10 Greatest Screams In Rock Music History

When Rock Goes Animalistic.

Rob Halford Judas Priest
Aaron Rubin, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

When you’re playing rock and roll, sometimes the traditional vocal runs just aren’t enough. Even if you’re trying to show off your best Freddie Mercury impression, the more operatic side of rock doesn’t really work when you want to get your anger out. All music falls away and all that you’re left with is just screaming your head off.

Then again, it’s hard to really judge certain screams from one another. Since most of the time you won’t have to worry about notes, these screams are being judged for just how much of an impact that they have on the listener when they’re played out in real time. While there are some that just do their job at letting all of that aggression out, there are others where you get chills on the back of your neck, almost like the singer is in the room with you and screaming right in front of your face.

This also comes with context, always knowing when to scream instead of kicking into overdrive every single time you step up to the microphone. Rock and roll has always been about keeping a groove and singing at the top of your lungs, but these were the few times where we saw bands tap into the more animalistic side of themselves.

10. Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters

Bringing intensity to rock and roll wasn't really anything new for Dave Grohl when the Foo Fighters got rolling. Even if he never said that much from behind the drumkit in Nirvana most of the time, Dave was a student of the hardcore punk scene when it was just starting out, and you can hear him wearing some of those influences on his sleeve in the first handful of Foos songs like Wattershed and Weenie Beenie. The second album whipped the band into shape though, and Dave was up to the challenge with one of the best screams of his life.

Which is strange because Monkey Wrench isn't really a super intense song by any stretch. When you take away the guitars, this is just a typical love gone wrong song about a couple that just isn't communicating properly. While most of the song reads as super power pop half of the time, the real anger comes out after the bridge, where Dave goes on a long vocal run on one note before building it up to a scream at the end, catching the next chorus at the last few seconds.

The notes might not be that hard, but this would really be a test of endurance, with no real room to take a breath in between those words and continuing to build in intensity so that you're really hitting that last scream as strong as you possibly can. Though the crowd might take the reins for Dave half the time during some of the Foos' recent shows, this one snippet from the song is just a taste of the kind of stamina that Dave has for an entire show.

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