The Top 25 Modern Metal Frontmen

#2: Valient Himself (Valient Thorr)

  • Axl Rosenberg

Frontmen Valient

MetalSucks recently polled its staff to determine the The Top 25 Modern Metal Frontmen, and after an incredible amount of arguing, name-calling, and physical violence, we have finalized that list! Writers were asked to consider vocal ability, lyrics, and live presence when casting their votes; to be eligible for the list the musician in question had to a) play metal (duh), b) be a frontman or woman (double-duh), and c) have recorded something AND performed live in the past five years. Today we continue our countdown with Valient Thorr’s Valient Himself…

Valient Thorr’s Saint Bernard of a vocalist, Valient Himself, is basically positive vibes personified. Obviously, that’s unusual in the metal world; we don’t go to see Glen Benton to make us feel good about being alive, we go see Glen Benton to mosh while contemplating murder so that we don’t actually murder anyone. But Valient Himself is so guaranteed to show you a good time that his phone number should be scrawled on the wall of every public restroom in America.

He’s always moving, like a shark on Red Bull, running in place, raising his arms to the sky, headbangin’ and air guitarin’ all over the place… and he never seems to get winded to the point of not being able to sing, which is amazing when you consider that Vince Neil can’t even walk across a stage without losing his breath. That jittery energy, as well as his repetitive use of certain phrases — here at MetalSucks, we’re particularly fond of “YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT???” — and his delivery of those phrases can lend him the quality of a preacher, only instead of talking about God and Jesus and The Holy Ghost, he’s talking about having a good time. When he uses his frontman powers to get the audience to do something, it’s never a circle pit or a wall of death he demands — it’s for everyone to sit on the ground and start miming row boating:

You’ve never seen an audience of people get down on a gross, sticky bar floor with such speedy disregard for the well-being of their pants.

But I’m sure if the pants could talk, they’d say “FUCK YEAH!” or something like that. Because Valient Himself offers a different form of catharsis from most of his peers: FUN. He’s throwing a rock n’ roll party, and you’re all invited. And there will be no fights at this party — only hugs. YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT????

The List So Far:

#3: Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden)
#4: Devin Townsend
#5: Randy Blythe (Lamb of God)
#6: Julie Christmas
#7: Frank Mullen (Suffocation)
#8: Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth)

#9: Phil Anselmo
#10: Grace Perry (ex-Landmine Marathon)
#11: Guy Kozowyk (The Red Chord)
#12: Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder)
#13: George “Corspegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse)

#14: Chance Garnette (Skeletonwitch)
#15: Vincent Bennet (The Acacia Strain)
#16: Mike Patton
#17: Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste)
#18: Joe Duplantier (Gojira)
#19: Oderus Urungus (Gwar)
#20: Nergal (Behemoth)
#21: Jens Kidman (Meshuggah) 
#22: J.R. Hayes (Pig Destroyer)
#23: Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed)
#24: Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct)
#25: Chino Moreno (Deftones)

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