Classically-Trained Vocalist Critiques Five Heavy Metal Singers

Claudia Friedlander, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, is a professional vocal instructor in New York City. She was recently asked to evaluate the talents of five famous heavy metal singers. Here's what she had to say about the late Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath:

Like the first singer, he performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath. You can tell how healthy his delivery is from the way he moves in and out of brief moments of harmony with the other tracks with impeccable intonation.


Friedlander also evaluated Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, King Diamond of Mercyful Fate, Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osborne. She thinks especially highly of Halford.

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I know a number of classical musicians who not only admire many heavy metal musicians, but spend a lot of their time listening to this type of music. It's interesting that those who know music admire these musicians whereas those who don't are quick to criticize.
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Someone like Whitney Houston trashed her voice pretty quickly with drugs. Amazing that some of the metal singers lasted so long, after touring and such. Singers like Steve Perry, too. So, many of these metal/rock vocalists must have been less into drugs and drink than their image made us think they were. :)

They put rap and hip hop singers to SHAME, that's for sure. They give you something to hold on to when the track is over - some melody, some emotion.

Not a big fan of the screeching bits but will listen to some metal anytime over rap and hiphop. Anytime.
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