I'm fascinated by bands that feature a strong female as their singer. I have no idea why. And I'm not talking about groups like Nightwish, Leaves' Eyes, Lacuna Coil, or others. No, I am talking about real metal: traditional metal, thrash metal, death metal, black metal, and more. None of this gothic metal stuff, not that I mind it, it just does not have the same effect as listening to an aggressive, powerful metal band and finding out that their singer is a woman.
We have long since passed the point where these bands were novelties, yet many of them still are not held up on the same pedestal as their peers. Many of these bands should be regarded as highly as other bands in their individual scene, but are not. They are still viewed as sex objects or in some innate way inferior to other bands. I would like to see this end.
With that being said, here are some of my favorite metal bands with female lead singers. Check them out, you will not be sorry. I am also always looking for more recommendations. I am aware of some other bands that I just have not been able to check out in depth yet, such as Znowhite, Ignitor, Darkestrah, Crystal Viper, Nuclear Death, Voetsek, Madder Mortem, Astarte, Pyrrah, and Ludicra.
HOLY MOSESHoly Moses was around during the 1980's German thrash metal scene. They were a bit more melodic than groups like Kreator, Destruction, and Sodom, but no less punishing. The band has put out several great releases and Sabina Classen's rabid, snarling vocals lead the charge. A great, underrated thrash metal band that is still going strong.
RECOMMENDATION: FINISHED WITH THE DOGS
ARCH ENEMYMost metalheads have heard of Arch Enemy by now. The melodeath band was started by the Amott brothers and originally featured a man by the name of Johan Axelsson on vocals. It was after Angela Gossow, with her psychotic shrieking death growls, took over that the band's mainstream popularity skyrocketed. Yes, that is pretty much entirely due to the female singer doing death growls.
RECOMMENDATION: WAGES OF SIN
CRISISCrisis played an unholy mix of death metal and thrash metal on their early recordings Karyn Crisis's vocals sound seriously disturbed and maniacally sinister. Able to fluctuate between a soft whisper and a primal roar and everything in between in the span of the same lyrical sentence, she truly unnerves the listener.
RECOMMENDATION: DEATHSHED EXTERMINATION
BENEDICTUMBenedictum is a relatively recent band that plays traditional-sounding metal, capitalizing on the recent retro craze. The band is similar musically to Grave Digger and other longtime true metal bands. Veronica Freeman possesses soaring vocals that she puts to great use on their music.
RECOMMENDATION: SEASONS OF TRAGEDY
TEMTRISThe Australian traditional metal band is not real well-known at this point. That may soon change as the band is every bit as competent musically as Benedictum. Genevieve Rodda does not have the same range as Veronica Freeman, but may have a more emotional-sounding voice.
ESTUARYWhy the hell isn't this band better known? And when will they have a new album out? Zdenka Prado's inhuman death growls are easily the equal of any man's and the band's style of death/thrash is infectiously brutal.
RECOMMENDATION: THE CRAFT OF CONTRADICTION
GALLHAMMERJapan's Gallhammer is the result of three girls with a taste for Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, and crust punk. They are at their best when they just let the grooving style of Hellhammer/Frost dictate the direction they go. Lead vocalist Vivian Slaughter has a corroded, decayed vocal style that matches the bleakness of the band's music quite well.
RECOMMENDATION: III INNOCENCE
LANDMINE MARATHONI don't know how this band has gotten the tag of hipster metal. Revolver also loves them, which isn't doing them any favors in the metal underground either. But the band plays a mean brand of death/grind most similar to groups like Napalm Death, Carcass, and Bolt Thrower. Vocalist Grace Perry sounds possessed.
RECOMMENDATION: RUSTED EYES AWAKE
DREAMING DEADThis is a very new band, combining elements of black metal, death metal, and thrash metal all together. They play very fast and very brutal and are amazingly talented. This band could be very big someday soon. Vocalist Elizabeth Schall is also one hell of a guitar player, prompting comparisons to Death's Chuck Schuldiner in musical and vocal style.
RECOMMENDATION: WITHIN ONE
Do not sleep on these bands.