Norwegian blackened metal band Attan described their brutal new record ‘End Of’ as “the sound of humanity sucking the marrow from its own bone” which tells you everything you really need to know. The combination of metal and hardcore form an incredible aggression that hits hard and hits fast. We caught up with the band to talk about why harsh vocals are so important to heavy music and they filled us with five reasons that bands scream.
01.) BECAUSE YOU ARE ANGRY
“No shit, Sherlock” you might think, but it is in no way a given that people that scream in bands are angry. Some bands have screams because it’s cool, others because they want to sound like they’re an animal, a monster, dead or just fucking macho. To us, screaming is all about expressing frustration and desperation. Writing songs is a wonderful way to deep dive into subjects you avoid in your everyday life, taking them in and exploring them. As far as we’re concerned, screams sound better when they come from a place that has some authenticity to it.
02.) BECAUSE IT GETS THE POINT ACROSS
Just outside my work place there is a woman begging for money every day. When people pass she makes a moaning sound that goes straight up my spine. It makes me concerned and alert in a way that I have no control over, every time she does it. Screaming has sort of the same effect. When you hear someone screaming on top of a song you instantly know what’s going on. Even if you can´t make out the exact words, there’s a good chance the aggression alone will whip your brain into survival mode.
03.) IT’S THERAPEUTIC
This is true in a more ways than one. First of all, letting out steam in the most primal way you can think of is a really good way to let go whatever energy or frustration you got stored up. Also, the physical aspect of it releases all kinds of chemicals in your brain, just like a good workout would. Throughout my life, some of the most chilled out and relaxed people I have known have been in really aggressive bands. I have no scientific evidence to this, but I feel pretty confident there is link between the two.
04.) IT’S EASY AND A LOT OF FUN
Now, this isn´t really true; good screaming can be hell to get right, and more often than not it’s both physically and mentally draining to a point that makes you think twice about ever doing it again. But when starting out exploring music with friends, making it all come together in any way at all can be really hard. Screaming is a fun way to get going fast. Without being able to fuck around with power chords, a fast stumbling beat and a microphone to yell into, I´m pretty sure a lot of the vocalists we now know and love would never have been known to us at all.
05.) BECAUSE YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SCREAM ABOUT
This one overlaps a bit with point number one, but it also feels like the most important one. There are a lot of tutorials and instruction videos on ‘how to scream’ out there, none of them ever considering the importance of having a reason for doing so. If you don’t have a reason to scream, then why do it at all? If you need an example please go back and listen to James Brown, and you’ll see that it just needs to come out. When it comes down to it, there really is no better reason than that.
The band’s new album ‘End Of’ is out now, and you can order it from the band’s BandCamp (here).