Heavy metal bands are renowned for their strong line-ups, with legendary lead guitarists and energetic drummers. But just like every band it is the lead singer of every heavy metal band that takes the majority of the limelight. There is nothing quite like the human voice, and no two are the same. So when identifying what band is playing on the radio it is largely down to who is singing. The lead singer also represents what the band is all about, the way they dress and sing identifies the genre of the band. In this blog we look at some of the most iconic lead singers that have ever made heavy metal music.
Bruce Dickinson is a highly talented individual, he is a broadcaster and a pilot but is best known for being the lead singer of Iron Maiden. His ability of almost screaming through a whole performance is quite incredible and there has never quite been another Bruce Dickinson in heavy metal. Dickinson’s singing style was almost operatic and his antics on stage are legendary. He first came to prominence with British heavy metal band, Samson in 1979 and then two years later he joined up with Iron Maiden replacing Paul Di’Anno. Dickinson went on to be highly successful with Iron Maiden in Britain and America, as they released a series of gold and platinum albums.
Ronnie James Dio
Ronnie James Dio was an American singer who sang with a number of highly successful bands such as, Dio, Black Sabbath, Elf and Rainbow. Perhaps his most famous gift to heavy metal was his horns gesture and he loved being a throwback with his medieval-type lyrics. During his career, Dio sold nearly fifty million albums for the various bands he played for. His death in 2010 was lamented greatly by heavy metal fans from all over the world including the guitarist Ritchie Blackmore who extolled his singing style.
Rob Halford has been called a heavy metal god in many circles such is his respect in the heavy metal music industry. The English singer was the front-man of trail blazing heavy metal band Judas Priest and had one of the most powerful voices ever in heavy metal. Rob Halford’s unique voice could reach the bottom of a growl to the top end of a banshee shriek. The songs, The Mower and Painkiller demonstrate his incredible range, and he is just as happy singing blues music as heavy metal.
Phil Anselmo used to head up and sang vocals for the immensely popular heavy metal band Pantera, as well as singing for Superjoint Ritual and Down. Anselmo can sing extreme metal, heavy metal, hard rock, death metal and hardcore. He is also a talented lyricist and has written the words for many of the songs he has sang for each different band. He is a consistently good singer and especially in his live performances. We continue our look for the best heavy metal singers of all time in part two of this blog.