Aug 092015



(It is time once again for you to purge yourselves of your metal transgressions. Father Synn is waiting. He does not like to be kept waiting. And as always, he leads by example.)

Today’s sermon is a very special one, my children, as it deals with the thorny topic of… the replacement vocalist.

Yes, indeed, no matter how, or why, a band elects to replace their vocalist there’s always going to be a contingent of fans to whom the “new guy” will be anathema. A selection of listeners who cling to the past, regardless of what the future may hold (despite the fact that a new singer in no way invalidates what has gone before).

So today I choose to celebrate these poor, unloved souls… those whose succession to the throne of metaldom is fraught with controversy and complainers, yet who soldier on with heads (and mics) held high!

Now hear my confession, and take heed!




  1. I strongly believe that Derrick Green is – lyrically, vocally, and personality-wise – a far superior frontman to the ever-complaining, historical revisionist he replaced.
  2. I also hold that Mike DeSalvo was a better, angrier, and more focussed vocalist for Cryptopsy than his predecessor, Lord Worm.
  3. Perhaps most controversial of all… I find far more enjoyment listening to the twin-vocal attack of Roberth Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist of Scar Symmetry, than the impressive, but incredibly artificial, performance of their predecessor Christian Älvestam.
  4. Conversely, as much as I enjoy what René Pedersen does in Mercenary these days, I still long for the return of Mikkel Sandager behind the microphone.
  5. And, finally, despite my abiding love for the band, the best album by The Ocean remains the remaster/reissue/re-recording of Fluxion, largely due to the phenomenal vocal performance of Mike Pilat.



  1. Scar Symmetry’s output post-Älvestam is markedly improved on more than just the vocal front. My only complaint with the Karlsson-Palmqvist combo is they really don’t do any duets ever, which seems like a hugely wasted opportunity. It’s as if they’re both part-time vocalists.

    But anyway. The Unseen Empire and Cybergeddon Decepticon Gobbledygook: The Album are better than the first three SS albums.

    • Ah, a fellow true believer. Welcome my child.

      Although I disagree with you about the latest one – mostly filler, with a couple of killer tracks.

      Plus, Pitch Black Progress is AWESOME.

  2. I am very much enjoying the new Gorgoroth vocalist on the new record. But my favorite of theirs would have to be Gaahl.

    I think that Old Nick turned out to be a perfect fit for Bloodbath. His gritty, filthy growls really mix with the music well.

    Even though he was only on one album, I think In Flames first vocalist was awesome. I always find it interesting to think what their other albums would be like had he remained in the band.

    Steve Tucker over David Vincent all day, every day. Formulas and Gateways are severely underrated albums in my opinion.

  3. Elephant in the room: Corpsegrinder blows Barnes right out of the water. He’s also considerably less of a dick, which helps.

    Gotta disagree with you on the The Ocean – the first material of theirs that I heard was with Loic, and I still can’t separate their signature, best sound from his voice. This is also influenced by my unhealthy infatuation with Pelagial.

    Finally, Dukes Exodus towers over their other stuff.

    • It’s not really an elephant in the room… I’m pretty sure 90% of the non-braindead Metal public would agree with you about Barnes!

  4. Oh, Father, how canst thou not mention thine despise for Manowar?

    1. I strongly believe that, if Sepultura brought in Francis M. Howard instead of Derrick Green and returned to their early style, the true sucessor of Arise, and arguably their best work, would emerge putting them on the forefront again.

    2. Just the thought of Attila Dorn leaving Powerwolf shatters me inside.

    3. I tried listening to Ruins of Beverast but hated how it was mixed.

    4. I was listening to Ecferus’s new output and was also put off by the mix. Could be my headphones though. But I am guessing that I like a somewhat clean-sounding record. (“Clean-Sounding” referring to something like Override of the Overtune or Skull Full of Maggots)

    That’s it for now, fellows. To close with gold key, I recommend to check out Incubus’ “Serpent Temptation” and Besieged’ “Victims Beyond All Help”. Furious Deathrash assault indeed.

  5. 1:Agreed on corpsegrinder.
    2: Agreed on Dukes.
    3: Paul Dianno> Bruce Dickenson
    Sorry, not much for good sins off-hand this week.

    • To clarify, I’m referring to the vocals of Paul and Bruce, not the personalities/ characteristics of these gentlemen.

  6. i wholeheartedly agree with your #1 and #2!!!
    as for my own confessions, i only have one but it’s easily worth five, or ten, or fifty.
    1 – I was a moderator for MetalSucks.

  7. Love how a change in vocalist can cause a split in the fanbase. To me the worst case of this is a non metal band, Marillion (one of my all time fav bands). Fish left the band and was replaced by Steve Hogarth in 89, and the battle in the fanbase still rages on 26 years later

  8. I gave Monolith of Inhumanity, a widely praised album that previously didn’t work much for me, a second listen, and absolutely loved it. I see redemption.

  9. Darkane were the best when Andreas Sydow was in the band.

    • Now, I love Darkane. All their albums. And even supported them earlier this year (Peter Wildoer btw… possibly the nicest man in metal?).

      But… I’ve ALWAYS thought that they’ve been missing something, some sort of x-factor, with all their vocalists. I just can’t quite put my finger on it.

  10. 1. Even though I loved Dolving’s vocal style and lyrics, his returned replacement more than fills his shoes and managed to together deliver The Haunted’s best. Album. Ever.

    2. Even though the quality of their work declined steeply at the end, Angela Gossow was a so much better frontwoman for Arch Enemy than what we have now.

    3. I liked Mnemic before the first lead singer decided to focus on his personal life. Seemed that it was that lead singer in the end that made me like the band; since I have liked nothing they’ve done since he left.

    4. I absolutely despise the fact that Torbjørn “Thebon” Schei left (got kicked out of) both Khonsu as Keep of Kalessin. In the latter they’ve filled his shoes decently, but I am afraid it might really hurt Khonsu’s upcoming second release 🙁

    • 1. Nope.

      2. Nope. Nope.

      3. Which singer are you referring to? Michael Bøgballe (who was on the first two albums)? Or Guillaume Bideau (who was on the last three albums)? Because I also thought that they were a bit shaky with Guillaume at first, but have really grown to appreciate Sons of the System and Mnemesis.

      4. Yeah. Not having him in Khonsu is going to suck. But he is in Hellish Outcast at least, who are AWESOME.

  11. I have to confess (maybe the biggest sin of all):

    I never really was into Iron Maiden … (some songs are ok, but must of the time the music is boring to me).

    There, I said it.

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