Metal is a misunderstood genre; traditionally the domain of alienated pubescent males, angry dude-bros and broody Lord of the Rings fans, while women were relegated to groupie status only. Since its inception, metal has been mocked thoroughly and often, usually because of its tendency to vacillate between grandiose arrogance and complete lack of pretension, as demonstrated by bands like 3 Inches of Blood:
Enemies of metal, your death is our reward
Metal has come a long way since "The Hairy 80s", and there quite a few metal bands around now that feature women in way more face-melting roles.
Portland's Purple Rhinestone Eagle is unafraid to evoke the grizzly gods of 70s metal, with
song titles like "Walk With the Wizard" and "Earth To Temper the Fire". It's kind of like Robert Plant fronting Black Sabbath plus acid - meandering, psychedelic and surprisingly catchy.
Palo Verde, also from Portland, originally formed as an experimental drum duo called Stickitin, but then evolved into a guitar-drum sludge metal improvisational partnership. That's right - improvisation's not just for jazz anymore. Some studio recordings are posted on their MySpace page, but their live recordings are the hardest. They're releasing a double vinyl album later this year. The band occasionally features cartoonist (and past Bitch contributor) Nicole Georges on "sensual vox".
Dark Castle: This solid doom metal duo is made up of drummer Rob and guitarist/vocalist Stevie Floyd (who you might recognize as Revolver Magazine's November 2009 Hottest Chick in Metal). According to their MySpace, they sound like:
open seas gathering
willow trees scattering
fire breathes glaciers weep
frozen screams rain seeps
So, if you like the sound of that, check them out.
All photos courtesy of the respective bands' MySpace pages.