Look, it happens. We all have to face it at some point. We get old and we just can't do the same things we did in our youth. Take professional athletes, for instance. It's a big deal when an NFL player is able to keep going into his late thirties, just by the very nature of the game.
Metal is about the same, and it's not helping anyone how demanding the genre has become. It's easy enough for bands like Slayer to keep going, while admittedly toning down their movement onstage. These death-metal guys, though? Not a chance.
Especially the vocalists. It's sad to say, but at a certain point the throat can no longer take that kind of abuse. Then what do you do? Some retire, some try to go on with adjustments, and some just suck it up onstage every night. Here we'll see examples of all three as we examine what happens when the scream goes.
JON MESS Band: Dance Gavin Dance Lost It?: Oh yeah. Fate: Keeps sucking it up out there. As you can tell from the video above, Mess has adapted his screaming to be slightly higher-pitched than it used to be. Unfortunately, it sounds awful this way over his old material.
CEDRIC BIXLER-ZAVALA Band: At the Drive-In Lost It?: Yep. Fate: Quit screaming altogether. Hey, I'm not gonna knock the At the Drive-In reunion; I loved every second of it. But some of their material sounds awfully strange with Cedric singing instead of screaming.
FRANKIE PALMIERI Band: Emmure Lost It?: Oh god, yes. Fate: Goes out there, sucks and does not care. I love Emmure for a lot of reasons, and chief among them is Palmeri's "fuck you" attitude. By the same token, it's still cringeworthy to hear him butcher old tracks, whether he cares what anybody thinks or not.
List continues on the next page.
CHINO MORENO Band: Deftones Lost It?: Mmm-hmm. Fate: Does it as little as he can get away with. Nevertheless, he was asked to do it for this guest appearance with the Dillinger Escape Plan last year, and produced something incredible for all the wrong reasons. What the fuck is that sound supposed to be: a high scream or a mating call to any birds in the area?
GEORGE PETTIT Band: Alexisonfire Lost It?: Sigh. Yes. Fate: Quit with dignity. As much as I love Alexisonfire and their farewell tour was bittersweet, it showed something unfortunate to me: Pettit's voice is an absolute wreck. Word on the street since the band hung it up is that he's become a firefighter, a job he can still physically do. Good for him.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism