Thursday, June 17, 2010

Surprising vocalist changes

When a band you like changes vocalist there are plenty of occasions where it is and obvious upgrade (Bruce Dickinson, Joey Belladonna) or downgrade (Sammy Hagar, Brian Johnson). I was thinking about bands I was into and singers I liked then the band changed singers. Before the album came out my feelings were that it wasn't going to work. They could replace this vocalist, but I was wrong. Either they found someone just as good or it was a slight upgrade. Here are my top choices, feel free to add your own.

Metal Church- Mike Howe in for David Wayne
Wayne's voice helped define those first two albums. Howe had a different voice, but just as powerful. It allowed the band to go in slightly different, but just as powerful direction.

Helloween- Andi Deris in for Michael Kiske
I am sure there are some fans who will totally disagree with me on this one. Kiske helped elevate this band and define power metal in it's early days. Deris was a different style, but they worked the music with his voice and the results are som fine albums over the last 16 years.

Dark Angel- Ron Rinehart in for Don Doty
I got into this band with Doty and Darkness Descends is still my favorite, but Rinehart brought a heavier direction to the band.

Exodus- Steve Souza in for Paul Baloff
Bonded by blood is still my favorite album and Baloff delivered a fine performance. Souza brought a more controlled performance and allowed the band to go in directions that they may not have able to go with Baloff.

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Blogger Heff said...

Hell, is Metal Church STILL AROUND ?

I've still got their self titled original album somewhere....

2:17 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Heff-They had broke up before, but then reformed and just broke up about a year and a half ago and are still currently disbanded.

6:54 PM  
Blogger The Klepto said...

This is an interesting thought overall, but I don't feel that bring Brian Johnson into the fold (AC/DC) was really a downgrade. Don't get me wrong, I love the Bon Scott era far more then Johnson's but the way I look at is thus: AC/DC Australia died with Bon Scott, AC/DC World was born with Johnson. With the release of Back In Black (and the handful of decent songs and singles to follow) AC/DC became a world superpower. If you look at it as the formation of a new band that just happens to have the same name, it doesn't seem so bad overall.

6:56 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Klepto-It was a good move commercially so was Hagar for Van Halen for that matter, but as far as putting out good music? No, I don't think so. I know there are plenty of people who prefer Johnson era AC/DC. I don't and I think the band lost a lot when when Johnson came in.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Heff said...

Back In Black and For Those About To Rock are INCREDIBLE albums, but overall I agree with you, Mark.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Patrick said...

Don't forget that the early Helloween stuff had Kai Hansen on vocals. He wasn't a strong singer, but I've always liked his voice for it's uniqueness. But the obvious upgrade was the incredible Michael Kiske. I agree with you about Deris though, he's been great in Helloween.

One that I was bummed about was Riot, I loved Guy Speranza's voice (my God - Fire Down Under!), but he left and was replaced by Rhett Forrester, a more bluesy Paul Rogers sounding guy. I learned to like him a lot, Restless Breed was a good album. But I still think he was a bit of a downgrade. Sadly they are both dead now.

1:55 PM  
Blogger The Klepto said...

It's not worse music (for AC/DC) its different music. Back in Black was their most solid album, of any era. I do think the Bon Scott times were way better lyrically and musically. But they changed and became huge with their simple style of music and lyrics. Like Kiss and ZZ Top had done the decades previous.
I saw the debate you had with Bob_Vinyl about AC/DC some time ago, and I know I'm repeating points, but I do feel as if it was a completely different band with Brian Johnson. while their album quality has gone down, their singles are pretty good, and it is a much more 'stadium rock' style. It's good pump up music.

10:42 AM  

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