Rock and metal – especially metal – have a diversity problem.
We’ve known this for ages, though some might not like to admit it. Whether it’s gigs entirely attended by guys, fascistic black metal bands or mid-2000’s deathcore bands making questionable (at best) comments about what they’d like to do to ex-girlfriends, there have been issues. So to celebrate international woman’s day – and more important the women that the day represents – we’re talking about some of our favourite, yet criminally underappreciated, women of rock and metal.
Chlo Edwards – Vales
Chlo Edwards of little known and now defunct UK hardcore band Vales may be one of the most underappreciated women in all of hardcore. Tackling the UK arm of the style dominated by bands like Touché Amoré, Defeater and Pianos Become the Teeth, Vales pushed their own brand of heartrendingly heavy emotive hardcore. With Vales, Chlo gave no quarter with intense performances and introspective and complex lyrics. Sadly Vales didn’t survive the death of the “Wave” style of Hardcore but –
with two EP’s and an album to sink our teeth into – those in the know still have plenty to dive into.
Liz Buckingham – Electric Wizard
Joining the Cornish doom lords in 2003, New York native Liz Buckingham is one-half of the Electic Wizard’s writing team and has a hand on some of the heaviest tracks in stoner doom metal. Having previously worked with cult sludge acts such as 13 and Sovereign, Liz has a long history of crushing guitar playing and hypnotic, world ending riffs. Influenced by sleazy x-rated gore, occult b-movies and classic VCR horrors Liz runs circles around most others in the genre – if you want slow and heavy, Liz is who you need to talk to.
Chaney Crabb – Entheos
The metal world at large first knew Chaney Crabb for sticking it to those who claimed: “women can’t do real death metal” amidst a controversial Veil of Maya audition tape. Crabb joined Evan Brewer’s Animosity successor, Entheos, in 2015 and since then, she’s repeatedly proved those doubters wrong with a series of dynamic and spine-crushing vocal performances across stages around the world, two full-length releases and an EP. Chaney Crabb proves yet again (like we needed to prove it in the first place) that female vocalists can go just as hard as their male peers.
Rebecca ‘Becca’ Macintyre – Marmozets
Rebecca Macintyre was recently described by the “That’s Not Metal Podcast” as the most diverse and charismatic vocalist since Serj Tankian of System of a Down and – while a big claim for any vocalist – it’s not an unreasonable comparison here. Fronting the UK math rock band Marmozets, Becca has been able to flex her vocal muscles in a range of styles – from cutting screams to ear-infecting catchy cleans and basically anything else you can think of. Throughout her young career, she’s set herself apart from her peers and that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon.
Mlny Parsonz – Royal Thunder
Frontwoman, bass player, addiction kicker, driver of a haunted van and Christian cult survivor of these psychedelic followers of Led Zeppelin and Kyuss, Mlny Parsonz is one battle-scarred musician. What she has in a storied history is paralleled by her commitment to deeply introspective and honest songwriting with fuzz drenched grooves and bluesy grandeur. Her powerful vocals are the perfect cherry on top of the groups sound and are a big factor in what makes Royal Thunder one of the stand out bands in modern psychedelia.
Larissa Stupar – Venom Prison
Death metal newcomers, Venom Prison, have been making a big splash since the release of their debut album back in 2016 – and the rage-filled performance of Russian born vocalist Larissa Stupar is a huge part of that. Not content to just follow in the footsteps of her male contemporaries, Larissa takes on those who question a woman’s place in extreme metal head on. Tracks such as “Perpetrator Emasculation” quite literally grab the issue by the balls, offering a gruesome and bitting rebuttal to those harbouring casual misogyny and violent rape fantasies within metal – all with the backing of some the best death metal out of the UK since Carcass.
Sarah Longfield – Sarah Longfield/The Fine Constant
Sarah Longfield is probably well known to those with even a passing interest in the modern tech/prog scene – for the rest of you, allow me to get you up to speed. The Fine Constant member and .strandberg artist Sarah Longfield is one of the most technically gifted guitarists in modern rock music. Combining ability with her creative ear for melody Sarah has crafted some of the most impressive and enjoyable music of the last few years and her style is instantly recognisable as her own. If you’re one of those cave-people who still think that women only post guitar videos on youtube for attention (well for one, you’re an asshole) Sarah Longfield is about to show you how wrong you are.
Let’s be honest here for a second, if there’s any day we’re allowed to be preachy about treating women with respect it’s today, so that’s what we’re going to do. There was never going to be an article big enough to cover all of the underappreciated female musicians in rock and metal who deserves your respect – because it’s all of them, every last one deserves respect and sadly a lot of them don’t get it from the rock and metal community. If you take only one thing from this article, let it be that.
However, if there are any of your favourites that we haven’t talked about, please let us know in the comments below. We’re always on the lookout for more kickass music – share the love!