Most Underrated Heavy Metal Vocalists


The Top Ten

1 Ian Gillan - Deep Purple Ian Gillan - Deep Purple Ian Gillan is an English singer and songwriter. He originally found success as the lead singer and lyricist for Deep Purple, and the original singer on the rock opera concept album Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber, where Gillan had the leading role (Jesus Christ).

He's the best hands down don't care what anyone says. Thank you

Why is he not in the Hall :( it's a shame seriously.

Agree him to being on at number 1. - zxm

Ian Gillan is an amazing metal singer and terribly underrated (should be #1 on this list). Besides, he was the first metal singer and set the bar for metal vocals - he's a master of screams with powerful voice, wide range and remarkable wide vibrato (one of the widest vibratos even to this day). He also recorded vocals on the heaviest Black Sabbath album - Born Again (1983).

Gillan is not a better singer than Dio, Hansi Kürsch or Michael Kiske but he's definitely more underrated than them (which counts at most here).
But Gillan is the favorite metal singer of Hansi Kursch and his biggest influence; Gillan was also Bruce Dickinson's vocal idol.

@the guy who posted before me: Robert Plant is not a metal singer and there's no point to compare them. - Metal_Treasure

2 Michael Kiske Michael Kiske Michael Kiske is a singer best known as the former lead vocalist for the German power metal band Helloween.

This guy is really underrated - top 3. He's a vocal perfection. - Metal_Treasure

Kiske is seriously underrated.Helloween!

3 Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian; Demons & Wizards Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian; Demons & Wizards Hansi Kürsch, born Hans Jürgen Kürsch, is the lead singer, lyricist, co-composer and bassist for German power metal band Blind Guardian . Heavily influenced by Freddie Mercury, he creates a huge choir effect by overdubbing his own voice multiple times in complex, overlapping vocal harmonies. He records more.

M a g n i f i c e n t! Ear raping vocals, amazing technical skills, unmatched tonal versatility - mean demonic and soft angelic voice at the same time.

Songs by Demons & Wizards: My Last Sunrise, Heaven Denies, Path Of Glory, Crimson King, Tear Down The Wall, Fiddler On The Green (in case you wonder - there are no other singers, it's only his voice, incl. in the background).

Songs by Blind Guardian: Majesty, Thorn, Banish From Sanctuary, The Bard's Song, Time What Is Time, Age Of False Innocence, Sacred Worlds. - Metal_Treasure

Of course, his power, range and other technical aspects are remarkable but one thing never cease to amaze me: his ability to switch from rough demonic to soft melancholic voice (and vice versa) in less than a second! No one else does that so powerfully and beautifully! (ex. - Love's Tragedy by Demons & Wizards).
And his screams are so melodic… (ex. - My last sunrise by Demons & Wizards)

His voice is amazing live, too! Check out the live versions of Valhalla and The Bard’s Song (by Blind Guardian). - Metal_Treasure

4 Ronnie James Dio - Heaven & Hell Ronnie James Dio - Heaven & Hell Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture more.

No one I have heard sing even comes close not in vocal talent but, in the unique way his voice literally sounds as if it was craft from the depths of hell to be used for heavy metal.

I mean you hear vocal talent from many talented rock musicians but, if you could find one person who has a voice like his I would be astounded.

Definitely, Dio... a a lot of people (including top heavy metal singers like bruce and hetfield) thinks he's the god of heavy metal, but I feel like hes' way TOO underrated... though this is good from another point of view... that's my opinion.

No one! No one! Can ever sing like Dio. That's the soul reason why he is a great singer and hardly anyone recognizes his talent... All hail king Dio!... m/...R.I. P Dio... m/... m/... m/ - amitcornelius1

I study this guy, hell yeah. Pretty dope

V 4 Comments
5 Jon Oliva - Savatage; TSO Jon Oliva - Savatage; TSO John Nicholas Oliva, known as Jon Oliva, is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Co-founder of the metal band Savatage and the rock opera Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He's got a real 4 octave range, able to morph the sound of his voice to any style, from John Lennon and Freddie Mercury, more.

A powerhouse singer. Clean vocals but spiced with some of the most 'evil' vocal effects in metal.
Check out: Commissar, Morphine Child, Hall Of The Mountain King, Gutter Ballet, Surrender, Jesus Saves, Sirens (all by Savatage).
Also "Death Is Just a Feeling' by Avantasia. - Metal_Treasure

6 Ralf Scheepers - Primal Fear Ralf Scheepers - Primal Fear Ralf Scheepers is the vocalist for German heavy metal band Primal Fear. He has a relatively high-pitched tenor-esque singing voice and sometimes uses a shriek reminiscent of Judas Priest's Rob Halford, although it is his baritone lows which give him a near four-octave range in the modal register.

He is a 4 octave wonder. His tone and singing style remind of Rob Halford a lot. Check out "The man (That I don't know)"; "Strike", "All For One" by Primal Fear. - Metal_Treasure

7 Eric Adams - Manowar Eric Adams - Manowar Eric Adams has been the singer of the American heavy metal band Manowar since its inception in 1980. Previously, he sang for a group called LOOKS, a band which also included future Manowar bassist and childhood friend, Joey DeMaio.
8 Björn Strid - Soilwork
9 Jarkko Ahola - Northern Kings; Ahola; Teräsbetoni Jarkko Ahola - Northern Kings; Ahola; Teräsbetoni Jarkko Kalevi Ahola is a Finnish performing artist, composer and singer, best known as a metal singer. He is the vocalist, bass player and one of the three songwriters of the metal band Teräsbetoni. He also started a solo career as Ahola, a metal band.

Jarkko is wildly underrated. Terasbetoni as a band is underrated. I feel like they deserve to be much bigger than they already are.

Jarkko's voice is impressive. It can be crystal clear, powerful, high, low, deep... Anything. He must have put a lot of work on it.

10 Mikael Åkerfeldt - Opeth Mikael Åkerfeldt - Opeth Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. more.

The Contenders

11 Christian Älvestam - Solution.45, Miseration, Unmoored

Vocalist with truly great range - from deep growl to powerful clean singing.

Clearly so much underrated even in this list... A really unique metal figure!

12 Jørn Lande Jørn Lande Jørn Lande is a Norwegian metal and hard rock singer known for his solo career as Jorn, and providing vocals for Avantasia, Masterplan, Ark, Beyond Twilight, Millenium, Allen/Lande, Mundanus Imperium, Vagabond, The Snakes, Ayreon.

If you can imagine the voices of Dio, David Coverdale and Ian Gillan combined in one - this is Jørn Lande. - Metal_Treasure

My god every song is just a EARGASM

Even in the rankings is underrated...the powerful hardrock and heavy metal voice...every song is pure eargasm

If you can imagine the voices of Dio, David Coverdale and Ian Gillan combined in one - this is Jørn Lande.
You won't be sorry if you check out:
1. His Dio covers (I personally like at most ‘Don't Talk To Strangers’ but all Dio covers are awesome);
2. Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple cover); original vocals: Ian Gillan;
3. Burn (Deep Purple cover); original vocals: David Coverdale;
4. Serpents in Paradise (Avantasia, duet with T. Sammet). - Metal_Treasure

13 M. Shadows - Avenged Sevenfold M. Shadows - Avenged Sevenfold Matthew Charles Sanders, better known by his stage name M. Shadows, is an American musician, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and founding member of the American metalcore/alternative metal band Avenged Sevenfold.

How is M. Shadows underrated?! I see people walking all around with Avenged Sevenfold T-Shirts.

One of the best voices iv ever heard, "So far away" s ending is a great example.

I think he has the voice of an angel, and I don't really care what people think about A7X.

14 David Draiman - Disturbed David Draiman - Disturbed David Michael Draiman is an American songwriter and the vocalist for the band Disturbed as well as for the band Device.

Never gets the recognition he deserves. Disturbed wouldn't be nearly as good as they are without David (no disrespect to them).

His voice is the only reason I ever bothered with Disturbed.

Just Listen To The Night Stupify Down With The Sickness CAuse Of His Songs I become A Metalhead ;) He Is The Best Metal And HE So Underrated

How is DFisturbed underrated... - Lucretia

15 Lajon Witherspoon - Sevendust
16 Burton C. Bell - Fear Factory Burton C. Bell - Fear Factory Burton Christopher Bell is an American musician and vocalist, best known as the frontman and co-founder of the industrial metal band Fear Factory, of which he's the only consistent member.
17 Suzuka Nakamoto - Babymetal Suzuka Nakamoto - Babymetal Suzuka Nakamoto, known by her stage names Suzuka and Su-Metal, is a Japanese idol, singer and model. She is represented by the talent agency Amuse, Inc. and has been a member of three musical groups formed by the company: Karen Girl's, Sakura Gakuin, and Babymetal.

not metal - Lucretia

18 Rob Halford - Judas Priest Rob Halford - Judas Priest Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.

sometimes he isn't underrated, mostly in the real metallers scene... but many times he is, some people don't recognize his talent

By the way, I think this about the other options in the list:
- I don't think M. Shadows is underrated, A7X is kind of overrated
- I think Bon Scott is most underrated than Brian Johnson, AC/DC became more commercial with Brian Johnson (but many songs are good in the Brian era).
- In the metal scene, Ronnie James Dio and Bruce Dickinson aren't underrated (the same as Rob Harfold). - rock2metal

Rob Halford is really underrated by people who listen to commercial heavy metal-Lite. You know what I mean. - Metal_Treasure

19 Phil Anselmo - Pantera Phil Anselmo - Pantera Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo is an American musician who is best known as the former lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Pantera. He currently is the vocalist of heavy metal bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.

He was the best vocalist of the 90's! He must receive more respect, Pantera was one of the greatest bands thanks to him!

Just listen to Cemetery Gates! A shame he can't sing like that anymore nowadays..

He's very good but he's not underrated. Come on, everybody has heard of him. - Metal_Treasure

He's very good but he's not underrated. Come on, everybody has heard of him, and every second is his fan. How many heard of Hansi Kürsch, Daniel Heiman, Michael Kiske, Jorn, Jon Oliva or Daniel Gildenlow, though? Those are some of the really underrated guys. - Metal_Treasure

V 1 Comment
20 Jesse Leach - Killswitch Engage Jesse Leach - Killswitch Engage Jesse David Leach (Born July 3rd, 1978) is an American musician, best known as the vocalist and frontman of the band Killswitch Engage. Leach also fronts lesser-known metal bands, such as Seamless, The Empire Shall Fall and Times of Grace.
21 Tim "Ripper" Owens - Judas Priest, Iced Earth Tim Timothy S. "Ripper" Owens is an American heavy metal singer who currently performs with Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force and Charred Walls of the Damned.

He's got voice almost like Halford.

So many crap has been said about this guy and. although he's not my favourite metal single. Tim is simple the most complete, versatile and one of the most powerfyull voices in the genre. Most underrated vocalist BY FAR on this list (hell... there are people up there saying he has no range compared with Matt Barlow... are you people out of your mind? )

22 Brian Johnson - AC/DC Brian Johnson - AC/DC Brian Johnson is an English singer and songwriter. Since 1980, he is the lead singer of the Australian rock band AC/DC, with whom he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. As of April 2016, Johnson is not participating in the remainder of the Rock or Bust World Tour due to hearing more.

Of course he is one of the coolest vocals and also one of the best voice in rock and ROLL HISTORY hands down... I know he has raspy voice but come on you can't stop listening to back in black and you shook me all night long

Hey, he's NOT a metal singer! And definitely - not underrated. - Metal_Treasure

Just you try and sing "Back In Black".

23 Bränn Dailor - Mastodon
24 Miljenko Matijevic - Steelheart Miljenko Matijevic - Steelheart

He is still the best

The best heavy metal vocalist singer.. forever...

25 Tobias Sammet - Edguy; Avantasia Tobias Sammet - Edguy; Avantasia Tobias Sammet is a German metal musician, best known as the vocalist and primary songwriter of the power metal band Edguy, as well as the founder, main singer and bassist of the metal opera Avantasia.
26 Brian "Head" Welch - Korn
27 Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.

I think he's correctly rated and it's awesome because it doesn't happen very often. - Metal_Treasure

I think he's neither underrated nor overrated. A great singer who got the appreciation he deserved. There's nothing better than that. - Metal_Treasure

28 Blaze Bayley - Iron Maiden Blaze Bayley - Iron Maiden

They all hate him. Listen to his solo career, or just closely listen to his work in Iron Maiden, he is a great vocalist. He has a-lot of emotion in his singing.

He has a very limited range, but he has a very dark, powerful, and haunting voice. There's so much emotion and charisma in his singing.

One of the most hated people in Metal history. But, if you listen closely, he has a powerful and strong voice which makes him a great singer

He has a really solid solo career as well. - IronSabbathPriest

V 1 Comment
29 Joseph Duplantier - Gojira
30 Sebastian Bach - Skid Row Sebastian Bach - Skid Row Sebastian Philip Bierk, known professionally as Sebastian Bach, is a Canadian heavy metal singer who achieved mainstream success as frontman of Skid Row from 1987-96. Since his departure from Skid Row, he has had many television roles, acted in Broadway plays, and leads a solo career.

I'd want him in my band. He can sing any style and well! - Jaymz

31 Adam Gontier - Three Days Grace Adam Gontier - Three Days Grace Adam Wade Gontier is a Canadian musician and songwriter. He is the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for Saint Asonia, but is best known as the former lead singer, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter of the Canadian rock band Three Days Grace.

Come on, M. Shadows isn't underrated, he's already popular. Adam Gontier is underrated, his voice is so soulful and sexy, vote for him.

Adam Gontier is my favourite singer, but his music is nowhere near heavy metal.

Brilliant to finally see him get some credit. Fantastic voice.

He's NOT a metal singer. - Metal_Treasure

32 Matthew K. Heafy - Trivium
33 Matt Barlow - Iced Earth Matt Barlow - Iced Earth Matthew 'Matt' Barlow is an American heavy metal singer and police officer. He was the lead singer for Iced Earth in the 1990s and 2000s. He is currently the lead singer for Ashes of Ares. After the September 11 terrorist attacks Matt Barlow decided to become a police officer and contribute to the "real more.

His mid-range was creepy, controlled, and powerful, while his highs could even give actual tenor wailers a run for their money.

Very underrated. definitely the best singer Iced Earth ever had.

34 Matt Tuck
35 Ivan Moody - Five Finger Death Punch Ivan Moody - Five Finger Death Punch Ivan L. Moody, known by the pseudonym Ghost during his time with Motograter, is the lead vocalist for American heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Really? You have to be kidding me. Ivan Moody is way better than M Shadows. He should be number 1 in the list. That is because his vocals are powerful and extremely though.

36 Paul Di'Anno - Iron Maiden Paul Di'Anno - Iron Maiden Paul Andrews better known as Paul Di'Anno, is an English singer best known as the first vocalist to record with heavy metal band Iron Maiden, from 1978 to 1981.

This guy is what started Maiden's takeover in the 80's. He is not as good as Bruce but his voice was perfect for rough sound of early Maiden.

I really appreciated him when heard his cover of Megadeth's Symphony of Destruction (way better than the original). - Metal_Treasure

He helped start Maiden's takeover. His voice was perfect for the rough sound early Maiden.

37 Devin Townsend - Strapping Young Lad Devin Townsend - Strapping Young Lad Devin Garret Townsend is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad from 1994 to 2007 and has an extensive career as a solo artist.

His voice is godly and he has a large vocal range. His performances sound great, and so do his albums. I personally think he should be number one. He is immensely underrated with a very, very low salary for a professional musician.

38 Roger Glover - Deep Purple Roger Glover - Deep Purple Roger David Glover is a British bassist, songwriter, and record producer. Glover is best known as the bassist for hard rock bands Deep Purple and Rainbow.

He's a bassist, not a singer. DP singers were Ian Gillan and David Coverdale. - Metal_Treasure

39 ZP Theart - Dragonforce ZP Theart - Dragonforce ZP Theart is a South African singer, and songwriter, best known as the former singer of British power metal band DragonForce.

Listen to their recent live album, the vocals are amazing, it's a shame he's left

V 1 Comment
40 Randy Blythe - Lamb of God Randy Blythe - Lamb of God David Randall "Randy" Blythe is the vocalist and lyricist of American heavy metal band Lamb of God and side-project band Halo of Locusts.

He is really underrated! Hear King Me, Walk With Me In Hell, Laid To Rest, Black Label, Ruin and lamb of god is amazingly underrated! Their drummer is kick ass drummer he got same talent as portony and jordison
And their guitarist does amazing riffs and solos! Lamb of god is the real meaning for being the most underrated band

41 Jari Maenpaa - Wintersun, Ensiferum Jari Maenpaa - Wintersun, Ensiferum Jari Mäenpää (born 23 December 1977) is a Finnish heavy metal multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. He is the founder of metal band Wintersun for which he records all instruments. Before forming Wintersun, Mäenpää was best known for his role in the folk metal band Ensiferum.
42 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper Alice Cooper is an American singer, songwriter, musician and occasional actor whose career spans over five decades.

He does a a lot more than theatrics he had a very good voice on Easy Action, Love It To Death, Killer, School's Out, etc and still does. 43 years on he still has a great show and voice.

43 John Arch - Fates Warning

He had a powerful Dickinson like high register in the mid 80s and even now to a large extent, but never was given the credit or chart success of fellow wailers like Geoff Tate.

44 Jeff Scott Soto - Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force Jeff Scott Soto - Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force Jeff Scott Soto is an American rock singer of Puerto Rican descent. He is most well known for being the lead singer for the group Talisman from 1990 till the end of Talisman in 2007, the vocalist on Yngwie Malmsteen's first two albums, and the lead vocalist for Journey on their 2006–2007 tours after more.
45 Tony Martin - Black Sabbath

Just listen to Black Sabbath - When Death Calls. You'll see... - coccoreccy

46 James LaBrie - Dream Theater James LaBrie - Dream Theater Kevin James LaBrie is a Canadian vocalist and songwriter, who is best known as the lead singer of the American progressive metal band Dream Theater.
47 Simone Simons - Epica Simone Simons - Epica Simone Johanna Maria Simons is a Dutch singer-songwriter. She is the lead vocalist of Dutch symphonic metal band Epica.
48 Daniel Gildenlow - Pain of Salvation Daniel Gildenlow - Pain of Salvation Daniel Gildenlöw is a Swedish musician and songwriter. He is best known as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist for the progressive metal band Pain of Salvation.
49 Bobby Ellsworth Bobby Ellsworth Robert Ellsworth, mainly known as Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth, is the lead vocalist of New Jersey thrash metal band Overkill.

Hell of a vocalist that gets little to no attention. And is in a thrash band that is putting out some great material and has gotten better with age. His speed and vocal range in Evil Never Dies is incredible.

50 Nikki Sixx - Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx - Mötley Crüe Nikki Sixx is an American musician, songwriter, radio host, and photographer, best known as the co-founder, bassist, and primary songwriter of the band Mötley Crüe.
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Best Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Vocalists Best Heavy Metal Harsh Vocalists Best Indian Heavy Metal Vocalists Most Talented Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Vocalists Greatest Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Vocalists

List Stats

400 votes
80 listings
7 years, 22 days old

Top Remixes

1. Ian Gillan - Deep Purple
2. Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian; Demons & Wizards
3. Michael Kiske
1. Björn Strid - Soilwork
2. Christian Älvestam - Solution.45, Miseration, Unmoored
3. Mikael Åkerfeldt - Opeth



It's Supposed to be UNDERRATED Vocalists

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.