Long considered the domain of men, metal music has recently seen the entry of women. A few women managed to break this sexist norm and make an impactful statement through their musical journeys.
Runhild led the way for Scandinavian female metal vocalists with her striking, banshee-esque shrieks. After guitarist Michael Amott interviewed her for an online magazine and witnessed first-hand her incredible vocal ability, Runhild joined Arch Enemy. Her presence and charisma captured everyone who encountered her and instantly won them over!
Angela Gossow is one of the premier female vocalists in metal music. With an extraordinary vocal range and signature style that have mesmerized audiences worldwide, her performance have shattered gender norms while inspiring many aspiring female metal musicians to follow in her footsteps.
Gossow has garnered worldwide acclaim through her career, recording critically-acclaimed albums and engaging in numerous world tours. Her exceptional talent and determination has resulted in immense global recognition; her commitment to music makes her a true force within the industry.
Her vocals are distinguished by an aggressive, raspy tone with false cord screams that recall death growls used by male heavy metal singers; yet her style is much more feminine and captivating than what was heard before in Arch Enemy. These combined styles have earned her the moniker “Mother of Melodic Death Metal.”
Gossow has also earned praise for her tireless advocacy on women’s rights and equality issues, both musically and otherwise. As a feminist, atheist and vegan she supports various non-profits like Amnesty International and peta2 with concert appearances regularly attended with her band members.
Gossow has become an inspiration to young women looking to break into traditionally male-dominated fields like heavy metal music. Her success may lead to wider changes in how growling is perceived – according to an investigation conducted by Julian Schaap and Pauwke Berkers’ study on online “vocal covers” within extreme metal genres, only Gossow’s growl was specifically considered feminine in their research study.
Floor Jansen is an extraordinary performer onstage, not only thanks to her looks or cleavage but also due to her incredible voice. She has an extraordinary wide vocal range which allows her to effortlessly transition from high notes to low ones – plus even screaming and growling when necessary – which makes her one of a kind among female metal singers. Floor currently fronts Nightwish but has previously served as lead vocalist of After Forever and ReVamp.
German-born, American-raised singer Andrea is an absolute force onstage. Boasting a stunning soprano voice and amazing songwriting ability, her unique style marries goth/rock music elements with death metal vocals in an impressive manner. Furthermore, she can hit those low notes which is essential in death metal bands.
Femalevolentia are renowned for their blend of thrash metal, symphonic music and extreme black metal sounds. She is a powerful singer capable of producing harsh shrieks and growls effortlessly; in addition, she’s an accomplished bass guitarist; having previously played bass guitar for Crisis and Sybreed bands.
When she’s not fronting her band, she works as a vocal coach and classical soprano vocalist. Additionally, she founded Vocalize Your Soul school and offers online vocal lessons.
Death Metal Maiden C-W captivates audiences whether she wears her signature leather apron or full medieval armor with her powerful and charismatic stage presence. Her voice blends melodic singing, spoken parts, and growls effortlessly while exuding emotion through music; making her one of the most remembered female metal vocalists ever.
Now in 2022, it’s no longer surprising to witness a woman singing lead vocals for a metal band; but that doesn’t make the task any easier – especially if she sounds as though she might sprout antlers at any moment! Larissa Stupar of Welsh death metal sextet Venom Prison stands out in this respect; their chaotic take on extreme metal has seen them tour with Trivium and Dying Fetus before even collaborating on streetwear apparel with The Hundreds! Plus with their latest release “Samsara”, popularity can only grow with time!
Venom Prison’s lyrics are an unapologetic assault of unabashed lyrical grossness. Their songs cover topics of violence, gore, and physical abuse – often at the expense of female victims – with such forceful anger that their impact is tremendously felt. Much of this success can be credited to their uncompromising frontwoman whose jagged yet earthy roar provides the ideal outlet for death metal trope-bending lyrics like “Perpetrator Emasculation,” in which an abusive perpetrator force-fed his own genitalia by force-feeding his own genitalia into his mouth by being force-fed his own genitalia by force!
As if that weren’t enough, Stupar’s work as an activist is just as significant. She has been outspoken critic of Brexit, Russia and US foreign policy – as well as working closely with anti-fascist group Against Fascists on anti-racist events across the UK. Her voice stands out in an industry where women’s voices can often go unheard; it’s refreshing to witness someone so bold as hers in such a public fashion industry setting.
Maria Brink is an extraordinary female singer with a versatile voice who belongs to In This Moment and uses both screaming and clean vocals in her music career. Brink has over 25 years of experience working in the music industry as both an artist and advocate for women within metal music – recently speaking out about this in Metal Hammer about its importance for women to remain visible at shows and within the industry.
In This Moment has released seven albums since 2005 and are an established heavy metal act. Brink has been frontwoman for this band since 2005; she hails from New York where she began singing at local venues as a teenager while also working at bars and coffee shops to make money. After moving to Los Angeles in 2002 and auditioning for bands there, Chris Howorth initially turned her away due to being female; later apologized and hired her into what was originally known as Dying Star but later changed it to In This Moment.
She boasts a four octave vocal range with powerful yet beautiful tones that bridge both power and beauty, often including elements of sorrow and loss in her performances. She has garnered an enthusiastic following that appreciates her willingness to deviate from metal norms by exploring different musical genres and experiment with various styles.
Brink’s voice stands out because, much like Alissa White-Gluz’s current lead singer in Arch Enemy, her powerful and haunting style of singing makes her unique.
Elize Ryd is an esteemed Swedish female singer best known as one of the founding members of Amaranthe. Additionally, she is well known as a songwriter, dancer and composer. Elize has performed with many other artists as well as being featured in musicals; she brings incredible passion for her work that can greatly advance metal music industry.
Dragonland, Falconer, Takida, Gus G, Dreamstate and Smash Into Pieces have all worked with Elize as she showcases her multi-talent musical career. Elize competed in Sweden Melodifestivalen 2015 with her song titled “One by one”, inspired by her late brother who passed away suddenly in his 30s. Elize is not limited to singing as she has an ambitious vision for music’s future and how she wants it seen by society as a musician.
Ryd’s vocal range is truly astounding, from soft melancholy to heartbreaking wails of despair. Her ability to convey both fragility and strength in her voice is what sets her apart; her talent makes her one of the most renowned female metal singers of her generation.
Debate surrounding women in metal has subsided somewhat in recent years, yet remains an essential topic. While the industry remains predominantly male-dominated, it is encouraging to see so many talented female artists emerge on its scene; these female voices provide much-needed diversity within a genre which needs more inclusive voices and approaches.
Debates around gender discrimination is especially relevant to those outside the music industry who may not fully appreciate what women face in this profession. Education about such issues as discrimination must take place so as to make things fair and equal for all involved.