#10: Grace Perry (ex-Landmine Marathon)
MetalSucks recently polled its staff to determine who are The Top 25 Modern Metal Frontmen, and after an incredible amount of arguing, name calling, and physical violence, we have finalized that list! Writers were asked to consider vocal ability, lyrics, and live presence when casting their votes; the only requirements to be eligible for the list were that the musician in question had to a) play metal (duh), b) be a frontman or woman (double-duh), and c) have recorded something AND performed live in the past five years. Today we continue our countdown with Grace Perry, formerly of Landmine Marathon…
Let’s pretend we live in a world where gender is not an issue within heavy metal (I know, but bear with me). In this world, there are as many female metal musicians as male ones, all of whom are treated with respect; there is no need to prove one’s self, and being a woman within the genre isn’t “brave” because people are intelligent enough to understand that all humans have the potential for incredible musical aggression and are fellow passengers on the road to the tomb. Even in this world, where men and women slay together without prejudice or idiocy, Grace Perry would still be a better frontwoman than ninety percent of the yutzes out there.
It’s not Perry’s appearance as a cute and willowy young woman that makes her an incredible vocalist and frontwoman (though it’s understandably startling to hear screams that gut-wrenching come out of a person so pretty). It’s her vocals, which are ferocious bellows and harpy-like cries reminiscent of shattering glass and groaning steel. It’s her stage attitude, which entirely forsakes the How We Doing Tonight banter bullshit and instead is made of a solid mix of Doubled Over Shrieking and Leaping Into The Crowd. Unlike many metal frontmen pulling off seemingly-rehearsed moves or dancing around the stage in the hopes of riling up their audiences, Perry throws herself entirely into her vocals. The fact that her back is often to the crowd or her head is between her ankles barely registers as her infectious energy takes hold of the audience and sends them into a frenzy of pumped fists and sweaty hair. Her undulations and flailing limbs drive home a sense of grotesquery and agitation that many fans seem wholly invested in once it’s given voice. Her sense of rhythmic timing, too, is an impressive action, with the kicks on songs like “Xenocide” set up to blast listeners at just the right moment.
Grace’s gender has obviously not gone unnoticed; she has been featured as one of Revolver’s Hottest Chicks In Metal, and upon leaving Landmine was replaced by one Krysta Martinez, implying that the band concertedly prefers a female vocal sound. That said, Perry is one of the few frontwomen in metal who doesn’t seem intent of using this to her advantage. In her Hottest Chicks shoot, she’s wearing jeans and a leather jacket. Onstage, she’s never rocking a silky ballerina outfit or corset, but instead appears a flurry of wrenched-wide mouth, sweaty hair, and Star Trek T-shirt, who is easily more comparable to Tomas Lindberg than Maria Brink. There is no pretense to what Grace Perry does as a metal frontwoman, just rage and noise and an explosion of energy—the things that make metal what it is.
The List So Far:
#11: Guy Kozowyk (The Red Chord)
#12: Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder)
#13: George “Corspegrinder” Fisher (Cannibal Corpse)
#14: Chance Garnette (Skeletonwitch)
#15: Vincent Bennet (The Acacia Strain)
#16: Mike Patton
#17: Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste)
#18: Joe Duplantier (Gojira)
#19: Oderus Urungus (Gwar)
#20: Nergal (Behemoth)
#21: Jens Kidman (Meshuggah)
#22: J.R. Hayes (Pig Destroyer)
#23: Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed)
#24: Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct)
#25: Chino Moreno (Deftones)