This is a black and white photo of the lead vocalist of Caged Existence singing at a show.

The Growing Female-Fronted Hardcore Music Scene

By Lesly Milan
Music Journalist

Through the many subgenres of hardcore music, male lead vocalists seem to be the common trend among hardcore bands. There is nothing wrong with male vocalists, but it is a nice change to see female-fronted hardcore bands joining the music scene.

I have compiled a list of newer and older female-fronted hardcore bands whose vocalists are proving that screaming and growling vocals are not just reserved for one gender.

Gouge Away

One of the more popular female-fronted bands in the current hardcore scene is Gouge Away. This post-hardcore band made its debut in 2016 with theiralbum, Dies.

Gouge Away is fronted by Christina Michelle, a female vocalist who has mastered the art of screaming vocals. This is a good band if you are wanting to ease into hardcore music.

Gouge Away’s vocals are characterized by softer screams with a hint of punk. If you are looking for something less aggressive I recommend their album, Burnt Sugar. If you are willing to go all-in, Dies delivers the head-banging tracks.

Caged Existence

Caged Existence is a smaller, up-and-coming metallic hardcore band from Australia. This band is fronted by Steffanie Adele, whose vocals can easily compete with any other male-lead metalcore band’s vocals.

Adele’s vocals can be best described as deep, low and powerful.  Hardcore vocals are not easy to achieve; they require time and practice. Hardcore vocals are not for everyone, but Adele has conquered this challenge with her perfect screaming vocals.

Among the small pool of songs that Caged Existence has released so far, I recommend “Liar’s Tongue” or “Body Prison.”

Krimewatch

Krimewatch can best be categorized as a hardcore punk band. This band is not just female-led, it is also predominantly female since it consists of three female members and one male member.

Krimewatch’s vocals are performed by Rhylli Ogiura, who has previously mentioned that she was never really into the hardcore music scene. As a Japanese-American hardcore punk vocalist, Ogiura sings in both English and Japanese. This sets Krimewatch apart from any other typical American hardcore band out there.

Krimewatch’s self-titled album is my immediate go-to when I’m in the mood for hardcore punk!

Cerce

Cerce is another hardcore punk band with ridiculously impressive female vocals. Cerce is said to have broken up back in 2013, but their music is still recognized in the hardcore scene.

Cerce is fronted by Becca Cadalzo, a vocalist whose thunderous vocals tie the band’s overall sound together. Cadalzo’s vocals are some of my favorite female vocals because they’re loud and angry with a small touch of feminine sound.

Some of Cerce’s songs combine male and female vocals, which make strong hardcore harmonies. Cerce released a remastered album of their discography back in 2017.

A couple of my favorite Cerce songs are “Weary,” “Love,” “Alaska Young” and “Something About A Broken Heart.”

Regardless of what female-fronted band you decide to listen to, you are in store for something a little different from the usual hardcore sound. These female vocalists are opening the gates of female-fronted hardcore music to other women everywhere!

Featured image by Esmee Meijer.

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