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Corsets and Grindcore: The Dudes Get It Right, the Bitches Own It

Gallhammer
Gallhammer
Ladies In Metal

Once again I found myself writing a Metal Monday column on a plane with a glass of whiskey. I'm headed to Rock on the Range in Columbus, Ohio, to see Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, and about 30 other acts (stay tuned for that review next week). Most importantly, I'm sitting next to a sexy bitch wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt. She's got me thinking about topics I'm used to thinking about: women and heavy metal. And saying so just earned me a kiss on the cheek from this iron maiden.

I've talked written about ladies in metal -- be they MILFs competing in local metal station KUPD's Mother's Day contest or the hottest women in metal, but this time I want to discuss the kind of metal ladies who kick ass. Literally.

Metal isn't the boy's club that it used to be. Though they aren't in the majority -- as fans, musicians, or drinkers -- there are a couple of women in metal who have a lot more than good looks going for them.

Take Arch Enemy for example. Angela Gossow is a superb singer and frontwoman. From a technical standpoint, she's an amazing screamer. Landmine Marathon's Grace Perry excels at guttural growls and demonic screeches. Emma Anzai from the Sick Puppies is a killer bassist. Vocalist Simone Simons from symphonic metal band Epica, or Helena Iron Michaelson from Trail of Tears. All the chicks from extreme Japanese metal band Gallhammer, in general. Damn. Asian women are hot. But Asian women in metal? Smokin'.

Grace Perry and Landmine Marathon
Grace Perry and Landmine Marathon

For a long time, women were seen in metal and hard rock only as sex symbols, mainly because they presented themselves in that exact manner. Groupies are a huge part of the genre's pastime, and, trust me, they are truly entertaining to watch backstage at shows. But from a musical standpoint, when it comes to the fairer sex, metal musicians don't have to be seen as sex symbols anymore. The focus on visual appearance is still there, but it fades fast when it comes to brutal metal talent. Women have been able to scream grinding vocals just as well, if not better, than many dudes in heavy metal for years. They are showing the passion and love for metal instead of showing that they are cute little girls.

But in the testosterone-driven world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, it's difficult to get street cred no matter how vulgar you are as a chick. It took forever for record companies to recognize how money that concept is. And really, most chicks don't wanna be the chick in the band -- they just wanna be in a good band.

 

However, some of my favorite metal bands with female singers still put out that persona of a sex symbol in order to cross over to mainstream. It's almost inevitable if you want to be beloved worldwide. I'm the first to worship at the Maria Brink altar, but honestly, In This Moment markets themselves as all about Maria. Why? Because she has big tits, dresses up in sexy costumes, and has steely blue eyes that make me sweat like Charlie Sheen at the El Paso border.

Regardless, she's in the position of being a main marketing concept behind the band. And while it rolls in the dough, is it really the woman who is having the power, or the men at the marketing label who is manipulating the marketing message? The same can be said for Lacuna Coil, except I guess true fans of both these bands recognize the supreme talent of guitarist Chris Howorth and singer Andrea Ferro. It's really hard to say, especially if you go to In This Moment's MySpace page and see little girls writing letters to Maria Brink as a strong female role model in metal.

Brandon Geist, the editor of Revolver magazine, has said that they get more positive letters about their Hottest Chicks in Metal yearly issue from female readers instead of males. It encourages women to start bands, go to shows, and actually understand that they too can share that passion for metal. Chicks are realizing that they can not only be awesome musicians -- truly hardcore and not just pretty faces -- but that they can also be a huge part of the production aspect. Which is a beautiful fucking thing.

What about Accept? The lyrics to 1983's Balls to the Wall were written by their manager Gaby Hauke -- who was a woman. At the time, it was funny and controversial, because people could feel it was written from a different point of view. They just couldn't put their finger on exactly whose. It goes back to bringing in different musical influences to help expand the genre.

Here's the thing, ladies: I wanna see more shredders. Like in the '80s with Betsy Bitch or the '70s with Lita Ford. It's awesome if you have sex appeal, but you don't need it if you rock hard enough.

But who really cares, right? After all, if you clicked on this article to check out hot girls, I have a hot tip for you: just do yourself a favor and look at my hottest chicks in metal list and forgo my semi-bisexual, feminist bullshit.

Oh, sorry. I guess it's a little too late for that.


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