Deathcore is an extremely vocal-centric subgenre of heavy music. As opposed to genres like thrash, prog or even a lot of death metal where the focal point of a song is often a nasty riff or spine-snapping solo, deathcore instrumentation is all about building a fortress around a mighty screamer. Especially in the genre's current iteration where YouTube and TikTok vocal covers are driving innovation as much as actual songwriting is, it's absolutely imperative to a band's success that they have a frontperson who sounds like a fucking irate ghoul.
With so many mind-blowing vocalists to choose from, we asked our readers to pick the greatest deathcore throat of all time. Artists from all throughout the genre's 20-year history were represented, and the top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
5. Kyle Anderson, Brand of Sacrifice
The fact that Brand of Sacrifice singer Kyle Anderson made this list proves that the Canuck crushers are truly on the verge of a breakthrough — and deservedly so. Anderson's vocals are immensely powerful and incredibly animated. Whether he's barking, shrieking, gurgling or crooning, the self-proclaimed Demon King always puts a ton of character and personality into his approach, which makes him so damn exciting to listen to.
4. Alex Terrible, Slaughter to Prevail
Alex Terrible's vocals on songs like "Demolisher" and "Baba Yaga" literally sound hellish, particularly his lows, which are delivered with so much force and volume that it makes you question if the guy is actually a mortal being. He also looks the part more than anyone else in the genre's history. His physical figure is imposing, he's got a massive scar across his face, and his grim facial expressions make him look like he wants ravenously devour any enemy in his path. Too bad he doesn't want to do deathcore anymore.
3. Will Ramos, Lorna Shore
The Will Ramos hype is real. Every deathcore fan had their jaw on the floor when the Lorna Shore frontman squealed and snorted like an infernal hog in "To the Hellfire," but on last year's Pain Remains LP, Ramos proved to all the doubters that he was capable of more than just viral gimmicks. His range is very impressive, spanning piercing black-metal shrieks, bellowing low growls and literal animal snarls, but Ramos never lets the technique overpower the raw emotion of what he's singing. That's the key to his wide-ranging appeal.
2. Phil Bozeman, Whitechapel
Phil Bozeman is an enormously respected figure in deathcore. As the frontman of Whitechapel, who helped codify the genre and bring it to prominence in the late 2000s, you could make the argument that none of the aforementioned vocalists would be here without his voice work. What's so remarkable about Bozeman, though, is that he's still growing and improving. On the last few Whitechapel albums, he's dabbled in eerie clean singing while also making his ferocious screams sound sturdier and more forceful than ever before. A living legend.
1. Mitch Lucker, Suicide Silence
The No. 1 slot was a close toss-up between Bozeman and Mitch Lucker, but the late Suicide Silence frontman ultimately won out. It feels like the right call. Although Lucker has been dead for over 10 years now, his presence still looms large over the deathcore generations that came up in his wake. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single modern screamer who wasn't introduced to deathcore through Suicide Silence's early material, and Lucker was both the voice and poster boy of the genre during its initial rise to prominence. Sure, there's a more talented pool of deathcore shriekers right now than ever before, but no one has yet to outmatch the ear-piercing squawks that Lucker unleashed every time he picked up a microphone.