Kat Shevil’s 15 Favorite Bands with Female Members

Winds of Genocide's (among others) singer shouts out essential death metal, crust, doom, sludge bands giving visibility to their female members.

Hailing from Durham, a small rural historic area in the North East of England with huge ancient cathedrals and a castle, which tower high above the picturesque town, Kat ‘Shevil’ Gillham is as metal as you can get.

She is a death growler and drummer in numerous bands, including Thronehammer, Uncoffined, Winds of Genocide, Blessed Realm, and Lucifer’s Chalice. For those uninitiated, Winds of Genocide’s Usurping The Throne Of Disease (2015) was among the most brutal metallic crust records coming from the UK, and hopefully the band will eventually release their long-awaited second album in the near apocalyptic future.

Besides wreaking havoc and summoning demons with a plethora of musical projects, Kat was also a music writer in Terrorizer magazine. Some of her interviews and end-of-year lists are available at A Blog In The Northern Sky. With such a background, it’s no surprise why we’ve reached out to Kat to share some personal music highlights.

Kat Shevil’s 15 favorite bands with female members.—DIY Conspiracy

1 Sacrilege

Sacrilege
Sacrilege’s Tam Simpson in the ’80s

A hugely important band in the ’80s UK crust scene! I first heard their music via Within The Prophecy which I bought on vinyl in the mid ’90s at a second hand record store.

I immediately fell in love with their mix of doomy metal and punky thrash. Tam Simpson is a great vocalist with her own unique style too, she can go from all out aggressive shouting to more melodic clean sung vocals (as heard on their cult full on doom metal album Turn Back Trilobite which was like a mix of early Sabbath, Trouble and Candlemass).

2 13

13
13’s Alicia Morgan

I first became aware of this all-female doom/sludge band from New York via a friend back in 1993 when he played and copied me their demo. I was instantly hooked on their catchy but brutally heavy take on doom with harsh growled vocals courtesy of Alicia Morgan. I then got hold of more stuff by them throughout the ’90s.

Some trivia: Their guitarist Liz Buckingham later joined Electric Wizard and also had a short stint in Sourvein. Alicia was also assistant editor and then editor of Metal Maniacs for a while. She now lives in England and is married to Mid Bonehive, the guitarist and graphic artist from English crust pioneers Deviated Instinct. 13 are a band who definitely deserves a comprehensive discography release.

3 Detestation

Detestation
Detestation’s Saira in Rostock, Germany 1998. Epic gig with Abuso Sonoro, Rot, and Entrails Masacre

I was actually a bit late catching onto this ’90s Portland-based crust punk band. I think, the first time I heard them was around 2006, and their furious socio-politically lyric charged crust just blew me away. Absolutely pissed-off vocals by Saira Huff, she shouts with a passion and you can hear the anger in her voice as she spits out vitriol towards racists, homophobes etc.

Essential crust punk! Check out the album The Agony Of Living for proof!

4 Nausea

Nausea
Legendary Amy Nausea photo from Tompkins Square Park, NYC in 1990. Photo by Chris Boarts Larson

Another great band from the NYC who came from the same scene as the aforementioned 13, as well as Winter, etc. Great metallic crust punk onslaught with an awesome dual female/male vocal attack courtesy of Amy Miret and Al.

The song “Cybergod” would definitely be in my Top 10 crust punk songs of all time but their whole discography is essential.

5 Acrostichon

Acrostichon

One of my favourite European/Dutch death metal bands who are fronted by vocalist/bassist Corinne Van Den Brand. She possesses an impressively deep and powerful death growl. Their early ’90s discography is essential death metal. Highly recommend the Engraved In Black album especially.

6 Mythic

Mythic
Terri Heggen (drums, also in Derkéta ), Mary Bielich (bass, Derkéta ), Dana Duffey (vocals / guitar, also in Demonic Christ)

Another death metal band with impressive deep death growls provided by a female, in this case Dana Duffey. Mythic were an all-female band from Pittsburgh who didn’t record or release much but their Mourning In The Winter Solstice EP is some absolutely CRUSHING heavy death/doom. Highly recommended.

7 Derkéta

Derkéta

Another all-female band from Pennsylvania with a Mythic connection as both bands have shared members (namely drummer Terri Heggen and bassist Mary Bielich). As with Mythic, these ladies have produced some crushingly heavy death/doom with low-deep death growls courtesy of Sharon Bascovsky who also plays guitar in the band.

The Goddess Of Death compilation of their ’90s material including the classic Premature Burial 7″ is a good place to start.

8 Noothgrush

Noothgrush

Heavy gnarly sludge doom from California featuring Chiyo Nukaga on drums. She is a great powerful drummer and this band are essential sludge.

Erode The Person and Failing Early, Failing Often discography releases are absolutely essential for anyone into sludge and doom genre.

9 Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower

One of the first high-profile females in death metal/extreme metal is undoubtedly Bolt Thrower’s bassist Jo Bench. She was out there holding her own and throwing down crushing bass lines long before females in death metal bands were a much more common thing.

Their whole discography is ESSENTIAL!

10 Jinx Dawson / Coven

Jinx Dawson / Coven

The high priestess of occult rock! This wicked bewitching lady was out there praising Satan decades before occult rock even became a thing or tagged as a genre.

Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls is a great sinister album with a whole black mass tagged onto the end of it too, pioneering, groundbreaking and wonderfully witchy!

11 Mourn

Mourn

Probably the first doom metal band I heard with clean sung vocals back in the early ’90s. Vocalist Caroline Wilson has an awesome soulful singing voice. Their one and only self-titled album released by Rise Above Records is an essential slab of heavy doomrock for fans of Trouble, The Obsessed, Pentagram etc.

12 Misdemeanor

Misdemeanor

Great all-female stoner/hard-rock band from Stockholm, Sweden, who put out a bunch of demos, 7”s, EP and 2 full length albums. I love their hook filled songs with the very catchy riffs of Jenny Möllberg and Sara Fredriksson that stick in your head like a rusty axe, the rhythm section of drummer Mia Möllberg and bassist Jenny Lindahl have a great tight groove going on and vocalist Vera Olofsson has a great passionate vocal attack which switches from raw to soothing. The female Kyuss?!.

A good starting place would be debut self-titled album.

13 Rise And Shine

Rise And Shine
Josabeth Leidi. Photo by Rachel Rousseau.

Another great Stockholm-based band with a female vocalist. Josabeth Leidi has a rich, bluesy powerful voice, she always kinda reminded me of a more hardrockin’ doomrock Janis Joplin both in look and sound. They have quite a comprehensive discography, I would recommended the first two albums Flowerpowermetal and Roadflower for a great mix of hard-rock and bluesy doom.

14 Smoulder

Smoulder
Smoulder’s Sarah. Photo by Wayne William Archibald

Smoulder from Toronto, Ontario in Canada are one of my favorite newer bands with a female vocalist. Sarah Kitteringham has an awesome singing voice which can be heard on their excellent debut full length album Times Of Obscene Evil And Wild Daring which blends epic doom metal with traditional heavy metal to stunning effect!

15 Lucifer

Lucifer

An awesome band with the very charismatic Johanna Platow Sadonis on vocals who looks like a younger Jinx Dawson! She has a bewitching singing voice and all three albums are highly recommended but the latest one Lucifer III, the second to feature strong contributions from her husband Nicke Andersson (The Hellacopters, ex Entombed) is probably my favorite in terms of songwriting and heaviness.

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