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Metal Scream

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Seen: adorable red panda. Not seen: throat-blistering scream.


Let's say you've got a line in your song that you really want to emphasize. Really emphasize. Or maybe it needs to be "edgier" and "gritty". What's a musician to do?

Cue the Metal Scream.

This can come in a few different flavors:

  1. A hoarse, bellowing mid-register sort of roar, as exemplified by Phil Anselmo, Tom Araya, Burton C. Bell, James Hetfield, Jens Kidman, Trevor Phipps, Vincent Bennett, Thomas Gabriel Fischer, Chuck Billy, Guy Kozowyk, Alex Erian, Joe Badolato, Barney Greenway, Piotr Wiwczarek, Kirk Windstein, Max Cavalera, Ivan Moody, Robb Flynn, Randy Blythe, CJ McMahon, Brian Fair, Jamey Jasta, Alex Teyen, Joe Duplantier, Dave Matrise, Enrico Di Lorenzo, Winston McCall, Matthew Heafy, and Corey Taylor.
  2. An animal-like, extremely low-pitched growl (it even warrants an article on The Other Wiki), as exemplified by George Fisher, Frank Mullen, Phil Bozeman, Nergal, Johan Hegg, Ross Dolan, Ruben Rosas, John Gallagher, Lord Worm, Matti Way, Ryo Kinoshita, Travis Ryan, Elliot Desgagnes, Sven de Caluwe, Adam Warren, Jason Keyser, Ben Duerr, Dave Simonich, Karl Sanders, Steve Tucker, Antti Boman, Joe Ptacek, Aleksandr Shikolai, Helmuth Lehner, Jordan James, The Curator, Mallika Sundaramurthy, and Glen Benton.
  3. A phlegmy, almost gagging sort of scream, of mid to high pitch, as exemplified by Mikael Stanne, Dani Filth, Attila Csihar, Dave Hunt, Ihsahn, Mike Williams, Austin Carlile, Peter Tagtgren, Jacob Bannon, Trevor Strnad, Seth Putnam, Tomas Lindberg, Shagrath, Jonny Davy, Eddie Hermida, Alexi Laiho, Will Ramos, Dickie Allen, Marcus Bischoff, John Tardy, Chuck Schuldiner, Benjamin Nominet, Jon Chang, James Malone, and Jeff Walker.
  4. A very loud, high-register "clean" singing style, done either as a single scream or short burst, or to construct an entire melody (it even warrants an article on The Other Wiki), as exemplified by Rob Halford, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate, Eric Adams, King Diamond, Tony Kakko, Joakim Broden, David Draiman, Joey Belladonna, Mark Osegueda, Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, Hansi Kursch, Messiah Marcolin, Russ Anderson, Warrel Dane, Russell Allen, James Rivera, John Kevill, Roger Taylor, Ian Gillan, David Byron, Ozzy Osbourne and Jason McMaster.

This is found most often in Heavy Metal songs, especially with Type 4. Type 3 is almost exclusively associated with Black Metal and Sludge due to its raw and offensive sound, but can also show up in Metalcore or Death Metal, especially Melodic Death Metal and Deathcore. Types 1 and 2 are becoming increasingly common in some alternative rock movements. Types 1, 2, and 3 are often referred to collectively as Harsh Vocals.

Often a part of a Big Rock Ending. Compare Careful with That Axe, where the singer unexpectedly screams with the intention of surprising the audience. The Metal Scream is used for emphasis or to develop a heavier tone for the song; it's only Nightmare Fuel for those not into the genres likely to use it. When combined with melodic or "clean" vocals, it's Soprano and Gravel.

Compare Punctuated! For! Emphasis! for the nonmusical equivalent. Or see here for the non-human variation. Not to be confused with the scream of metal machinery when something goes wrong.

This trope is often, if not regularly combined with Big Word Shout.


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  • The first low-pitched, death metal scream...was recorded in 1966, 20 odd years before Death Metal existed, by The Who in "Boris the Spider". In this case, though, it was John Entwistle doing the screaming. There's also Roger Daltrey's wonderful, climactic scream in "Won't Get Fooled Again", which effectively sums up this trope in the page quote.
  • Jim Morrison of The Doors provided some of the earliest examples in "Break On Through (To the Other Side)", "Light My Fire", and "The End", all off of their first album.
  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's "Fire"
  • Billy Idol's "White Wedding". "WAAAAAAAAAOOOOOOWWWW...It's a nice day to...STTAAAAAAART AGAAAAAAAAAAIIIN..."
  • Relient K uses this trope in "I So Hate Consequences", "Which To Bury, Us or the Hatchet?", and "Life After Death and Taxes" (YOU ALREADY FORGAVE ME!!!!). It's backing vocals, so it's hard to notice, but it's still surprising due to their genre.
    • Interesting to note that these backing were provided by the lead singer of Christian death metal band The Showdown.
  • Drowning Pool's iconic "Bodies" features an excellent example of this trope, familiar to anyone who's been a regular viewer or uploader of YouTube since as early as 2008:note 
    Let the bodies hit the floor
    Let the bodies hit the floor
    Let the bodies hit the floor
    Let the bodies hit the - [two cymbal taps]
  • The Smashing Pumpkins:
    • "X.Y.U." (from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness):
    • From "Bullet with Butterfly Wings":
      Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a...CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGEE!!!!!!!
  • Queen:
    • "I Want It All", in the a capella section of the song right at the beginning. Dragged out to about a full minute in the last section.
    • "Fight From The Inside", sung by drummer Roger Taylor, gets pretty close to this trope.
  • Aerosmith:
    • "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" has one towards the end, possibly ruining the mood of the song.
    • Steven Tyler does it often. One of the most famous is "Dream On" (see Live-Action TV, below). There's also the ending of "Amazing", the chorus of "Walk This Way" on the Run-DMC version, and at least thrice (start, before the solo and coda) in "Falling In Love (Is Hard on the Knees)".
    • "Angel", "Back in the Saddle", "Rats in the Cellar", "Same Old Song and Dance", "Toys in the Attic", "Crazy", "Draw the Line"... hell, let's just say Aerosmith in general.
  • "Renegade" by Styx, with a "YEEEEAAAAHHHHH" near the end.
  • Sammy Hagar pulls one off at the end of "Avenida Revolucion", lasting nearly a full 10 seconds.
  • Whitesnake does this a bit, with "Still of the Night" being the most notable one. A scream before the softer "bridge", a scream going out of it, and a couple here and there for good measure. Also notable are the falsetto notes partway through "Here I Go Again", which sound kind of like David Coverdale inhaled a balloon full of helium just before he tackled it.
  • John Lennon's scream at the beginning of "Revolution" (the fast, hard rock/heavy metal version) and Paul McCartney in "Helter Skelter" (da-na-na-na-na-na-na-nuh).
    • John's screams were more primal, but Paul was an expert at two particular screams: the "Jet Harris yell" (first heard in "Cry for a Shadow") and the Little Richard screams (mostly in his Little Richard covers).
    • Another great John Lennon example is "Well Well Well" off the Plastic Ono Band album, which features Lennon screaming the word "well" at the top of his lungs for about two minutes; the whole album is notable due to it having been made after John's primal scream therapy.
  • Kurt Cobain was an expert in going from "regular singing" to "shouting your lungs off". Great examples are the last chorus of "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," and of course "Smells Like Teen Spirit," where he goes from singing the verses in an easy, mellow tone, to nearly incomprehensible shouting during the chorus.
    • A more impressive feat from Nevermind is the song, "Lounge Act," a song that sees Kurt pushing it even further by basically screaming for almost the entire final verse, a full minute plus — and the hidden track "Endless, Nameless" which has him screaming complete jibberish.
    • Kurt takes it even farther and torturedly shrieks inhumanely on almost every track on In Utero, from "Scentless Apprentice" to"Milk It" and of course, "Tourettes".
    • Likewise, Cobain screams on every. single. song. aside from "About a Girl" on the band's debut album Bleach.
  • Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song".
    • And "Whole Lotta Love". And "Rock and Roll". And "Dazed and Confused". And...
  • Dave Grohl, often. "Best of You" has probably one or two sentences that aren't yelled. He has stated that he chews gum during concerts because of all the screaming, and that he's afraid someday he'll sound like Lemmy.
    • The song "Monkey Wrench" is a pretty impressive example. The last verse is screamed quite vigorously.
    • Also at the start of "Bridge Burning": "THESE ARE MY FAMOUS LAST WOOOOORDS!!!"
    • "White Limo," "Weenie Beenie" and "The Color and the Shape" are downright screamed the whole way through.
  • Two examples from Guns N' Roses are Axl's "police siren" wail at the start of "Welcome to the Jungle", and near the end of "November Rain" before the final bridge begins.
    • Their cover of "Ain't It Fun" ends with one.
    • "There Was a Time" has a window-shattering scream around the 5-minute mark.
    • The totally-not-ending of Paradise City is kicked off with one of these.
  • Breaking Benjamin does this a lot, typically type 1 or 2. Sugarcoat has pseudo-death growls.
  • Used in Green Day's song "She", and very awesome it is too.
  • Another chick-at-the-start example: "I'm So Sick" by Flyleaf. Anyone who starts up the CD, then turns the volume up to hear the first line, is trying to reconstruct their ears after the second. For bonus points, get someone who's never heard this song before to try to sing it in Rock Band.
    • Lacey Sturm does this again at the end of "Cassie" (I...will...say...YEEEEEEEEESSSSS!)
    • "Sorrow" has her screaming "Joy will come!" while in "I'm Sorry" she screams "I'M! DONE! HEALING!"
    • Lacey also screams in the background on many songs on Flyleaf's second album, including "In the Dark" and "The Kind".
    • Flyleaf's non-album track "Justice and Mercy" has screaming in the chorus.
    • Her appearance on We As Human's "TAKE THE BULLETS AWAAAAAYYYY!!!" Justin Cordle's scream sounds like nothing in comparison.
  • Linkin Park pre-Minutes to Midnight comes to mind as a version 1 and 3 (depending on the song; "Faint" is one of the worst offenders).
    • "Given Up" from Minutes to Midnight has a 17-second long scream.
    • "Across the Line" has an 11-second Type-1 scream.
    • "Blackout" from A Thousand Suns also has it in the choruses.
    • "War" from The Hunting Party has the band doing a complete 180 into traditional Hardcore Punk territory, building up to the inevitable chorus; which is simply Chester brutally screaming the title of the track.
  • Rage Against the Machine — The "WRYYYYYY" from "Freedom" and the "YEAH!" from "Know Your Enemy"...and at least one line from pretty much every Rage song ever.
  • Songs to Wear Pants To's "Lyrics To A Song" parodies the first type, with individual words getting agonizingly screamed in the middle of an otherwise gently sung melodramatic ballad. The person submitting the lyrics did want certain underlined words "stressed out" after all...
  • The very first note of the very first track of Wolfmother's self-titled album is a savage Metal Scream. Way to wake up the listener.
  • Red put Type 1 screams into many of their heavier songs. Standouts include "Feed the Machine," "Watch You Crawl," "Death of Me," and "Fight Inside."
  • "Instruments of Destruction" by N. R. G. (the Decepticon Theme Music Power-Up in The Transformers: The Movie) has the last chorus screamed, followed by two long, drawn-out scream sequences.
  • Melodic alternative band Manchester Orchestra has a 12-second Metal Scream about 1:45 into "I've Got Friends"
  • "THE UNRESTRAAAAAINED UUUUUUUUSE OOOOOF EXCEEEEEESSIVE FOOOOOOOOOOOOOORCE" - the only distinguishable lyrics in KMFDM's aptly named 'The Unrestrained Use of Excessive Force'.
  • Hot Hot Heat is a confusing, quasi-example because of Steve Bays' unique voice. Even when he is singing things straight, it often sounds near yelling. It isn't quite a scream, but it definitely isn't a normal vocal approach. Critics have tried to pin it down to bellowing, yelping, pleading... It isn't working.
  • Mike Patton lets out an epic one in Mr. Bungle's Carry Stress In The Jaw.
    • He pulls out a few good ones in Faith No More too. "Smaller and Smaller" contains a particularly good one.
    • As does "Jizzlobber":
    • For downright insanity, "Litany IV" (his a cappella piece on a John Zorn album) should definitely be mentioned. Just listen.
    • 1st Hon. Mention to the one on "Digging the Grave". Volume turndown recommended to prevent loudspeaker damage.
  • Done by Alter Bridge on occasion, especially type 2. For example, there's type 2 scream in "Metalingus" and a type 1 one in "Save Me".
  • "Baby I Don't Care" by Transvision Vamp had one of these right at the start of the song. By a chick. Cue power chords and Awesome Music.
  • Around the World by Red Hot Chili Peppers has one of these in the intro and another partway through the song.
  • Adam Gontier of Three Days Grace gets a pretty lengthy Type-1 scream at the end of "Riot".
  • The Locust. Practically every song is a collection of three guys screaming the lyrics in a high pitched, glass shattering bray.
  • Janis Joplin's version of "Piece of My Heart." WOOOOOOW!
    • Also from Janis: "CRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY....Baby! Cry baby! Cry baby!..."
  • On most Escape the Fate songs, there is at least one type of screaming in either the background, or the breakdown. Several of their songs are entirely composed of differently pitched screams (e.g. The Guillotine).
  • Loads of Jack Off Jill songs contain the first and second types, particularly on Sexless Demons and Scars.
  • Hole's early records feature a lot of screaming. Notable examples include 'Rock Star', 'Burn Black', 'I Think That I Would Die' ("FUCK! YOOOOOU!") and 'Drown Soda'.
  • Everything Else has one right after the solo of "What Can't Be Seen".
  • GG Allin in his later years was either 1 or 2, depending on the album, but either way he'd milk it for all its worth.
  • "Holy Touch" by Foxy Shazam has a scream near the end so high-pitched that it's hard to not mistake it for a guitar squealing.
  • Moneen, otherwise an Alternative Rock band influenced by the Post-Hardcore scene, manages to pull off a blood-curling Type 3 in the vein of Black Metal on their Alexisonfire cover "Sharks In Danger".
  • Geoff Rickly is no stranger to barely comprehensible screams.
  • Multiple songs by The Pixies, but most notably "Tame" off of Doolittle, in which Black Francis Title Drops the name of the song with a powerful, high-pitched scream not once, not twice, not three times, but nineteen times, with only verses and bridge sections to break it up. It must be heard to be believed.
    Got hips like Cinderella. Must be havin' a good shame.
    Talkin' sweet about nothin'. Cookie, I THINK YOU'RE TAAAAAAME!
  • Limp Bizkit does this in a few songs, especially on their debut album.
  • Filter starts "So I Quit" with a #3 type "Motherfucker!!". (Only moderate screamery follows.) If you listen close, you can hear Richard Patrick coughing afterwards.
  • The Kaiser Chiefs do this a few times on their first album (notably on singles "I Predict a Riot", "Every Day I Love You Less and Less", and "Oh My God") in the form of a "wooaaaaahh!" ascending into a Type 3 Metal Scream.
  • Papa Roach in many songs, most notably in the last part of Broken Home. "BROKEN HOOOOOOMMMME! BROKEN HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMME!!!!!
  • The Protomen lead singer, Raul Panther III, uses these quite often when singing as Mega Man, especially "Hope rides...ALOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!" at the height of "The Will of One", and almost constantly in the subsequent song "Vengeance".
  • The Fratellis' "Chelsea Dagger" has an "AAAUUUGHHH!" right after the opening riff (NHL fans probably know it followed by a loud horn).
  • Die Krupps' "The Last Flood" contains a Type 1 right after a brief spoken word section. Many songs from the album Paradise Now also have one. An example of Type 2 can be found in their cover of AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top".
  • Pete Loeffler of Chevelle gets a big one at the beginning of "Well Enough Alone".
    • More alternative-style screams can be found consistently throughout the band's debut album Point #1.
  • Finnish Alternative Rock group Poets of the Fall dabbles in a more metal sound from time to time via Genre Roulette.
  • While they're the Trope Namer for Careful with That Axe, Pink Floyd's "Careful with That Axe, Eugene" arguably isn't a straight example of that trope since the song's vocals consist, apart from the whispered title and a brief use of scatting at the end, of nothing but screams. For about one to four straight minutes, depending on the version. Most of the other times the band used screams they did fall closer to Careful with That Axe, though.
  • Geddy Lee of Rush was very good at this in his prime.
    • "Square, for, BATTLE!" and "OOOOH YEAH!" from "By-Tor And The Snow Dog"
    • "LISTEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!" from "The Fountain Of Lamneth"
    • "No matter what your dreams might, BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" from "Something For Nothing"
    • "OOOOH! PARADIIIIIIIIIIIIISE!" from the end of "Xanadu"
    • "Closer to the HEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART! YEAH!" from "Closer to the Heart" as well as even more in the outro.
    • "Cygnus X-1" might be the pinnacle of this. "Until the black hole, GAINS CON-TROL!" "Like a spiral, SEA UNENDING!", and, of course, "Every nerve is, TORN APAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART!" The last one is the highest note in his career, a B-flat below Soprano C.
    • In general, the majority of Rush's '70s music gets very close to screaming. Prime examples include "Bastille Day", "2112" and "Cygnus X-1".
  • Madonna, of all musicians, pulls one at the end of "Ray of Light":
    And I feeeeeelAAAAAAAAH!
  • Jimmy Somerville, formerly of Bronski Beat, does falsetto screams, e.g. "Tell Me WHYYYYYYYYYY!".
  • Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel", another falsetto example, has "Like you SHOUUUUUUUUULD!", which was sampled in Reel 2 Real's "I Like To Move It".
  • Cheap Trick uses Type 1 in "Gonna Raise Hell" and Type 4 in many of their songs, especially on their first album.
  • JAM Project uses this a LOT, but one example stands out:
  • Soundgarden often uses Type 4 to demonstrate how powerful Chris Cornell's voice was. Songs such as "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Pretty Noose" are downright screamed all the way through.
    I'm feeling.... outshined, OUTSHINED, OUTSHINED!
  • A visual example on the cover art of Northward's self-titled debut, depicting Floor Jansen and Jørn Viggo Lofstad face to face and screaming at each other.
  • Towards the end of BTS' rap rock track "Dionysus" (where the song shifts into double time), Jin pulls a Type 4.
  • King Crimson: Both "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Cat Food" feature Greg Lake shouting through a distortion filter, emphasizing the aggressive tone of the former and the sardonic tone of the latter.

  • Manowar is BUILT on this trope. Eric Adams does this about twenty times on every album they've released and even pulls off a 30-second scream on the track Thor (The Powerhead).
    • And another 30-odd second long one at the end of "Black Wind Fire and Steel".
    • And he does this live too
  • The screaming is one of the trademarks of Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, to the point where an entire section of 'Child in Time' is comprised of screaming.
    • The epic 'AAAAAAAAAH NO NO NO NO!' in Bloodsucker.
    • Or the one that starts off 'Highway Star'.
  • Pantera. Particularly "Cowboys from Hell." After the solo, he gives what can best be described as a raptor shriek.
    • "The Great Southern Trendkill" starts off with a particularly epic one.
      • That one, along with some other screams in "War Nerve" and "Suicide Note Pt. 2" were done by Anal Cunt vocalist Seth Putnam. The outrageously offensive and aggressive Putnam was brought on not only because the band wanted to prove that they weren't going soft (like some other metal figures of the time period) but also because Phil's voice couldn't produce the screams they wanted. Think on that, if you will.
    • Or any other band with Phil Anselmo on vocals. The man gargles glass and sandpaper, and we love him for it.
  • Stabbing Westward's "When I'm Dead" opens with a 10-second-long scream.
  • Towards the end of Skindread's "Choices and Decisions" the singer screams the word "mad" for a ridiculously long time.
  • This is one of the hallmarks of Iron Maiden.
    • As a matter of fact Bruce Dickinson was so fond of this trope that it earned him the nickname "Air Raid Siren" in his earlier years.
    • The scream in "The Number of the Beast" is so godlike that even Dickinson himself has never been able to reproduce it. The producer forced Dickinson to sing the first four lines over and over again, and his frustration at this finally boiled over into the legendary shriek.
    • But also before Dickinson's first tenure as a singer, his predecessor Paul Di'Anno adorned the entire intro to the song "Killers" with assorted metal screams.
  • Norweigan singer Pelle K uses a solid type 4 along with some axes. Since Power Metal is his forte, it's highly expected. Check his awesomeness in this video.
  • Female-fronted Death metal band Arch-Enemy pull this off well in most songs. Type 1 is used to devastating effect in the song "Dark Insanity" in which she growls and screams wordlessly in the middle of the song. Type 3 is used in every song. Also applied to their original, male vocalist.
    • Johan Liiva's main technique is Type 1. Angela Gossow used to do type 3 but after her Zen of Screaming training, has since stuck to a more grunting Type 1 with Type 3 as embellishment. Alissa White-Gluz, upon joining the band, is used to a mid-range Type 3 but is proficient in all four.
  • Eyehategod. Mike Williams' "curdled milk" screams are often unintelligible and literally sound inhuman. The fact he hasn't blown out his vocal cords and still sounds the way he did in the '80s and '90s really says something.
  • System of a Down do this in multiple songs, notably in "Prison Song."
  • Slipknot uses Types 1 and 2 frequently, with the occasional Type 3 ("Get This" being a prime example).
  • Judas Priest very often have this, due to Rob Halford's astounding vocal range, but one example that every fan of the band (and every Rock Band player) will recognize is "Painkiller". Particularly the long, high-pitched scream during the second guitar solo.
    • "Dissident Aggressor" has a great one at the beginning, a semitone below soprano C (i.e Really high), sung completely cleanly.
    • The one from "Ram It Down" also deserves a mention. It is the very first thing heard, before any music starts up, and it lasts a full seven seconds.
    • Halford's vocals on "Painkiller" are awesome, but when Death covered the song on "The Sound of Perseverance", Chuck Schuldiner took the screams to extreme levels.
  • On Megadeth's first album, Dave Mustaine takes this trope to near-Narmful levels.
  • "Angel of Death" by Slayer of course. If that scream doesn't get you pumped for the song, you just don't like metal.
    • There's also a similar scream in 'Seven Faces'
    • Other notable screams are "Necrophobic", "Aggressive Perfector", "Chemical Warfare", "Postmortem", "War Ensemble", and "Epidemic".
    • "World Painted Blood" has a point where it goes from normal to type 3 in a rising, blood-curdling moment of rage.
  • Schmier from Destruction has used the Metal Scream in some occasions, check here, 4:02 of the Antichrist re-recorded version of Curse the Gods, it almost sounds like a banshee howl, and here, 0:44 of Devolution, from the album with the same name, this one sounds a lot like the scream of Slayer´s Angel of Death.
  • As a death metal band, Cryptopsy is certainly type 2 but "Open Face Surgery" features a scream that goes on for half a minute. "Benedictine Convulsions" also features a 30-second-long growl. Less notably, "Adeste Infidelis" contained a 20-second-long scream.
  • Sepultura's "Refuse/Resist" has a 12-second-long scream. Not to mention the ever so subtle "FUCK SHIT UP!" in the background when the main riff kicks in...
  • James Hetfield of Metallica is also an expert. "I was born for DYIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!"
  • Abnormality's songs consist of nothing but a Type 2 "manly" scream. Even crazier when you consider that the singer is a woman.
  • Cannibal Corpse has many. A lot of these overlap with Careful with That Axe, but the best one is in their song "They Deserve to Die." On the last chorus, George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher follows up the last "They desere to DIIIE!" with a 15-second long "DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!"
  • Swedish Symphonic Metal band Therion went so far, on the album 'Lemuria' to bring in a guest vocalist JUST to do a metal scream on the song 'Abraxas'. That was literally his only involvement in the entire album.
  • Disturbed with "Enough", likely the closest thing to a truly harsh death growl the band will ever achieve, after a career of flirtations with the technique ("Just Stop", "Violence Fetish", "Conflict").
    Haven't they suffered enough / haven't we suffered enough
    Haven't they suffered enough / The damage more than I can BEAAAAAAAR!!!
  • tool is well known for the Type 1 version. In the song "Jerk-Off" from the EP Opiate, there's one near the end. Keenan stretches "GOLD" (at about the 6:59 mark of "The Grudge") for a full 25 seconds. There's also the "GOOD-BYE!!" in "Eulogy", which lasts a good 13 seconds. In "Third Eye", Keenan suddenly breaks into a series of four screams after the first two verses. ("IN! OUT! IN! OUT!!!", with the last "OUT" lasting 18 seconds.) Later in the song, he suddenly screams "PRYING OPEN MY THIRD EYE!!!" four times while the guitar, bass, and drums hit the same eight notes. At the end, he screams the same thing only he does this a whopping twelve times in a row!
    • Keenan actually blew out his voice for a while recording the vocals for "Ticks and Leeches" because of all the screaming. Because of this, they don't play the studio version in concerts.
  • Pick a song off one of the first two My Chemical Romance albums. Go ahead. And actually, pick any song they usually play live, for that matter...
    • Hang 'Em High has examples of possibly THREE metal-screams—Gerard starts the intro with a long, howling Type 1 before the singing even starts, scream-sings furiously as in Type 4, and ends the song with either a second Type 1 or a Type 3 scream. Including more from Keith Morris (of Black Flag and Circle Jerks).
  • KURENAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!! Special note also goes to hide's backing vocal scream for Sadistic Desire.
  • Seems to be quite prevalent in female-fronted metal bands - Maria Brink of In This Moment uses the Metal Scream frequently. "Next Life" (You're danger-OOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUSSSS!) and "Daddy's Falling Angel" are two good examples)
  • Eyes Set To Kill - "Young Blood Spills Tonight" - at first it sounds like the vocalist could be selling pop records, but then you get to the chorus - "YOUUUUNG!!! BLOOOOOOOOOOD!!! SPIIIIILLS!!! TONIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!!!!!"
    • When you realise it's a love song, you start to wonder why exactly they want to make it sound as painful as indicated.
  • The Agonist has had its two singers both undergo a bit of Vocal Evolution as time went by:
    • Alissa White-Gluz used to emulate Angela Gossow's Type 1 grunts in Once Only Imagined before learning to master all four types in Lullabies for the Dormant Mind and display them within a single song ("Eulogies" probably has her best example). Come Prisoners and beyond, she stuck to a more consistent mid-range Type 3 with all other types as embellishment.
    • Vicky Psarakis used to do low Type 1 grunts as well before joining the band. Eye of Providence saw her resort to a head-register Type 1 with moments of Type 3 and 4. She had a grimier technique in Five, alternating among Types 1, 3, and 4, the last of which has become a bit more frequent. As of this endeavor, she seems to have honed her Type 3.
  • Otep is a rare example for nu-metal, being capable of delivering death metal style vocals.
  • Razor's "The Marshall Arts," the opening track for their Violent Restitution album, begins with a 30-second scream from Stace McLaren, who is known for his lengthy screeches.
  • Ryan Kirby of Fit For A King pulls a twenty-four second scream at the end of the song Backbreaker.
    • Dave Stephens of We Came as Romans successfully repeats it in the split-EP version of the song.
  • Tony Kakko, singer from Sonata Arctica, absolutely loves high-pitched screams.
  • The overblown wail of "WOOOAAAAAHHH!!" from Lost Horizon's "Highlander" inspired the Face Metlter fad on
    • That famous wail is actually the least over-the-top of the screams in that song. The absolutely mind-blowing D6 shriek in the middle blows it out of the water.
  • John Cyriis, singer of Los Angeles-based speed metal outfit Agent Steel, has a majestic "air raid siren", as shown in the chorus of "Agents of Steel".
  • The closing tracks of Meshuggah's Catch 33, particularly "Dehumanization" and "Sum".
  • All That Remains uses this in the solid majority of their songs.
  • The Black Dahlia Murder has a nearly constant Metal Scream effect in some/most of their work, notably in Everything Went Black.
  • Altaria opens their song "Unicorn" with an amazing thirteen-second scream complete with backup screams that join in about halfway through.
  • The vocals to every Lamb of God song consist of virtually nothing but Type 3. On their first record, 1998's Burn The Priest, it's invoked that even with a lyric sheet it's all but impossible to follow Randy's voice.
    • This is only true for the first two records. Everything after has used a Type 1 scream, that is quite a lot easier to follow, especially since Randy makes sure to over enunciate every word.
  • Nitro was mostly about high-pitched screams and godlike guitar work. The most insane scream is found in "Machine gun Eddie", at 0:50 and lasts 30 seconds!.
  • Battlelore's "Voice of the Fallen" features a 23.5-second scream.
  • One comes to mind in particular: "Entombment of a Machine" brought to you by Job for a Cowboy. Also, anything by Bring Me the Horizon. One that sticks out is "Pray for Plagues".
  • Steve Bridges of Witchfynde had more of a metal shriek, which he used in "Give 'em Hell" and "Getting Heavy" on their first album.
    • Their second singer, Luther Beltz, can do the metal shriek as well; see the beginning "Wall of Death" from Lords of Sin. That one is also a good example of Careful with That Axe.
  • This once was a staple of Avenged Sevenfold's repertoire. Their first two albums Sounding the Seventh Trumpet and Waking the Fallen had a healthy dose of screamed vocals, and even after M. Shadows largely stopped screaming in later albums, songs like "Bat Country" and "Beast and the Harlot" both have ungodly epic examples at the very beginning − not to mention God Hates Us. With time, M. Shadows' screams in concerts have shifted from type 3 to something closer to type 1 and 2 (there were some rumors that he stopped screaming to preserve his vocal cords after a throat surgery, but he later denied that − he simply prefers singing).
  • Opeth uses type 2. A few songs are type 3, mostly towards the start of their career when they had more Black Metal influence.
  • In Devin Townsend's Planet Smasher, Devy is pretty much playing with growls most of the song, effortlessly "growl-speaking".
  • Deftones are quite well known for Type 2, with frontman Chino Moreno swapping between intense screams and more serene singing on much of the band's catalog, though some songs (like "When Girls Telephone Boys" but more notably "Hexagram") are definitely Type 3.
  • Almost every variety can be found in, well, almost every song by Cradle of Filth. This is acceptable due to Dani Filth's exceptional vocal range and the sheer awesomeness of his shoes. Notable uses are in the album Thornography, particularly the songs Byronic Man and Libertina Grimm.
    • It doesn't do him justice to refer to them as merely varieties. Pitch and volume are both his playthings, to do with as he so wishes. Dani Filth can do all the screams. All of them.
  • Nile uses type 2, although for Karl Sanders, this is less screaming, and more... Inhumanly low and nearly indecipherable rumblings that merely happen to come from his mouth.
  • May I direct your attention to Bloodlines by Dethklok. There are a couple Metal Screams in there, but the one near the end of the guitar solo is probably the metal-er of the two.
  • Devil Driver's Dez Fafara does vicious Type 2 and Type 3 screams on pretty much all their songs.
  • Doro Pesch, most famously of Warlock, is quite adept at the Metal Scream.
  • Dream Evil actually shout METALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!! on the song The Book of Heavy Metal
  • Sybreed's vocalist liked to alternate between types 2 and 3, along with belting out the occasional axe.
  • Anacrusisis love this one, and use it in the majority of their songs. Singer Kenn Nardi even managed to work it in a few times in his much mellower side project, Cruel April.
  • The 17-second growl at the beginning of "Silence Calls the Storm" by Quo Vadis.
  • The scream (just after the spoken part) in Nanowar's - no, that's not a typo, they're a parody band - "Metal-la-la-la" is probably the funniest use of Metal Scream.
  • Kitananx does this quite a bit in Meatheads, Meatheads Everywhere.
  • Heaven Shall Burn provides a pretty awesome one at the start of their song Endzeit.
  • Stratovarius. Was more common in the early days when Timo Tolkki was the singer, but Timo Kotipelto does a few sometimes. Best examples of Tolkki's work would be "Dreamspace", which has TWO near the end - "No sign of light anywhere, I am going INSAAAAAAANE!" and then "Now I am leaving this life, no hope left, I want to DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!" which is a really high note held for about 20 seconds. Another one comes from "Thin Ice", from the same album - no, that high-pitched noise you hear isn't made by violins, that's actually Tolkki screaming. Kotipelto usually does it live - in the live at Athens version of "Speed of Light" (which was included on the live album Live Visions of Europe), he screams "YEEEEAH!" just after the first chorus. As for album songs, there's an absolutely EPIC scream of "ALRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!" at the end of "I'm Still Alive", complete with the music going absolutely crazy and sounds of a crowd cheering (even though it's not a live recording). Might also qualify as a Last Note Nightmare.
  • For the sake of countless eardrums, it might be a good thing that hardly anyone has heard of the underground albums Norman "Ski" Kierznowski has sung on. The most common description of his style is any variation of "Rob Halford on steroids." And yes, he was a potential candidate to replace him.
  • Grindcore is solely built on Type 3.
  • Steel Panther, as a parody band of '80s Hair Metal and Heavy Metal, makes frequent (ab)use of this trope.
  • Iced Earth, especially their songs with Matt Barlow or Tim Owens. Here's Matt doing a type 1 and Tim doing a type 2. Both of them have since been replaced by Into Eternity's Stu Block, and if Into Eternity's material is any indication, they're not through with this.
  • Ill Nino has used every type at least once, using type 1 and 3 most frequently.
  • Overkill's new song, "Wish You Were Dead." About 20 seconds in. This is also used a lot throughout their discography.
  • DragonForce does this on occasion. Notable is the beginning of "Holding On".
  • Dir en grey's Kyo has done pretty much every form of singing in rock and metal, but is very well-known for his soaring-high Type 3 screams, which many cover vocalists find nigh-impossible to replicate.
    • There exists a compilation of all hisscreams from the early releases up until UROBOROS. The succeeding releases, DUM SPIRO SPERO and The Unraveling feature more intense screams.
  • David Defeis of Virgin Steele is well renowned for all sorts of shrieks, especially earlier when his voice was much more raw-sounding. His high falsetto shrieks are powerfully resonant, but the biggest gut-buster he must have done comes from his midrange, at the climax of "The Spirit of Steele." That one must have hurt.
  • "Let Me Out" by Peter Tägtgren's main side project, Pain: 19 seconds of pure YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.
  • Thanks to their almost defining vocals, technical thrash band Vektor have numerous examples that seem to be a mix of 3 and 4.
  • Just after the 4-minute mark in the second track, "Gekiai no Yobigoe ga Dekiai no Kyousei wo Kurau"note , of Imperial Circus Dead Decadence's second album, Kuruoshiku Saita Seisan na Mukuro wa Kanade, Itooshiku Saita Shoujo wa Seisen no Kotoba wo Utau.note , the vocalist, Rib:y(uhki), holds a full-on shriek for nearly 10 whole seconds.
  • Near the end of "A Nightmare to Remember" by Dream Theater, there's a short section of growling from their former drummer Mike Portnoy, which is rounded off with a moderate growl/roar.
  • Aaaaa-HA-ha-ha-ha! If you are 50 or so, you now already recognized The Sweet "Action". (BTW quoted, so to say, by German band "Die Ärzte" in "Schrei nach Liebe". A literal Shout-Out.)
    • You can also file the intro of "Hell Raiser" and (to a less extent) "Ballroom Blitz" (just keeping to Greatest Hits).
  • Brutal Death Metal band Skinless use a significant amount of type 3, sometimes to back their type 2's, sometimes on their own. Best exemplified on "The Optimist".
  • Death Angel's Mark Osegueda is a master of this (Type 4, specifically) on their first album, The Ultra-Violence, where he was just 18. Examples include at 1:32 in "Evil Priest", 1:34 here in "Voracious Souls", at 0:53, 0:56, 1:42, 1:58 and 2:00 in "Kill As One", a particularly insane example at 1:31 in "Mistress of Pain", at 2:36 in "Final Death", and then a huge final one at 5:20 in the same song, combined with a Big Rock Ending. Some Type 1s are scattered throughout. This technique would be employed much more mildly and sparingly on their later releases.
  • Rammstein mostly avoids this - not surprising given that Till Lindemann, the lead singer, actually uses a very deep, melodic singing voice which metal screams would probably do a good job of straining. However, he does bust out the scream from time to time, most notably in Bückstabü and Wiener Blut.
  • Jon Oliva does quite a few screams on the Savatage Album Hall of the Mountain King, the most notable being from the title track.
  • Ronnie James Dio belts out an impressive type 4 for The Mob Rules during Heaven and Hell's live concert at Radio City Music Hall at 0:12 in.
  • The Dillinger Escape Plan uses Harsh Vocals for most of their material, but "One of Us Is the Killer" limits the screaming to the repeats of "SURVIVE!" before the final choruses and the final line of the last chorus.
  • Alice in Chains starts their second album, Dirt, with one of these, and several more are present throughout the album (including a guest scream by Slayer's Tom Araya).
    • The third track from Dirt, "Rain When I Die", has some epic choruses.
    • Their debut album Facelift - generally considered vocalist Staley's prime - is great with this; "Love, Hate, Love" (in the chorus and outro) is MADE of this trope, and "Confusion"'s pre-chorus has a great example.
  • Geordie "Black Cat" begins with a scream.
  • This isn't as common in female-fronted metal bands as in male-fronted bands, but there are certainly a fair share of examples. Arch Enemy and The Agonist have already been mentioned above; Astarte, Derkéta, Mythic, Darkestrah (until 2014), Gallhammer, and Sigh (since 2010 as part of a Vocal Tag Team) provide additional examples, and use this trope almost exclusively. Some of these probably wouldn't be discernible as female vocals if you didn't know what to listen for. Julie Christmas is also very good at this, although she doesn't use it exclusively. Liv Jagrell of Sister Sin has a scream-heavy singing style. In the Black Lotus album alone, nearly half the songs include at least one metal scream, typically either a type two or a type four, though sometimes she lets loose with a type one as well.
  • Geoff Tate of Queensr˙che used this in his prime.
    • The EPIC opening scream to "Queen of the Reich" as well as the choruses. "It belongs, to queen of the REIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH!"
    • The opening bars of "Nightrider", followed by an Evil Laugh.
    • The climactic high G from "Roads to Madness"
    • "We are FUTUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!" from "Chemical Youth" (We Are Rebellion)
    • Similar to Rush, most songs in the '80s get pretty close to screaming throughout. Apart from the aforementioned examples, there's also "En Force", "Before The Storm", "London", "Gonna Get Close to You", "Revolution Calling", "Suite Sister Mary" and "Eyes of a Stranger".
  • Brittney Slayes of power metal band Unleash the Archers delivers these.
    • The song "Matriarch" opens with this
    • "General of The Dark Army"
    • "Tonight We Ride"
    • "Awakening"
  • Schatten Aus Der Alexander by Bethlehem is almost entirely comprised of metal screams.
  • Feuershwanz' cover of the Manowar song "Warriors Of The World United", featuring Thomas Winkler (aka [[Music/Gloryhammer Angus Mc Fife]]), Melissa Bonny and Saltatio Mortis; features no less than four different variations of the scream within one song. Saltatio frontman Alea starts things off with a Harsh Vocals yell at the end of the second verse, before Melissa joins in with a One-Woman Wail during the final section. Feuershwanz singer Ben Metzmer, not to be outdone, erupts into a falsetto scream soon after. Finally, Angus McFife one-ups him with his own falsetto scream right after.
  • In 2021, Papa Roach released Kill the Noise, which gives light to that ever-persistent demon in our heads, and the rage it causes, until the song reaches its climax with a cathartic SHUT! UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP!
  • Being a Trad Metal band, Ram sometimes engages in this. "Forced Entry" offers the title scream at the songs climax at a high pitch, this right after delivering the previous line in a gravely voice: "This God of destruction will raze with perfection, its breaking in breaching the walls, the immaculate impaler, the new Metal savior, FORCED ENTRYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!"

  • Eminem nods to rock in his style by occasionally using multitracked screams. Apparently he first had his mind opened to the possibility of doing this by Dr. Dre for "Role Model", where his screaming the phrase "don't you wanna grow up to be just like me?" gets progressively more extreme and distorted as the song continues. He also uses it in "Kim" - "bleeeeeeeed!! Bitch!!! Bleeeeeed!!".
  • The Beastie Boys are already screaming all the way through in "Sabotage", but it ultimately leads to a bloodcurling "WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY" (used to great effect in Star Trek Beyond).

Non-music examples:

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aggretsuko has Retsuko belt out metal screams a few times per episode, usually as she vents about her crappy job and her Bad Boss.
    • The original shorts make her screams unintelligible, translated by lyrical captions. The Netflix version has her words screamed clear as day, with lyrical captions remaining just in case.
  • Macross 7: Basara does this, most notably when singing "Holy Lonely Night" and "Dynamite Explosion". His singing voice was provided by Yoshiki Fukuyama, later of JAM Project fame.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Kanna's Daily Life: While at Yana's recording studio and trying out death metal for the first time, Kanna gives a scream so epic that it blasts Yana and Saikawa off their feet.
    Yana: She has such a soul-shaking scream. It's just like a dragon's roar!

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Infamous Gokey Screech from the latest season of American Idol.
    • He was trying to reproduce the competent Metal Scream from Aerosmith's version of "Dream On" (Slash told him that scream was very important). Steven Tyler pulled the scream off okay - hey, even Michael Johns did back in season 7. But Gokey didn't quite get it...
  • Season 10 gives us James Durbin, who likes Heavy Metal, and can pull these off very well. Pretty much every song, in fact.

  • In Monster Bash, one appears in both the song that plays during the "Monster Mosh Pit" sequence and Dracula's end-game Match Sequence (you'll know it when you hear it).

    Pro Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 3.5 Dungeons & Dragons, the Bard spells Shout and Greater Shout can be interpreted as this.

  • From Jesus Christ Superstar:
    • Many performers in the role of Jesus Christ do this in the song 'Gethsemane', where he screams to God "WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY SHOULD I DIE?!"
    • Also, in "The Temple", Jesus screams "MYYYYYYYYYYYYYY HOUSE SHOULD BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER!"

    Video Games 
  • Brütal Legend does it (along with every other Heavy Metal trope ever):
    • When the Double Fine Productions' logo appears on start-up, it is accompanied by a randomly selected Metal Scream by one of the guest stars of the game (yes, including Rob Halford).
    • Notably, a Metal Scream Dying Moment of Awesome created the Age of Metal. It's that kind of game.
    • General Lionwhyte has the high/pitched version as one of his attacks. His VA is Rob Halford, so it makes sense.
  • Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening: Immediately after Dante acquires Nevan as a literal electric guitar, he channels The Power of Rock, does a metal scream, then follows it up by screaming the lyrics of "Taste The Blood" as its music plays during his performance.
    "The flinch in your eyes calls your bluff! Feel free to die when you've had enough!"
    "Useless cause is breaking your back! Your life will end when you attack!"
    "Make your move, make your stand, make the win, like you can!"
    "See the war, see me rule, see the mirror, you'll see a fool!"
  • Devil May Cry 5 has one during the chorus of "Bury the Light", Vergil's battle theme.
    Born in flames, I have been blessed!
    My family crest is a DEMON OF DEATH!
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance:
    • RULES OF NATURE!!! (throws Metal Gear RAY a thousand feet)
    • Given the nature of the game's soundtrack and the habit of firing up the song lyrics at clutch moments, this is hardly the only example. "I'm My Own Master Now" and "The Stains of Time" are good examples. In fact, let's just run down the list, shall we?
    • The Only Thing I Know For Real, Jetstream Sam's encounter theme:
    • I'm My Own Master Now, Blade Wolf's battle theme and Leitmotif:
    • A more subdued example with A Stranger I Remain, Mistral's theme:
    • You know The Stains of Time, Monsoon's theme, is a metal song when the opening lines are this trope:
    • Surprisingly, no examples from Red Sun, Sundowner's theme, which is odd, considering what a Large Ham Sundowner is.
    • Collective Consciousness, Metal Gear EXCELSUS's battle theme:
    • It Has To Be This Way, Senator Armstrong's battle theme:
    But in the end, IT HAS TO BE THIS WAAAAY!
    • The Hot Wind Blowing, Khamsin's theme from the Bladewolf DLC:
  • Activating Sol's Dragon Install in Guilty Gear Xrd overrides the current theme and replaces it with Ride the Fire, which starts with READY ORRRR!
  • The title music of Quake features a highly distorted scream.
  • Many of the eponymous punk band's music in CharlieMurder use it to start their songs, such as here. The lead singer also pulls one off to activate his magic with.
  • In Kirby Super Star, Kirby has a temporary ability called the Music ability, which gives him the power to let out three Metal Screams, each of which destroys any regular enemy on the screen and chips away a lot of health from the bosses.
  • Billy's leitmotif in F-Zero GX is sung in high-pitched heavy metal-style screams. The lyrics get a fair bit garbled as a result.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner uses this often, given that Strong Bad is a heavy metal fan:
    • The Strong Bad Email "guitar" ends with Strong Bad singing "And the dragon comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!" This was later revisited in "dragon", where Strong Bad ends his "Trogdor" theme song with "And the Trogdor comes in the NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!"
    • This trope gets more thoroughly discussed in "death metal", where Strong Bad contrasts the types of screaming used in hair metal and death metal.
      Strong Bad: Screaming from the top of your lungs is for people with blonde hair. Ya know, words like "tonight", "woman", and the name of any street in LA. [...] For Death Metal, you want to scream from the bowels of your lungs. The bowels!
  • Mr. Weebl's Pixel Shrooms is about a band of fungi singing about how dangerous they are.
    "Some of us are poisonous!
    Some of us are dangerous!
    Some of us will get you high!
    Some of us will make you
    We'll make you DIIIIIIIIIIIE!!"

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Type 1 is parodied by this video: "Death Metal Rooster"
  • Freshy Kanal's Rap Battle!: As if to add the edginess of the characters, the last lines of Jeff the Killer's first verse in "Jeff the Killer vs. Jason Dean" is interspersed with metal screams, complete with a sudden metal riff.
    How about you drop down and make the rumors true?
    Based on your ending, I figured blowing's all you do

    Western Animation 
  • Seeing all the different music styles used for the song of the episode, it comes as no surprise that there's an example to be found in Phineas and Ferb. Contrary to what one might expect, though, it's not Buford but Baljeet who in the episode "Gimnme a Grade" sings a punk song of the same title, deploring the fact that his summer camp "Introduction to Rock" not only doesn't teach about mineralogy — there even isn't a greade afterwards, as everyone just passes.
  • The Bugs Bunny short "What's Opera Doc" features a prototypical (i.e., older than rock and roll) example:
    Elmer Fudd: North winds bwow! South winds bwow! Typhoons! Huwwicanes! Earthquakes! SMOG!!!note 
  • Centaurworld: In the episode "Holes: Part 3" Wammawink's reaction to realizing she hurt Horse is a loud scream combined with another Metal Scream in the background.


The Who

Roger Daltrey's famous screaming in "Won't Get Fooled Again".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / MetalScream

Media sources: