The new breed of female metallers
I feel a lot of estrogen floating around the metalsphere. Or, more accurately, a lot of testosterone floating around the estrogen. People got worked up about Revolver‘s “Hottest Chicks in Metal” issue. Then people got worked up about Leaves’ Eyes singer Liv Kristine’s blog post about Why Females in Metal Rule. Then people got worked up about Metalsucks’ rejoinder to Kristine. The metalsphere proved that it is indeed made up of two factions: knuckle-dragging Blabbermouthers, and women.
Here’s my rejoinder to Kristine: Do, or do not. There is no why. Women either kick ass in metal or they don’t. With enough research, I could fill this blog every day with worthy females in metal bands. In fact, there is/was a blog devoted to that: stayfemale.blogspot.com. (The site has been dormant since July.) We’ve gone through this “women in metal” discussion so many times that the names come to mind instantly: Angela Gossow, Jo Bench, Laura Pleasants, Liz Buckingham, Mel Mongeon, Grace Perry, and so on.
They are all great musicians. But we don’t have to limit the discussion to them. Here are four unknown female metallers who are potential game-changers.
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Priscila Serrano (Sinners Bleed)
I discovered Sinners Bleed through Death Metal Invasion. They’re a German death metal band that’s technical yet vicious. (Suffocation is an obvious influence.) Their new vocalist Priscila Serrano doesn’t attempt to hide her femininity; she balances midrange screams with low growls. But her low growls are definitely man-sized. Check out “Behind the Veil” and “Devouring Hatred” on the band’s MySpace. The video for the former is above. It is awesome.
Sofia Raykova (Tantal)
Tantal are a Russian band who MySpaced me recently. They’re like later Death updated with a modern sense of groove. Their video for “Suicide” pasted my jaw to the floor. It starts off cheesy but gets better and better, with an amazing Between the Buried and Me-style outro. Thankfully, Sofia Raykova’s clean singing doesn’t last long, and she drops into various pitches of growls. If Tantal were American, Sumerian would be jocking them hard.
Sally Gates (Gigan, Infernal Assault)
Sally Gates has been filling in for Gigan live on bass. But she’s a six-string shredder in her own right. The best footage I’ve found of her is above, featuring her doing Vital Remains solos. She needs to have her own band! Check out also Infernal Assault, her mostly female covers band, jamming on Slayer (here and here).
Here is Jacqueline Mannering, then 14 or 15, doing the solo from Metallica’s “Blackened.” (Thanks to Metal Inquisition for the tip.) Did someone gave her a Stratocaster loaded with humbuckers for her Bat Mitzvah? She doesn’t know a thing about phrasing or feel, but those can come later. The fact that a teenage girl can pull this off without breaking a sweat shows that we’ve come a long way, baby.