No.5 Miri Milman
Miri Milman shares lead vocals with her husband (sorry, boys) in the melodic death metal/metalcore outfit System Divide. (The band is more than those genre labels indicate.) Even if you were lucky enough to date Miri, you’d have to contend with her anger (that’s a metal requirement, right?) and be able to defend yourself against her Krav Maga skills. We’re not sure if she knows the Israeli martial art, but she did serve her mandatory two years in the Israeli Army.
Way before Miri started utilizing the beautiful gift that is her voice, she started playing the piano at the age of 5 – even composing her own material. Then, when she was 14, she started playing classical guitar. With no formal training, she also sang along with her playing. However, at some point, she did receive vocal training in jazz,, and classical. By the time she was 16, Miri had served her two years in the military and joined her first band, Distorted.
After 10 years and 2 albums, Milman helped form System Divide with her husband, Sven de Caluwé, in 2008. The international band has members from Israel, Belgium, and the U.S. See, through metal we will find world peace! System Divide has two well-received albums under its belt, and no doubt Miri Milman’s enchanting voice is a credit.
Most recently, Miri has released a solo single, “More Than a Memory,” which she wrote and arranged herself. It’s not metal at all, but it is a beautiful farewell to a loved one.
No.4 Maria Brink
In This Moment
My guns are cocked to defend this woman and band’s entry on this list. I know many readers will say that she’s not metal, that In This Moment isn’t metal or at best a gateway band, that she trades her cleavage for exposure, etc. However, there are a few things that make Maria Brink and In This Moment great.
To start, Maria has a phenomenal voice, both in terms of her clean vocals and her growls. Sure, her clean vocals might not me as refined as Simone Simons or her growls, as brutal as Angela Gossow’s, but should have to be? Maria’s vocals express a level of emotion that few singers can achieve, and naysayers would see that if they’d seriously listen to her.
Then there’s principal songwriter Chris Howorth and the rest of the band. They play with precision, Chris’ song structures are near perfect, and it all complements Maria’s delivery.
Maria draws inspiration from a turbulent life, all of which is reflected in her music. Her father abandoned the family when she was young, she was sexually abused as a child, her mother developed a drug problem, and Maria had a son when she was a child herself at 15. And despite the adversity, she packed her bags, moved from New York to L.A., pursued her dreams, and triumphed.
In This Moment has three albums under its belt, and it was recently announced that the band has entered the studio to begin work on its fourth.
No.3 Cristina Scabbia
If she’s good enough for Dave Mustaine, she’s good enough for this list. Admittedly, that’s a bit of a weak argument, but it’s kind of true. It’s also hard to argue her legitimacy when you consider that prior to being in Lacuna Coil she was a backup vocalist for hire, who was hired by Lacuna Coil (Ethereal at the time) for one album and so impressed the band that they invited her to join permanently. Since then, she’s become the face of Lacuna Coil and the principal lyricist.
Comparisons could be drawn between Lacuna Coil and Evanescence, but contralto Scabbia has a decidedly better voice and writing ability (both are subjective, I know) and Milanese Lacuna Coil is, well, a better band. Lacuna has recently released its sixth studio album, Dark Adrenaline, which has garnered a lot of great reviews.
OK, enough fuckin’ around. Next up are the top 2 women inand hard rock who matter…