How to Learn Singing “Blackened” from Metallica

Learning to Sing Metallica’s “Blackened”

Singing a song like Metallica’s “Blackened” requires not only vocal power but also a unique vocal technique known as growling. In this article, we will guide you through the process of learning to sing “Blackened” and provide practical advice to help you master this challenging song.

Understanding the Vocal Technique: Growling

Before diving into the song, let’s explore the growling technique used by Metallica’s lead vocalist, James Hetfield. Growling is a harsh, aggressive vocal technique commonly heard in heavy metal. It involves creating a distorted, gravelly sound by manipulating the vocal cords. To learn growling, we recommend watching the instructional video “How to Growl” on the Singing Carrots YouTube channel. This video provides step-by-step guidance on how to produce the growling sound effectively.

Preparing Your Voice

Prior to attempting “Blackened,” it’s essential to warm up your voice and ensure proper vocal health. Singing Carrots offers a helpful practice-starter video called “Farinelli Breathing” that focuses on breath control and warming up your vocal cords. Take a few minutes to follow this exercise to prepare your voice for the song.

Mastering the Song

Learning a complex song like “Blackened” requires careful attention to detail. Here are some steps to guide you:

  1. Analyze the Song: Begin by listening to the original version of “Blackened” and familiarize yourself with the melody, rhythm, and vocal nuances. Refer to the Singing Carrots article, “How to Analyze Your Voice,” to gain insights into how to dissect and understand the song structure.
  2. Practice Pitch Accuracy: Use Singing Carrots’ “Pitch Accuracy Test” to assess your ability to hit the correct notes. This tool will provide valuable feedback on your vocal accuracy, ensuring that you’re on the right track to sing “Blackened” effortlessly.
  3. Focus on Breathing: Singing intense songs like “Blackened” requires adequate breath support. Read the Singing Carrots article “Breathing Basics” to understand active and passive breathing techniques and how to optimize your breath control while singing.
  4. Work on Vocal Registers: Building vocal agility is crucial for singing a song that transitions between different registers. The Singing Carrots article on “Voice Registers & Vocal Break” will help you understand vocal registers and provide exercises to strengthen your voice through register transitions.
  5. Develop Vocal Power: Metallica songs demand vocal power and projection. The Singing Carrots pitch training exercises, such as the “Educational Singing Game,” will help you build vocal strength and power needed to deliver a powerful performance of “Blackened.”

Other Songs That Utilize Growling Technique

The growling technique used in “Blackened” is also prevalent in other popular songs. If you enjoy exploring this vocal style further, consider learning songs like Slipknot’s “Duality” and Lamb of God’s “Redneck.” These songs will provide additional opportunities to refine your growling technique.


Learning to sing Metallica’s “Blackened” is both a challenging and rewarding endeavor. By embracing growling and following the practical tips provided, you will be well on your way to mastering this iconic song. Remember to utilize the Singing Carrots resources, such as the vocal range test, pitch accuracy test, and pitch training exercises, to enhance your singing abilities. Happy singing!