Metal Chicks Rule

Celebrating METAL Chicks

We might sell this domain…

We might sell this domain. Roman from Romantic Metal noticed that this blog hasn’t been updated in almost three years. He asked if we’re going to do anything with it. So I told him that we’ll probably sell it. He doesn’t want to buy it.

The four of us have all quit writing. We all still love Metal. But promoting women in Metal is kind of like beating a dead horse. We’ve already won. Women are all over Metal. Nobody even notices anymore.

I haven’t even sung in years. So I haven’t been in a band since 2014.

I started this blog with three other friends to promote my band. I was going to talk about more women in Metal and then promote my band. But then life got in the way.

I started working my day job. Landed a huge promotion with a huge pay raise. And suddenly, we all went our separate ways.

So that leaves Roman who was kind of like the fifth wheel. His band Astral Eyes had female singers from 2009-2014 and then they broke up. Then of course he reformed the band a year later with a male singer and even he forgot this blog even existed.

Metal Chicks Rule is for sale

So it’s up for sale. We might sell this domain. Leave a comment if you want it. And we’ll trade emails back and forth and if you offer something worthwhile, I’ll sell it. If your price is too low, I won’t. It’s not like it’s costing me that much. I bought a package deal with my band’s website and a few other websites so no big deal to hold on to it until we get a buyer who’s serious.

He said to throw a link on there for his top 5 female Metal singers blog post. OK Roman. It’s on there. Are you happy now? And why don’t you just buy it?

Maria Brink

Maria Brink – Vocalist for the American Metal band In This Moment

On this website, it seems like all the Metal Chicks are from Europe. Not all. Today, we have Maria Brink from the American Metal band In This Moment.

Maria Brink

Maria Brink from “In This Moment” live at Fort Rock Festival 2013

In This Moment has a very American Metal sound. They’re very heavy, with more of the focus on raw heaviness and aggression versus melody. Their rhythm guitar work is very heavy and raw sounding. And their lyrics tend to be mean, ruthless, and dysfunctional.

Maria Brink herself can sing pretty, but more of her vocals are screamed and brutal. She ranges from atonal screaming to screaming on key, depending on the song.

In This Moment the band is from Albany, New York and was formed in 2005. Their first album Beautiful Tragedy came out in 2007. They’ve had a total of four studio albums, releasing The Dream in 2008, A Star-Crossed Wasteland in 2010 and their latest Blood in 2012.

Maria Brink

Maria Brink at Fort Rock Festival 2013

Although a lot of her singing is atonal, when she sings, she’s capable of some real pretty vocals. It’s pretty cool that she can do both, and do them both well.

Maria Brink herself is a shapely blonde, very attractive. Not that it should make a difference. We’re just saying because it’s a compliment. But don’t let that fool you. Her voice can be quite brutal and scary.

Their music is listed as Metalcore or Alternative Metal. At Metal Chicks Rule, we’re trying to be diverse and supportive of all types of Metal that features Metal Chicks. Because as we’ve said many times, Metal needs more chicks, not less!!!

Give In This Moment a chance. Their music is surprisingly diverse, ranging from atonal Metalcore screaming to some pretty nice melodic parts.

Maria Brink

Maria Brink – Century Media


Photo credits – Live images of Maria Brink by Luis Blanco, licensed CC-2.0. Other image by Century Media.

Floor Jansen

From After Forever, Nightwish, and ReVamp is Dutch singer Floor Jansen

We first heard of Floor Jansen from the Dutch Symphonic Metal band After Forever. But that band broke up in 2009 and she went to ReVamp, where we sort of forgot about her. Kind of weird that several years later, she resurfaced with one of our favorite all-time bands – Nightwish after that band sacked Anette Olzon (or she quit, sources vary and who knows which one is right).

We have to admit, none of us knew about ReVamp. OK, we’re in the States. When good bands play in Europe, they’re playing huge venues. When they come here, they’re playing in places where we wonder if they even break even.

We have seen both Tarja Turunen and Anette Olzon live but none of us have seen Floor Jansen yet. We’ll definitely catch her when Nightwish comes here on their next world tour.

Floor Jansen

Floor Jansen

A little bit about Floor Jansen – she was born in the Netherlands on February 21st, 1981. She is a Dramatic Soprano and has a very powerful voice. She can sing both Metal and Opera. She’s very versatile.

She’s listed as 6’1″ but she appears taller because Tuomas is 6’3″ and they look like they’re the same height. She’s probably a little bit closer to him in height. Hopefully we’ll see her in person because one of the guy writers here is 6’1″ and we’ll see if she’s his height or taller if we see her in person.

Floor Jansen

Floor Jansen

Do we think she fits Nightwish?

We haven’t seen her live yet and she’s not on a Nightwish studio album. However, we have seen their latest DVD and she’s fantastic on the DVD. She has a strong stage presence and a pretty amazing voice. Plus, she looks like a Valkyrie. We think she fits the part perfectly and we can’t wait for Nightwish to come out with a new album with Floor singing.


Photo credits – First picture by Tuomas Vitikainen. Licensed CC 3.0.

Second picture by KaJaNareal. Licensed CC 2.5

Kelly Johnson of Girlschool

Let’s again go back to the 80s – Singer/Lead Guitarist Kelly Johnson of Girlschool

Today, we take women in Metal for granted. But in the 80s, when Metal started making a comeback with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Girlschool was a prominent force in that genre. Kelly Johnson was the lead guitarist and lead singer of Girlschool.

Girlschool never did get big. They did a lot of touring with bands like Motörhead, but never did score that high selling album. After four albums in the early 80s with Girlschool, Kelly Johnson left.

Kelly Johnson of Girlschool

Kelly Johnson of Girlschool

Their music by today’s standards sounds dated, and we’re not going to lie and say it stands the test of time. However, we will say that Girlschool deserves a lot of credit. Like we said earlier, today, we take women in Metal for granted. But it wasn’t always that way. Only Lita Ford and Warlock sold well in the 80s. The rest of the Metal bands with female members didn’t fare that well unfortunately.

Would the music sound dated if it was produced better? It’s hard to tell. Their music never did seem to have top notch production qualities.

They never did sell well in the States. They never cracked the Billboard charts. Their 1981 album Hit and Run made Gold in Canada, and it hit number five in the UK, where they’re from.

Kelly Johnson left the band in 1984, after their lighter album Play Dirty which was more hard rock than Metal. They got lighter in an attempt to sell records, but it backfired and they lost their fan base by doing that.

So, she got frustrated and left in early 1984.

She rejoined the band almost ten years later in 1993 and she remained active with them until 1999, which unfortunately, she got diagnosed with cancer.

Kelly Johnson died in 2007 of cancer. Although Girlschool never did get big, we all owe a big thanks to people like Kelly Johnson who paved the way.

Ailyn Giménez of Sirenia

Sirenia has been around since 2001, and we’ve first known of them with their previous singer. In 2008 though, Ailyn Giménez from Spain took over vocal duties and we all agree that she’s a great match for the Norwegian Gothic Metal band.

Ailyn Giménez from Sirenia

Ailyn Giménez from Sirenia

Ailyn joins Sirenia

Ailyn Giménez’s first album with the band was The 13th Floor. She’s been with them for three albums now, which hopefully means she’s there to stay. The Enigma of Life was released in 2011 and their most recent one is Perils of the Deep Blue, which was released last year.

Ailyn Giménez from Sirenia

Ailyn performing live

Perils of the Deep Blue

Their latest album, Perils of the Deep Blue has a more Symphonic Metal sound so it’s kind of a hybrid between Gothic Metal and Symphonic Metal. It may be their best effort to date because the sound is very big. Ailyn seems to push her voice more on this album. Which is a good thing.

The music is more dynamic, which pretty epic changes between heavy and beautiful. Ailyn pulls it off perfectly, and thus, deserves some serious recognition as a Metal singer.

In the credits of the CD, it appears Sirenia only has two full time members. Ailyn Giménez is just listed as Ailyn (no last name like Madonna, Prince, or McLovin). Morten Veland, who also co-founded Tristania, who as you may know had a huge development in the development of Gothic Metal, plays practically every other instrument.

The album is very good. Ailyn really pushes her voice and has an enchantingly beautiful voice that works perfectly with the heaviness of the album.

We think of all their albums, their latest was definitely their best as Veland not only appeared to have full freedom, he seemed to have a chip on his shoulder to prove that Sirenia can be as good as Tristania.

Ailyn Sirenia

Ailyn live


Photo credits: The first picture is from Ailyn’s Facebook page. The second picture is from Fevermind and is Public Domain. The third picture is from MathKnight and has a Creative Commons 2.5 license.

In defense of Anette Olzon

Metal Chicks Rule is four friends who have known each other for years, and all agree on one thing – WE NEED MORE WOMEN IN METAL!!!

We’re supposed to use the word “we” when we agree on things and we’re not supposed to use our real names.  That was the agreement when we started this blog.

We also are supposed to give props whenever possible and stay away from criticizing females in Metal.  Of the four of us, I didn’t like the Tarja vs Anette article at all, but said “just go ahead.”

I happen to like Anette Olzon

I happen to be a Facebook fan of Anette Olzon.  The four of us saw Nightwish on Tarja’s last tour and also saw them on Anette’s first tour.  We liked both shows a lot and Nightwish happens to be my favorite band.  I love Tarja.  I love Anette.  And I now love Floor.  I think of all the women they could have found to replace Anette, they did a great job finding Floor.

Anette Olzon

Anette Olzon with Nightwish

I think Anette gets slammed too much by people and doesn’t get the credit she deserves.  First and foremost, Anette Olzon is the nicest person in the world. So if the criticism against her is mean spirited, I get really angry. I understand some people think she was a bad fit in Nightwish. If you really think that, then the fault is Nightwish. They’re the ones who picked her. They could have said “no” and got another singer.

Live, Anette Olzon is amazing!

I thought that live, she was amazing. She had a lot of charisma on stage and showed on stage how likeable she is. She’s like the same person on stage as she is in person. She’s very down to earth. She’s very likeable, and is really a nice, caring, sweet woman.

She does have a strong voice too. So she has a pop background. Once again, if Nightwish had a problem with that, then why did they pick her? That to me makes no sense.

It’s on YouTube where I hear the worst comments. But I didn’t like the article we posted here either. We said it was a mismatch from the beginning. I didn’t think that. We also said that Imaginaerum was forgettable and they didn’t even say the name of the album. I thought it was pretty good and really showcased what Anette could do.

But whatever. The good thing is the rest of them agreed to let me write this up without any input from them. So this is all me.

I happen to love Anette Olzon and hope when she comes here that she sings a lot from Dark Passion Play and Imaginaerum because she was excellent in both albums.


Photo credit: Carly. License – Creative Commons 2.0

Symphonies of the Night Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

Leaves' Eyes - Symphonies of the Night review

Symphonies of the Night

Released in 2013, Leaves’ Eyes latest album Symphonies of the Night is exactly what you’d expect from the band. Produced by Alexander Krull, the music revolves around Liv Kristine’s soprano voice. And what a voice she has.

Musically, the band is tight and does what they’re supposed to do. Lacking guitar solos on most songs, the music focuses more on Liv Kristine. Alexander Krull provides backing growling, so you get the beauty and the beast routine. With Leaves’ Eyes, you cannot call it cliche as they’ve been doing it for more than a decade.

Hell to the Heavens, which is the opening track, is also their single. The album didn’t chart in the States, and they’re not as big as Nightwish, Epica, or Within Temptation. The band is good, don’t get us wrong. They just seem to fall short of the bigger, more mainstream Symphonic Metal bands when it comes to album sales.

We all prefer the album Njord to this one. It’s not a bad album. You could tell though that they went into a more pop direction with less of the Viking related themes and more groove than before. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just the direction they went. But musically, Njord is a better album.

But if you’re already a fan of the band, you should pick it up. If you go in knowing it’s not as good as Njord but it’s still a good album, you won’t be disappointed.

The highlights of the album are Liv Kristine’s voice. She’s always had an amazing voice and the band knows it, so they utilize it every chance they get. What does that mean? Exactly what it means. The band relies on Liv Kristine’s voice to sell records.

We’re hoping this one helps Leaves’ Eyes get a bigger audience. She really punches through the music with this one and stands out. There is no sign of meekness in Liv Kristine’s voice on this album. It is strong and powerful and is the highlight on this album.

We love Tarja Turunen

Of course MetalChicksRule.com loves Symphonic Metal singer Tarja Turunen

Tarja Turunen

Tarja Turunen

Is this even a question that we at Metal Chicks Rule love Tarja Turunen? She’s the one who started it all for Female Singers in the whole Symphonic Metal genre. There may have been female singers in Symphonic Metal before Tarja, but even if there were, everyone in the Symphonic Metal genre was at least somewhat influenced by her.

Born in August 17, 1977 in Finland, Tarja Turunen came to prominence in the band that is arguably best of genre – Nightwish. She was one of the co-founders of the band, along with keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen and guitarist Emppu Vuorinen back in 1996.

Their first album wasn’t exactly Metal and didn’t properly use Tarja’s voice. But their second album, 1998’s Oceanborn, wow!!! Tarja’s talent was unleashed on the world and became undeniable. She can sing.

With both a Mezzo-Soprano and Soprano range, Tarja is the real deal. She’s an Opera singer who sings Metal. And you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone with a working brain cell who thinks she doesn’t have a good voice.

Nightwish rose in Europe pretty fast, but in the States, not as fast. We didn’t know about Nightwish until their infamous album Once. We have one member of Metal Chicks Rule who says that Once is hands down the best album of the 2000s. We all love this album.

On this album, she sings both Metal and Opera and pulls them both off perfectly. She even has some experimental techniques on the song “The Siren.” You really need to hear this album if you haven’t already.

Unfortunately for us, after the tour, Nightwish dismissed Tarja. Long story.

We did get to catch her on that tour and she was amazing. She doesn’t move around much, but she doesn’t have to. She makes a lot of operatic movements with her arms and really draws a lot of attention that way. We mean, in a real good way. She has a commanding presence and definitely does not lack charisma. If you get a chance to see her perform live, take it.

So after Nightwish, she went solo. She lives in Argentina now with her husband and daughter.

Tarja Turunen guests vocals on a lot of songs. She did a duet with Sharon den Adel on the song “Paradise (What About Us?)” in which they sound fabulous together.

She was also the reason Simone Simons started singing.


Photo credit – Rey Brujo under the CC 3.0 license

Doro Pesch

Let’s again go back to the 80s and remember Doro Pesch from Warlock, and give her props for still being active today

So earlier, we did Lita Ford. Although Warlock from Germany was never as big as Lita Ford got in the States, they still deserve heaps and heaps and heaps of praise for showing the world that chicks can play Metal too, and play it well.

Doro Pesch was the former lead singer of the German Heavy Metal band Warlock from 1982-1988. In that time period, Warlock released four albums. Unfortunately, none of them sold very well in the States. Their fourth and final album Triumph and Agony did crack the Billboard charts, but wasn’t enough to keep the band together. But the older folks here remember seeing Warlock on MTV’s Headbangers’ Ball.

We loved her voice. It was rough. It was mean. And she looked AWESOME in leather.

This is “Fight For Rock.”

Unfortunately, Warlock dissolved. Doro though kept active as the band Doro.

Doro Pesch former singer of Warlock

Doro

Doro Pesch is still active today

Doro Pesch is still active today. She gave up raising a family to continue to be active in music.

Doro’s place in Metal history

In the 80s, there weren’t too many successful chicks in Metal unfortunately. There was Lita Ford, Vixen, Bitch, and that’s just about it.

So giving credit where it’s due, Lita Ford and Doro Pesch really helped open the doors to a genre of music that at the time was almost completely dominated by men. Lita Ford deserves a lot of credit, but so does Doro Pesch. And Doro may have had it harder as Lita Ford was already known as one of the members of the Runaways. Plus, Doro was from Germany and as the middle of the 80s drew near, the majority of the successful Metal acts were coming from the States.

So thank you both ladies. Because as we’ve said before, WE NEED MORE CHICKS IN METAL!!!


Photo credit – Doro photographed by Yoshi taken in 2006. Licensed CC-3.0.

Within Temptation Hydra Review

Well, we’re supposed to do album reviews now and since we already did one of Nightwish’s Once, and we already did a Sharon del Adel page, here’s my Within Temptation Hydra Review.

Within Temptation Hydra Review

Within Temptation’s Hydra


Within Temptation Hydra Review

I finally got around to buying Hydra from Within Temptation a week ago. I’ve listened to it three times now, twice at work and one time while driving. I have several things to say.

First off, Sharon den Adel steals the show. Her voice is excellent. Her voice is perfect. It stands out, and is the main instrument in the album. There are guitar solos on every song, but they’re turned down and you don’t hear them that well. But you do hear Sharon den Adel very well. The album is mixed well, except I think the lead guitar should be turned up higher because it doesn’t really stand out. It’s just there, and it fits with the songs but doesn’t really add or subtract to the music.

Musically, they’re good. They write catchy songs. This album is slightly heavier than their last one. The best song is “Paradise (What About Us?)” which features both Sharon den Adel and Tarja Turunen as a guest vocalist. Tarja sounds excellent. Their voices blend well together. Sharon is softer and Tarja is more operatic, but both of them have strong, passionate voices. I think they should do more songs together in the future.

Some people may not like “And We Run” because it has rapping in it, but I thought it was OK and it fit, even though I personally don’t like Nu Metal. It was different enough from normal Nu Metal that it didn’t suck.

None of the songs were bad. It didn’t have any filler. Sharon den Adel and Robert Westerholt wrote most of the music and lyrics but not all of them.

All the songs are big and follow a Pop Metal formula. It looked to me that Within Temptation were really trying to get this album high in the Billboard charts. There were a lot of guest singers on this album too, which is something that they do a lot in Pop.

Overall, it’s a pretty good album but if you’re more a Metal purist, this may be too soft and too commercial for you. It doesn’t take any hard chances. It’s great for listening to while driving or working.


Photo credit – The album cover, which is copyrighted material, covered under Fair Use as this is a review of the album.