Tales from the Jugular

Female Metal Vocalists - Clean, Power, and Growlers

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Tales From The Jugular: Female Metal Vocalists

Heavy metal and hard rock is usually a Man's Game, but women have made their own mark with power, grace, beauty and pure guts. Below is a list of some of the more well known clean, power, and growling female voices out there.

CLEAN/OPERATIC - These ladies have some of the best pipes in the business for melodic singing ranging from pure, clean vocals to full-on opera style.

Anette Johansson - Shiva
Anette started singing at the age of sixteen when she joined a band called Angelez and reached the finals of the "On Stage" competition in Stockholm and was voted as the best female singer.

At the age of eighteen she joined Yankee Heaven where she met guitar player Mats Edstrom. Johansson and Edstrom created the duo Shiva, an amazing AOR-Hard Rock band and released two albums: “Shiva” in 2002 and “Desert Dreams” in 2004.

Anneke Van Giersbergen - The Gathering
Starting as a death metal band, The Gathering eventually brought on Anneke for vocals and helped to start the melodic, female-fronted metal scene with the release of their psuedo-metal album "Mandylion". The band has become one of Holland's biggest rock acts and has since changed directions away from a metal sound. Anneke has a strong, melodic voice with a wide vocal range that may be the most haunting of them all.

Beatriz Albert - Ebony Ark
Young lead vocalist of the Spanish band Ebony Ark which also has in its ranks drummer Jorge Saez of ex-Dark Moor and now Dreamaker. Her vocals are sweet and tend to be more on the operatic with a bit more of her native accent than is typical. She has also lent vocals to the new Dark Moor.

Christina Scabbia - Lacuna Coil
Currently finding success in the Italian band Lacuna Coil which means "empty spiral". Christina has been compared to The Gathering's Anneke Van Giersbergen in style and sound, but Christina adds a touch of sultryness to her vocals.

Floor Jansen - After Forever
Lead soprano vocalist of the Dutch band After Forever who first came upon the rock scene with their debut ‘Prison Of Desire’. The band has made a profound impression with their epic combination of metal with influences from classical music, gothic and prog rock.

Helen Vogt - Flowing Tears
Heading up the female fronted atmospheric metal band Flowing Tears, Helen Vogt will pull you away from your cares with her smooth baritone voice. If a bittersweet dream had a voice, it would probably sound just like Helen.

Johanna De Pierre - Amaran
Vocalist for Amaran. They play melodic Swedish metal in the style of In Flames and Dark Tranquillity, but with clean female vocals. Johanna puts on a powerful performance, similar to Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil). Her earlier work includes both blues and hiphop.

Katy Decker - Royal Anguish
Katy Decker began singing at the age of 14 and has been going strong since. She started out in Opera, but then graduated to Metal on the advice of her younger brother, Derek. Katy brings her classical and theatrical training, along with the influences of Tarja and Sharon den Adel, to Royal Anguish.

Liv Kristine Espænes - Theatre of Tragedy
Theatre of Tragedy were one of the earliest bands to use an etreme contrast between the well known male 'death grunt'-type of vocals and so called 'clean' female, angel-like singing. With her vocals Liv has helped to propel the Gothic Metal/Rock band Theatre of Tragedy to the top of their genre.

Medeah - Artrosis
Artrosis, whose name is a symbolic blending of art and roses, have their own distinctive style of atmospheric Goth Metal, which is brought to perfection primarily by the charismatic voice of Medeah. She is know for occasionally singing some songs in her mother tongue--Polish.

Sabine Edelsbacher - Edenbridge
After helping to form the progressive metal band Edenbridge, vocalist Sabine Edelsbacher has seen her popularity and critical acclaim grow with each of the bands releases. She's know for her clean, ethereal, dreamy vocals.

Sarah Jezebel Deva - Cradle Of Filth/Therion
After a demo landed in the hands of Cradle of Filth, they were so impressed that Sarah became their backing singer. She has also toured and record with bands such as Therion, Covenant, & Mortiis. Sarah does mainly operetic style vocals and has a range of four octaves!

Sharon Den Adel - Within Temptation
Sharon Den Adel is the singer for Dutch hard rock band Within Temptation. With her high-range, light vocals, Sharon has helped make the band one of the most popular of the female-fronted metal bands in Europe today especially with the international hit "Ice Queen".

Simone Simons - Epica
18 year old Simone provides the haunting, high pitched Arias for the Epic Goth metal band Epica.

Tarja Turunen - Nightwish
Tarja Turunen is one of the most well-known female singers in the metal scene and has brought critical and world-wide attention to the Holland-based, progressive, symphonic metal band Nightwish. Her vocals can be full-on operatic and hard for some listeners to take, but for her fans, she is the greatest.

Vibeke Stene - Tristania
Vibeke is the soprano vocalist for Tristania, one of the leading atmospheric gothic metal bands playing today, taking the dual male/female vocal style pioneered Theatre Of Tragedy and combining them with lush, symphonic orchestration, while remaining a fully metallic band at its core.

POWER METAL/HARD ROCK - Like some of their male contemporaries, these ladies wail out melodies with tons of emotion, but with an edginess.

Ann Boleyn - Hellion
Former singer of Hellion, she recently released her first solo album. She spent years on the road playing Hammond organ and eventually formed Beowulf. After several male singers, Ann took over the vocals and changed the band's name to Hellion. In the mid-80's, Ann formed her own label, New Renaissance, on the basis of creative freedom. Ann's music, both vocal and instrumental, have been included on numerous soundtracks and commercials.

Debbie Gunn - Sentinel Beast/Iceage
Fronting the thrash band Sentinel Beast, Debbie Gunn made her way to underground metal fame by helping to break down a lot of barriers for females in the world of heavy metal. The very idea that a thrash band with a female vocalist would get any notoriety at all was a feat within itself and she made made quite an impact before she left the band to join Iceage, a Swedish all female thrash band.

Doro Pesch - Warlock/Doro
Making her mark as the front woman for the influential, 80s, German power metal band Warlock, Doro is known for her raw metal vocals as opposed to a clean, feminine style and after almost 20 years continues to rock hard into the current scene.

Elisa C. Martin - Dreamaker/Dark Moor/Fairyland
Elisa initially made a name for herself in the Spanish metal band Dark Moor. Her powerful, emotional singing was a perfect compliment to the highly orchestrated power metal the band played. After some creative differences, she went on to the French metal band Fairyland and has since started the band Dreamaker.

Federica De Boni - Skullview
Former vocalist for the Italian power/thrash metal band White Skull. In February 2001 she left the band for personal reasons. A month later they replaced her with a male singer. On their album, 'Tales from the North', she does a duet with Grave Digger's Chris Boltendahl.

Kimberly Goss - Sinergy/Dimmu Borgir
Kimberly, along with Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom started the power metal band Sinergy. She rocks hard and is one of the dark queens of metal.

Lita Ford - Runaways/Lita Ford
After her early band The Runaways broke up, the blonde bombshell went on her own and became one of the most familiar female names in metal during the 80s. Lita has been quiet since the 90s, but will always be known for her stellar guitar work and songs like "Kiss Me Deadly" and the Ozzy duet "Close My Eyes Forever". Lita was recently ranked #89 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.

Louise Post-Veruca Salt
Named after the bratty young girl in the movie "Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" (the 'bad egg' that goes down the garbage chute), vox/guitarist Louise and guitarist Nina Gordon play hard-edged, in your face rock. After the departure of Nina, Louise is currently the sole holder of the Veruca Salt name.

Maria Sjöholm - Drain S.T.H
Leading the Swedish, all-female band Drain STH, Maria powers the band's hard rock sounds. No ABBA or Ace of Base from these ladies!

Morgan Lee Lander - Kittie
Lead vocals and guitars for the popular Nu-metal styled band Kittie. She started with classical guitar lessons from age 8 to 12, but has never had vocal lessons.

Tanja Lainio - Lullacry
After losing their then-vocalist Tanya due to musical differences, Tanja stepped in to lead the highly infectious rock/goth-rock outfit Lullacry. Her sweet vocals are a perfect match for the hook-leaden rock melodies of this Finnish band.

DEATH GROWLS - One word best fits the style of these women--rough.

Angela Gossow - Arch Enemy
Lead vocalist for the Swedish death metal band Arch Enemy since Autumn 2000. Her death growl is killer and will shock you to hear. From 1991 to 1998 she was the vocalist for the extreme death metal band Asmodina, and in 1998 she founded Mistress, which she was with until 2001.

Dawn Crosby - Detente/Fear Of God
The rough-throated singer started out in the early 80s using almost a death/black metal voice. She was a pioneer for rough female vocals, leading the way for female fronted bands such as Crisis, Opera IX, Arch Enemy, and most recently Sinister. On December 15, 1996, Dawn Crosby died of acute liver failure. She had been drinking heavily since 1992.

Sandra Schleret - Dreams of Sanity/Siegfried
Vocalist for Siegfried, a German epic metal band recently signed to Napalm Records.

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