To be honest, the existence of female growlers in heavy metal music is still a curiosity. When you step out of the world of heavy metal into the world of brutal/thrash/death metal, you find men that growl to be curiosities, too. I believe we are all curiosities to the outside world. However, in the world of rock music, it’s female growlers that remain novelties. Each year, the testosterone fueled foundation of African Metal is becoming more and more balanced as more women step into making heavier music. Be it plucking those strings, pounding those drums or screaming to at the top of their lungs or growling their throats out, you name it, the result is nothing short of breathtaking. Today, we take a look at the top 8 African female growlers in our African Metal scene.
Robyn Ferguson (Lead Vocalist of Adorned in Ash / Christian Death Metal / South Africa)
Robyn Ferguson is the first African female growler on this list. She picked up a guitar at the age of 12 after she realized that everything in life was a waste and that she had a great passion for rock and roll. After a time, she joined Adorned in Ash as lead rhythm guitarist, then later became the lead vocalist of the band. Consequently, she has that self-awareness that needs to be fed, by connecting to something, to fill those higher spaces and she expresses everything on stage.
Robyn is now in a place where she can have the tools at her disposal. The hard work and dedication is starting to pay off as Adorned in Ash has been featured in documentaries in Botswana, France and Mozambique. In addition, the band won the South Africa Metal award for best death metal band in 2015. They played along with the best in local and international metal bands.
Robyn’s vocals is built on high intelligibility in the sense that you can hear exactly what she is saying and she has a very strong vocal performance. She strives valiantly for greatness in her vocals, she goes as far as hitting her vocal notes beyond the ceiling and hitting the listener at the right spot and she also gives you that positive and fruitful energy into her self-awareness in which she praises and curses the audience.
Teresa Lisboa Claymore ( Last Shout / Deathcore / Angola)
Teresa Liboa Claymore, is the best of the African female growlers from the Angolan soil. She is very young, eager and full of uncontrollable energy that could be used to destroy humanity. Her brutality status is so high that her growls can bring the dead back to life with their miraculous vibe. I kid you not! (OK, maybe I’m kidding just a little). When I listen to Teresa’s growls, I just can’t express them until I put them in a concrete format that I can understand. I can’t seem to get my head around her brutality in her stage performances, it’s like she’s learning about her boundaries and her limitations on stage. She brutally combats you the listener in your testicles/ovaries.
Lilitu Caprinae (Lead vocalist of Theatre Runs Red / Black Metal / South Africa)
For a moment you will think that you’ve gone into a kind of trance when Lilitu Caprinae stands at the edge of the stage, she is another African female growler that growls to kill and to smash people’s head right at that spot. Her vocals are said to be deeply affecting that may cause black sparse harmonies that are ruthlessly bloody. The mysteries behind her growls is still impenetrable. Her power on stage is wildly fearsome, it’s like she harnesses that electricity from the sky that can wipe out people. I call her the common denominator. The commanding presence of Lilitu is something the African metal scene needs to experience. Save that little blood and your inner animal when you want to see Lilitu perform.
I have always loved extreme music and have always been fascinated by how metal vocalists are able to manipulate their vocal cords in such a way to produce those sounds. So when I met Barry from Contrast the Water, he gave me the idea of learning how to vocal myself and gave me the opportunity to try being a vocalist by guest vocaling for his band. From there I developed such a passion for it that I decided to start my band.
Sabrina Touma (Lead Vocalist of Crimson Wrath/Melodic death Metal/Tunisia)
Sabrina Touma is the lead vocalist of the Swedish Melodic Death metal band Crimson Wrath, but she is of Tunisian blood. Her irrepressible personality is all over the bounce of the band’s EP. She delivers hard-hitting lyrical blows and great vocal hooks when she growls. She is one of the African female growlers that expertly balances concussive heaviness with a sharply muscular growl that could make you occasionally pause for breath. Her arsenal is a deadly one, an echoing vocal death trap. Her hungry venom growls which she delivers is beyond the veils of this world. She ferociously balances her growls with something more powerful and dark like I have never seen.
Jo Marie Smith (Lead Vocalist of Junkyard Lipstick and Bloodbarf / Thrash metal / South Africa)
Joe Marie Smith could smoke your human bones when she growls. Her growls could be used to fertilize seeds. Joe has to be sickest shit you will ever see in your life. She breaks bone, causes severe back aches, bruises, sprains and causes multiple pregnancies when she holds the mic and growls that deadly magic to the listeners. If you think I am just over hyping her, then you need to experience her live! Joe needs a medal for the sickest torturing bastard in the South African local scene.
Jo Marie Smith:
I started growling in November 2014 when I was preparing for the Junkyard Lipstick vocal auditions. At that point, it was something I never tried before, but it kind of came naturally. The moment I experienced and understood the right use of my diaphragm, it just happened! I think all the years of being a fan gave me the inspiration I needed to just do it. Now it’s my favourite thing in the world!
Aldine Venter (Lead Vocalist of Desolation / Death Metal /South Africa)
Aldine Venter’s growls show the positive vibes emanating from the band. She is one of inspiring African female growlers and she is also influential to the South Africa local scene. Her vocals are raw and resounding and she has that inspirational power of seriously fucking you with her slow and heavy metal when she growls, a force that reckons, a force that blazes within her. She embraces the power of a wielded embittered brute within her inner self.
I have always wanted to be in a band and like most metal heads, fell in love with the genre and didn’t want to do anything else but metal. After joining my first metal band in 2008, Deny the Empire, I realised I was never happy with the technique I used. I felt it lacked power and always strived to learn a better technique to give me a greater range and depth. When I joined Desolation in 2012 I started using a new technique that I had been practicing and I have perfected it ever since. I am happy with where its going and hope to just improve my range even further.
Ikram Raouadi (Lead Vocalist of Necromonian / Melodic Death Metal / Tunisia)
Ikram Raouadi is young and full of uncontrollable energy that she could destroy anything that stands in her way. What makes her a force to be reckoned with is the combination of a sun bursting beauty coupled with her impressive brute vocals. Her growls are like a magnet, it attracts and repels yet is organic enough that it could offset your brainwaves.
The idea of learning to growl came up on my mind when I saw the band ‘Arch Enemy’ having Angela Gossow as their female vocalist that does amazing growls and screams. This was 4 to 5 years ago so I said if women could do it, why won’t I so I watched some tutorials. Some were Angela Gossow, some were Melissa Cross and they have taught many well-known vocalists. Anyway, at first my throat was hurt but after a few times, I got used to it. Then I started growling with my band and that was how I maintained rhythm because once you start learning and hitting the needed vocals, one shouldn’t just stop otherwise he/she will lose what they have built.
Kimberly King (Lead Vocalist of Nerve Zero /Death Metal / South Africa)
Kimberly King is one of the top African female growlers from the African brutal/thrash/death metal scene. And Kim knows how to dish out heavy combos. My honest advice would be to wear your earplugs when she growls, this is for your safety. My admiration for her growls goes deep. She is one of the few recognized female growlers that the crowd thirsts for to have a thrilling and powerful experience with. There is this unrestrained aggression and furious onslaught she possesses on stage coupled with her tireless pursuit of heaviness, that just does wonders for the watching crowd. You need to experience it!
In conclusion, that is our top 8 African female growlers. There are a lot more wonderful growlers on the continent of Africa. However, these are the ones I feel are best. I know not everyone will agree. Please let me know who you think I missed in the comments below! In addition, if you know any African female growlers you think we should know about, don’t hesitate to tell us! We are always on the lookout for more bands!
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Adorned In AshAngolaBlack MetalBroken Glass ReflectionCannibal CorpseDeathcoreJunkyard LipstickLast ShoutLilitu CaprinaeRobyn FergusonSouth AfricaStripped Raped and StrangledTeresa Lisboa ClaymoreTheatre runs RedTunisia
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