My Top 5 Jrock Vocalists
Vocals has always been one of the major deciding factor when it comes to listening to music in general. For Jrock however, it tends to be a bigger hit or miss situation, especially for visual kei bands. If I hear cruddy vocals whether it’s singing or unclean, it could be one hell of a turn off for me. Mucc is a prime example why I could never get into their music. Their vocalist sounds like some depressed drunk who can barely hold up his own pitch. But without further a due, here are my top Jrock vocalists I highly recommend checking out.
1. Satoshi (girugamesh)
If it weren’t for Satoshi, I wouldn’t give two shits about girugamesh. There hasn’t been any other vocalist I could think of that can beat this guy’s incredible singing. It’s so perfect in tone and control that I feel sorry him for being in a band with mediocre song writers. Let’s not forget he’s also a pretty darn good growler. One song I suggest checking out is Puzzle which fully utilizes his singing ability in very satisfying levels. Both the singing and growling can be heard in songs like GAMBLE, he even raps here. When it comes to live, he perfects it. Recently, Satoshi joined a new band called REDMAN. I’m curious what this new band of his will have in store for us.
2. Kyo (Dir en grey)
I’d be insane if I didn’t add Kyo to the list. He’s come a long way from an average vocalist in the early days to someone with amazing range. It’s scary to think someone like him can create demonic growls and pig squeals that sounds so inhuman. Different Sense displays most of his vocal range right there. All those growls and screams don’t come without a price of damaging his vocal chords which has happened multiple times. No matter how many times he gets hospitalized, he always comes back with a bang. And thank goodness he stopped smoking because that would’ve ended his vocal career for good. Diabolos is my favorite performance of his.
3. Hideki (SIAM SHADE)
Hideki is an excellent singer who can do even better in live performances. His voice is magnificently suited for the hard rock genre and sometimes metalcore. Just listen to Kumori Nochi Hare. Now that SIAM SHADE has reunited, I’m excited for whatever upcoming releases they got planned. So far, one new song released and each member certainly hasn’t lost their touch especially Hideki’s voice which sounds just like as it was before. Check out the awesome Why not? live performance.
4. Toshi (X Japan)
X Japan sure is well known for Yoshiki’s drumming and piano but I think Toshi gets glossed over undeservingly so. He’s got smooth clean vocals and can sing in english no problem that can be understood to a casual listener. I think prime time was in the Dahlia era up to the last live that was held in 1997. He’s probably one of the very few singers who underwent the highest vocal training to achieve where he’s at. I wish other Jrock vocalist follow his example because this guy actually cares improving his voice.
5. Hizumi (D’espairsRay)
This was a tough one. I was so close in choosing Yasu from Janne Da Arc but I gonna have to say that Hizumi takes the cake on this one. His singing is exceptional but his screams have epic proportions enhancing D’espairsRay’s music. He’s another rare case where his live performances are better than the actual recordings. I still consider Liquidize to be one of best Jrock concerts ever. It’s too bad the band broke up due to Hizumi’s throat issues. But his work will always be remembered for creating some of the best metal music out there.
That was the toughest top 5 list I had to choose.