Metal Mondays: Metal's Vagina Monologues

To continue my rant from last week about bitches who rock (see The Butcher Babies, Boobs and Blood) and in conjunction with Revolver Magazine's announcement of their 2013 Hottest Chicks in Metal calendar, I must pay tribute to two more female-fronted bands that I saw last week at the Marquee Theatre. Then, I promise, I will stop drooling over hot girls for awhile. Cross my heart.

So begins my cheers to the sexy skills of In This Moment's Maria Brink and Halestorm's Elizabeth "Lzzy" Hale. Metal's own Vagina Monologues performers, if you will.

While I must admit that I believe In This Moment to be a little more metal than Halestorm, it's always fantastic to see a set of such strong female voices, musical talent, and balls-to-the-wall confidence on stage together.

And before you go click on another article, the answer is yes: I do agree that many chicks in metal are present because of limited talent and big boobs. But these two front women realize that in order to get their musical prowess to the masses they have to maneuver a little sexuality as well, using it to augment their talent so to speak and not rely on it. Which seems to be key in distinguishing oneself in the world of metal as a talented chick or just a piece of ass.

Back in the MySpace music days, Rob "Blasko" Nicholson, the bassist for Ozzy Osbourne discovered In This Moment and became the band's manager. That kick-off point makes sense for a band that's now shared the stage with such acts as Rob Zombie, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Hatebeed and Disturbed (to name a select few).

In This Moment has grown progressively more theatric over the past couple years, and this show displayed just a taste of Maria Brink's tantalizingly twisted mind. I swear; I'd have her babies if she were a man, and I'm not exactly the motherly type. Oh yeah, and I probably qualify as a stalker at this point. I've seen her at more shows than I care to recall, spanning from Phoenix to Las Vegas, Ohio, to California. At this particular show, she was standing on a podium, donning outfits that ranged from a huge white Cirque du Soleil-style cape to white bondage gear and a dunce hat that she turned into a megaphone. Her screams were ear-shattering and her melodic vocals whimsical and beautiful, dripping with tortured hopes and romanticism. If you haven't heard In This Moment, check out one of my favorite tracks "Gun Show."

Their debut album, 2007's Beautiful Tragedy, and their third, 2010's A Star-Crossed Wasteland, are great tastes of their style, stripped down, as their 2012 album Blood jumped onto the electronic dubsteppy metal bandwagon.

Halestorm is actually even younger than In This Moment, with their debut album released in 2009. But all the times I've seen them perform they always look like a band on top of its game. That's probably because the band never seems to stop touring, often performing as many as 250 shows a year. The one thing I really admire about Lzzy Hale is that she has a blast while on stage. I always reminisce about Joan Jett when I watch her rocking out on her Gibson, which, by the way, is part of a signature guitar series that Gibson Guitars created just for her.

She head bangs, sticks her tongue out at the crowd, and pretty much makes love to the crowd through her instrument. She brings a certain sense of female aggressiveness to the stage, which even comes out clearly when she's sharing the stage with such gems as Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Hellyeah, and Seether. This past year, Halestorm made history by becoming the first female-fronted band to top the active rock airplay chart with their song "Love Bites...(So Do I)."

I'm not a huge fan of the massive radio hits that the band currently has, but love throwing it back to some of their original classic slow rock ballads, like "Familiar Taste of Poison," below.

Or the rockin' "Freak Like Me"

In short, if you haven't heard these chicks' music, you better ask somebody. As was overheard in the crowd at their concert: "Never once have I questioned the authority of Lzzy Hale's vagina."

Well played, sir. Well played.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise