BoingBoing points to a Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal article on the use of the Cookie Monster voice by Death Metal artists. You shouldn’t confuse this voice with The Voice used by the Bene Gesserit in the book/movie/miniseries Dune. Not the same thing.
Anywho, I’m not a big fan of Death Metal but I’ve heard enough to know that Cookie Monster Voice is probably the best way to describe some of the noises that pass for singing in this style. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but it gets the job done. Here’s a choice quote that illustrates the actual act of singing Death Metal:
To be a true Cookie Monster vocal, said Mr. Conner, who signed some of the subgenre’s biggest bands, including Sepultura and Fear Factory, “it’s got to be really, really guttural. It should sound like they’re gargling glass.”
Read the whole thing, even if you’re not a Death Metal fan. I think you’ll find it instructive the next time you have to deconstruct the difference between similar bands in a sub-genre, say Franz Ferdinand and The Killers or the subtleties that separate Iron and Wine from Sufjan Stevens.
And maybe you’ll be inspired to come up with your own Muppet-themed reference for their signature style. I hear Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem and Wayne and Wanda are still available.