Five Rock & Metal Singers With Vocal Ranges You Could Only Dream Of

Across all genres, including pop, rock, metal and more, there are vocalists who stretch their ranges far beyond any average singer, with ranges spanning four, five and even six genres. Back in 2014, VVN announced that Mike Patton of Faith No More, Fantomas, Tomahawk and plenty more has the biggest vocal range in contemporary music, beating out Axl Rose and Mariah Carey for top honours with an enormous six-octave range.

We did a little extra research into metal and rock vocalists and thought we’d share a few more with you – including a couple that might come as a big surprise.

Corey Taylor – 5 octaves

The Slipknot front-man isn’t known for his clean singing, but he can sure hit the high notes when he needs to. On the band’s third record Vol 3. Subliminal Verses’, the band experimented with some more melodic concepts, and Taylor’s other band Stone Sour, as well as his solo work, allows him to show off his vocal chops. For the real sceptics among us, just listen to this recording of one of Taylor’s earliest bands.

David Lee-Roth: 5 octaves

The man your mum would have done unspeakable things to is more than just good looks and head-high kicks. The Van Halen front-man also possesses some freakish vocal chops, seen most clearly on the band’s sensational 1978 debut. Just listen to some of the notes Roth hits in the chorus of this 40-year-old shred-fest.

Devin Townsend – 3 octaves

Legendary Strapping Young Lad frontman and soloist Devin Townsend posses a surprisingly wide range, considering the aggressive nature of the music he produces. Aside from some gnarly screams, the singer can also bust out some dazzlingly high wails. Check the video below for the full package of his ability.

Roger Waters – 4 octaves

Prog just isn’t prog without some ridiculously high male vocals in and around the rich, low notes. Thankfully, Pink Floyd had the one and only Roger Waters at their disposal. With a handy four octaves up his sleeve, the band were given the flexibility to explore the limits of vocal possibility. If you listen to all 90 minutes of The Wall you can hear moments where the expansive range really shows.

Despite all these worthy contenders, will anyone really be able to top this?

Absolutely not. Not only is Mike Patton an incredibly wide-ranged singer in terms of octaves, but styles, too; from screeching his way through the experimental noise of Fantomas and Mr Bungle, to some of rock’s best singalongs with Faith No More, all the way to his 1950s Italian pop in Mondo Cane (performed with a 40-piece orchestra), his R&B and hip-hop-inspired Peeping Tom and most recently, his indie outfit Nevermen, a collab with TV on the Radio‘s Tunde Adebimpe and Doseone , there is absolutely no doubt that Patton is one of the greatest, and certainly most diverse singers of our time.

Image: Consequence of Sound