The ten best pioneering metal frontmen

Categories: Lists, Metal!

071613_megadeth2.jpg
Brandon Marshall

Along with having a killer set of pipes, the best frontman can simultaneously stand at his pulpit on stage, engage with the crowds, rage and conduct the flow of the show. Decisive, commanding and blunt, these men are the alpha males of alpha males, the kings of kingpins and, like conquistadors, they take what they want when they want. Keep reading for the ten best pioneering metal frontmen.

See also:
- The ten geekiest metal bands
- The ten best faceless metal bands
- The ten most ferocious female pioneers in metal


10. Dave Mustaine
The founder and only consistent member of Megadeth, Mustaine has been the driving force of one of the big four of thrash for nearly thirty years. His distinctive vocals sound like he could rip your throat right from your neck. With long, fiery red hair similar to that of a headstrong Ghost Rider barreling through the night on his motorcycle, Mustaine has a raucous poise as a guitarist on stage.


9. Marilyn Manson
Dressed like a dominatrix from hell, Marilyn Manson elevated the idea of evil in the '90s with his shock rock style, and he's sparked controversy many times over. The writer of socially conscious and witty lyrics, Mr. Manson, with his haunting vocals, is an undeniably dominating presence both on stage and off.


8. Axl Rose
Axl Rose, the notoriously moody and controlling lead vocalist for Guns N' Roses, couldn't stand that Slash outshone him, just as he couldn't stand that James Hetfield snatched more attention than him after pyrotechnics gave him third-degree burns when the band toured in 1992. Rose's vocals can't get any more idiosyncratic, just as his hair can't get anymore ginger. His prickly vocal range can reach half a dozen octaves when his falsetto is considered a part of his vocal six-shooter.


7. Phil Anselmo
With vocal cords steeped in the rotting swamps of New Orleans, Phil Anselmo can scream/screech longer and louder than a banshee itself. Anselmo has led not only Pantera, but Superjoint Ritual, Down and he's currently at the helm of a new band, Philip H. Anselmo & the Illegals. In between songs, Anselmo is known for preaching to his crowd about being a part of the heavy metal family and the importance of going apeshit when they rip into a new song.


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30 comments
Shawn Johnson
Shawn Johnson

How dare they put James Hetfield above Dave Mustaine...fuck that list!

Jeremy Level
Jeremy Level

btw mr Yesly Schultz right above me is obviously a fuckin scammer. does this really seem like the place to be giving job ideas? douche!

Jeremy Level
Jeremy Level

I completely disagree with this list... Dave is much better then James hetfield... axl rose doesn't deserve to be on this list at all and mailyn manson came on the scene way to late to be considered a pioneer of metal.

orthorexia666
orthorexia666

Vince Neil or Tom Araya didn't make it? /facepalm

jump
jump

not the worst "top 10" list I've ever seen.

ZaphodBGoode
ZaphodBGoode

What the hell is that moron from "metallica" (Oooooo!) doing on there?  He's grunge with a bad case of constipation, not a metal singer.  I doubt he'd know a melody if it scampered up and bit his flabby arse, and neither would his band's "guitarist." 

Whoever did this list got Dio, Ozzy, Halford, Lemmy, Dickinson and Mustaine right.  I guess six out of ten ain't bad.  Much.   But... Marilyn Manson?  That whining little zero Axl Rose?  Really?  And Phil Anselmo?  Pioneering?

Among those inexplicably omitted:
- Coverdale and Gillian,
- a guy named Plant (look him up,)
- a guy named Daltrey (look him up,)
- a guy named Alice ( "  "  " )
- Klaus,
- Frank Marino (if you haven't bothered listening to his '79 Live or 2004 "RealLIVE!" albums, you really have no business doing a list like this at all,)
- Mogg,
- Hagar,
- Roth,
- Tate,
- Johnson & Scott,
- Darby Mills (not a front*man*, but she blows half of this Top 10 list out of the water - the Headpins' "Turn It Loud" is ample evidence,)
- Geddy (no longer metal, but we're talking "pioneering" here, and in the mid- to late-'70s...)

etc.

jreese7
jreese7

Someone actually gets it right!

lord_wolferam
lord_wolferam

Top 4 and in not particular order. Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Geoff Tate and Bruce Dickinson. All have better range and were better front men than the rest.

ahamkara222
ahamkara222

First off, take out Axl Rose since G'N'R was Hard Rock, not Metal. Replace him with Chuck Schuldiner of Death and you have a pretty good list. And yes, Ronnie James beats Ozzy any day. Ozzy was Black Sabbaths' worst vocalist. They only get recognition cause they play their first 3 albums on the radio only and that's it. If he was so great they'd be playing all of them.

blackroseMD1
blackroseMD1

Dio over Ozzy? You're out of your damn mind.

october.origins
october.origins

Although a good list, I'd probably include Chuck Schuldiner because of his importance to the extreme metal sub-genres.

pabloacl7
pabloacl7

Where. The Fuck. Is Robert Plant?

Jim Kelly
Jim Kelly

Mainstream? I probably wouldn't recognize anyone who was nominated for this.

lord_wolferam
lord_wolferam

@blackroseMD1 Ronnie James had better vocal range, was more influential to other artists and brought the Maloik (devil horns) to Metal. Ozzy ran around on stage throwing up the double peace sign like Richard Nixon.

Ram_Rom
Ram_Rom

@Jim Kelly You are just too cool, aren't you? Do you wear thick framed glasses with no lenses? I bet you love Pelican also.

blackroseMD1
blackroseMD1

@lord_wolferam Maybe so, but Ozzy and Sabbath brought metal to the mainstream. If it weren't for them, it may still be a little niche genre. For that alone, Ozzy deserves to be #1.

sensiblejones
sensiblejones

@october.origins 
Although Zepplin may not be classed as 'Metal' by todays genres and sub-genres, you have to remember that in the late 60's/early 70's they were. Also, don't forget that the term 'Heavy Metal' (in relation to music) was first used to describe one of their gigs!

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