15 Metal Bands with Female Screamers That’ll Blow Your Mind

Metal Bands with Female Screamers You Will Love

The aggressive, testosterone-infused world of heavy metal is largely considered a boys club. Sweaty, long-haired, tattoo-laden guys wailing like demons with heart-pounding strident tones in the background. But let us not forget the metal bands with female screamers leading the pack, as well. Here are my personal selections on the best bands that fit into this category!

Metal Bands with Female Screamers

1) Walls of Jericho

In the early 2000’s you weren’t a real metal fan if you hadn’t heard of Walls of Jericho. They weren’t that popular, even for a metal band, and many didn’t give them a second look. But real fans knew a true gem when they found one, and the fact that the band was ignored somehow made them cooler because of it.

Most fans didn’t realize until they got home with the album that the lead vocalist was a woman, which was refreshing. At the time female leads in metal bands weren’t new or shocking in any way. 

Quite the opposite. It got to a point for a while where it was overdone as a gimmick to sell records by bands/vocalists who weren’t that talented. This was not the case with Walls of Jericho frontwoman Candace Kucsulane.

Kucsulane embodies the nu metal vocal styling of vocalists from bands like Shadow’s Fall and Atreyu. The raw power and emotion flowing through each syllable matches the intensity of the rest of the band as they engage fans with chunky guitar riffs and pounding drums. Her brutal energy acts as the driving force that sends home the message on each track.

2) Kittie

Kittie came roaring into the heavy metal scene in the late 90s with their debut album, Spit. Not only does Kittie host a female frontwoman, Morgan Lander, but the entire band consists of female members. 

In 1999 Kittie infiltrated the boys club of metal and solidified their presence in the nu metal arena. Morgan Lander’s guttural vocals were something many metal fans hadn’t heard from a female at the time, and watching her perform with bands like Slipknot and Fear Factory made it apparent that she could do the job just as well as any man on stage.

But don’t call them a “girl” metal band. The Morgan sisters have long had a distaste for the term, with drummer Mercedes Lander once stating “You don’t call Machine Head a ‘boy metal band,’ you call them a metal band … Why should they make an exception [for us] just because of the gender? It’s almost exactly the same kind of music, except we don’t have penises.” Careful what you say, Kittie’s got claws.

3) Venom Prison

Welsh band Venom Prison arrived on the death metal stage in 2016 with their debut album, Animus, and in 2017 they received the honor of Best New Band from the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. Their thrashy, fast-paced death metal style, sprinkled with a touch of grindcore, is accented by lead vocalist Larissa Stupar’s steady wailing screams.

As a founding member of the band, Larissa began writing songs with bandmate Ash Gray in 2015. It didn’t take long for the band to establish its rightful high-standing placement in the death metal world with lyrics that take on topics such as organized religion, misogyny, and fascism.

Stupar’s lyrics cut to the heart of matters, but the way she delivers the message is a major reason why Venom Prison has emerged as a dominant presence in the death metal world. Watching Stupar’s intense performances leaves no question in one’s mind about whether or not she’s passionate about her craft and her message.

With the success they’ve seen already witnessed, coupled with only having been on the scene for less than ten years, the future looks bright for Stupar and Venom Prison in years to come.

4) In This Moment

Hailing from Los Angeles, California, In This Moment isn’t the first metal band to host a woman as their lead singer and surely won’t be the last. But frontwoman Maria Brink has stood apart from some others because of criticism alleging that she’s a gimmick because of her provocative show costumes. Brink recognizes this and has openly savage takes on the naysayers. 

Staying true to metalcore form, Brink lays out vocal tracks that alternate between melodic singing with high-pitched screams that evoke a primal need to get into the pit. In 2015 the band released their fifth album, Black Widow, featuring the single Sex Metal Barbie where Maria calls out those who like to throw stones in glass houses. 

In defense of the critics, the “glam goth” look has always come off as a little gimmicky. In This Moment could be fairly described as Killswitch Engage meets early Marilyn Manson, dressed as Lady Gaga, and plenty of metal fans simply aren’t going to be into that.

5) Arch Enemy

Melodic death metal band Arch Enemy has been around since their debut album dropped in 1996, but they didn’t start gaining notoriety until after 2001 when they picked up Angela Gossow as their lead vocalist. When Gossow decided to step down as frontwoman in 2014 she hand-picked Alissa White-Gluz as her successor, and White-Gluz has proven album after album to be worthy of that decision.

With a well-controlled guttural scream that beautifully harmonizes with the guitar melodies, Alissa’s presence made the passing of the torch easy and Arch Enemy didn’t skip a beat. Some fans initially thought the pick of White-Gluz was a “glamour pick,” going as far as to accuse the band of selling out.

But that criticism was quickly shed as fans observed the dominating stage presence Alissa presented that made it appear Gossow’s little sister had stepped in to take the reigns.

Arch Enemy’s high-velocity howls mixed with a dark, driven attitude makes you want to grab a battle ax twice your size and rush onto the battlefield. Let the black flag rise!

6) The Agonist

When Arch Enemy picked up Alissa White-Gluz it left a hole in the lineup of her former band, The Agonist. The Canadian melodic death metal band, influenced by a touch of metalcore, quickly filled their vacancy with the talented Vicky Psarakis in 2014 and never looked back.

Psarakis immediately made a name for herself in the band with their album Eye of Providence, which featured Psarakis’s unique vocal style of deep growling along symphonic melodies. There were also rumors that the band was getting along better in White-Gluz’s absence.

Similar in the fact that they’re both melodic death metal bands, The Agonist differentiates itself from Arch Enemy with unique, unorthodox chords and chord placement that reminds one of the great Black Sabbath.

Being nominated in 2020 and 2022 for a Juno Award in the category of Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year, The Agonist certainly has a bright future with Psarakis.

7) Butcher Babies

In 2013 Butcher Babies debuted their first album, Goliath, and the metal world was intrigued at the idea of a band with not one, but dual female frontwomen in Heidi Shepherd and Carla Harvey. Unfortunately for Butcher Babies, the appeal soon wore off for many fans after they listened to the album. 

Shepherd and Harvey apply a mix of savage growling and low-toned rapping as they put their lyrics forward, but that style has always been met with varied responses. While Goliath does have its own unique charm, it’s far from what one could call a polished metal album. 

The styles the two vocalists employ often clash on Goliath rather than compliment each other, and as a listener you find yourself wondering whether you’re supposed to be following one or the other. The guitar riffs are reminiscent of the 80’s punk bands that only seemed to know three chords, and the drums they’re played over are a disappointing display of simplistic mediocrity. 

Butcher Babies’ next album, Take It Like A Man, was decidedly more polished. The band seemed to be making clear definitions for the roles their members played instead of mashing everything together hoping the pieces would fit. Tracks like Monster’s Ball helped solidify this sentiment with most fans and the band has enjoyed continued success over the years as a result.

Butcher Babies is the kind of band you would appreciate as a local opener for whatever big-name band was in town, but not exactly worthy of a headlining spot.

8) Spiritbox

It’s hard to put a label on a band like Spiritbox. Some call them metalcore, some call them djent, and others still claim they’re nu metal or even post-metalcore. For my money, I’d put them into the progressive metalcore genre, but even that gets sticky if you listen to their entire discography, as short as it is.

A major reason for Spiritbox’s success is the talented vocalist stylings of frontwoman Courtney Laplante. Both beautifully melodic and agonizingly guttural, LaPlante lifts the aggressive foreground and often ethereal background of the music onto another plain. 

The uniqueness of this band and the consequent difficulty that goes with attempting to put them into a correct metal subgenre can’t be understated. I doubt someone who didn’t know any better would attribute the track Yellowjackets to the same band that plays Hysteria. Every song is a new adventure into creativity with LaPlante leading Spiritbox and an absolute treat for metal fans who want something different with every track.

9) Arkona

Ever been to a Renaissance festival and thought it needed to be metaled up? You’re not alone. Slavic pagan metal band Arkona, with frontwoman Maria “Masha Scream” Arkhipova, takes a Renaissance festival and injects it with metal juice that somehow makes you want to headbang while simultaneously doing a Riverdance.

Folk metal has always been a rare, if not entertaining, subgenre of metal. Making use of authentic traditional instruments accompanied by forceful guitar riffs and robust drum tracks, folk metal can be an acquired taste for some. But for fans of the unusual subgenre like myself, a frontman, or frontwoman, who can essentially merge the past with the present is a key component necessary to produce a good folk metal sound. 

Alternating between operatic crooning and grating choral, Masha Scream takes the energetic sounds of Arkona to heights that couldn’t be achieved without her presence. Rather than an accompaniment to this unique musical synergy, Masha Scream heralds every song as though she is willing it into existence through her voice.  

10) ETHS 

French metal band ETHS had been around for some years before their debut album, Soma, was released in 2004. But after that album dropped metal fans suddenly became aware that not all good metal came from Nordic lands or the US. It didn’t hurt that they caught extra attention for having a woman leading the band vocally in Candice Clot.

Clot’s primal screams for this metalcore/nu metal band quickly solidified ETHS’ presence on the metal scene. Fans were quick to notice the amazing vocal prowess Clot possessed as she captivated live audiences by seamlessly alternating between dirty screams and soft, melodic verses reminiscent of singers like Gwen Stefani. Throw in the French language and suddenly the vocals for ETHS were some of the most captivating vocals of the 2000’s.

That’s not to take anything away from the rest of the band. Dirty, off-tempo riffs merged with synchronized melodies and created a sound that, at the time, was something you didn’t hear every day in the US. ETHS was a welcome contrast to the seemingly endless wave of the typical, almost “cookie-cutter” metalcore albums that were being churned out at the time.

11) Derketa

Death metal band Derketa has been around for decades after originally forming in 1988, but most had never heard of them until they released their first full-length album in 2012. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Derketa embodies the essence of classic death metal unlike any band I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing.

With songs consisting of topics related to Stygian Mythology, Derketa was named after the goddess of a blood drinking cult. It doesn’t get more death metal than that folks. 

Lead vocalist and founding member of the band Sharon Bascovsky embodies classic death metal in her rasping growls and primal screams. It’s impossible to listen to Derketa and not be reminded of some of the founders of the subgenre like Morbid Angel, Carcass, and Obituary.

The deep, driven wails of Bascovsky cement Derketa as a classic death metal band through and through, with no room for the ever-popular “what subgenre is this band” debate. Sharon Bascovsky and Derketa represent the still-beating black heart of death metal in its purest form. 

12) Ischemic

When people think of Canada they don’t typically associate it with black metal, but the self-produced Canadian sensation Ischemic is trying to turn that around. Led by seasoned metal vocalist Isabelle Tazbir, Ischemic made black waves of dark water in the metal world when they released their first self-titled album in 2021.

With vocals that convey a sense of animosity and hopelessness all at once, Ischemic’s music reaches into a pit of frantic despair and pulls out a writhing ball of desperate rage. They make painting a picture of hell with sound seem effortless.

Frontwoman Isabelle Tazbir has been part of the metal community for over ten years, and her experience is evident as she viciously howls through track after track for Ischemic. Her hauntingly gentle vocal grind takes your hand as she walks you through the nightmare Ischemic has envisioned, compelling you forward to the next song the way a parent coaxes a child into crossing a dangerous street.

13) Gallhammer

Another all-woman metal band on this list is Gallhammer, led by the brutal lyrics and vision of Vivian Slaughter. Accented by heavy dropped guitar tuning, Gallhammer’s dreary, chugging melodies are slow and methodical. Much of their early discography, such as the doomy track World To Be Ashes, takes you into an eerie dream of wandering confusion and spits you out right before it turns into a horror scene. 

Other tracks are more energetic. Blind My Eyes from Gallhammer’s Ill Innocence album is a dark, thrashy track that gets your head bobbing. It’s easy to see from tracks like this how Gallhammer was influenced by 80s metal bands like Hellhammer and Corrupted.

While Vivian Slaughter lacks the raw vocal power and range associated with some other successful female frontwomen, her stage performances show fans she’s just as passionate about her music as any other metal performer. Slaughter’s grit and tenacity (and of course her very metal moniker) embody the spirit of heavy metal.

14) Mares of Thrace

It’s incredibly rare to see a heavy metal duo, but there you have it with the Canadian black/progressive metal band Mares of Thrace. Their debut album, The Moulting, dropped in 2010, but after only one more album two years later they seemed to disappear without a trace. They’re like the unicorn of metal, as anti-metal as unicorns may be.

Then out of the blue, they ended their 10-year hiatus and released The Exile in 2022, much to the rejoice of fans who had wondered what became of them.

One half of Mares of Thrace is Thérèse Lanz, drummer and vocalist. Her savage screams ride above the quick time changes and pitch contrasts that exemplify Mares of Thrace’s style. When listening to their 2012 album The Pilgrimage I can’t help but be reminded of bands like Norma Jean.

Every time Thérèse belts out a high-pitched howl over a guitar riff that seems right at home in an Alfred Hitchcock movie, it takes me back to the 2000’s when metal was still being experimented with in new and exciting ways.

15) Jinjer

Ukranian metal band Jinger came wailing onto the scene in 2009 when current members Roman Ibramkhalilov on guitar and lead vocalist Tatiana Shmailyuk joined the band. A mix of metalcore and nu metal, Jinger defines what metal bands with female screamers can be.

Cloud Factory, a track from the album of the same name, was an early glance at the raw talent Tatiana possesses as she growls, screams, and screeches over rapid scales and pounding bass. And as if her gravelly rasp wasn’t enough, her voice soars over melodic fills and choruses in a squeaky clean tone befitting of a Christina Aguilera concert.

A few years later came the album King of Everything where you witness Jinger refining their thrashy melodies and Tatiana developing more raw power and control with her powerful voice.

Fast forward to Jinjer’s latest album, Wallflowers, and you hear the culmination of years of refinement etched into every note. Their widely popular single from the album, Pisces, has blown fans away with the band’s ability to seamlessly transition from solemn, angelic melodies to dark, tenacious hellscapes. And at the heart of it all is Tatiana’s incredibly powerful voice carrying each song to their conclusion.

Few female vocalists in the metal world have been as successful as Tatiana Shmailyuk at tempering raw talent with a careful appreciation for tailoring it to the rest of the accompaniment. With sold-out shows across tour dates worldwide, Jinjer seems to have solidified its position as one of the most influential metal bands of our time.

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This article was written by Rolland and edited by Michael.

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