Top 10 Worst Replacement Singers in Rock and Metal

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Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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See also: Top Ten Best Replacement Singers in Rock and Metal

At the beginning of the year, Boston metalcore giants Killswitch Engage announced that they had parted ways with vocalist Howard Jones, and two weeks ago they announced they were bringing their first vocalist, Jesse Leach, back into the fold. At the very least, it seems a way to ensure they won't show up on our list of the least successful replacement singers in rock and metal. Yes, Virginia, Gary Cherone (above) is involved.

10. Every Dead Kennedys vocalist not named Jello Biafra

Dead Kennedys (2001-present)

Disputes over royalty payments and licensing have left Jello Biafra on the sidelines while the rest of the Dead Kennedys continue to play punk rock festivals as a sad nostalgia act. Vocalists since 2001 have included non-luminaries such as Dr. Know frontman Brandon Cruz, Jeff Penalty, and current vocalist Skip Greer. No singer yet has matched the energy and power that Biafra's vocals gave to these songs.

9. Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek

The Doors (1971-1973)

Even on the most pedestrian Doors songs, Jim Morrison still provided a charismatic presence that lifted the material. When he passed away in 1971, the band should have hung it up. But considering their previous album L.A. Woman was a huge critical and commercial success, one can't really fault them for chugging along. Kreiger and Manzarek shared vocal duties on 1971's Other Voices and 1972's Full Circle, but neither one did the trick.

8. Israel Joseph I

Bad Brains (1993-1994)

Original vocalist H.R. has always had a volatile relationship with the rest of Bad Brains. A disagreement in the early '90s led to them replacing him with Israel Joseph I. The subsequent 1993 album Rise saw one of the most influential punk-rock acts of the 80's failing to adapt well to the changing music landscape. The effort was a jumbled mess of major-label funk-rock, grunge, and proto-rap metal that didn't excel at any of those things. Joseph didn't cut it, and H.R. was back in the fold within two years.

7. Matt McGachy

Cryptopsy (2007-present)

This French-Canadian group made their name with technical death-metal classics like Blasphemy Made Flesh and None So Vile. They made a colossal error with 2007's The Unspoken King. After firing original vocalist Lord Worm, the band made an attempt at jumping on the metalcore bandwagon. They brought in a vocalist that could do the good cop (clean)-bad cop (death) vocals of the genre. Unfortunately, this both pissed off their fans, and metalcore had already peaked in popularity by the time the album came out. Cryptopsy has yet to release a follow-up.

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