Wednesday, November 25, 2020


7 More Incredible Black Rock Singers.

March 21, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) We’ve gone into Black guitarists to check out. I’m big on vocals, so let’s look at five Black lead singers, their bands, and what songs standout from them.

Byron Davis (God Forbid)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of metalcore but God Forbid is one of those bands—along with Trivium—that was never too far from its thrash roots. It just took some doing for God Forbid to fully embrace that side. The whole time, Byron Davis was busy belting out some of his best singing.

Davis is heavily associated with metalcore but I would love to hear him continuing with fast-paced thrash metal or even doom metal. His voice has so many possibilities and there’s no telling where Byron Davis would fit in. Honestly, this list is made up of singers with incredible voices who were largely associated with a particular genre.

In Byron’s case, he honestly could do anything. Some of it might sound perfect and some will sound odd but this singer should be experimenting with his vocals.

Standout Songs: Into the Wasteland, Empire of the Gun, Earthsblood

Militia Vox (Judas Priestess)

The lead singer for the only all-female Judas Priest tribute band, Militia Vox has a voice and image that came heavy metal ready. She’s metal tested and approved. Her performances of Judas Priest’s classic hits are very strong and she’s only just started performing her own music.

In contrast to the hard rockin’ approach of Priest’s 80s stuff, Vox’s solo music is darker but still very heavy. She’s only going to get better with time and more albums under her belt. Honestly, who knows what she’ll do in her solo career.

Standout Songs: The Hellion/Electric Eye, Living After Midnight, Covet

Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Devil You Know)

As I mentioned above, metalcore has never been my flavor but I can appreciate great musicians. Since vocals are my jam, I can often hear singers in metalcore and end up thinking “They would be dope in almost any other genre.” Howard Jones is one of those singers.

While his time with Killswitch Engage saw some strong albums and a few weak ones, there was always a feeling that the band could do better. I also had the feeling that Jones could be dope at just heavy metal. Not speed metal, death metal, or anything. Straight up Black Death-style old school heavy metal. Jones has a powerful voice that just needs the right place in metal.

Speaking of Black Death…

Standout Songs: Life to Lifeless, Just Barely Breathing

Siki Spacek (Black Death, Black Death Resurrected)

Black Death has popped up so many times in these lists. It’s amazing since the band only released one album in 1984. The significance of the album is that it staked a marker in heavy metal that let other Black metalheads know “We’re here and we’re making music.”

Now it’s somewhat unfortunate that they get the nickname “The First Black Heavy Metal Band” instead of a “metal band” or even at minimum “a Black heavy metal band.” That would at least point out that there are ton of these bands. However, being first or at least in the first wave of Black heavy metal bands is a big honor.

Siki Spacek’s vocals on this release are strong. He does high pitched shrieks, wails, and even an aggressive growl that oozes with snarl. Spacek is yet another artist I wonder about. Where could he have gone after Black Death ended. Would he thrive? In late 80s metal, I think he would’ve done well in a faster band.

He made his return to music a few years back—or never really left—and has revived the Black Death name. That means there’s recent songs that show how his voice developed over the years and there’s gruff and old age on them but that old age gives the vocals a different sound. Almost like they have more impact.

Standout Songs: The Scream of the Iron Messiah, Here Comes the Wrecking Crew, Live By the Sword Die By the Sword

Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust)

Sevendust is a band that had its hottest period during the time when I was in high school. On its own, Sevendust was a strong band which was as good or better than other bands that popped big during the late 90s and early 00s. What really put them over was the vocal performance of Lajon Witherspoon.

In cooperation with Clint Lowery, Sevendust had this unique dual-vocal assault. Other bands weren’t really going that route yet. You still had lead and backup vocals but to have a band which rocked more than one lead vocalist? That was different for the time even though it had been done before.

Witherspoon’s vocals takes cues from blues, soul, and rock. His singing would be at place in either but is really important in defining Sevendust’s sound. Where else could I see Lajon Witherspoon? Singing the kind of metal our next entry sings.

Standout Songs: Crucified, Live Again, Broken Down

Bernie K. (Sound Barrier)

The lead singer of Sound Barrier is probably my favorite on the list. His band came in mixing blues, funk, and metal while delivering an album that was pure metal. It’s his performance on Speed of Light that totally won me over. He can deliver a melodic but aggressive tone in some songs and really hit those notes on others.

Along with Katon and Byron’s voices, Bernie K is someone I would love to hear in another genre. His voice would definitely be a hit for power metal today. What would’ve been great is to see how Bernie K and Sound Barrier develop into the 1990s.

Standout Songs: Speed of Light, What Price of Glory

Jada Pinkett Smith (Wicked Wisdom)

Wicked Wisdom’s popularity came at a time when metal music was getting another wind. A major reason that the band got noticed was because Jada Pinkett Smith was the lead singer of the band. So, how was she? Even though Wicked Wisdom doesn’t play what I get down with, Jada is a great lead singer.

Her voice is great for nu-metal although the genre was on the decline at the time Wicked Wisdom was formed. I’d love to hear her in something faster and aggressive or something slow and plodding. Her voice has potential for other genres.

Standout Songs: Cruel Intentions, Set Me Free

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.


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