I really enjoy things like Metallica and Megadeth that are heavy but still have normal to mostly normal lyrics. I just can't get to where I can like the grunting stuff. I started my metal with Metallica back in 90 or so and just never cared to move on after thrash's first wave kind of died off. I got into nu-metal or whatever you call it, for a while to. Disturbed, FFDP, Drowning Pool, etc. I was also there for the birth of grunge and still listen to it very heavily.
I can sort of get into Testament's Formation of Damnation but that is about the limit.
Thanks! Honestly the first hit in that thread kind of was a winner. Drop the vocals all together. Angel Vivaldi is pretty awesome so far.
Dream Theatre! I wore out my cassette of Images and Words, yea I'm old. I am going to have to dig back into their stuff again. They are not really metal but good stuff for sure.
Volbeat and Alter Bridge I also considered not really metal, but I do like some of Alter Bridge's stuff already. 10 Years also fits in this category, really good stuff. Below is one of their more agressive vocal tracks. Many are cleaner really.
Have you heard Symphony X? They pretty much fit the bill as being 'heavy Dream Theater'. While the vocalist does prefer a raspier style of singing it's still pretty clean on most tracks. He's incredibly versatile and often goes back and forth on how he performs.
Speaking from personal experience, I think that you can learn to enjoy the vocals despite them being harsh (cookie monster). The way that I did it effectively was that I stopped thinking of the vocals as the singing, and started thinking about them as an instrument. Like guitars or drums, they contribute to the overall sound of the song. The harsh vocals contribute to the atmosphere that the band is trying to achieve. From there, I looked for bands that had a sound or atmosphere that I liked, and I listened. I listened a lot. I have a huge love for music. So I spent a lot of time listening to metal. Now, I don't even think about the vocals in the same capacity as rock vocals, or rap vocals, or whatever. I think that you can do the same thing, if you want.