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Warrel Dane (Nevermore/Sanctuary) Dies unexpectedly at 56

*update* apparently, the initial mistake in Dane’s age was made by BOL, who has corrected the error.

OS correction

The web address of the post shows the initial mistake. Apparently this is due to a conflict of information on Wikipedia, where his birth is listed both as 1969 and 1961, but only sourced for 1961

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The news broke out this morning (via Brazilian news outlet BOL) that legendary metal singer Warrel Dane died of a heart attack at the age of 56 (some sites are reporting he was 48, ). The singer passed in his sleep in a hotel room in Brazil, where he was recording his second solo album.

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The guitarist for Sanctuary (Johnny Moraes) stated that Dane started feeling out of sorts around midnight (the singer’s health was already frail due to a combination of diabetes and alcoholism), and when the heart attack they began doing cardiac massage (guessing that’s a bad translation from Portuguese, and they were really doing CPR). Paramedics were called, but Dane was gone before they arrived.

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Admittedly, he wasn’t looking that good lately. I’m guessing Diabetes and alcoholism don’t mix well with staying in Brazil (an area famous for, among other things, it’s delicious sugarcane rum and wild parties).

Holy fuck.

This one hits pretty hard.

The guy had some strange combination of mercury and molten steel running through his veins. Seriously though, he wasn’t just a metalhead – he was a metalhead’s metalhead. That’s about the highest praise I can give someone.

I’d try to put together a greatest hits compilation, but for fucks sake it would include every goddamn song he ever put out. The guy left more excellence coiled in porcelain in the morning than most people exude in their entire lifetime. Seriously.

His vocal ability was eclipsed only by his ability to pen lyrics – the man was a poet.

Fuck, they had just finished the instrumentals for the new Sanctuary album and were getting ready to record vocals. Not to mention gearing up for a tour with Iced Earth to promote it.

Metal lost a legend today. He never compromised, never bowed to trends, and never sold out.

Rest in Peace, Voyager.

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Clean Vocals: Partially Selling Out or Completely Selling Out?

Contrary to the title, I actually really like clean vocals in metal. As long as they’re not whiny and angst filled.  This does seem to be a major point of contention in the metal community.

Some people absolutely love it, and some people can’t stand it. Especially in sub-genres like Melodic Death Metal (and it’s American cousin Metalcore), clean vocals have become so commonplace it’s almost camp. Bands like In Flames, Soilwork, Scar Symmetry, Solution .45, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, All that Remains, and the like have been using clean vocals for years – with great success. The list goes on.

And more recently bands like Lamb of God, Whitechapel, Hatebreed, and Amon Amarth have had clean vocals on at least one track of their albums.

The way I see it, there are two things you need to look at when evaluating a band using clean vocals.

  1. Why are they doing it? This should be pretty obvious. If a bands been playing pretty much the same thing for over a decade, sometimes they just want to switch things up. Which is cool, you have to respect artistic integrity and the willingness to branch out and try something new. If the band hasn’t gotten a lot of radio play, and suddenly they have a song with a clean chorus on your local rock station – then you know exactly why they did it. Not cool. I understand wanting to get popular, but if you’re even remotely familiar with heavy metal you should know that you aren’t getting into it for radio play.
  2. Do you like it? I’m actually talking about listening to the song objectively. Maybe this will be the song that makes things “clique” in your head and makes you enjoy a clean chorus now and then. Maybe you just absolutely hate them all, and this will only confirm it for you. If you don’t give it a chance and actually listen to it first before passing judgement – you’re just a fucktard.

Personally, I think there are certain vocalists who should never do clean vocals. I don’t see Karl Sanders from Nile or Corpsegrinder from Cannibal Corpse branching out and doing clean vocals just yet. And that’s cool – if they did I’d be more worried about the world ending.

But clean vocals are a pretty integral part of metal. Besides the obvious Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, guys like Phil Anselmo from Pantera and Warrel Dane from Nevermore have been incorporating clean vocals for years.

And if you have anything negative to say about Nevermore, you’re wrong and I hate you. Those guys fucking rule, and Jeff Loomis is a god.

In fact, even bands like Arch Enemy have been toying with the idea of incorporating clean singing. Alyssa White-Gluz did a lot of them in her prior band The Agonist (they’ve actually gotten a lot better since she left the band, Victoria is a much better fit with their sound).

Also, Manowar has clean vocals. And Manowar kills posers with steel. Your argument is invalid.

In summation, if you don’t like clean vocals pull up your big kid pants and don’t fucking listen to it.

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