No, there will be no quota for anything on this blog. We’re not going down silly road. Nor will there be any single-minded preference towards female vocalists on the RockmusicRaider site, ever.
We will – however – cover whoever in the world of Folk, Metal or Rock piques our interest. And this regardless of where they come from or what they are, apart from some ideological caveats that would induce the terrible banhammer to strike. In other words, we’ll go for talent, rather than be guided by doctrine.
Yet, we have consistently covered female fronted acts on this blog, at a rate of some 25% of all reviews to date. Not because it is modern, or – Loki forbid – politically correct to do so, but because these vocalists are good. Some of them damn good, operating at much higher levels, than many of their male brethren could even dream to attain one day.
Also, this is not some sort of a ranking list. It is a pretty subjective selection of female interpreters that somehow stood out from the crowd on our journey to record review nirvana. Not driven by air-time, but guided by their qualities, stamina and myriad ways to dazzle the RMR deck crew into action.
Angela Gossow lured her away from The Agonist, as the lore goes. And she went on to haunt Arch Enemy forthwith with her trademark blue hair and fancy dresses full of holes. Apart from appearance, she is famous for her growls that will make many of her male brethren hang their heads in shame. Now, Alissa White-Gluz also sports a decent set of clear vocals. I was so amazed, when I found her on Kamelot’s 2015 album as a guest singer doing both styles. Another multi-talent that will go far.
Aye, we even got female interpreters in Black Metal, go figure. And by Loki, Amalie Bruun and her gig Myrkur had to endure extraordinary punishment since the start of the project. The venom directed at her was phenomenal. Her sin? To introduce a new style to a fan base that clearly wanted no change. And surely no ethereal female chanting could be had, in a truly male-dominated genre. A bit like Alcest and their similar birthing pains. Now, with roughies roaming this particular soundscape far and wide, this is no real surprise. Yet, the tune Myrkur put forward surely was. And this gained her our undying support.
She is probably one of the most charismatic and mysterious interpreters that the metal multiverse has to offer. With her gig Evanescence she produced a few pretty stellar albums early on, but lost steam once her co-pilot left the boat. Despite her struggles to keep up with her career, nothing will take away from her many talents as one of the best vocalists currently on stage in Gothic and Melodic Metal.
Anneke Van Giersbergen
Here’s to an old hand that did not get enough air cover on this blog, I admit. Anneke is one of the most gifted interpreters in the Gothic, Progressive and Symphonic Metal world. And indeed in other genres, too. She came to fame on the RockmusicRaider blog with The Gentle Storm, that delicious piece she ran together with Arjen Lucassen. Coming from The Gathering, she went on to a sizable number of projects with Lucassen again (Ayreon, The Gentle Storm et al), Devin Townsend, Moonspell and others. Plus – of course – her very own band VUUR that saw the light of day not that long ago.
She truly is one of the most respected female vocalists in Rock and Metal. Charlotte Wessels appeared on many a review on RockmusicRaider, mainly for her projects Delain and Phantasma. Plus a number of guest interventions on behalf of a few additional Gothic and Symphonic Metal acts. In a sense, she has become one of the most sought after voices in the metal multiverse. And continues to evolve, if the latest EP is anything to judge by.
Joining Eluveitie for Evocation II – Pantheon in 2017, Fabienne Erni quickly established herself in the Folk and Pagan Metal genres. She came on board after the somewhat abrupt departure of Anna Murphy. Her undeniable skills and pretty serious vocal powers dazzled us to no end ever since. And – proof of the pudding – she again reaffirmed her position strongly with Ategnatos that just got its chains removed early 2019. Looking at our crystal ball in the attic, the RMR deck crew states that she will go far. Very far.
I stumbled across Halestorm more by accident than by design. And then Lzzy Hale stumbled all over me with her rocket fuse energy levels and stellar voice. I daresay that without her, this band would not exist. It also proves the point, that a stellar vocalist can pull a band forward like a friggin’ speed train. Down the winning road, as surely is the case with this lady. RockmusicRaider covered pretty much what they have on offer, and plan to continue as long as they are radio-active and out of control.
Yeah, I know. She only officially appeared once on the blog for her gig Scardust in a dedicated review. Mind you, this sole intervention netted her the numba 1 rank of the 2017 Top Ten Records on RockmusicRaider. And we adore her sparkling energy and undeniable skills as a vocalist in the Progressive Metal field. Or as a choir master, if you will. And I bet you, we will see and hear much more from her in the not so distant future.
Sharon den Adel
Whoever thinks Sharon Den Adel, thinks Within Temptation. And she is all that, indeed. But she is also My Indigo. The thoughtful solo project we recently covered. And yet again, she is one of the biggest names out there in Gothic, Melodic and Symphonic Metal. Many a delight came from this corner of the metal world, even if – lately – we had our reservations about the style direction they took with WT. Yet, nothing will ever erase her undeniable stellar talents as a vocalist. She truly dazzled us many times over her long tenure with Within Temptation and her other projects.
At barely 18 years of age, Simone Simons stepped out of her classical upbringing into the world of harsh vocals, ethereal female voices and downturned guitars with The Phantom Agony. Since that day, she has been the face of Epica, and today more so than ever. She is one of these game-changers that furthered the cause in the Symphonic Metal genre. And helped cement this somewhat strange marriage between classical vocalists and the metal universe. So much so, that this genre became very saturated in the meantime. Which – in turn – makes it difficult to churn out meaningful content by big bands like this one.
Okay, that’s it for now. Many more female interpreters featured on RockmusicRaider, and we will surely cover more of them on a second installment of this series. Stay tuned.