Scientists ask: Can you sing death metal without ruining your voice?

This video looks innocent enough until you skip forward to 6:30 (NSFW unless you've got headphones and you don't mind people thinking you're a wierdo), when you see full-screen endoscope footage of a singer's voicebox while they're singing in a distorted Tom Waits / Joe Cocker style. It's a terrifying, screaming, shuddering red hole (not unlike the Great Pit of Carkoon). The footage comes from a presentation by Dr Julian McGlashan from Queens Medical Center in Nottingham asking whether the non-melodic bits of singing - the grunting and growling that ranges from Bryan Adams gentle grit to the full death growl - can be performed safely without knackering your voice. The full death metal grunt is at 4:30 in this clip. And strangest of all is 8:50 in this clip - the singer doing 'hello baby' in a deep Barry White voice. It's the perfect valentines video message for a loved one. Anyway, to save you watching the whole presentation, Dr McGlashan concludes that it IS safe to sing like Napalm Death, refuting previous concerns in the Dutch media that "growling destroys the human voice". If you want to learn to grunt yourself, there's an extensive WikiHow on the subject.

It's all about technique - there's definitely a right and a wrong way to go about a good brutal growl or scream.
It involves relaxing, shaping the sounds rather than belting them out. Once you learn it, you rarely lose your voice again (and you can get far better sounds than if you were actually taxing yourself).
A shame, really, that it doesn't ruin throats permanently.
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