Fe: A Zine about Women in Metal

This page exists as a sample of my working process on my fourth-coming zine “Fe”. The name is a pun on the periodic symbol for iron and the prefix in ‘female’. Cool, huh.


Alissa Gluz-White
The Antagonist / Arch Enemy

Like basically all of the women in this zine, Allisa Gluz-White is a pretty strong contender for “coolest woman in the world”. She has an exceptional vocal talent, that honestly I’m having trouble figuring out how to describe in words. Just calling it deep and powerful isn’t enough. It’s monstrous.

Like, do you remember all that carry-on when Doctor Browns in Middlesbrough banned female metal vocalists from performing there?* Supposedly it was on the basis of the male regulars not turning up for women-fronted bands because they can’t sing metal songs. It was grim. Well one hearting thing to come out of that was all the comments I saw from male facebook users saying what trash it was and how much they loved Allisa Gluz-White and how her existence totally invalidated any claim that women can’t perform metal/hard rock vocals.

*If you don’t, you can read this: https://www.loudersound.com/news/anger-as-english-pub-bans-female-fronted-bands (FFS Paula, get a grip lass. Did nobody tell ya that when you do the bidding of the sexists you become one of them? 06/19)


Amy Lee

Not rock enough. Not goth enough. Not metal enough. She doesn’t fit in anybody’s cannon. Amy Lee prepped a generation of children to get ready for the Black Parade and nobody ever says thank you. (She’s probably too rich to care tho tbf.)

I do not know how to adequately impart what an important moment the astonishing popularity of ‘Bring Me To Life’ actually was in 2002. It was number one for weeks. My dad bought the album and would play it in the car. My dad likes Van Morrison and voting tory, so this illustrates the crazy ubiquity of this song. It was so edgy within the mainstream, but also just a goddamn perfect pop song.

From my perspective as an 11 year old, it seemed to exist in a total cultural vacuum; there was nothing else like it on CD:UK or TOTPs or daytime Radio One. Derided as ‘fake’ by the counterculture that I had no access to, Evanescence were the most subversive thing preteen me could imagine. And it arrived just in time for ‘alternative’ music and aesthetics to be folded forever into the fabric of my being.


Skunk Anansie

Skin looks like Martha Washington in the Twenty-First Century, sounds like she comes from a higher plain of human existence and surely must be the single point of inspiration for the entire Matrix Trilogy.

I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT SKIN BEFORE I MADE THIS ZINE AND FEEL LIKE IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A VIOLATION OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS THAT I WAS KEPT IN THE DARK. Like, Skunk Anasie are now one of my favourite bands but they seem to have been entirely left behind by the recent popular resurgence of 90s grunge and rock in pop culture. Like, they should have been on the Captain Marvel soundtrack for one thing.

Skunk Anasie make this extremely textured and emotional music that seems to scoop up influences from across the board, reggae and ska, grunge and punk, maybe a bit of Annie Lennox? It’s not all super heavy, but the edge is always there in the lyrics and delivery.
Basically every single song has the capacity to make me full on cry.

I’m also obsessed with the moments that she chooses to really over-emphasise her English accent (like on the verses of ‘I believed in You’). I can’t explain why, but I really love it.