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Top 25 Women in Hard Rock and Metal for 2013

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Another year has drawn to a close and it is time once again for the year-end lists and we begin with our fourth annual list of the Top 25 Women in Hard Rock and Metal. It was something of a sad moment for women in metal with Otep Shamaya announcing her hopefully temporary retirement from music while she pursues other creative endeavors. Still she made the most of 2013 with her sixth studio album, “Hydra“, and her onslaught of touring. The legendary queens, Doro Pesch and Lita Ford both had huge years, and the latter just released her newest live album, “The Bitch is Back…Live” on November 5.

While other magazines will tout the women above and below as the “hottest” or “sexiest” women in hard rock and metal, what matters to us is the talent and their relevance in 2013. While those listed here are certainly stunning, it is the talent we applaud and acknowledge.

There are many names not on this list that we admire and respect. The list below simply represents those that we felt were particularly important in 2013. Many of our favorites had quiet years. Feel free to add your thoughts and picks at the end of the article, because this is a community and we all have a voice.

Before you check out this year’s list below, take a look back at our 2011 and 2012 picks.

Now on to this year’s list. They are in no particular order. We are not ranking them, for they are all talented in their own unique ways. We’ll leave the rankings to our readers.

CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY - SERENITY, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS
CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY - SERENITY, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS Nuclear Blast

CLÉMENTINE DELAUNEY - SERENITY, VISIONS OF ATLANTIS

The French born vocalist who turns 27 on Feb 11th, has been quite busy in 2013. She joined Visions of Atlantis this winter as the female half of the band’s two-sex vocal attack, and she filled the same role for Serenity on their new album, “War of Ages“. For the latter she assumed the persona of “Bathory”. The former Whyzdom vocalist has also made appearances on albums from Hemerah and Myrath and is the live female vocalist for the French opera metal project, Melted Space. Clementine studied classical singing at the “Maîtrise de l’Opera de Lyon”. She sang in classical choirs for two years as soprano and took piano lessons, both jazz and classic for seven years. Clementine also took theater lessons for two years, and contemporary dancing lessons as a child, all which help her with the dramatic presentation of symphonic metal.

LZZY HALE - HALESTORM
LZZY HALE - HALESTORM Rustyn Rose

LZZY HALE - HALESTORM

We are hard pressed to find a more dominant rock and roll female presence over the last three years than Halestorm‘s resident rock goddess, Lzzy Hale. Her charismatic presence and incredible vocal delivery have owned stages across the globe, and she is just getting started. She has been stepping more and more out of her rhythm guitar shell and has begun adding lead elements to her talents. She has shared vocals on stage this year with the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Cinderella’s Tom Keifer, Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge, Slash), Amy Lee (Evanescence), Adrenaline Mob, Sebastian Bach,  and David Draiman (Disturbed, Device) to name a few.

This fall saw Halestorm release its second covers EP, “ReAniMate 2.0” with Lzzy channeling more of her influences like: Stevie Nicks, Rob Halford, Pat Benatar, Brian Johnson, and Marilyn Manson. She and the band have already enjoyed a number 1 hit this year with “Freak Like Me”, and a top 15 hit with “Here’s To Us”. There is simply no stopping Lzzy and her storm. Check out our 2013 interview with Lzzy and the guys.

Jill Janus - Huntress
Jill Janus - Huntress Rustyn Rose

Jill Janus - Huntress

You know that dirty male fantasy you have where a goddess like witch takes you to places your body has never been before, then you awake with a start as she devours your soul and your flesh? Jill Janus is the embodiment of that twisted dream– a heavy metal fiend, Julliard graduate and former Playboy playmate. Like a dark siren she will pull you in with her beauty, then her voice will pierce your soul and you will blissfully writhe in pain impaled upon her microphone. Janus is an operatic banshee with an unparalleled four-octave coloratura soprano range and a lust for the occult. “Within me, there’s a nasty, horny old witch who runs the show. Beauty is fleeting, power and magic are eternal.” In 2013, Janus and Huntress released their sophomore album “Starbound Beast” and the band spent the year destroying stages across the globe, including this year’s Mayhem Festival. Jill Janus interview.

MARIA BRINK - IN THIS MOMENT
MARIA BRINK - IN THIS MOMENT Century Media

MARIA BRINK - IN THIS MOMENT

Brink is the adorable heart-shaped face and pouting lips fronting In This Moment. But don’t let the Alice in Wonderland facade fool you. This tattooed metal vixen can carve the heart out your chest with her voice. From lulling and sweet clean vocals to ferocious growling and screams, Brink takes no prisoners when she has a mic in hand. Off stage she’s all girly-girl. She and the band are currently touring in support of their fourth CD, “Blood” which has catapulted the band to a new level and captured the imagination of thousands of new fans.  She and the group threw caution to the wind with their latest record, adding more visual elements and bombast to their look, and an industrial edge to their sound. The band is prepping to kick off the second leg of its Hellpop Tour in early 2014 with Butcher Babies, Devour the Day and All Hail the Yeti. In This Moment will also release its first live CD/DVD, “Blood at the Orpheum“ in early 2014. You would be hard pressed to find a more competitive soul out there than Maria. She plays hard, and she plays to win. Welcome to her gun show!

DAISA MUNHOZ - VANDROYA
DAISA MUNHOZ - VANDROYA Inner Wound Recordings

DAISA MUNHOZ - VANDROYA

Munhoz hails from São Paulo, Brazil where she fronts progressive metal merchants, Vandroya. Vandroya’s debut album “One” was released in January by Inner Wound Recordings. She also lends her voice to the Soulspell Metal Opera, a project created by Brazilian heavy metal drummer Heleno Vale. She won a Best Female Vocalist award from Whiplash.net in 2010 for her work with Soulspell. While Vandroya is just about to break out, Daisa has been performing for years, including her one time all female band, Inlakesh, as well as a Led Zeppelin tribute band, Black Dog. Daisa’s voice is powerful, well controlled, and quite impressive. She prowls the stage with a take no prisoners mindset. Daisa lists her influences as: Symphony X, Dream Theater, Helloween, and Led Zeppelin.

HEIDI SHEPHERD & CARLA HARVEY - BUTCHER BABIES
HEIDI SHEPHERD & CARLA HARVEY - BUTCHER BABIES Rustyn Rose

HEIDI SHEPHERD & CARLA HARVEY - BUTCHER BABIES

This was a break out year for SoCal’s Butcher Babies, and Carla and Heidi were the talk of the 2013 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival. Vocally Shepherd and Harvey combine to sound much like Maria Brink and Alexis Brown, blending caustic growls and beautifully melodic vocals, but visually they are one part Alice Cooper, one part Wendy O. Williams and one part Penthouse Pet. Sonically, the band sound like Pantera meets Slipknot. Did you get all that down? Their debut full length, “Goliath” was released this year. Not surprisingly the pair are frequently selected among the “hottest women in hard rock and metal” by various publications. In their interview with Revolver they referred to their style as “slut metal”. Said Shepherd: “We can’t go balls out — so we go tits out! When girls are perceived as sexual or outspoken, they get labeled sluts, but we embrace those qualities and bring them to our music as well. Butcher Babies is true slut metal: We’re doing what we want, how we want.” Amen, sisters. The girls have toned down their sexed up image somewhat in 2013. Check out our interview with Butcher Babies from this year’s Mayhem Festival.

DORIS YEH - CHTHONIC
DORIS YEH - CHTHONIC Spinefarm Records

DORIS YEH - CHTHONIC

The Taiwanese thunder goddess Doris Yeh aka Thunder Tears, man-handles the bass for extreme metal horde, Chthonic. The band released its seventh studio album “Bú-Tik“ this year, and it may be the band’s best so far. Yeh has been with the band since 1999 when they released their debut album. She claims that she picked up the bass as a matter of convenience rather than choice. Yeh claims no particular influences on her performance style, stating: “I have no attempt to follow anyone’s style, it’s not quite right to  my personality, I think the experiences are the only teacher for me. ” Doris plays a 5-string Andromeda  signature bass with Ampeg amps. She also plays the piano: “I played piano when I was 5.  I played it for 10 years.” In her free time Doris likes to buy flowers and plants at auctions. When asked about the color of her soul, she replied, “Silver inside but Purple outside.” Her advice to fans: “‘Dream big’ won’t make you a great person, ‘Do it’ will.”

Check out our 2013 interview with Doris.

FLOOR JANSEN - NIGHTWISH, REVAMP
FLOOR JANSEN - NIGHTWISH, REVAMP Nuclear Blast

FLOOR JANSEN - NIGHTWISH, REVAMP

When Anette Olzon left Nightwish midway through its 2012 U.S. tour, Jansen jumped in to help out. She did a fabulous job and she was rewarded in 2013 with a permanent home in the band. It is certainly a testament to her status in the metal world that she was picked for the job to begin with. Floor has the ability to please Tarja Turunen fans while quite readily handling anything Olzon ever recorded. Her own post-After Forever project, ReVamp has flown quietly under the radar, which is a shame, as she has an incredible voice and a larger-than-life stage presence. ReVamp released its sophomore album, “Wild Card” in 2013 as well as her debut live CD/DVD. “Showtime, Storytime” with Nightwish. She even had a cameo on Epica’s “Retrospect” CD/DVD. As for 2014, Floor will be working on the next Nightwish album as well as lending her  vocals to the second Avalon album.

LOUSINE GEVORKIAN ~ LOUNA, TRACKTOR BOWLING
LOUSINE GEVORKIAN ~ LOUNA, TRACKTOR BOWLING Adrenaline PR

LOUSINE GEVORKIAN ~ LOUNA, TRACKTOR BOWLING

Armenian born vocalist and keyboardist Lou Gevorkian fronts two Russian acts–Louna and Tracktor Bowling. The latter is Russia’s #1 nu-metal outfit while the former has pushed its alt rock-punk sound into metal waters with its newest album, “Behind a Mask”. Gevorkian, who moved to Moscow at age seven (she turns 31 in February) assails listeners with her emotive and powerful vocals. Lou is a big supporter of up-and-coming singers and she helps as many as she can with vocal guidance. She is also an avid humanitarian, donating her time and performances all over Russia in support of various charities. This year she and Louna landed on U.S. soil for their debut tour. Sadly, they were robbed of their equipment and more shortly after the tour commenced, but she and the guys prevailed as all true rockers do. 2013 was merely the jumping off point for one of Russia’s brilliant musical imports.

MARTA GABRIEL - CRYSTAL VIPER
MARTA GABRIEL - CRYSTAL VIPER AFM Records

MARTA GABRIEL - CRYSTAL VIPER

Poland’s Marta Gabriel has been a busy woman these last two years, kicking out two albums with her band, Crystal Viper: “Crimen Excepta” in 2012 and “Possession“, which releases in January 2014. She also performed on stage with epic metal act, Manilla Road, in early 2013. Marta is the band’s vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter and has been since its inception a decade ago. She began her musical journey at age 7 when her parents sent her to music school: Piano was her primary instrument and classical was the genre. She offers however, that there were all types of music in her household growing up, and that metal was always her passion. Marta knew from childhood that she wanted to be a musician. Among her metal inspirations she hails Doro Pesch and Warlock, Judas Priest, Omen, Black Sabbath, early Phantom Blue and Vixen, Chastain and Leather Leone, Helloween, Jag Panzer, and many more. She also finds inspiration in classical artists like Rossini, Beethoven, Mozart, Holst, Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Wagner. Aside from triturating bone marrow with her music, Gabriel admits to the destruction of innumerable beer glasses. Marta has also launched her own apparel company–Thunderball Clothing.

NINA OSEGUEDA - A SOUND OF THUNDER
NINA OSEGUEDA - A SOUND OF THUNDER Duy Tran

NINA OSEGUEDA - A SOUND OF THUNDER

Few outside of the Virginia/D.C. area had ever heard of, or heard Nina Osegueda before the band’s early 2012 release, “Out of the Darkness”. But with a voice that recalls a female Bruce Dickinson meets Ronnie James Dio, that is quickly changing. Osegueda has tapped into those mighty male metal vocal influences to develop her own style. You like vocalists who can attack each song in unique ways? Osegueda is a metal vocalist Swiss Army knife. However, Osegueda did not grow up on metal. “I went to my first metal show when I was 21, and I saw Dragonforce,” laughs the singer. “I was a late bloomer. I saw Dragonforce and I realized I want to do that.” However, prior to that epiphany she grew up on R&B and Gospel, and she was trained operatically before college interrupted her musical path. Early 2013 saw the release of the band’s  “Queen of Hell” EP and this summer Nina and Company dropped their third full length album, “Time’s Arrow”. Osegueda had a chance to duet with Raven’s John Gallagher on “Out of the Darkness” and with Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane) for the “Time’s Arrow” track “My Disease”. The band is already neck-deep into the recording of its fourth studio effort, “The Lesser Key of Solomon“, due out in 2014. Recently the band started a new Kickstarter campaign for the new album, and their fans pushed them past their goal in less than 5 days.

SARAH TEETS - MINDMAZE
SARAH TEETS - MINDMAZE Sherri Bayne

SARAH TEETS - MINDMAZE

Sarah began her love of music at a young age. “For a while I really only did instrumental music, such as play the flute, oboe and percussion, but in high school I started singing a lot more,” she offered. “I was constantly performing in various choral groups and bands. My brother and I formed a metal band for the first time in 2004.” Like many female hard rock and metal vocalists, she found her vocal influence from primarily male vocalists including Glenn Hughes, Russel Allen, Jorn Lande, Urban Breed and Phil Mogg. From a lyricist’s perspective she hails Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott and Savatage founder Jon Oliva as her biggest influences. While 2013 was a big year for the Pennsylvania-based progressive-power metal quartet, Teets believes 2014 will be an even bigger year for MindMaze: “We’re about to hit the studio to start recording our sophomore album, Back From the Edge, which will feature a number of awesome guest performers. The two biggest and most notable ones are Mike Lepond of Symphony X, who will be playing bass on the album, and Jens Johansson of Stratovarius will be doing a guest keyboard solo. The album should be released next fall.”

TARJA TURUNEN
TARJA TURUNEN Armoury Records

TARJA TURUNEN

After a relatively quiet couple of years from the studio and the release of two live albums in 2012, Tarja returned in 2013 with her fourth solo studio album, “Colours in the Dark“. The album showcases the singer’s light lyric soprano and three octave range.The 36-year-old vocalist was born and raised in Finland, but now calls Buenos Aires, Argentina home. The ex-Nightwish frontwoman hit the road this fall in support of her new album, but not before teaming up with Within Temptation vocalist, Sharon den Adel for the single, “Paradise (What About Us?)”. Turunen’s powerfully dramatic and operatic singing voice  almost singularly created the genre of opera metal. Tarja’s first musical love was soul music in the Aretha Franklin vein. It was not until hearing the likes of Sarah Brightman that she chose to focus on a more classical path.

SIMONE SIMONS - EPICA
SIMONE SIMONS - EPICA Nuclear Blast

SIMONE SIMONS - EPICA

Ginger-haired Simons was inspired to take up the metal calling when she heard vocalist Tarja Turunen on Nightwish’s “Oceanborn” album at the ripe young age of 15. Now barely more than a decade into her career she is one of the premiere mezzo-soprano symphonic metal vocalists, alongside her other Dutch counterpart Sharon den Adel of Within Temptation. Simone is the blazing voice behind Epica, and she has recorded five powerfully sonic releases with them. She has also performed frequently with Kamelot the band her keyboardist boyfriend, Oliver Palotai performs in. Simone gave birth to their first child in October, 2013. At only 28 years of age, Simons has a bright future ahead of her with her immense vocal abilities and magnetic stage presence. She and Epica released the DVD, “Retrospect” this winter, and in 2014 she will appear on the Avalon II album. Simone has stated she will never get a tattoo and prefers cupcakes to alcohol and drugs: “I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke and I drink very little alcohol but I do eat candy and cupcakes. [laughs] I think that a lot of musicians start using drugs not because they want to be cool but because they can’t deal with the pressure of things.”

SHARON DEN ADEL - WITHIN TEMPTATION
SHARON DEN ADEL - WITHIN TEMPTATION Nuclear Blast

SHARON DEN ADEL - WITHIN TEMPTATION

In the world of symphonic/gothic metal there are an extraordinary number of female fronted bands who sport excellent vocalists. Some are on this list. Yet there is arguably no purer, richer, or more accessible voice than that of Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel. Born in South Holland, the Dutch mezzo-soprano began singing professionally at 13, eventually meeting guitarist Robert Westerholt in 1996. The couple and the band have been together ever since. Despite no professional vocal training, the scope of her voice has been hailed as epic and cinematic. As anyone who has heard den Adel perform live can attest, she is definitively not a product of the studio. Every soaring vocal and emotive nuance comes out as excellent as it does on the band’s albums. Within Temptation celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2013 and to mark the occasion Sharon and the band recorded 15 cover songs for the Belgian radio station Q-music. Eleven of the tracks were released this spring as The Q-music Sessions. Sharon has also been hard at work on the band’s new record, “Hydra“, which is due out in early 2014. The first single finds den Adel teamed up with sister vocalist Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) for the track “Paradise (What About Us?)” which was released as an EP.

ALEXIA & ANISSA RODRIGUEZ ~ EYES SET TO KILL
ALEXIA & ANISSA RODRIGUEZ ~ EYES SET TO KILL Century Media

ALEXIA & ANISSA RODRIGUEZ ~ EYES SET TO KILL

Alexia and Anissa started Eyes Set To Kill in Tempe, Arizona in 2003, along with their former vocalist Lindsey Vogt. Alexia is the band’s lead guitarist, while Anissa handles bass duties. Upon Lindsey’s departure in 2007, Alexia took on the role of vocalist as well. Alexia also plays piano. While the ladies have been the band’s consistent members, along with drummer Caleb Clifton, finding that stable fourth member has proven a difficult task, but rhythm guitarist, Cisko Miranda has been steady since 2010. In 2013, the band released their fifth full length studio album “Masks“ to critical success. Offered Alexia on the album’s title:”I felt like we were wearing a bunch of masks to impress people. At one point, I had a bit of a revelation. We have gone through so many changes over the years, but it wasn’t about anybody else. It was about us – we’ve really found the band’s face at this point. We aren’t wearing masks anymore.” Alexia has also released her own solo album, Lexia: Underground Sounds, which shows off more of her songwriting skills, as well as displaying her less metal side.

“KOBRA” PAIGE - KOBRA AND THE LOTUS
“KOBRA” PAIGE - KOBRA AND THE LOTUS Simmons Records

“KOBRA” PAIGE - KOBRA AND THE LOTUS

Brittany Paige founded her Canadian-based band, Kobra And The Lotus with guitarist Chris Swenson and drummer Griffin Kissack in 2008. She is the fire-breathing, driving force behind the band’s straight forward, “fuck sub-genres,” metal sound. Well versed as both a pianist and powerhouse vocalist, she studied classical music with The Royal Music Conservatory of Canada. The band was signed by Gene Simmons’ Universal sub-label, and last year released the band’s debut record. Paige has all the requisite front(wo)man requirements down; stunning beauty, feisty attitude and impeccable pipes (and I do mean her voice). More than that, she has an intangible charisma that just explodes forth when she performs: An undefinable magnetism that sets her apart from many of her male and female counterparts. Paige does not pull punches either: ”I am who I am and this is my voice; If it’s not bad-ass enough for some people, that’s just too bad.” She and the band spent much of 2013 destroying the countryside, introducing North America to the band’s heavy and colorful sound.

VERONICA “THE V” FREEMAN - BENEDICTUM
VERONICA “THE V” FREEMAN - BENEDICTUM Frontiers Records

VERONICA “THE V” FREEMAN - BENEDICTUM

From the depths of hell, or just Phoenix rises the powerful voice of Veronica Freeman. For years she fronted the San Diego based metal outfit, Malady, before turning her sites to building the beast that is Benedictum. 2013 found Freeman adding her monstrous Dickinson meets Halford wail to he band’s fourth studio effort, “Obey” as well as her debut solo album, due out in 2014. She also found time to partner up with Nina Osegueda for A Sound of Thunder‘s “Queen of Hell“. Freeman’s vocal machinations owe as much to the likes of Tina Turner as they do Ronnie James Dio, and she madly channels both when she’s on stage. However, pursuing music was not her plan, and in fact it took some coercing to get her up to the microphone. It was former Dio guitarist Craig Goldy who convinced Freeman to give metal and singing a chance, to which we owe him a great debt. While she gnashes her metal teeth with Benedictum, her solo record will reflect a more melodic hard rock side. Freeman also has a passion for speed and a love of motorcycles and owns her own company, Streetfighters Inc which handles after market accessories for street bikes. You can check out our recent V interview here.

LIV KRISTINE - LEAVE'S EYES
LIV KRISTINE - LEAVE'S EYES Nuclear Blast

LIV KRISTINE - LEAVE'S EYES

Liv returns to our list after a quiet 2012. The blonde, Nordic soprano vocalist first came to the notice of symphonic metal fans with her turn in Theater of Tragedy, whom she spent seven years with. In 2003, she formed her own band, Leaves’ Eyes, with husband Alexander Krull and members of his band, Atrocity. Liv’s captivating voice is both powerful and earthy: a lulling call luring us into her clutches note by note. She released her fourth solo album, ”Libertine“ last year, and this year, she and Leaves’ Eyes have returned with their fifth studio masterpiece, “Symphonies of the Night“. Liv was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2005. Her sister Carmen Elise Espenæs, also a singer, fronts the gothic/symphonic metal group Midnattsol. Liv also lent her vocals to a track on the new Primal Fear album, “Delivering the Black“. Check out our 2012 interview with Liv.

TAYLOR MOMSEN - THE PRETTY RECKLESS
TAYLOR MOMSEN - THE PRETTY RECKLESS Razor & Tie records

TAYLOR MOMSEN - THE PRETTY RECKLESS

Despite huge success with the debut 2010 CD “Light Me Up” from The Pretty Reckless, it has been hard for Taylor Momsen to gain the respect of hard rockers because of her Valley Girl looks and her day job as Jenny Humphrey on CW’s Gossip Girl. 2013 opened a fresh start for the vocalist whose longstanding TV show came to an end and The Pretty Reckless hype machine kicked in. They debuted the first video and title cut from their sophomore album, “Going To Hell“, due out early this year. One listen and it is clear that Momsen has more to offer than looks and soap opera dialogue. As frequently as her name has popped up on people’s lips in 2013, a breakthrough appears on the horizon in 2014 which includes a massive tour with Fallout Boy. Momsen has been involved with music since she was a small child, even having a song she wrote when she was eight-years-old recorded by another artist. It may have been her beauty and TV celebrity that got people paying attention, but Momsen and The Pretty Reckless are prepared and ready to earn their rock and roll cred.

SABINE SCHERER – DEADLOCK
SABINE SCHERER – DEADLOCK Nuclear Blast

SABINE SCHERER – DEADLOCK

Sabine is the hypnotic voice of the beauty to the harsh assault of John Gahlert’s beast. The two are the vocalists for Germany’s Deadlock. Despite nearly a decade and six albums with the band, the 31-year-old Scherer (formerly Weniger) is one of the lesser known talents among women in metal. Much like the woman herself, her voice is both mysterious and haunting, yet it is the magic ingredient that gives Deadlock‘s sound its extra edge. Their newest release, “The Arsonist” was one of 2013′s best. Sabine has seen her role in the band grow from guest vocalist a decade ago to being a prominent focus of the band’s sound. She offers this advice to young fans trying to find their own voice: “I’d say that it’s most important to always be yourself and never try to copy others. Of course, it’s good training to cover songs, to find out what’s easier for you and what’s more difficult, but in the end, you have to put your own soul in it.”
Read our review of “The Arsonist“.

CARA MCCUTCHEN & MIRANDA WOLFE - MORTILLERY
CARA MCCUTCHEN & MIRANDA WOLFE - MORTILLERY Napalm Records

CARA MCCUTCHEN & MIRANDA WOLFE - MORTILLERY

After releasing a neck-snapping debut of toxic thrash, “Murder Death Kill“, in 2012, Cara, Miranda and Mortillery came right back in 2013 with an equally skull-crushing sophomore effort, “Origin of Extinction“. Vocalist McCutchen and bassist Wolfe are just two-fifths of the Mortillery blitzkrieg, but they give the Canadian thrashers an extra edge that most bands cannot claim. Cara’s vocals are absolutely caustic and muscular and when the 31-year-old singer’s not ripping off faces she has a thing for reptiles and welding. That officially means she has balls bigger than most men. Miranda has some sick bottom end skills, and the 26-year-old can bring it on stage. Wolfe found her influences in old 80′s Thrash, Black Metal, and D-Beat Punk primarily.  While she does not have any particular influence to her style, she does like to play hard and heavy. “I just play how I feel comfortable and with lots of energy.”  She hails Lemmy Kilmister’s sound as her favorite. When she takes the stage with Mortillery that energy is contagious. The band will head to Europe in early 2014 with Sepultura.

ALLISON TEAGUE PURIFOY - ROSES UNREAD
ALLISON TEAGUE PURIFOY - ROSES UNREAD Roses Unread

ALLISON TEAGUE PURIFOY - ROSES UNREAD

Purifoy provides the face of Memphis rockers, Roses Unread. 2013 saw the release of the eponymous third album from the band. Her voice is pure and undiluted, edgy and beautiful, adding melody and depth to the heaviness of the band’s music. Offers Allison of her vocals: “I grew up singing. It was a natural gift. I took lessons for six months when I was 20 to develop more vibrato and soul in my voice, but those are the only lessons I have ever had my whole life and I am 27 now. I feel I have created my own vocal style by staying as natural and raw as I can and I plan to keep it that way because it works for me.” Allison talks about her lyrical ideals as well: “I am a Christian and I struggle at life. There are demons every day that try to bring me down, but through my faith I can write about overcoming the things that haunt me instead of taking a dark path. Writing is my outlet. I go through hard times just like everyone else does and I fall from time to time and I think my writing shows that. Every song you hear is something I have gone through or a close friend has gone through. I hope I can make a difference through my lyrics. I hope people can relate and not take the dark path either. I hope I inspire someone to want to conquer their demons as well.”

MISSI AVILA - YOUR CHANCE TO DIE
MISSI AVILA - YOUR CHANCE TO DIE Red Cord Records

MISSI AVILA - YOUR CHANCE TO DIE

While Arch Enemy’s Angela Gossow took 2013 off, Missi Avila was more than happy to fill the void for female-fronted death metal fans. Missi is the acid-throated growler for South Carolina melodic death metal contingent, Your Chance to Die. 2013 saw the band release its third full-length studio effort, “The American Dream“. The album, much like Missi’s vocal attack, is a mix of melody and brutality. In contrast, Missi’s lyrical content is largely based on her relationship with Jesus Christ, though she does not wish the band to be labeled as a Christian group. Missi offers that despite whatever a person’s individual beliefs are, she and the band simply want to be a part of changing the world and she thinks everyone can agree that the world needs changing. Missi puts all her passion for improving the world and her rage against the greed and selfishness that too readily chokes society, into her performances and lyrics. She also admits to a weakness for macaroni and cheese, cream soda and Taco Bell. Among the bands she listens to are classic Nightwish, The Faceless, Wretched, and Woe of Tyrants. With regard to the band’s name, Missi offers: “It is a modification of a book title ‘A Chance to Die’ by one of my favorite authors. This book is the autobiography of a missionary to India who rescued little girls and boys from temple prostitution. She really gave her entire life to service and that is our challenge to all. ‘Your chance to die’ to yourself and live for a greater cause.”

LEATHER LEONE - CHASTAIN
LEATHER LEONE - CHASTAIN Leviathan Records

LEATHER LEONE - CHASTAIN

A legend returns to the list this year. You would be hard pressed to talk about women in metal without the name Leather Leone surfacing. Leone has fronted such bands as Rude Girl and Chastain. In 2012, she released a debut album with Sledge/Leather. The band featured alumni of Dio’s band along with another former Rude Girl, Sandy Sledge on drums. In 2013, Leone reunited with guitar legend, Dave Chastain for her first album with the band since 1990′s “For Those Who Dare“. The new record, “Surrender To No One” was released in November on Leviathan Records. Offers Leone of the new album: “I find much of it to be classic Chastain. There are undeniably some modern concepts involved, life changes, we grow!! But I guarantee it will not disappoint, it is a Chastain Cd!!”. Long patient fans can once again hear Leather’s powerful and menacing voice pouring forth from their speakers.\m/

Check out our recent interview with Leather.

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