Over the years we covered a whole bunch of female interpreters that more or less prominently appeared on the RockmusicRaider blog at some point in time. And this at a rate of some 25% of all reviews done to date.
Now, let’s be clear.
There will be no quota for anything on this blog, so don’t get your hopes up. We’re not going down sillyroad and die the painful death of fucking political correctness. Nor will there be any single-minded preference towards any type of interpreter on the RockmusicRaider blog.
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.
So, you will find no rankings here. This is not some sort of a beauty pageant where the tastiest wins. It’s a pretty subjective prime selection of female interpreters that somehow stood out from the crowd on our journey to review nirvana. Not driven by airtime or the number of appearances.
Quality, friggin’ energy and myriad ways to dazzle the RMR deck crew will carry the day though. And that’s THE LAW!
Jump ahead or scroll, as is your wont.
- Alissa White-Gluz
- Amalie Bruun
- Amy Lee
- Anneke van Giersbergen
- Charlotte Wessels
- Cristina Scabbia
- Fabienne Erni
- Lzzy Hale
- Noa Gruman
- Sharon den Adel
- Simone Simons
- Zuberoa Aznárez
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. She is quite the multi-talent, and we will still hear a lot from her.
Aye, we even got female interpreters that excel 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.
In the meantime, Ms. Bruun turned to folk. Scary folk I’d call it. But hey, Myrkur is being herself, so what else is new?
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. Yet, 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.
And fear naught, Amy Lee seems to be back on track with some powerful messaging all her own and some new fire in her tune. True Evanescence, but this time at 3.0 levels. And that is The Bitter Truth.
Anneke Van Giersbergen
Here’s to an old hand that did not get enough air cover on this blog, I admit. Van Giersbergen 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, Agua de Annique, and others. Plus – of course – her very own band VUUR that saw the light of day in 2016.
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 several guest appearances 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. As of February 2021, Delain reverted to a solo project of Martijn Westerholt and Wessels is no longer part of that outfit.
The charismatic Cristina Scabbia and her remarkable metallic performance always managed to get on our good side. Her considerable marketing skills do of course help with that, as she continuously appears on social media with stuff more or less connected to her musical career. Responsible for clear voice vocals for the Gothic Metal band Lacuna Coil, she formed part of the core band members for the last 20 years or so. Scabbia also appeared as a guest performer on acts like Ayeron, Megadeth or – again – Tarja.
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. Apart from Eluveitie, she’s also active in Tvinna and Illumishade. 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 winning road to rock nirvana, 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.
Noa Gruman is one of the most gifted vocalists the prog scene has currently on offer. She – indeed – has more talent than she sometimes knows what to do with. But her pretty breathtaking performances always got on our good side.
She appeared on our blog with her outfit Scardust on Sands of Time and Strangers. And famously starred on the RMR Top 10 lists of 2017 and 2020. The RMR crew truly adores her sparkling energy and undeniable musical skills that surely will further the Progressive Metal field. Or her contributions as a choirmaster, 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
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 in Epica’s The Phantom Agony. Since that day, she has been the face of that band, and today more so than ever. A fact that has been ascertained yet again on their newest record Omega that boasts Ms. Simons in true form.
Same as Zuberoa Aznárez, she is one of these game-changers that furthered the cause in the Symphonic Metal genre. And by doing that, she 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.
We might not always agree on the direction her main gig Diabulus in Musica took, but Zuberoa Aznárez probably is the embodiment of that symbiosis between classical music and metal. A classically trained singer, she is indeed mainly known and respected for exactly that trait. Together with her co-conspirator Gorka Elso, DiM morphed into one of the leading beacons Symphonic Metal stands for today. Aznárez also fronts Tragul, an international band founded by Adrian Benegas, in between a few other projects.
Stay tuned. We’ll update the post periodically with talented female vocalists that prominently appear on the blog. Oh, and if you’d like to see an interpreter appear on this list, do say so in the comments. We’re looking at them, you know.