Unearthing The Metal Underground: The Female-Fronted Scene in Taiwan
Taiwan has no shortage of ass-kicking front women in its growing metal scene, with a collection of female-fronted groups that are making a name for themselves both locally and abroad. Here are three bands from Taiwan with ladies at the helm that prove metal is no longer nearly as male-dominated as it once might have been.
Eye of Violence
Though just in her early twenties, Eye of violence front woman Lala Lin is already a seasoned veteran in the Taiwan metal scene, having previously done time in Hardcase before making a move over to Eye of Violence in 2009. The band has been active in Taiwan, playing all over the country, and recently made its first couple of forays to foreign shores, making two appearances in South Korea. Combining elements of metalcore, deathcore, and hints of electronic music, Eye of Violence has a determinately modern sound for the younger generation of metal fans. Currently, the band is playing in support of its debut EP, “Tears of the Victims.”
Blair Witch isn’t just female fronted, it’s female dominated. Once an all-female black metal group, the band only recently enlisted its first male member, albeit only as a live session guitarist. Playing raw, primitive black metal in fine Scandinavian tradition, Blair Witch released a sole EP in 2011, entitled “Imprecation,” and has appeared at festivals in Hong Kong and South Korea in addition top playing shows in major cities throughout Taiwan. As of 2012, however, the status of the band is unknown, with differing accounts having the band working on new material at times, while others say the band is on hiatus, or even disbanded. Hopefully the future will bring more music from this talented quartet of corpse-painted women of the black arts.
Error 404 Not Found
Error 404 Not Found is a Taipei-based six-piece metalcore band with a dual guitar attack and keyboardist thrown in to add some soaring symphonic and trance elements. Front woman?? alternates between guttural growls and piercing shrieks and can also pull off the melodic clean vocals as well. Though hailing from a country where English obviously isn’t the first language, the band clearly has an eye toward breaking into the international market, publishing lyrics in both English and Mandarin. Though the band hasn’t hit the studio yet, but the curious can check out a few videos of the group’s high-energy performances on the Error 404 Not Found Facebook page. Currently, Error 404 Not Found is preparing for anther hometown show on August 18th alongside Morals Abyss, Cruel Desire, and Bezaliel.
Joe Henley is a freelance music journalist and editor currently living in Taipei, Taiwan. In addition to pulling vocal duty in a death metal band, he maintains a website on the Taiwanese metal scene and writes regular features on the touring bands that come through Taipei for a local monthly music magazine.
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