Girls in a Boy’s Club

It won’t be a bit of exaggeration to say that the heavy metal music scene is a male dominated one. Right from the inception of heavy metal, when bands like Black Sabbath took music to a darker alley, 90% of the crowd is male. Even today, every metal show you land up on, you are bound to find a much skewed male – female ratio in favor of the male. It was and to some degree, still is a boy’s club, where it is perfectly OK to take off your shirt and get sweaty and eventually, smelly.

But, what is heavy metal if there is no defiance? Before too soon, girls in metal were not just groupies or some rock star’s girlfriend holding his jacket in the pit. Many came out to the stage and took the male dominated audience by storm – and they loved them for it.

We have singled out the five most influential female Metal bands that we have seen so far.


There was no way that the first spot would have gone to anyone else but Girlschool. This all-female British heavy metal band originated as a part the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This was the era of fast guitar playing and operatic vocals popularized by pioneer New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

Band members Enid Williams (bass, vocals) and Kim McAuliffe (rhythm guitar, vocals), used to play for a band named Painted Lady before teaming up with Kelly Johnson and Denise Dufort in 1978 to form Girlschool. Their first single got them an invite to open for legendary Heavy Metal band Motorhead on tours. Girlschool got more success the following year, touring Europe as support band for Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep.

In the following years, they managed to gain a worldwide cult following while performing as support band for groups like Rush, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Twisted Sisters, Alice Cooper and Blue Oyster Cult. Their close association with the band Motorhead earned them the title - Headgirl.

The band has released 12 studio albums till date, 3 live albums and numerous compilations. Girlschool is the longest running female rock band in the world so far.


During the 1980’s, there were only a few female artists in the heavy metal scene. Doro Pesch was one of them, heading the Germen heavy metal band Warlock. The band started in the traditional metal way in their first album Burning the Witches, drawing inspiration from bands like Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Accept.

After their first album, Warlock released two albums – Hellbound and True as Steel, in two consecutive years.  After a few line up change, their fourth studio effort – Triumph and Agony was released in 1987. The band went on their first major US tour, opening for Megadeth. However, after another line up change, Doro Pesch was the only original surviving member of the band. Since she did not have copyrights for the name ‘Warlock’, Doro decided to name the band after herself.

Doro currently is very active in the metal scene, doing what she does best. She recently played live at Magic Circle Festival 2008.

Arch Enemy

Angela Gossow is the reason for Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy to be on the list. The band was originally formed in 1996 mainly due to the effort of Carcass guitarist Michael Amott. Originally, the band was fronted by Johan Liiva, but Angela Gassow joined in as frontwoman for the band in 2001.

The most remarkable thing about the band is its vocal delivery. Deep guttural vocal style has long being a male dominated field. Angela Gossow truly shattered that myth sounding equally ‘brutal’ if not more than her male counterparts. Many new female talents who have started learning and mastering this extreme vocal technique admit to drawing inspiration from Angela Gassow.


Anyone who had not heard the band Kittie is in for a surprise. The name Kittie sure doesn’t sound like a metal band. Group members intentionally opted for a weak sounding name to shock people – which they sure did.
Kittie is an all female Canadian metal band based in London. It was formed in 1996. Their shot to fame was propelled by their hit single Brackish in 1999. They played as a support band for Slipknot the following year which helped them to gain a fan following in the metal underground.

Following their initial success with the debut album Spit, Kittie have released three more albums – the most recent one being Funeral for Yesterday in 2007.


Singer, pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody came together in Arkankas, US in 1995 and founded the band Evanescence. Musically, the band was a mix of nu and gothic metal with a hint of symphonic metal. Amy Lee’s powerful and haunting voice together with tight music play by the band was an instant hit in the mainstream. Their first full length album – Fallen – released in 2003, won two Grammy awards and sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. The album spent an unprecedented 43 weeks in the Billboard top 10, going on to become 6 times platinum in the US. A compilation album titled Anywhere but Home was released the next year.

Their third album titled The Open Door was released in 2006. Line up changes in the band has resulted in the change of the band’s music from one album to another. When co-founder Moody left the band in 2003, following the Fallen tour over ‘creative differences’, Terry Belsamo from Cold was called in. Bassist Will Boyd too left the band in 2006 to spend quality time with his family.

Many critics accuse Evanescence to be ‘a pop version of an already diluted brand of metal’. Critic Bill Lamb of tags the group succinctly as “pop-goth”. These accusations became even stronger when lead guitarist Gregor Mackintosh of Paradise Lost, a late 1980s heavy metal band mentioned about a generation gap between his group and Evanescence.

These have not bothered Amy Lee much as she continues to make appearance and sing in many concerts. After all, even Metallica, the biggest metal band in the world have been termed as ‘sell outs’.


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2 responses for this post

  1. Matuag Says:

    Good name for school club that works with Boy's and Girls Club and local retirment home?
    What do you guys think about this club that I want to start at school in general. Could it be sucessful? What events could I do besides the no- brainer go there and interact with the people at the retirment home and the boys and girls club? And what do you think would be a good name for the club? Basically would it be a good idea, and can you help me think of a name for it?

  2. bluskychild Says:

    I think that sounds like a great idea! I used to work at an assisted living center, and the people living there always enjoyed it immensely when they had visitors. With all the hard work necessary in mind, I think it could definitely be successful.

    As for events, you could have the people at the boys and girls club go see those at the retirement home and do activities with them - most retirement homes have a wealth of activities handy for any occasion, so you could use some of theirs. You could also arrange to make things like cards and place mats for the elderly (maybe using the help of those in the boys and girls club), or set up fundraisers for things like books, field trips, etc. for both groups.

    Here’s a name idea (just to throw it out there): Bridging Generations (maybe?)
    References :

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