The artform of guttural and harsh vocals is one of the most underrated disciplines in heavy music. Often dismissed as “Cookie Monster vocals,” the growling technique is difficult to master, but these 10 guys have emerged to become our picks as the all-time best.

Many of these vocalists are known as the architects for their individual styles. When it comes to brutal death metal, Suffocation’s Frank Mullen is often credited with blueprinting the death growl. Countless bands have modeled their singing off Mullen’s style of monstrous annunciation, but Frank still remains the benchmark.

Some of our picks defined their vocal identities by honing a wild and bombastic approach. Obituary’s John Tardy often sounds like a drunken caveman when he performs, but Tardy’s style fits perfectly with the death metal act’s music and has never been replicated. You’ll also find Napalm Death’s Barney Greenway on this list. The sheer volume of his unhinged wails simply can not be matched, nor can his tone, which sounds like Barney’s got a distortion plugin connected to his vocal cords.

Of course, we had to include Death’s iconic frontman Chuck Schuldiner. Not only was the man vicious and cut-throat on the mic, but he was abnormally easy to understand without having to compromise his vocal attack.

Check out our picks for the 10 Greatest Guttural + Harsh Vocalists in Metal!

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