Loki's Top Five Metal Vocalists

Fuck you all! In the lead up to our next release I have been listening to a lot of bands, old favourites and new alike, and been thinking about how they have influenced the Hybrid Nightmares vocal and lyrical style.

So, for the benefit of the disciples of the Obelisk, I have compressed over 3 trillion years of cosmic space vocal power into a top five. Quite conveniently, they are all located on Earth (part of the reason you are all still alive, your welcome). So without consuming any more of your precious moments, here are my top five metal vocalists:

Number 5 - Hoest (Taake)

Easily the most piercing and hellish voice on this list, Hoest has an amazing way of making his voice sound completely hollow, like the soul of what he is saying is long since dead and is struggling to escape his lungs. He is completely raw with it, intense and powerful, and has a great way of layering and composing his vocals to give them this immense, intimidating presence. I only started listening to Taake in the last few years, but it has changed the way I impose emotion into my screams, trying to communicate an idea or feeling through noise without using words.

Favourite line - no idea, don't know runes for shit

Number 4 - ICS Vortex (Borknagar, ICS Vortex, ex Dimmu Borgir)

The only primarily clean singer on this list, ICS Vortex makes the cut as both a lyricist and vocalist. The way he assembles words into sentences, and his ability to rhyme are incredible. Vortex lyrics stick in your mind long after you hear them. He is a born story teller, crafting images in your mind with his singing. If there were ever a metal equivalent of a bard or skald it would be ICS Vortex. It is my belief that he has the most easily distinguished clean singing voice in melodic, black, and extreme metal, effortlessly contributing to several lineups across his career.

Favourite line - Blue shades on white announcing the rite taking place here to tonight, fading to black then explode in attack hits the blazing northern lights.

Number 3 - Satyr (Satyricon)

In a genre where things are often over described, dragged out or done to death, Satyr is a beam of black light through the fog. He is the most succinct black metal vocalist alive. No bullshit, no fluffing out lyrics, he just straight up communicates his message. Sometimes listening to Satyr feels like being talked down to by an older brother, as if he is saying, "listen to me, I'll make it simple, this is for your own good". Satyricon is a band I think have never released a bad album, and Satyr is a part of that legacy, which he builds with no compromise and no remorse. The way he communicates disdain and hate in particular is incredible, as if he is trying to turn his words into blades of knowledge and jam them into your ears.

Favourite line - I hate you to a level of intoxication

Number 2 - Abbath (Immortal)

That is Sir Abbath to everyone ever. If black metal had a monarchy, Abbath would be knighted and sit on the throne of Blashrykh forever. A good deal of the tongue in cheek and self satire of Hybrid Nightmares is rooted in Abbath's stage presence. His influence is both easily seen and heard at any of our shows, and on all our releases. A master of all things grim and necro, His Majesty Abbath reigns supreme over all but one...

Favourite line - Who battled strong to win these wars, one by one, we took your lives

Number 1 - Shagrath (Dimmu Borgir)

By far the biggest single influence on me as a vocalist, Shagrath is a fantastic performer, vocalist and part-lyricist. One of the earliest bands I can remember listening to fanatically in my youth, I had the pleasure of seeing them 7 times in 2011, and meeting them aswell, and would do it all again. Shagrath commands a crowd, an experience similar to watching a sorcerer/warlord command an army of loyal soldiers. He dominates completely on stage. He is truly a king amongst slaves in my mind.

Favourite line - Left are the kings of the carnival creation carrying on the echoes of the fallen

Post your favourite vocalists below in the comments! What bands/musicians/singers have influenced you the most?

NB: I know these guys have been in other bands than the ones mentioned, but these are the ones that have influenced me.