Black Women In Metal: Part 1

It’s a common misconception that there are few people of color in metal bands, and particularly that there are no black women. In actuality, black women play very prominent roles in these types of bands — either guiding the group with their vocals, or powering through songs as instrumentalists.

Here are four black women who sing lead in metal bands:

Kayla Dixon (top left) – Lead vocalist for Witch Mountain, a doom/stoner metal band. Facebook page –

Cammie Gilbert (top right) – Lead vocalist for Oceans of Slumber, a progressive metal band. Facebook page –

Alexis Brown (bottom left) – Lead vocalist for Straight Line Stitch, a metal band from Tennessee (US). Facebook page –

Audrey Ebrotié (bottom right) – Lead vocalist for Diary of Destruction, a French metal band. Facebook page –

Part 2 coming next week!

Photo Credits: Kayla Dixon (Hillarie Jason), Cammie Gilbert (Catberry Photography), Alexis Brown (Kevin D. Soney), Audrey Ebrotié (Nicolas Gaire)

Black Women in Active Alternative Bands (via diningwithdana)


Black Women in Active Alternative Bands. Ft. Straight Line Stitch, Light Asylum, Bleed the Pigs, The Objex and Skunk Anansie.

8tracks #BlackWomenInRock playlist


Check out this playlist on @8tracks: Black Women In Rock playlist ( by jaleesa-l.

New songs added! This playlist is sourced from my own personal collection, so I can basically only add songs I’ve bought lol. Check it out!

POCs in Goth/Punk/Alternative Music Masterpost by diningwithdana


POCs in Goth/Punk/Alternative Music Masterpost

Updates! *01/15* I had originally intended on keeping it short, but due to reader enthusiasm, here is a master version. Each contribution was appreciated, you freaks rock.

As an addition to the goth/post-punk/alt band masterpost, here’s a list of bands featuring members of color. Most are influential, others new discoveries or future freak gods. Thanks to research and helpful readers, here’s a bit of sick sound suitable for all taste buds:

Goth, dark or industrial:

Punk or hardcore:

  • Bad Brains – why most of the bands on this list even exist.
  • Death – not to be confused with the metal band of the same way. Not that you could confuse the members in any way.
  • Rough Francis – founded by the sons of David Hackney of Death.
  • Pure Hell – afropunk taken literally.
  • X-Ray Spex – Poly Styrene was the energy and feel of the band. Actually, she was just energy and feel period. Fun fact: she was also bipolar.
  • Radkey – Rad.
  • TMGE – Japanese band named “Thee Michelle Gun Elephant” or as they prefer: JAPANESE BAND NAMED “THEE MICHELLE GUN ELEPHANT”.
  • Tamar Kali – powerful musician, especially known for “Boot”.
  • The Objex – Feloney Melony’s got a wicked hawk and voice.
  • Stiffed – Santi White now performs solo as Santigold.
  • Cerebral Ballzy
  • Suicidal Tendencies
  • Midori – great jazz-punk fusion band.
  • The Redscare
  • Le Butcherettes – Mexican garage punk band.
  • Atari Teenage Riot
  • NOFX
  • Stalin
  • The Bags
  • Dev Hynes – a British musician who started out in a punk band Test Icicles then went solo as a folk/indie musician as Lightspeed Champion and now is doing an electronic/R&B thing as Blood Orange.
  • L’Arc-en-Ciel – Okay, so these guys are Japan’s other most famous export. These guys got known outside of japan for doing some major anime theme songs (Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam 00, NANA live action movie, etc) and were the first Japanese act to headline Madison Square Garden (Japanese rock bands really like New York for some reason). Their bassist tetsuya (formally known as tetsu) gets bonus points for being one of Japan’s only out LGBT celebrities (he’s Bi).
  • Doll$Box
  • Letlive
  • The Chariot
  • Trashtalk
  • Gogol Bordello – self described as “gypsy punk”. Singer Eugene Hütz is Russian-Ukranian with Romani heritage and born with a ‘stache. Nearly crazier than Little Big and Korpiklaani combined.
  • Blackfire
  • The Bots – punk duo made of two brothers.
  • Bow Wow Wow – IIIIIII Waaaant Caaandy!!!
  • Love Equals Death
  • Ritualization – blackened death metal from Orléans, France
  • Teengenerate

Metal, funk/rap/reggae metal fusion or core:

  • Blasphemy – Black metal, the biggest irony on earth as Caller of the Storms remains one of the rare black musicians within the genre.
  • Babymetal – this Japanese trio is more metal than a viking woman on her period in the middle of a battlefield drinking the blood of her enemies to the sound of Immortal…for some at least.
  • Wicked Wisdom – Will Smith’s wife get a band?? Yes she Will.
  • Unlocking the Truth – these 13 year olds played in the streets of NYC before they opened for Living Colour.
  • Absolace – amazing metal from Dubai.
  • Living Colour – better than Dead Monochrome.
  • King’s X – more hard rock, but hey.
  • Bionic Jive – one of the better hip-hop/metal fusions.
  • Skindred – check out the album “Roots Rock Riot”.
  • Ego Fall – a Chinese folk metal band and also Corbac’s fave. Mixing tradition with heavier sounds.
  • Static X – Japanese guitarist Koichi Fukuda & Mexican-American bassist Tony Campos.
  • Sepultura – the founding members are all Brazilian, currently their lead singer (Derrick Green) is black. “Arise” is a massive album of pure metal awesomeness.
  • Straight Line Stitch
  • Blood Stain Child
  • Sasamaso
  • Tenger Cavalry –  a folk metal band based out of Bejing who describe their style as “Mongolian folk metal”. Like this and you’d probably enjoy Ego Fall.
  • Cthonic – Taiwanese metal band who’s lead singer is also the president for the Taiwanese branch of Amnesty International.Most of their music deals with their goal of an independent Taiwan and they’re really REALLY great.
  • Myrath
  • God Forbid
  • Invasion – a stoner/psych-metal band fronted by a valkyrie space wizard out of London.
  • Vodun – like invasion, marries punk, psychedelic, and doom metal influenced instrumentals with soul influenced vocals to create a unique and original takes on doom metal.
  • Sevendust
  • Animals as Leaders – most suggested band on this list and for good reason.
  • Veil of Maya
  • Oceano
  • Body Count – Ice T’s metal band rules. It would be a little tastier with ice cubes though.
  • Hirax – pioneering thrash/speed metal band (with hardcore influences). Katon De Pena is one of the most distinctive vocalists of the then-burgeoning California metal scene. Though they never achieved the success of some of their contemporaries like Metallica or Slayer, they have long been an insiders’ favorite and cited as an influence by bands ranging from Napalm Death to Cannibal Corpse to Darkthrone.
  • Infectious Grooves
  • Melechesh – an Assyrian black metal band originating from Jerusalem whose lyrical themes include Mesopotamian mythology and occultism.
  • Iron Man – American doom metal band with PoC members.
  • Sex Machineguns – Japanese speed metal band.
  • Hibria – Brazilian power metal band.
  • Metallica
  • Gevolt – Yiddish band from Israel.
  • The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza
  • Gridlink
  • X Japan – Probably Japan’s most famous metal export. These guys are the reason Visual Kei (basically Japan’s gothic metal scene) exists. All those flashy JRock bands wouldn’t exist without X Japan. They also recently just played a huge show at Madison Square Garden.
  • Maximum the Hormone – Also known as “the guys that did that weird opening and ending to death note”, MTH do a fantastic combination of metal, punk, and even pop. The best part about MTH is that their lyrics don’t make sense even when translated so you can just have mindless fun listening to them even if you understand Japanese.
  • Suffocation –  one of the most influential death metal acts of all time. Terrance Hobbs’ incredible mastery of the guitar allowed the band to blend complex technicality into the genre without sacrificing raw brutality.
  • Versailles Philharmonic Quintet
  • Suicide Silence
  • The Crimson Armada
  • For Today
  • Glass Cloud
  • Heaven in Her Arms
  • Here comes the Kraken
  • Issues
  • Periphery
  • Reflections
  • System of a Down
  • Fear Nuttin Band
  • Year of the Dragon – founder was a member of Fishbone.
  • Dir En Grey
  • Skyharbor
  • Spineshank
  • Coal Chamber
  • Ill Niño
  • Flagitious Idiosyncrasy in Dilapidation (FID) – Formed in Tokyo. Rad ladies playing some super hard grindcore.
  • Sarcofago Brazilian band
  • Acrassicauda Iraqi heavy metal. There is a film called “Heavy Metal in Baghdad”, about the band. Another documentary called Global Metal, which is by the same director as Heavy Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, is highly recommended.
  • Sigh – one of the first japanese black mack metal bands led by a fierce lady.
  • Sabbat – Japanese black/thrash.
  • Blood Stain Child – rather epic sounding Japanese metal band with contrasting vocals and instrumentals.
  • Gallhammer – female Japanese extreme metal band of doom. The wickedest chicks, definitely recommend.
  • Avulsed – Spanish death metal band.
  • Necramynth – Korean black metal.
  • Crossfaith – japanese metalcore.
  • Subrosa
  • As they Burn – deathcore band from Paris, France.
  • Wolves and Jackals – blackened thrash/death metal from Atlanta, GA.
  • Infernal Revulsion – brutal death metal from Tokyo, Japan
  • Orange Sky – from Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Monuments – it’s got saxophone and it’s awesome.
  • Ego Likeness
  • Peelander-Z – watch the videos, you’ll be happy you did.

Alternative or too cool to label:

Thank you thechampagnenigga for images/links and looselimbs for one more suggestion!

Submissions are now closed.

Rock & Roll, bless you.


I was going to cover my dashboard with Fefe Dobson. But then I changed the plan. I decided to rant a little. But my rant was starting to get crazy so I changed the plan again. It started when I saw quite a few posts about how no one could think of a woman of color singing rock & roll. The voice in my head immediately sounded like Alex Trebek;

Question: American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in rock earned her the title The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Now instead of the rant about how rock music started in the black community, and how it makes me sad that people think that rock music ‘belongs’ to whites, I’m just gonna throw you some names other than Fefe that rock.

  • Tina Turner- Undisputed Queen of Rock & Roll. Don’t tell that you’ve heard her sing Proud Mary and didn’t start headbanging and jumping around. Listen to: Proud Mary to start, but go find a greatest hits and just sit there and worship.
  • Grace Jones-Grace, Grace, Grace, where do I start? Singer, model actress, complete icon. Some people might not consider her a rock musician, but if she ain’t a rocker, I don’t know who is. Listen to: Private Life and Corporate Cannibal.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith- She fronts a metal band called Wicked Wisdom. She growls out like the best of ’em, and while she’s not a perfect singer, it’s like Iced-T once said, “Who can sing in rock ‘n’ roll?“  Listen to: Bleed All Over Me and Forgiven
  • Felony Melody- Fronts the band Objex. You should see her mohawk, and her voice is powerful and punk. She melts me. Listen to: Eat This
  • Graph Nobel- She reminds me a little of No Doubt circa Return of Saturn, slow, soft, heartbreaking. Listen to: Fyah
  • Santi White AKA Santogold- The girl is pure rock in my opinion, but with her band Stiffed, she’s seen in the traditional rock band. Listen to: Hold Tight
  • Shingai Shoniwa- Fronts the Noisettes. If Iggy Pop and Billie Holiday had a baby, it’d be Shingai. There are no words that can express my love. Listen to: EVERYTHING! Lol, but go ahead and start with Sister Rosetta, Don’t Upset The Rhythm, and their cover of When You Were Young
  • Skin- She’s a solo artist but mostly fronts Skunk Anansie. The bands sound is "an amalgam of heavy metal and black feminist rage,” and man do I love it. Listen to: Alone In My Room (solo) Secretly (w/SA), and My Ugly Boy (w/SA)
  • Danielia Cotton- A fucking beautiful voice. If you like classic rock, you’ll like Danielia. She’s opened for B.B. King and Lynyrd Skynyrd, how awesome is that?   Listen to: Let It Ride, Make U Move, and Running
  • Sophia Ramos- Where do I start? She is a true rock goddess, I don’t want to give another baby analogy, but if Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin had a baby = Sophia. She’s got an emotional, soulful, take no prisoners voice. Amaaazzzzinnng.   Listen to: Torn Down, Freedom is Over, and Shining Still
  • Lisa Kekaula- Fronts The Bellrays, she’s pure rock & roll, like fire man. Listen to: Infection (the video had a dancing bear!) and Fire On The Moon.
  • Alexis Brown- Fronts Straight Line Stitch. METAL. METAL. METAL. Alexis demands attention, and gets it, with her screaming vocals. Lovvveee. Listen to: Black Veil
  • Janelle Monáe- I consider her a rocker. I think she is progressive and psychedelic. Dude, she’s singing about a girl named Blueberry Mary, fairy gods, the words of Dhammapada, and coming alive like a schizo running wild, all while telling the story of an android in love with a human. Dude, it’s a fucking rock opera. She’s rock & roll. Listen to: Come Alive, Cold War, and Sir Greendown.

I think I reblogged this before, but it seems to have grown more awesome-r so reblogging again. Will tag later.

Female Fronted Band Confessions – Alexis Brown



I get really frustrated at the lack of black women in metal, hardcore, rock (and other such genres). Do we not have a place in music unless its for us to shake our asses and flash our tits. On a side note I dont think Straight Line Stitch has been mentioned at all (I could be wrong). An amazing band fronted by a kick ass black chick whose singing and screaming can outdo any man!

(Straight Line Stitch has been mentioned a couple of times and Alexis separately too, check out the tag if you’re interested 🙂 )

It’s really more of a lack of representation than a lack of women. No one is really going to push a black woman out into mainstream media that doesn’t serve conventional narratives about who and what black women are because it doesn’t serve the status quo. No matter how talented the women involved actually are, you’re not going to hear about them. You have black women playing every instrument in bands like these, black women fronting these bands, but because of the lack of representation no one knows about these women and everyone thinks that we’re just not out here, or that there’s just one or two who do this sort of thing. It’s the way I used to think.

Hence the reason my blog came to be. I had an obsessive need to collect every woman related to rock music that I could find in one place just to prove that there’s isn’t just one or two of us out here, and so far (with a lot of help!) I’ve been incredibly successful. It’s up to us to represent ourselves.

Reminding myself to tag this post specifically with all of the women I’ve found related to metal and hardcore/punk, which is a fraction of the black women I’ve found that do general rock music as a whole.



I’m pretty sure I have reblogged this before but so what

Alexis Brown


My favorite shot from Mayhem Festival 2011. Alexis from Straight Line Stitch.

Full set:

Different set:

The Many Metal Faces of Alexis Brown


The Many Metal Faces of Alexis Brown

(Photo credit goes to the owner. I don’t own these.)

Alexis Brown


Alexis Brown

Band: Straight Line Stitch (2003 – present)


Koch Records

E1 Music


When Skies Wash Ashore (Koch Records, 2008)

The Fight of Our Lives (E1 Music, 2011)


“Conversion” (2011)

“Remission” (2008)

“What You Do To Me” (2009)

Position: Vocals



Hardcore Punk

Origin: Knoxville, Tennessee

do you know of any black riot grrrls?

First thing that came to mind: Shawna Shawnte’s BestfriendGrrrlfriend. Also Kayla Phillips from Bleed The Pigs (screamer for a hardcore band, not quite riot grrrl but still in the punk family), Poly Styrene (the original, X-Ray Spex), Heavy Flow, Dust Angel, Joy Vay from TV Tramps, Replica, Felony Melony from The Objex.

Honorable mention to Tamar-Kali, Alexis Brown, and Skin. They’re not technically riot grrl or punk but their music and style have that attitude (and aesthetic?) imo.

It is seriously a joy to go through my archives pulling stuff up for anyone who wants information, so please please please ask more questions like this, people! Also, reblog if I forgot to mention anyone!

“Women of color in bands deserve more attention than they get.”