High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, October 28, 2013

Beauties and the Beasts: Introducing The Leading Ladies of Modern Metal!

Got a couple of hours?

Of course you do! :)



It's Halloween and that gives me an excuse
to shock and surprise you, doesn't it? I know
I promised there'd be no more heavy metal
on the blog this year, but I had to break my
promise because this stuff's refreshingly
different and I couldn't wait to share it
with you. I want you to experience the
most exciting development in recent
rock history - heavy metal bands
with female lead singers.

Come with me on a world tour and meet
the lovely ladies of modern metal.
Some are self-taught. Others are 
classically trained divas.

Please don't run for the hills at the sight of
the word metal. I assure you that this is
some of the most beautiful, passionate
and spiritual music ever made.

Most of the videos you are about to watch are
atmospheric, brilliantly directed productions
that resemble movie scenes. The songs would
lend themselves nicely to motion picture
themes and soundtracks.

As you scroll down and watch these videos one by
one you will experience a range of vocal styles.
The first few bands feature female vocalists
with pure, clean voices singing power ballads
and operatic progressive metal.

Watch the last few videos at your own risk.
They might scare you because they feature
bands that are fronted by iron maidens,
the scream queens of modern metal!

These banshees growl, screech and rage.
Their music and their videos are intense,
brutal, abrasive and "transgressive."

Please embrace the concept that heavy music laced
with screams and death growls is a valid art form.
The women are talented singers and their bands
are made up of serious, accomplished musicians.



LEAD SINGER: Marcela Bovio

Gothic metal is inspired by gothic fiction.
It is dark, mysterious, atmospheric, melancholy
and introspective. In recent years goth metal
has moved into the mainstream in Europe and
that's where we find many of the artists in
this post including Stream of Passion, a
Dutch progressive/gothic/symphonic metal
band that features the beauty and virtuosity
of Mexican singer/violinist Macrcela Bovio.


"Out in the Real World" - Stream of Passion 
(single released February 2006 from
2005 album Embrace the Storm)


Country: GERMANY

LEAD SINGER: Lisa Middelhauve

Next we have Xandria, a symphonic gothic
metal band from Germany. You'll forget
you're listening to "metal" when you hear
Lisa Middelhauve sing "Eversleeping," a song
from Xandria's second album Ravenheart,
"an epic, symphonic metal jewel!"

"Eversleeping" - Xandria 
(from 2004 album Ravenheart)



LEAD SINGER: Charlotte Wessels

Now please listen to Delain, a Dutch progressive,
gothic and power metal band led by jazz and
clasically trained thrush Charlotte Wessels.

"April Rain" - Delain 
(from 2009 album April Rain)



LEAD SINGER: Floor Jansen

Another Dutch band, After Forever, performed 
progressive influenced symphonic metal. 
Leading the pack was operatically trained 
mezzo-soprano Floor Jansen.

"Energize Me" - After Forever 
(from 2007 album After Forever)



LEAD SINGER: Tarja Turunen

Nightwish is a long running Finnish symphonic and
gothic metal band. At the time the following video
was made the band was led by lyric soprano singer
and songwriter Tarja Turunen. Watch and listen
as Nightwish performs "Nemo," a song from their
breakthrough 2004 U.S. album Once.

"Nemo" - Nightwish 
(from 2004 album Once)



LEAD SINGER: Sharon den Adel

Together since the mid 90s, Within Temptation is
yet another Dutch band performing symphonic metal
and gothic rock. Singer/composer Sharon den Adel
is a primarily self-taught mezzo-soprano who
sings like she's had years of training.

"The Howling" - Within Temptation 
(from 2007 album The Heart of Everything)




Norwegian gothic symphonic metal band 
Sirenia is currently led by Spanish singer 
Pilar Giménez García, stage name Ailyn, 
a young woman chosen from more than 
500 who auditioned for the job. Ailyn 
adds pop princess commercial appeal 
to the band's look and sound resulting 
in a winning combination!

"The End of It All" - Sirenia 
(February 2011 single from 
album Enigma of Life)



LEAD SINGER: Sabine Dunser

The goth/symphonic black metal band Elis hailed
from the tiny alpine Central European country
of Liechtenstein between Switzerland and Austria.
The story of lead singer Sabine Dunser reads like
a tragic chapter of a gothic novel. In 2006 Sabine
finished laying down vocal tracks for the band's
third album, Griefshire, and soon afterward
died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She was only
in her late 20s. Listen to Sabine's angelic
voice as she sings the German language
song "Der Letzte Tag" ("The Last Day").

"Der Letzte Tag" - Elis 
(from 2005 album 
Dark Clouds in a Perfect Sky)



LEAD SINGER: Sandra Schleret

Soulslide is an German gothic/symphonic metal band.
At the time this video was made Austria's Sandra Schleret
 was their lead singer. Two years later Sandra took over
as lead singer of Elis following the untimely death
of Sabine Dunser. All of the women in this post
have great voices but Sandra's beautiful singing
is best of all. It brings tears to my eyes!


"Into Despair" - Soulslide 
(from 2004 demo Lost in You)


COUNTRY: U.S.A. (Little Rock, Arkansas)


I never dreamed Little Rock, Arkansas would be
home to a post-grunge, alternative and goth
metal band, but it sure is. Two time Grammy
winner Evanescence is led by singer/pianist
Amy Lee who was age 20 when she co-wrote
and the band recorded "Everybody's Fool."

Note that the clip begins with what appears 
to be a commercial, but it isn't. It's all part 
 of the band's conceptual video!

"Everybody's Fool" - Evanescence 
(single released June 2004 
from March 2003 album Fallen)



Christina Scabbia 
Andrea "Andy" Ferro

Sometimes more is more. The Italian gothic, 
symphonic, progressive, industrial power metal 
band Lacuna Coil ("empty spiral") boasts two lead
singers, a male and a female, who alternate vocals.
The result: 100% pure Dark Adrenaline.

"Trip the Darkness" - Lacuna Coil 
(October 2011 single from 
2012 album Dark Adrenaline)



Elize Ryd 
Jake E 
Andreas Solveström

Sometimes even more is more. Amaranthe,
a melodic pop/death metal band from Sweden,
boasts not one, not two but three lead singers.
Jake E and Elize Ryd perform the so-called
"clean" vocals while Andreas Solveström
handles the "harsh" vocals. It's an exciting
blend of styles backed by a powerful band.
This is how ABBA might sound today if they
were still together and something had gone
terribly, horribly, WONDERFULLY wrong!

"Hunger" - Amaranthe 
(single from April 2011 self titled album)


COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Los Angeles

LEAD SINGER: Maria Brink

What happens when the beauty becomes the 
beast? You're about to find out. In August
I introduced bold and beautiful Maria Brink  
and her Los Angeles based metalcore band 
In This Moment. As you might recall, Maria 
and the guys performed a sizzling cover 
of the Blondie hit "Call Me." In this duet 
with her boyfriend Adrian Patrick from
the band Otherwise, Maria's clean vocals
are interspersed with fits of screaming.

"The Promise" - In This Moment  
(October 2010, from album 
A Star-Crossed Wasteland)


COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Knoxville, Tennessee

LEAD SINGER: Alexis Brown

Tennessee metalcore band Straight Line Stitch is
one of the few heavy metal acts to feature an
Afro-American female lead singer. On the band's
single "Conversion," the incendiary Alexis Brown
switches back and forth from a conventional
singing style to a raging heavy metal howl!

"Conversion" - Straight Line Stitch 
(single from 2011 album 
The Fight of Out Lives)


COUNTRY: U.S.A. - Los Angeles

LEAD SINGER: Otep Shamaya

Now meet Otep Shamaya and the Los Angeles
nu-metal, goth and alternative metal band
named after her. Otep goes deep, reciting
dark, tortured poetry that suddenly explodes
with a savage fury rarely achieved by female
vocalists. Goth rocker Marilyn Manson is
quoted as saying, "That girl scares me."
Watch and listen and you'll know why.

"Ghostflowers" - Otep 
 (single from April 2007 album The Ascension)



LEAD SINGER: Alissa White-Gluz

The Agonist is a metalcore and melodic 
death metal band from Montreal, Canada 
with alluring front woman Alissa White-Gluz. 
Like the other scream queens, Alissa employs  
a schizophrenic singing style. While her band  
shreds their instruments, Alissa shifts gears
from sweet to psycho, bringing to mind
Linda Blair's bout with demonic
possession in The Exorcist.

"Thank You, Pain" - The Agonist 
(from March 2009 album 
Lullabies for the Dormant Mind)

And there you have it, friends and neighbors -
the operatic divas and screaming mimies of
modern heavy metal. If you think about it,
these women are the Wanda Jacksons of the
new millennium, breaking through barriers,
refusing to conform to preexisting notions
of how a female singer should look or act
or the type of material she should perform.
Some of this music is an acquired taste
but if you're like me and hungry for more
I invite you to check out these other
female fronted heavy metal bands:

Blood Stain Child
Diabulus in Musica
Domina Noctis
Tears of Magdalena
Leaves' Eyes

Have a Shady day and a



  1. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 28, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Well, Shady! I feel my mind expanding after watching and listening to only half of these videos. I'm afraid I have a stereotype that needs to be dispelled about heavy metal, because I tended to paint the whole genre with a very broad brush. It was not a nice one either!

    I never heard any of these songs of course, but I was amazed by the musicality of them, at least the ones up to and including Soulslide. The singers' voices were as clear and melodic as any opera divas, so it's easy to recognize the training of some of them. That's something I never expected to hear with heavy metal.

    I have to be more broad-minded about the visual effects however. I can appreciate the complexity of the videography and especially the use of contrasts: dark and light, delicate and harsh, sad and happy (not real happy though...), pain and healing, growth and decay. However, I get overwhelmed by blackness, leather corsets, thrashing-about movements, and the foreboding atmosphere that overtakes a lot of the videos. I'm glad they included a few butterflies and some sunshine to temper some of that!

    I'm reminded by the melodrama in these videos, like Poe, the Gothic poets and novelists and Pre-Raphaelite painters, that beauty and destruction exist side by side in life. Human expression merely reflects our experiences. For these European artists, their music perhaps faces the darkness we all encounter and deflects some of the negative feelings into sound and image. It probably functions a lot the same way as Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead do for many people. Dance with the skeleton instead of running from it!

    Anyway, until I see the rest of the videos in this post, know that I am overall pleasantly surprised. I'll be back for another look and comment later. Thanks for the introduction!

    1. Hello, Kathleen, and welcome to the Inner Sanctum! :) I'm happy to know you can feel your mind expanding as a result of this post. I hope you don't get a big head, though! :)

      I created this post for two reasons. First of all, I love this style of music, and a blog after all is a place where you share your interests with your friends. I am very passionate about this type of music, having discovered it some eight months ago. Ever since it is the only kind I listen to when I'm away from the blog. I use this music for my nightly workouts and it inspires me to put more effort into them. Secondly, I created this post to educate people - to expose friends like you to something entirely different - a category of music that is often unfairly judged and dismissed by those who don't take the time to actually listen to it. All it takes is for people to set aside their biases and preconceived notions and listen with an open mind. Those who do will surely discover, as I think you did, that this is some of the most beautiful and spiritual music ever made. To me it's like going to church. Many of these songs are sad, gloomy and doomy, but I am drawn to them and enjoy them. They empower me. When the vocalists start raging, screaming and growling, I don't pull away. I harness the power and turn it into positive activity such as exercise or hard work. Modern Metal is high octane fuel and it serves me.

      Thank you very much for giving these videos a try, dear friend, Kathleen. This post runs six days. I urge you to sample the rest when time permits and report your impressions. Have a great week and a happy Halloween!

  2. After a few good hours of your picks, I think I will go listen to Gracie Slick for a few more.


    1. Hey hey hey, Jerre! Thanks for dropping by, good buddy. I'm glad you named Grace Slick because she and her San Francisco based band helped foster hard rock and lift American popular music out of the doldrums. The operatic goth songbirds featured in this post brought heavy metal music into the mainstream throughout much of Europe even as it remains on the fringe here in America. For my money one Marcela Bovio, Sandra Schleret or Maria Brink is worth 100 Mileys at the current international exchange rate.

      Thanks again for taking a look and a listen, Jerre. Have a wonderful week and a happy Halloween!

  3. Hallo there dear Shadykins! Well, you have certainly put a lot of work into your Halloween post, so thank you for that. You know what I feel about heavy metal, but I was very pleasantly surprised by these, although I couldn't really appreciate the last three. The others were certainly very atmospheric with beautiful voices. So clever of you to find all these new singers /groups for us. I agree with you that music in the heavy metal genre is often dismissed, and I am all too guilty of that, preferring to stay in my comfort zone I guess. But , as with any form
    Of art, it really is good to try and widen your horizons and appreciate different forms. You are doing a good job in trying to re-educate us my dear Tom. My very favourites today were the first two. Thank you for your kind comments over at my place today. I do feel a bit of a jinx at the moment!!

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme, and thank you so much for coming over today even through you are dealing with a worrisome family situation at the moment. I appreciate this gesture very much, dear friend.

      I'm very happy you were able to listen and watch with an open mind and realize that experiencing this type of music is not much different than spending a night at the opera or sitting in church on Sunday listening to the choir perform a medley of songs. The modern metal coming out of Scandanavia, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and other European countries is a mix of folk songs from native lands, Viking tales, songs with religious overtones, love songs and songs that rail against injustices of all kinds. To my ears this music is soothing and at the same time invigorating and inspiring. You just need to set your mental filters a certain way to tune into it and I believe that is a worthwhile exercise for all of us.

      Dear Thisisme, I wish life could always flow smoothly without all these bumps. It makes me very sad to think of the long string of challenges that you and your family have faced in recent months. My prayers are with you and yours at all times, Diane. Please remember that.

  4. Hi Shady,
    Probably unlike most of your followers, I enjoy heavy metel so, I enjoyed most of this post. The ONLY thing that I can't get use to and don't especially like is that newer thing they do (in some of these tunes) that monsterous growling. I don't know the "proper" term. But, I really loved most of these songs, in fact, some of them were lovely!!! The first half were somewhat softer, more mild mannered and "not so heavy" like, "Out in the real world" and" Eversleeping". Loved the beat and sound of "April Rain" and" Energize me". The more we scroll, the harder and more metel the tune! As I was listening, I thought, Boy! some of these girls sound like Amy Lee, where is Amy Lee??? Then I saw and heard her! There she was singing a new song for my ears (loved it and the video) I do love her first and biggest hit, "wake me up inside". I thought for sure if I scrolled down more I'd find our "home girl" Lizy Hale? She would fit right in! I do love bands with women as their front "man", lol! As you know, Pat Benatar ( I thought Floor Jansen sounded like Pat B., too) and Heart are some of my all time favs (maybe they are more pop rock, though). I pick your picks, too but, in reverse order mostly because Sanra Schleret voice was so awesome. Shady, I think I need to broaden my horizons more and go abroad!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi Toni! No, dear friend, you and I are in perfect sync because Austrian thrush Sandra Schleret is my favorite of all these women. I didn't have my Picks To Click in any particular order. Sandra has been lead singer with several different European bands and her voice melts me like no other. I love Sandra's singing so much that I will be featuring more of her performances in a separate post next year.

      I haven't quite found the ear for Red Lion band Halestorm but my tastes are always evolving and there's a good chance I'll be buying their music in time.

      The growling is referred to as "cookie monster" death growls, at least by some music reviewers online. The older music actually has more death growls than the newer albums being produced by these bands.

      It's important to realize that if you strip away the somewhat disturbing gothic visuals and the death growls in these recordings, you are left with smooth and lovely female voices that could easily fit into the pop or light rock mainstream like Heart. It's all in the packaging. The pet peeve among hardcore fans of this genre is that some of the music is too pop and not heavy enough.

      Yessum, I laid out the post so that it gets a little louder and harder as you scroll down, allowing the timid to bail out at any point along the way and the adventurous to take the highway to the danger zone and listen to all the clips. Straight Line Stitch, Otep and The Agonist go for the jugular and are an acquired taste. I have acquired a taste for their music!

      Toni, it is obvious to me that you spent a lot of time reading and listening and I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. You are a great friend. Thank you for coming over and sampling these sounds. Have a terrific week and a safe and happy Halloween!

  5. Most of these I've never heard of. I have heard Evanescence before. You really did your homework Shady. I'm surprised that you didn't mention Lita Ford in this post. But I'm sure there are a few more that could be added. Great job!!!!

    1. Hi, Bouncin Barb! I know and enjoy the hard rockin' Lita Ford, but this post was intended to introduce bands that formed and were active in more recent years, mostly in the new millennium, and primarily in Europe.

      Believe it or not, I own CD's by most of the bands spotlighted in this post and have listened to all of these bands online, including the ones listed in red at the end of the post such as Blood Stain Child, a metal band from Japan, Eths from Marseille, France, and Dreamer, a goth metal band from Indonesia. There are still more female fronted bands I didn't list and new ones forming all the time. It's a red hot music category with a ton of fans around the world.

      I'm so glad you came over and listened to the beauties and beasts I selected for you. Thank you very much, BB. Have a fine week in Daytona and a happy Halloween!

  6. Well, metal is not my thing but it is seasonal and Halloween themed :) Also, I haven't heard of any of these bands or singers so listen I shall! Have a great Halloween :) x

    1. Well hello and welcome back, my Irish friend! I remember you from a few months ago. I'm very happy to see your blog back up and running and delighted that you came over to check out my gothic Halloween post.

      I hope you'll listen to a few of these recordings because they aren't what most people think of when the word "metal" is thrown around. These are gifted female singers backed by accomplished male vocalists and musicians. The production is top notch. Some of these bands, such as Sweden's Amaranthe and Japan's Blood Stain Child, make the type of hybrid synth metal played in international dance clubs. Others make the kind of powerful prog rock often found in the soundtracks of major motion pictures. I predict you'll find something to like if you dabble a while.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear ACV. Good night to you in Ireland and please come back again soon!

  7. Shady! Sorry so late today. I am tapping this out on my phone. You know of my teen love of metal and punk, so these touched a youthful chord in me, so to speak! I enjoyed all of it and think you did a masterful job of picking them out. Thank you for allowing me to feel young again. Have a wonderful week in your beautiful part of ttge world, my friend-

    1. Hi, Shelly! You must be globetrotting again, dear friend, and I sincerely thank you for finding a window of time and a method of posting a comment.

      I suspected this music would take you back to your metal and punk influenced youth. Making you feel young again is job #1 here at Shady Dell Music & Memories and I'm proud to offer that service. In fact, if I ever fail to make you feel young again, you get double your money back! You heard right. DOUBLE your money back! :)

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend Shelly. Wherever you are in the world I hope you are enjoying your week and that you and your family will have a safe and happy Halloween! Take care!

  8. Happy Halloween my friend! I have really been surprised, but not spooked by this post! I'm not a real fan of heavy metal, but I loved these! The first ones really were more my speed, and I loved Xandria...I was impressed by how haunting the music and voices were...and also how beautiful all the singers were! Very fun Halloween post and I think you deserve a king size chocolate bar in your treat bag this year! Happy Halloween!

    1. Hello, dear YaYa, and thank you very much for coming to Shady's Halloween party in spite of the grief being endured by your family at this time. I appreciate your visit very much.

      Your response is exactly what I was hoping for from all my friends. You were pleasantly surprised to discover that there are certain types of (the M word) that you actually love. Whoda thunkit? I agree that these Lily Munsters and Morticia Addams's (is that plural of Addams?) can really sing and I am hopelessly hooked on both the gothic symphonic metal and the more intense, "transgressive" style performed by the last few bands.

      Again, thank you very much for being a great friend, Kathleen. My thoughts and prayers are with your family at this sad time. Hugs!

  9. Such an epic post! I couldnt listen to all of them, but most of these womens voices are so amazing! I always like when a female band or singer becomes popular in metal music because its such a masculine thing - angry heavy music, which pretty little girls are supposed to like! But sod them! The ladies sing better!

    1. Hi, dear Catherine! I totally agree that female fronted metal bands are a refreshing change from the decades of male domination. I am utterly tuned in and turned on by this music and I thank you very much for giving it a try. It's interesting to note that the gothic symphonic death metal bands are primarily from Western Europe with a good number of them coming out of the Netherlands, Germany and Scandanavian countries while the bands that perform the brutal, harder edged metalcore characterized by explosive, in your face raging and screaming, are based primarily in the U.S. and Canada. To my ears it's all good. It's jet fuel, the youth elixir that gets me motivated to tackle my nightly workouts and stay fit.

      Thank you very much for being such a kind and generous friend, dear Catherine. Good night to you in Sydney and have a wonderful Thursday!

  10. I am another surprised listener. I loved or liked almost all these songs. My favorite was "The Howling" because of the music and the message. Life can be so beautiful and yet so horrible and tragic.

    The first two songs were beautiful and I can see why Sandra Schleret's voice moves you to tears. All the women had wonderful voices. I loved the message in 'Everybody's Fool'. It is true we grow up with a lot of lies. Some of the male/female duets were great. Thanks for introducing me to these bands. Hugs.

    1. Hi, Belle! I was surprised, too, when I found myself liking and then loving this type of music. The themes and messages contained in these songs are similar to those found in mainstream pop hits and movie scores. There are folk songs, love songs, protest songs and songs that explore the meaning of life, its complexities and ironies. I am thrilled to know that you hear what I hear in Austrian singer Sandra Schleret's voice. It sends shivers down my spine. I'm also glad you enjoyed Amy Lee's video which begins with a mock pizza commercial - a unique and catchy concept indeed.

      I hope life's been good to you lately, dear friend Belle, and I thank you very much for coming down to my gothic Halloween party. Please take good care of yourself and please come back again soon. God bless!

  11. As you know, I'm not a real heavy metal fan, but many of these singers have real talent. I'd not heard of any of them before, and I was surprised at how much I liked a bit of it. Maybe a bit here and there wouldn't be such a bad thing after all. Gets your mojo going.

    1. Hi, karen! You hit the nail on the head. This music is a tool and a weapon in the fight against aging and a sedentary lifestyle. If you have a home gym or workout room with an exercycle or treadmill, or if you own an aerobic step, I highly recommend this style of music to get you motivated to exercise. I have 40 CDs of this stuff and my player is set to shuffle, playing all the tracks at random. This music, some of it recorded in foreign languages, is like jazz. It is fresh, new, complex and not easily memorized. You don't get tired of repeat listening as you do with your favorite oldies.

      Thank you very much for giving this batch of metal a try and for recognizing the talents of these artists. Happy Friday, dear friend karen, and I hope you have a great weekend!

  12. Have you closed this post down yet Shady? You certainly went out on an unfamiliar limb this time, didn't you? What a great lineup, all female leads, but with a variety of styles, design and music! I, too, do not know any of these artists or songs, but, I have heard most of the styles. I must say, an enormous amount of energy and creativity went into the videos. If nothing else, I enjoyed watching the elements behind these songs...that empowered them!

    I did get to listen to most of fact, I've been here twice, but, I have been pretty busy and wanted to spend more time here! You know, after listening to the majority of these songs, I go back to the very first one, with Marcela Bovio-'Out in The Real World". This was my favorite over all.

    You found the best for this series, I'm sure. The singers are all great...'April Rain' was good, with Charlotte Wessels-made me think "Heavy Metal", and I also liked 'Energize Me', loved her voice, and the band was musically sound.

    I must say, all of your pictures and album covers are great, Shady, you do such good work!

    I am sorry for not coming by sooner...I'm just covered up lately, but, I'm not far behind! Hope your Halloween was eventful...we didn't get to have Scootie, but we had him a few days earlier on his birthday-so we covered all the bases. He kept telling us that he is 5 now, but he wants to be 10-how funny!

    Have a cool weekend. I had the day off work today, got some stuff done, and a much needed walk in the park with Karo! See you soon, my friend! ♫

    1. Hi, dear Suzanne, and thanks for coming to my all-ghoul... uh, I mean all GIRL heavy metal Halloween spooktacular! I know you're always honest enough to tell me when you don't like certain kinds of music I present. That's why I'm delighted to know that you found value in some of the stuff you found here.

      I think it's great that you enjoyed one of my Picks to Click -"Out in the Real World" - sung by Marcela Bovio, the exotic Mexican beauty who also plays violin for her Netherlands band Stream of Passion.

      I haven't mentioned this in any other replies but I am brought to tears when I play the Elis video and see and hear the band's lovely young lead singer Sabine Dunser only a year before her tragic death.

      It was a warm, sticky trick-or-treat night here in Central Florida and I handed out candy to approximately 225 costumed kids!

      I hope Karo's feeling swell after his walk in the park. Tell Scootie to savor every year of his childhood and not to be in such a rush to grow up. (I'm certainly not!)

      Suzanne, I especially appreciate the fact that you were here twice and made an effort to listen to most of these recordings. That kind of commitment means a lot to me. Thank you very much, dear friend. Happy November to you and have a wonderful weekend! My next post hits on Monday.

    2. Soooo...I came back for a few minutes to review Elis after reading your feelings about the singer Sabine. It is a beautiful, and, a not too sad song. I noticed the ever present blue butterflies throughout the video. It is a sad loss, she was very talented.

      Have a good weekend Shady! ♫

    3. Thank you, dear Suzanne, for having a look at the beautiful Sabine who passed away while still in her 20s. She was replaced in Elis by Sandra Schleret who is featured singing lead for Soulslide in the video that follows. I will be featuring Sandra, my favorite of all these singers, in a separate post early next year.

      Good night, dear friend Suzanne, and have a wonderful Texas weekend!

  13. I have a general understanding of nihilism from which heavy metal is said to have emanated, though most every generation, since the emergence of modern man, believes the preceding generation wallows in a sea of self serving illusions that do not reflect the real, observable, world. The difference is that metal as a genre of music, is more assertive than earlier genres (blues, jazz, ragtime, swing, rock, etc.). In "Crossroad Blues" for instance, the lament, rather passive, is that no one will stop and give him a ride. Metal, on the other hand, through screams , threats, and gesture would indicate what they thought of the driver who failed to stop and offer a ride. My problem is that I may be the driver of the car. I'm not of the metal generation, though I do find some of the goth /progressive metal appealing. I'm also one of those who has bought into many of the illusions of modern society.
    With regard to the general appearance of metal bands I am reminded of lines from a Smothers Brothers song - I can see by your outfit that you are a cowboy; you can see by my outfit that I'm a cowboy too; you can see by our outfits that we are both cowboys - If you get an outfit you can be a cowboy, too.

    1. LOL! Hi, Bob! Thanks so much for coming over tonight and adding a few of your own observations to the dialogue.

      For Halloween, television talk show hostess Kelly Ripa dressed in a Miley Cyrus costume and performed Miley's controversial song and twerk dance, generating a spike of interest and publicity for herself. It's true. Image is important in successful marketing and a standard uniform is often part of the equation. The record companies that release albums for these European gothic symphonic metal bands package them in a way that appeals to discriminating fans of the genre. That packaging includes a credible style of dress for the type of music performed, an eye-catching conceptual album cover like those on display in this post, and a powerful and compelling music video. A standardized look and sound inevitably breeds copycats and wannabes and there are plenty of them in all genres. In the late 70s, everybody and his grandmother started dressing like John Revolta (sic) and releasing a Disco record, leading to the downfall of the genre and a welcome cleansing of the palate during the New Wave 80s.

      The bands and female vocalists I selected for this post are the real deal. They have genuine talent and are highly regarded by metal enthusiasts around the world, especially in Europe where this style of music has moved into the mainstream of pop culture.

      I'm delighted that you joined in the discussion, Bob, and that you enjoyed a few of the goth and progressive metal performances. Have a safe and happy weekend, my friend, and please come back and share your opinion again soon. It is most welcome and greatly appreciated!

  14. I absolutely love this post. I've always thought that most people overlook great "metal" bands because they associate all of them with screaming. I've been a fan of Evanescence for awhile now and truthfully am really horrible about finding new artists unless they come across my Pandora -- which reminds me, I need to make an Evanescence station! Thank you for introducing me to these new bands :)

    1. Hi, Ashton! You seem to share my eclectic taste in music and I'm thrilled to find out that you enjoyed these female led metal bands of the new millennium.

      I think you're absolutely right. People are quick to judge and dismiss any music with the dreaded "metal" label on it. In doing so they are missing out on a lot of wonderful, soulful music which delivers vocal virtuosity and excellent musicianship.

      It's hard to believe that a place like Little Rock, Arkansas would give birth to a post-grunge, alternative rock and gothic metal band like Amy Lee's Evanescence but seeing and hearing is believing.

      The two best ways for finding artists related to Evanescence or any of the bands listed here is to find them on Amazon, click on your fave album of theirs, then check the row of similar bands listed beneath it. On YouTube you can click on a favorite song/video and check the right column for similar sounding bands. Those two sources enabled me to discover all of these acts in a short time. Along with the bands featured in this post and the ones listed at the end in red, I would like to add three more that I just discovered: Kittie, Eyes Set to Kill and Omega Lithium.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Ashton, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  15. Kathleen Mae SchneiderNovember 2, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    You know, a few years ago I would never even have given metal music a chance. I think this is because in my mind it was associated with drug use and violence. I wasn't aware of the beauty of many of these bands. Amazingly, I've had "the melody of "Out in the Real World" going around in my head for days now!

    Bob and I listened to all of the last bands too, but had a harder time identifying with the screaming and growling. Like many forms of art, I think we probably will have to learn more about it and stay open to it as a valid method of expression before we can adequately appreciate it the way you do.

    As a parent of one of my students told me once about modern art, "I can try to understand it, but I don't have to like it." I see a parallel here with heavy metal music. At least I'm no longer dismissing it out of hand and I actually enjoy some of it. That's a start, isn't it? That's to your credit, Tom!

    1. Hello again, dear Kathleen! Thank you for returning as promised to finish listening to the music made by these beauties and their beasts.

      My goodness, the fans have spoken! With this kind of response, it seems only fair that I give the people what they want. Therefore, I want you to be the first to know that from now on it's ALL METAL - ALL THE TIME here on SDM&M! :)

      You and I are on the same wavelength, dear Kathleen, because I can honestly tell you that I have been playing "Out in the Real World" in my mind for days on end. I love the way the song is structured. It builds in dramatic stages to the powerful, catchy refrain. The melody and Marcela's voice truly do get inside your head and I don't have a problem with that. It's a lot better than having "They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Ha" stuck in my brain!

      I am thrilled that so many people took part in my stretch class, tried something they thought they'd hate and discovered they like it. When you embrace the concept that modern metal is an art form, even the screaming banshees and growling cookie monsters start to make sense. It's performance art. It doesn't mean that these people do drugs or perform acts of violence or that they endorse it. When I listen I hear sadness in their voices as they ponder the meaning of life, yearn for love or mourn loss. It's beautiful. I feel this music deeply. It's like a religious experience.

      Keep in mind that everything is relative. There are many bands that produce a harsher, more menacing sound than any that I introduced here. I support art in all its forms and, you're right, I don't always have to like it. That's an empowering affirmation, isn't it?

      Thank you again, dear friend Kathleen, for being such a wonderful, supportive friend. Bob, too! Please look for my next post Monday morning. Till then, good night and have a wonderful Sunday!


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