PVRIS released a video teaser for their next album earlier this morning. The band has been hinting about the album for some time now. The video, titled ‘All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell” can be seen here, signifies the end of the White Noise era, with vocalist Lynn Gunn breaking the mirror that can be seen on the album cover. The video ends with Lynn sitting at a piano, ready to play new music. We’re ready to hear it, are you?
New York sludge/doom pioneers 13 are best remembered as being the band that launched Liz Buckingham’s career before she joined Electric Wizard, but this does a great disservice to their talented poet laureate of a front-woman, Alicia Morgan. A one-time girlfriend (and still close friend) of Eyehategod’s Mike Williams, Alicia was a bit of a trailblazer on this music scene back in the early ‘90s - not many women were fronting doom bands back then, little on women with androgynous/harsh vocal deliveries. Along with drummer Ellen Mieczkowski, 13 created a memorable sound and helped to pave the way for other women to enter the doom metal scene, which is now largely dominated by female musicians.
Punk Fiction: Women In Punk ~ Documentary presented by Elastica’s, Justine Frischmann ~ Featuring: Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex), Debbie Harry (Blondie), Viv Albertine (The Slits), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Patti Smith, Toyah Wilcox & Annie Nightingale ~ BBC Radio 1 ~ 10th November 1996.
Look what I found! Unfortunately, I don’t have a cassette player, but I will be temporarily commandeering the next one I encounter. :)
Sharon den Adel, Alissa White-Gluz, Vibeke Stene, Floor Jansen, Tarja Turunen, Simone Simons, Amanda Somerville, Anneke Van Gierbergen, Doro Pesch, Angela Gossow, Ailyn Garcia, Charlotte Wessels, Cristina Scabbia, Maria Brink, Ji-in Cho, Joan Jett, Anette Olzon, Amy Lee, Liv Kristine and Manuela Kraller, and so many others that aren’t on the picture.
Despite the differences in their personalities, Tarja Turunen, Anette Olzon and Floor Jansen all have one thing in common. They are all Mercury sisters, with each of them having a heavy influence of Gemini in their natal charts. It is by no fault of their own, as this is the perfect example of the Gemini-Sagittarius sister sign combination. There is a heavy presence of Sagittarian energy within Nightwish, especially with mister maestro himself, Tuomas Holopainen, having Mars in Sagittarius in the 9th house. This is an unconscious decision on his part. I can’t speak for the rest of the band, because I have no idea what their rising signs are, but, from an astrological standpoint, I feel like the reason that, at some point, they were all chosen to be the front women for the band is because of the Gemini energy they possess. Not only because it pairs well with Tuomas’s Sagittarian energy, but because Gemini is the sign of the voice. These women have all been, in some form, interpreters of his truth. And therein lies the heart of Gemini energy. They are able to take lyrics, albeit someone else’s, and in the words of Gemini Walt Whitman himself, translate them into a new tongue, acting as a surrogate voice for someone who feels he was not blessed with the gift of song. The Gemini energy is all about intellect. The Sagittarius energy is all about wisdom. And when combined, the final result is an insatiable curiosity to understand and explore the world, to see it in all of its splendor and contemplate our place in the universe. To me, that is the heart of everything Nightwish represents.
1. Tarja Turunen ↳ Gemini Ascendant
In combination with her Leo sun and Libra moon, she brought an opulence to the band, helping to define the core Nightwish sound and style with her elegant outfits and operatic voice.
2. Anette Olzon ↳ Gemini Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus
With her abundance of Geminian energy, she breathed new life into the band after their split with Tarja, with them wanting to scale down the opulence of their music, making it sound a little more modern.
3. Floor Jansen ↳ Gemini Ascendant
In combination with her Pisces sun and Libra moon, being vocally versatile herself, she is able to combine the elegance of what Tarja brought to the table while still being able to retain the more modern, poppy sound of what Anette brought to the table, being the perfect balance of both.
Tuomas Holopainen ↳ Mars in Sagittarius in the 9th house
In combination with his Capricorn sun, Pisces moon and Aquarius Venus, he is able to firmly straddle the line between fantasy and reality while exploring the beauty of the universe and the wonder of existence.
anyways my show today was all women-fronted bands and musicians, and i talked about how i’ve been trying to write lesbian songs for years and partner managed to blow all my attempts out of the water with a 2 minute song about how sometimes ur just a simple butch who can’t do anything but write a song abt a stunning woman. and the jokes are annoying but whatever! i’m a lesbian and i like being a lesbian and i love women, and the rest doesn’t matter.
Yo the beat on that song is SICK NASTY. Also I can’t remember the last time I saw a metal band with a female lead vocalist!
That song is fucking killer. One of my favorites.
You’re absolutely right that women fronting extreme metal bands are really rare.
Women fronting gothic metal acts have actually become fairly common, largely due to Nightwish’s success and then subsequent successes of bands like Tristania, which relied on a beauty-and-the-beast formula, with a female singer providing clean lines and a male singer doing growled vocals.
Here’s some early Nightwish, with their original singer, Tarja Turunen. Their current singer is Floor Jansen, who has a less classical, more contemporary delivery.
There are also a few women out there doing power metal. Battle Beast and Unleash the Archers stand out, and Dark Moor had a female singer for a while.
Here’s Unleash the Archers, doing some very old-school power metal vocals, with a few growls, and also a Mad Max fan-video.
Women fronting death and black metal acts are extremely rare, and I can only think of a few examples. Which is a shame!
Arch Enemy’s previous vocalist, Angela Gossow, is probably the first woman to front a widely successful death metal band. She was absolutely savage. Last I heard, she’s still active as a vocal coach and manager for the band. Here she is at a concert in Japan:
Arch Enemy’s current frontwoman, Alyssa White-Guz, used to sing for a band called The Agonist. They’re still active, and their current singer is Vicky Psarkis. (Tumblr won’t let me post a video for her, so take my word for it.)
Cadaveria is kind of a weird fringe metal act from Italy with a female singer that deals frequently in black and death metal tropes. Here they are, pulling off a pretty excellent black metal rasp.
Astarte was an all-women black metal act from Greece. They’re sadly defunct, and their singer, Maria “Tristessa” Kolokouri, died an early death of leukemia, but they were solid. (Strobe warning on this video.)
There’s a few women in non-front roles out there also. Jo Bench has been playing bass for Bolt Thrower forever, and all three of Ensiferum’s keyboard players have been women. But on the whole, they’re extremely rare. That might be starting to change - there are definitely more female performers than they used to be, and the number of women in the audience for a metal show is way, way more than it used to be. Like, in the 2000s, I could probably count the number of women in the audience at one of the shows I went to and still have fingers left over. At the show last night, I’d guess it was about 10-20 percent women. And some of that’s probably due to the fact that Arch Enemy was headlining, but it’s still a huge shift.