One of death metal’s pioneering vocalists has passed away today. Frank “Killjoy” Pucci of Necrophagia died this morning as revealed on the band’s Facebook page. One of the original tape traders of death metal, Killjoy’s legendary vocals on the phenomenal Season of the Dead album (which predated Death’s Scream Bloody Gore by several months) paved the wave for the death/black metal technique and inspired some of the greatest artists in metal.
Guttural vocals are the only true vocal innovation in metal as other singing styles are derived from other genres. The growed vocal technique is a combination of multiple frequencies and is harmonically too rich to be treated in the same way as more tonal styles. Since they are different to all that came before them they must be analyzed differently. And as metal continues to be penetrated by the mainstream it is important to understand what should be expected from a vocalist and what each one brings to the table since as humans we are inclined to judge vocals first.
In the spirit of understanding the wide variety that the technique has to offer, take a look at some of the more interesting and/or well known vocalists that death metal has given us throughout the years: