When it comes to clean metalcore music, a lot is made of the quality of the instruments the musicians use and the overall sound quality one hears from the first note played. While that is true, it’s the vocalist at the forefront. It’s their technical prowess on display, singing and playing instruments with their raw, undiluted emotions. To honor them, we have created this list to celebrate the 15 best clean metalcore vocalists of all time.
Who is the most talented metalcore vocalist?
These vocalists have established a name for themselves because fans know their clean singing will always come through despite how chaotic the guitars might be or how loud the drums become.
So, how will we be rating our clean singers? We selected vocalists with an impressive vocal range, stellar lyrical delivery, emotional impact, and that indefinable X-factor that separates the good from the legendary. We’ll consider their contributions to the genre, their influence on upcoming artists, and the solid legacy they built and are still making with every note, song, and album.
We will also look at their techniques, most iconic performances, and the unique qualities that make them one of the fifteen to have a spot on this prestigious list.
Without further ado, let’s turn up the volume and get started!
Who is the most talented metalcore vocalist?
1 – Winston McCall
It’s been 20 years since Winston McCall became the frontman of the Parkway Drive band. Winston’s distinctive vocal style has never been questioned in each of those years. So we’ll start here with our list of best clean metalcore vocalists.
Only 42 years of age and a native of Byron Bay, Winston has transformed Parkway Drive, a band that was initially all about “creating a mosh for their mates, a bunch of loose-unit surfers who joked about being lucky idiots who couldn’t play their instruments,” into one of the best metalcore bands out there.
But is hasn’t all been peaches and cream for this metalcore band. While discussing the bands struggles in an interview with ManofMany, McCall relates, “That’s the really awesome thing about everything that we’ve gone through as a band…We’ve done a lot of work reconnecting over the last few months. We’re better mates now than we ever have been. After 20 years, you can go through some crazy stuff and it’s nice to know that we’ve been able to pull through together and not let it just rust away.”
Over the years, McCall has created a trademark ability to convey his raw emotion through his voice, especially on tracks like “Carrion” and “Vice Grip”. “On tracks like “Shadow Boxing,” Winston came through with his clean vocals and a narrative-style delivery that only a veteran like Winston can give.
2 – Jesse Leach
To many lovers of Metalcore, the band Killswitch Engage witnessed a decade of performances void of passion and energy. However, all that changed with the return of Jesse. On heavy metal songs like “The End of Heartache” and “My Last Serenade”, Jesse brought back that passion and energy in every one of his heartfelt choruses.
Jesse has an impressive ability to switch between heavy metal vocal styles. His clean singing has been undeniably instrumental to the success of the Killswitch Engage band.
3- Howard Jones
While Jesse was switching in and out of vocal styles, Howard Jones was making good use of his baritone voice. During his time with Killswitch Engage, they released two gold-certified albums, “The End of Heartache” and “As Daylight Dies.” The metal band also released a second self-titled album. On every one of those albums, Howard’s clean vocals were as good as you can get from any metalcore artists.
Every one of those albums demanded that Howard sustain some very intense vocal lines, and he didn’t disappoint. His iconic performances, from his Killswitch days down to his current stint with the supergroup, Light the Torch, are some of the most memorable moments we have witnessed on the metalcore scene.
4 – Matty Mullins
Born on July 3, 1988, Matty Mullins has grown beyond just being a frontman of his band, Memphis May Fire, into one of the best clean metalcore vocalists. From his early days of auditioning for a role in the band, Matty has allowed his dynamic vocal range and skill in songwriting to do the talking. His songwriting skill is fully displayed on tracks from the band’s popular albums like ‘The Hollow’ and ‘Unconditional.’
For decades, Metalheads have been treated to stellar performances by Matty, notably in ‘This Light I Hold,’ where his vocal prowess was on full display. His ability to connect with the audience and his technical skills make him a standout clean metal vocalist.
5 – Spencer Charnas
It feels like Spencer Charnas and Jeremy Schwartz founded the Ice Nine Kills yesterday. Twenty-three years later, Spencer remains the only remaining founding member, but that’s not all he has managed to do. Spencer has kept that same set of clean vocals intact after so many years. Every time we hear him, we are
ushered into his world of a refreshing mix of metalcore music and theatrical flair. Spencer is also a big horror fan, and his fandom has seen him integrate it into his music.
While Spencer is one of the best clean singers, he’s also maintains an equally impressive stage presence. Through his live performances, Charnas shows off his ability to blend cinematic horror with Metalcore and captivate his listeners.
6 – Chris Cerulli
You might know him as Chris Motionless; this is because he fronts the band, Motionless in White. Born on October 17, 1986, Cerulli backs up his clean vocals with so much emotional depth and raw power he’s a no brainer for our best clean metalcore vocalist list.
His journey, including becoming a father at the age of 20, adds a layer of authenticity to his lyrics and performances. Fans are drawn to his honesty and how he connects his life experiences to his personality on the mic and, ultimately, his music. Cerulli‘s stage persona is formidable, yet offstage, he’s known to be extremely polite, making all the more sense why fans across the world love him so much. With standout tracks like ‘Reincarnate‘ and ‘Break the Cycle,’ Cerulli has proven his worth as one of the cleanest vocalists around.
7 – Ronnie Radke
You probably won’t make it in the metalcore scene if you don’t have a dynamic range, but you will most definitely stand out if you can seamlessly transition between genres. That’s one area where Ronnie Radke excels.
In each of his bands, he has shown different sides of his talented voice. With Escape the Fate, Ronnie shows his raw emotional delivery, particularly in tracks like “Not Good Enough for Truth in Cliché.”
With Falling in Reverse, however, Radke truly honed his craft, blending Metalcore with hip-hop and pop-punk elements. The platinum success of “Popular Monster” is a prime example. Listen to his rap mixtape “Watch Me,” featuring collaborations with other scene heavyweights, and see why he makes our list.
Radke’s live shows are electric, and whenever he calls out with his high-energy vocals, the response is deafening.
8 – Sean McCulloch
Even with the densest instrumentation, you always hear Sean’s vocal intensity loud and clear. You’ll notice his clean, modern metalcore singing on tracks like “I am the Lion.”
Metalheads describe McCulloch’s performances as authentic and powerful, and considering his dedication to his craft, it feels natural to have him on this list.
Sean is one of those vocalists who double as songwriters, and he shows that beautiful skill of his on the Phinehas’ album “The Last Word Is Yours to Speak,” where he wrote every track. And while that is impressive, what is more impressive is Sean ditching the gruff style he has been known for and coming through with a clean set of vocals. Fans across all genres widely received this album, and while the album was certainly a team effort, you can tell Sean was the driving force.
9 – Kyle Pavone
It’s been five years since his untimely passing, but we still remember Kyle, and why wouldn’t we? Until his death, Kyle Pavone was the lead singer of the metalcore band, We Came as Romans. Beyond just leading the band, he was one of the best clean metalcore vocalists on the block. Pavone joined We Came as Romans in 2008 as the band’s “clean vocalist.” He appeared on all five of the Band’s albums, including 2013’s Tracing Back Roots, which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 album charts and claimed No. 1 on the indie charts.
In his lifetime, Pavone was a bundle of energy and grace. And he brought that to the stage every time he stepped on it, interacting with the crowd with vigor, making every show a memorable experience. His innovative vocal style brought such emotional depth to his songs that he will forever be on this list.
10 – Noah Sebastian
Noah Sebastian is the lead singer, composer, and producer for the alternative rock/metal band, Bad Omens. You can hear why he is on our list from singles such as “The Worst in Me,” “Glass Houses,” and “Exit Wounds .” “The Worst in Me” delivered a million streams within a month of its release, and while many may put it down to timing, it’s actually down to determination and decades of learning on the job.
Sebastian is a lover of music, and the fact that he has been self-taught from the age of 16 allowed him to come up with an innovative sound of his own. You can watch Noah’s performance on his band’s viral hit “Just Pretend,” on TikTok and you will see that Metalcore can be as nuanced as it can be intense.
When asked, by RocksoundTV, about the success of “Just Pretend” Noah offered, “I think it just caught this momentum. It’s a really great song that could transcend our band, you know what I mean? It is easy to cover – I think it could have been a huge hit as a country song if another artist wrote it and delivered it the correct way in the studio. I think it could have been a huge hit as a more indie bedroom pop song. I don’t know. The way that it’s written really transcends more than our genre and our band. And when songs like that are made, they just need one little nudge as far as marketing or radio, just to kind of get it going and get people’s eyes and ears on it.”
11 – Denis Stoff
Denis changed his identity from Denis Shaforostov to Denis Stoff, but for Denis, a significant part of his identity is centered around his dynamic vocal range and stage presence.
He showed off his exceptional understanding of the stage during his period of iconic performances after Danny Worsnop left the Asking Alexandria band.
Many fans praised him then, but he was soon the subject of controversy after leaving the band in 2016. Despite that, his ability to chase and embody the genre’s evolving sounds while contributing to its growth makes him one of the best clean metalcore vocalists out there.
12 – Eddie Berg
Speak of enigmatic in the metalcore scene, and Eddie’s name will be one of the first on the list. Eddie, The lead vocalist of Imminence, has made a name for himself through his hauntingly passionate delivery of his band’s music.
His romantic approach to Metalcore sets him apart and cements his please on our best clean metalcore vocalist list. Imminence’s style, a blend of post-hardcore and alternative metal, among other influences, plays right into Berg’s clean vocal ability and creative depth.
13 – Masato Hayakawa
Masato’s bilingualism and cross-cultural experiences have set in stone his role as the frontman and vocalist of Coldrain. Since 2007, he has led the band to international recognition, blending post-hardcore and metalcore elements with a distinctive edge.
Masato speaks different art languages, extending beyond music into arts as he also directs and designs for a clothing line. Watch and listen to Hayakawa’s recent performances and songs with Coldrain, and you will see the energy and lyrical precision many fans have come to love him for.
14 – Ryo Kinoshita
Every genre of music gets better when its top performers and vocalists consistently push its boundaries. That’s precisely the calling card Ryo brings to Metalcore.
Ryo’s journey with Crystal Lake saw him push the boundaries of Metalcore, infusing it with elements of groove metal—a subgenre known for its down-tuned guitars, heavy riffs, and syncopated rhythms.
With Kinoshita, you get a vocal style that’s a fine blend of raw energy and technical precision. While Ryo can deliver guttural screams, he also aces it when it comes to melodic harmonies.
A former vocalist of Crystal Lake, Ryo Kinoshita, began a new journey with his project “KNOSIS.” His departure from the metalcore band Crystal Lake was announced back in October of last year, a decision made due to Ryo’s struggle with mental disorder. Despite his struggles, Ryo has moved on to his new project and retained his ability to adapt his voice to different styles, reserving him a fine spot on our list.
15 – Jamie Hails
Jamie Hails of Polaris is another vocalist whose talents have earned him a spot among the best clean metalcore vocalists. His Australian metalcore band, Polaris, has become one of the most exciting acts in the metalcore genre, all thanks to Jamie.
Think of Hails, and what comes to mind is a vocalist whose style of music blends the sweet science of aggressive metalcore elements with progressive and post-rock influences, creating an intense yet melodic soundscape.
Hails’ vocals are a standout feature anytime the band performs, as he does an excellent job of taking us away from the familiar theme of heavy instrumentation and bringing us to a world of clean and technically proficient singing.
Which clean metalcore vocalist is your favorite of all time? Let us know in the comment section!