Deaf Sparrow’s Top Metal Vocalists You Never Heard Of


We know you all love them, we know you all need them, articles about something other than single albums.  Well here you are, a team effort, even.  There are certainly hundreds of vocalists we could have chosen from, but of course we had to whittle down to a pathetic, seeping stump so all of you can read it via Twitter.  It was incredibly difficult to decide who we felt deserved the title thus given to all below, but you should understand it did, in fact, take us time, thought, and maybe a little blood.  We tried to give a nice diversity in terms of genre, but regardless of what type of music these guys carry (sorry no girls today), they all have the distinction of tearing the crap out of anyone else in the field.


Laurent “Pokemonslaughter” Chaulet from Mourning Dawn

When Silencer released their only album, Death – Pierce Me, depressive black metal was born along with the vocal approach of despairing whines and distant screams. Many consider Nattramn’s performance to be one of the best if not the best due to the truly agonizing and frightening nature of the entire album. Some speculate this is due to the rumors that surround Nattramn and his mental instability, involving him being institutionalized and committing a murder/suicide by driving an axe into a five-year-old girl’s skull and demanding the arriving police kill him. Now, the point of this explanation is that depressive black metal demands agony since that’s the entire emotional context of the genre, and Nattramn certainly fit the bill but there’s one more vocalist able to capture this level of agony without the insanity and whining and that’s Laurent motherfuckin’ “Pokemonslaughter” Chaulet. This guy has the best chops for delivering a depressive performance in black metal. While the bands he’s had a part in are not depressive black metal, the atmosphere is certainly black with a lyrical focus on dark themes, such as suicide, and some works of Poe, so you can be sure he certainly competes with Nattramn. Currently, he’s the vocalist for Mourning Dawn, who recently released Les Sacrifies and man oh man, if it was sent in, insta 5/5. Laurent is somehow able to capture pain and desperation without being whiny or ruining his throat, which is something black metal artists should aspire for. He’s even able to maintain this quality of performance live cementing his place in our kvlt, frosty hearts.


Tim Yatras from Germ

timIn the world of black metal you have roars and you have screams, but only rarely do you have something capable of shattering the shards of your mind with its unusual sound, but it’s so rare anymore that when it appears you better latch the Hell on.  Variety is required in this current era of musical hodge-podge, post-whatever nonsense, gazing at every type of shoe imaginable.  Black metal vocals are usually age-old tricks that wore out their flavor decades ago.  Germ, however, is different.  The genius at the mic, Tim Yatras, knows exactly what he’s doing, and he’s seasoned.  Among all the poseurs who opened their mouth for the first time yesterday, this guy has a resume that reads like a PhD candidate for the next dean of black metal.  He’s had his hand in practically everything including the legendary duo Austere.  Ignoring his skills with various instruments, Yatras excels in one critical area many black metal bands take for granted, vocals.  In Austere, he covered the traditional approach but developed the sound by extending his wails, reaching deep into his throat to pull out incredible death rattles and moans.  But, more importantly, he also understands how to resonate instead of simply screaming, which is something few black metal vocalists understand.  Tim’s work has all the features one would require out of the best you’ve never heard of, but his latest raven-like wails in Germ are the most goosebump-summoning calls you’re ever going to hear.  Case in point is his incredible carry in the song we have linked directly below.  God damn, is he even human?  Yatras proves easily that variety and creation are the spice of true life, and black metal, that too.  Keep in mind this is only a small sample of what he even does on Grief.


Tyler Satterlee from Blessed Curse

If there’s one thing we’re getting sick of around here, it’s retro thrash.  Yes, sometimes a comeback is welcome, if the bands involved do something a little different instead of the same old, but for some reason with the whole thrash revival, everyone seems content with wearing the same studs and playing the same chords, practically doing everything by a book moldered beyond recognition.  Same old becomes same ancient.  Why?  Who knows, we’re not interested in philosophical discussions of sameness or elderliness around here, at least not at the moment, we’re talking about awesome vocalists of the “never heard of” variety.  So, imagine our surprise when we received a modern thrash revival album that blew us away.  Sure, the music is awesome, but the biggest reason it deserved our lovely attention was the singing.  Blessed Curse is still sadly relatively unknown in the metal world, but that needs to change, like now, not tomorrow.  Should have changed yesterday, because the riffs these guys pull out, not to mention solos, are sick.  But even sicker are the vocals of Tyler Satterlee, and he proves how important good vocals are to the best thrash.  See, if you do the same old thing, you need to have that certain something.  Perhaps it’s something inborn, perhaps something learned, perhaps something summoned through much sacrificings of the unborn, whatever it is, Satterlee has it.  Unlike the majority of thrash vocalists who are satisfied with the typical delivery, Tyler has this sickening rasp to his voice, and when he layers lows with throat the result is the reality the cover of their debut S/T symbolically presents.  Dude is a werewolf tearing away its last layer of human skin, for real.


Christian Larsson or “Draug” from Svart

If you consistently follow us over at Deaf Sparrow, you’ll know we love the Swedish black metal band Shining and their vocalist, Kvarforth.  In fact, we love him so much we’d love to put that man on here but we expect you to have a good set of metal balls on ye’ and to already know who the fuck Shining is.  The catch here is that Christian Larsson, or ‘Draug,’ is not only the current bassist/background vocals for Shining but also has a long list of past and current bands including Svart, Apati, Gloson, Sanctum Sanguis, and Livsnekad (now Acacia).  While none of these bands other than Shining are on your radar (CAUSE THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT VOCALISTS YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF), this does not retract in any way the skill that Larsson displays.  The best evidence for such talent is his solo project, Svart, and it’s masterpiece, Forlorad.  It’s three songs over 114 fuckin minutes with the last track, “III,” at nearly 40.  It’s mostly an instrumental album but the vocals he does display are some of the most brutal, rib-shearing lows to grace these shitty $50 computer speakers.  His highs are even more impressive because they manage to maintain sounding gravelly and tortured at the same time.  On Svart’s last effort, Det Personliga Helvetets Spiral, he continues to pull out the same qualities as Forlorad but even tossed in some great snarls and good mid-level screams.  Oh woe, it is truly wounding that Larsson ended Svart because he was doing great things with black metal.  Hopefully he plays some big roles in Shining in the near future.


Marius Strand from The Fall of Every Season

fallWhen Marius Strand’s band The Fall of Every Season released From Below, my life (Cole) changed.  After hearing the self-titled song, music became forever different and this album became more medicinal than any other album I still own today and Marius Strand is the cause of this.  While I could go on and expand into why it is such a great album instrumentally, the point of this article is to point out important vocalists and Strand deserves this attention.  The band’s an atmospheric death/doom outfit that’s dominated by his fantastic growls, which are irrevocably dark and deep and his highs are perfectly piercing.  While a lot of metal vocalists have great range, Strand’s cleans are incredibly soothing and perfectly fit the atmosphere.  Two of the five songs on From Below are acoustic and beautiful is the proper way to describe the feeling.  He somehow manages to invoke the feelings of both melancholy and hope in his voice.  From Below is a conceptual album detailing a son’s relationship with his father and it is by no means a good relationship. This makes for a great template for Strand to disrespect his surroundings and change us into S A D B O Y S (not actually the group but these references must be out of my control).  Editor’s note: Youtube video featured below has been intentionally limited in size.


Written by Cole Olson and Stanley Stepanic