Melissa Cross - The Zen of Screaming DVD (Cover Artwork)

Melissa Cross

The Zen of Screaming 📀 (2005)

Loud Mouth

Melissa Cross is a vocal coach, but she is not showing her students how to crack glasses or generate endless vibrato. Instead, Melissa caters to the crowd that wants to scream their lungs out. Over the course of The Zen of Screaming, Melissa goes through plenty of simple exercises that seem less about becoming a better vocalist, and more about controlling what you already have. Melissa teaches how metal and hardcore singers can keep from damaging their vocal cords or consistently losing their voices.

Her lessons are interspersed with first-hand commentary from singers such as Brian Fair of Shadows Fall, Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die, Phil Labonte of All That Remains, Andrew W.K. and Thursday keyboardist Andrew Everding. You quickly learn why these guys keep coming back to Melissa; she makes them comfortable, is not overly technical, and is not attempting to make them into traditional singers.

If you are not looking to become a front-man anytime soon, this DVD will probably bore you. There is not much info on Melissa herself, and only a few seconds of live footage. The bonus features are merely medical footage of vocal cords, and more commentary from clients labeled as "bloopers" and "what they are saying."

Still, if you would like some instruction, and a practice CD without having to shell out a ton of dough for lessons, or you just want to see Freddy from Madball doing vocal warm-ups, then I'd suggest checking this out.