Top 10 Metro Phoenix Metal Vocalists

Halo Isgod of Element A440.
Halo Isgod of Element A440.
SicPicPhotography

When it comes to categorizing what makes a great heavy metal vocalist, there are a lot of factors that come into play. First off, there's the matter of subgenres. Mainstream, Swedish, death, black, melodic -- as much as I hate to pay attention to this bottomless list, it's a fact of the industry.

And then there are the standards by which you measure a great metal singer, typically including power, vocal range and variation in tone. It also matters if you like clean melodic singers (Rob Halford of Judas Priest, Dave Draiman of Disturbed), or harsh growlers (Amon Amarth's Johann Hegg, At The Gates' Tomas Lindburg).

Arizona has spawned some fantastic heavy metal bands and vocalists, and there are others who just like to call the desert home. It's crazy being able to walk around the local grocery store and run into such figures as Alice Cooper or Max Cavalera from Soulfly. There's a little church in Scottsdale where you can find Megadeth's Dave Ellefson preaching on occasion. Maynard James Keenan of Tool churns out music at his vineyard estate outside of Sedona.

If you frequent popular local tattoo franchise Club Tattoo, you might find yourself face-to-face with Linkin Park's Chester Bennington. And to see Sacred Reich's Wiley Arnett, just head to his restaurant Rehab Burger off one of the busiest streets in the Valley to try a famous peanut butter and jelly bacon burger. There are also Valley favorites like Eyes Set to Kill and Digital Summer, currently on tour with Volbeat and Trivium.

It's easy to list off some of the best metal bands on the local scene; in fact, there are dozens of great local metal shows every month. But what's more difficult is to narrow down the best vocalists -- and that's what we decided to do, handpicking some of the best heavy metal singers in the Valley of the Sun (listed in no particular order) based off of style, strength, passion and following.

Rich Fourmy of Pelvic Meatloaf

Pelvic Meatloaf one of the first bands in Phoenix to throw a CD release party back in 1995, and Fourmy's lyrical content deals with age-old industry problems, personal battles and respect. C'mon; everyone loves themselves some recollection to the days of '80s thrash. Fourmy's vocals are articulate, smoldering and yet gravelly in that ol' lovely Anselmo style.

Prophet (Patrick Flannery) of St. Madness

Flannery may be one of the most beloved, well-known figures in the entire local music scene, not just in heavy metal. St. Madness won a Los Angeles Music Award last year, and have been bringing their theatrical, face-painting stage show for the last few decades. Yes; his vocals are adrenaline-driven and Southern outlaw-esque with clear lyrics that speak to the soul--but he's beat cancer in the public eye and is one of the most positive people you'll ever meet, and that spills over into his lyrics and stage presence.


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