shooter" probably qualifies for this, as does their song "You Think I Ain't Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire".
  • Alice in Chains' "Love Song" combines this with Madness Mantra.
  • Oasis' "Fade In-Out": A scream occurs about halfway through the song.
  • Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles lets out a particularly grating scream near the end of "Down in Mississippi (Up to No Good)".
  • Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses is well known for his screams, but the scream right before the solo of "Oh My God" is MONSTROUS in how raw and bloodcurdling it is.
  • Everything Else has one in "Religion Song (Put Away The Gun)". It really sticks out because it's immediately after a quiet spoken word bit.
  • Shiina Ringo screams her lungs out at the beginning of the song "Identity". Considering how strange her music is, it's surprising that she hasn't done this more often.
  • Scott Weiland's vocal intro in "Dead & Bloated", first track from Stone Temple Pilots' debut album Core.
  • Song by the Swedish Melodic Death Metal band In Flames generally fall into one of 2 categories- those that feature several axe dismemberments (e.g. "Jotun") and those that are nothing but axe dismemberments (e.g. "Scream"). Vocalist Anders Fridén either has the toughest vocal chords or the fastest-regrowing legs in the business.
    • It's anyone's guess as to whether he still does or not, because he hasn't done those for a long, long time.
  • Mastodon's vocals are generally a combination of singing and grunting. Then you have "Bladecatcher", which sounds like a pig being fed through a woodchipper....and yet the song doesn't have any vocals - the inhuman "screams" are actually coming from a guitar.
  • David DiSanto of Vektor has become well-known for his earsplitting shrieks and generally screechy vocal style. Oh, and they're not pitchshifted. He pulls them off live without a hitch, too.
  • Splashdown's "So HA" is essentially primal scream therapy set to a techno beat.
  • Specifically averted in Steve Morse Band's "Rockin' Guitars," when guest vocalist Albert Lee leads up to the point where a rocker scream would be entirely expected, but instead very calmly says, "I refuse to scream."
  • Delta Goodrem uses this to an extent on her song "Nobody Listened".
    The angel did I see
  • Silberbart's "Brain Brain". Oh God.
  • No Security from Chaos UK.
  • Most of the times Rage (played by Devin Townsend) shows up in Ayreon's The Human Equation qualify for this, but it's probably most noticeable in "School" with the calming tones of Agony and Pain interrupted by the ripping loud screech of Rage tearing in behind them. Don't listen to this album the first time through on headphones.
    • Off the same album, the end of Mikael Åkerfeldt's (of the aforementioned Opeth) first part in "Trauma", especially when he's been using his soft, calming voice for the rest of the album, making it seriously surprising when he starts growling YOU'RE BETTER OFF DEAD.
  • The Hair Metal band Steelheart, which featured a lead singer with a very powerful falsetto range.
  • Zeehas; 12 Wait's "Elicit Tears" is sort of a strange example - it's a Synth Pop ballad that's mostly sung in a deliberately hammy but still pretty gentle manner... But the pre-chorus is always kicked off by the singer letting out a sudden blood-curdling shriek, then going right back to crooning along as though nothing happened.
  • Queensrÿche lead vocalist Geoff Tate was fond of this early in his career. The two best examples are the opening bars of "Nightrider" from their self-titled release and "Gonna Get Close To You"...Which is one long irresponsible use of the axe.
  • "Beautiful Woman Hunter" by Schoolyard Heroes ends with Ryann screaming "KIIIIIILLLLLL!" in what could be described as a violent rage.
  • Roboturner by Between the Buried and Me opens with a grating scream (catching anyone off-guard upon listening to it).
  • Lemon Jelly has, appropriately enough, The Shouty Track.
  • "Stains" by Janus has the vocalist scream the song's title in an incredibly pained voice at the end of the chorus.
  • Elvis Costello is far better-known for his songwriting than for his screaming, but he's let loose with some unexpectedly bloodcurdling screams on a number of songs throughout his long career, sometimes screaming sections of lyrics (the ending of "Beaten To The Punch"), sometimes...not (the wordless screeches during the uptempo sections that bookend "Man Out Of Time").
  • Possibly the Ur Example of this in contemporary music is "Egyptian Shumba" by 60's Girl Group The Tammys, featuring some monkey-like shrieks in the chorus.
  • The Imogen Heap song "Leave Me To Love" both starts and ends with an incredibly loud and elongated shriek.
  • There's a series of screams at the end of the Asking Alexandria song Hey There Mr. Brooks Normally this wouldn't be unnerving, as about 70% of Asking Alexandria's lyrics are screams. But those screams are normally attached to actual lyrics. The screams at the end of Hey There Mr. Brooks have no words within them. They're just fevered and desperate wails.
  • Something Broke's ending combines this with Last Note Nightmare. "HELP ME CHASE AWAY MY FEARS-"
  • John Frusciante's song "Omission" has gentle-sounding vocals shared by him and Josh Klinghoffer. Right at the end, Josh's soft voice abruptly turns into a distressed scream.
  • Refused. Huge mention goes to "Refused Party Program" after the second verse, where Dennis lets out a big yelp that sounds like someone stepped on his foot very hard.
  • "RESONANCE" by exist†trace—while Jyou does Harsh Vocals in several of the band's songs, this is the only one where she outright screams a la this trope. (The second in particular comes pretty much out of nowhere; the first at least has some buildup via the music.)
  • Bert McCracken from The Used screams often. In one of their DVDs it's shown that (at least at the time it was filmed) the rest of the band threw things at him while he was recording to encourage this.
  • Spitalfield's "Fairweather Friend" in the last moments of the song.
  • As listed above, Lard's "Can God Fill Teeth," whose chorus consists of several bars of pained screaming and powertool noises. It's about a man who removes all of his teeth on suspicion that they might be bugged.
  • For Squirrels' Jack Vigliatura usually sang in a style that could be called Perishing Indie Voice, but the chorus of "Long Live The King" demonstrated that he could also deliver some Black Francis-like shrieks. "Superstar" also involves some blood-curdling shrieks, but this time in the form of backing vocals performed by guitarist Travis Tooke.
  • Thursday's Geoff Rickly does nothing if not utilize this trope.
  • Taking Back Sunday. "Ghost Man On Third", "The Blue Channel", and "Sink Into Me", to name a couple.
  • Chairlift's "I Belong in Your Arms", slightly, at one point.
  • Horrible Histories's William Wallace song. The Luddite song gets pretty screamy too, especially on "ANAR-CHIIIIISTS!" And in the (not so screamy) Viking song "Literally", the guitar literally is an axe...
  • Rob Kersey of Psychostick is quite the fan of this, to the point that usage of it is the first thing that comes out of his mouth when the actual music starts.
    In a crowd, with no escape.
    That's when I feel my privates wake.
    Got to find some privacy.
    Or they will see ME SCRATCHING ME!!!!!

    They're itching, I gotta scratch 'em!
    My balls are a ball of fire!
    They're itching, I gotta scratch 'em!
    My balls are A BALL OF FIRE!!!!!!!!!

    Leaves me bitching.
    Leaves me bih–
  • In "Good Morning, Captain" by Slint, singer Brian McMahan screamed so hard during the final lines, he threw up after recording the song. The entire album Spiderland is a build up for this moment. How would you imagine the word 'paingasm' to sound? It's that.
  • Soap&Skin's first album Lovetune for Vacuum was a rough affair, so "Spiracle" seemed like one of the calmest songs on the album. Until she stops the second chorus to let out a bloodcurdling scream.
  • Janet Varney engages in a bout of this in the middle of the Hard n' Phirm number "Naturally Selected" (scroll down to the third music file to listen).
  • Iced Earth's first singer Gene Adam, most notably on their titular song Iced Earth, with his elongated yell of "The desolate onnnnnnnnnnnne", which reduces many fans into hysterics. It's said that he was fired from the band because he refused to take singing seriously.
  • An unusual one from Kelis with her debut single "Caught Out There". It's an R&B song with a jarring example during the chorus. She even lampshades this in her later single "Bossy" ("first girl to scream on a track").
  • Kanye West does one at the end of "I Am a God"; Hip Hop's most unusual example since the aforementioned Kelis. Fans have likened his shriek to Flanders.
  • Anberlin has a few on their earlier albums, Never Take Friendship Personal in particular. "The Feel Good Drag" and the Title Track both have one. There are a couple subtle ones on "Dismantle. Repair." and "Someone, Anyone" as well.
  • The version of Ballroom Blitz which Tia Carrere sings in Wayne's World features some impressive wailing.
  • GO-ZEN's aptly titled Impaled Proceed makes use of this trope in the last quarter of the song.
  • Dr Steel's discography offers the listener a variety of singing styles, from buttery operatic baritone to steampunk-styled rapping. In his song "Lament for a Toy Factory" he lets out some savage, inarticulate metal screaming as the narrator burns down/blows up the toy factory who fired him.
  • Bassment Jaxx's "Red Alert" has vocalist Blue James do a rather unexpected shriek during the breakdown.
  • The Black Angels' "Phosphene Dream" includes a number of shrieks mixed in with the otherwise spacey psychedelic singing.
  • Twenty One Pilots, when Tyler's not rapping or singing, gives off a couple of these. See "Car Radio" and "The Run and Go".
  • Alt-Rockers Alien Ant Farm, while tackling Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal. Comes in full volume with a very loud, high-pitched scream that almost comes off like it was put there on purpose just to make listeners jump.
  • When Synth Pop group Future Islands performed their song "Seasons (Waiting On You)" on The Late Show, vocalist Samuel Herring went into a brief, unexpected near-death metal growl towards the end of the song. This is not present in the studio recording, where he sticks to his usual low, throaty crooning throughout.
  • Yoko Ono's One-Woman Wail, which can be heard on Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins and side 1 of Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions.
  • Green Day has at least two, one after the second chorus of "She" and a sudden shriek of "SHIT!" before an instrumental break of "Hitchin' a Ride".
  • Bo Burnham's "World On Fire" during his show what., which is just him mashing a keyboard for a couple seconds and screaming in pain.
  • Saosin, at least with Translating the Name and some early demos. The band ceased this after Anthony Green left, even when performing older songs with his replacement Cove Reber. Anthony has also toned it down when he moved onto Circa Survive.
  • Long by Chevelle has a few screams, including a surprising one halfway through and a 12 second long one at the end.
  • The chorus of The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin is simply "Aaa-aaaaaa-aaa-aaa!" twice.
  • Vitas, a Ukranian-born pop singer, does this in at least one of his songs.
  • Black Metal band Fleurety has one of the most extreme examples of this trope with their debut EP A Darker Shade of Evil. The vocals are so inhumanly high-pitched that the singer blew out his voice performing them. Have a listen for your self here, if you dare.
  • The Juliana Theory's "French Kiss-Off" ends in Brett Detar letting out a scream that lasts for nearly a full minute. He attempted this once while touring sick and actually passed out, fell offstage still screaming, until a monitor fell on his head and busted him open. The event made his page on The Other Wiki
  • While generally a mellow and melancholic Indie Rock band, The National have a few of these, particularly live when Matt Berninger really gets into it on songs like "Squalor Victoria" and "England". Studio-wise, there's "Slipping Husband" where the line "Dear, we better get a drink in you before you start to bore us" is repeated as a whisper then explodes into a cathartic scream. The choruses of "Abel" and "Mr. November" can be interpreted as merely yelling depending on point of view, but may unsettle the vibe for some listeners. And there's the end of "Available" which could qualify as [1].
  • While not present in the studio version, the live version of Kids With Guns by Gorillaz on the Live at The Manchester Opera House album features Neneh Cherry talking so quietly during the build-up that you can barely understand what she's saying, only to break out into a long blood-chilling screech just after that.
  • The relatively obscure song "Objective Termination" by the equally obscure thrash metal band Militia features several phenomenally high-pitched screams by vocalist Mike Soliz, including an absolutely devastating, inhuman wail at 2:30.
  • Eminem's "Kim" isn't as much rapped as it is screamed, considering all of his lines are directed at his then-wife Kim Scott, the namesake of the song. It tops off at the very end, where he slits Kim's throat and ultimately lets out a big final "BLEEEEEEED!" that's enough to haunt your dreams for days on end.