Favorite Female Vocalists
So, who are your favorite female vocalists? Feel free to explain why. The focus here is Japanese vocalists, but including non-Japanese ones is ok. Mine:

1. Kuroneko (Onmyo-Za): highly versatile and emotional, good range and pin-point control. Can go from ultra-happy to extremely miserable quite effortlessly.
2. Fuki (Light Bringer): if vocals could fistfuck someone with rainbows... can go from ultra-cute to booming power. Very expressive and emotional as well, but usually sticks with more positive emotions.
3. Marina (Mardelas/ex-Destrose): Insane vibrato, good control, sings with a lot of emotion and passion. Can use her voice as a weapon.
4. Junko Sera (Alhambra): Always uses her voice as a weapon. Powerful and over-the-top, sings with emotion, but somehow never totally goes off the rails (despite throwing 150% into everything)
5. Yui (Yousei Teikoku): Not the most technical vocalist in the world, but is highly charismatic and creative/inspired. Elite at selling and presenting material that most couldn't dream of pulling off.
6. Julia (Cross Vein): very charismatic and unique. Wields an ear-splitting voice with machine-like precision.
7. Haruka (Tears of Tragedy): more lower and soulful than her country-mates. Very emotional and convincing.
8. Rami (ex-Aldious): Used to wail a lot more earlier on. Unique and very emotional.
9. Michal (Ancient Myth): maybe not the most powerful vocalist in the world, but I find her quite unique and one of the more emotional vocalists I listen to.
10. Manami (Dragon Eyes/Rakshasa): one of the newer ones to this list. Reminds me a bit like Fuki, but lower/darker sounding. Fairly unique sounding too.

I'll cap it at 10 for now, but there's a ton of others I couldn't include. I notice emotion and uniqueness tend to be desirable traits with me.

Europe (no order):
Maja Konarska (Moonlight)
Agata Pawłowicz (Desdemona)
Agnete M. Kirkevaag (Madder Mortem)
Hanka Nogolová (Silent Stream of Godless Elegy)
Emma Hellström (The Provenance)
Petronella Nettermalm (Paatos)
Zuzana "ZuZa" Lípová (Dying Passion)
Nehl Aëlin (Akphaezya)
Asphodel (Pin-Up Went Down)
Sabine Demes (Seventh Gate)

Common thread here seems to be they are all either unique/weird or highly emotional.

Honorable mentions to Siouxsie Sioux, Lene Lovich, and Kate Bush - all I hold in high regard as well.
I like a lot of vocalists, but if they really strike a chord in me, I track down everything they've ever appeared on and create a playlist in iTunes.

So, from Japan (with the ranking being subject to change on any given day):

  1. Fuki - First heard her on Anecdote of the Queens by Nozomu Wakai's Destinia (which I initially got into because of Rob Rock). Absolutely fell in love with her voice and started tracking down her other stuff. The farther back I go, the harder it seems to acquire, but I'm determined. Her ability to switch between vulnerability and power, not to mention the number of styles, is awesome. Granted, she doesn't seem to have the same grit that someone like Eye does, but that's okay because the way she uses her crystal clear voice is just as effective.
  2. Eye * - Holy cow, the first time I heard her belt out the scream at the beginning of "Bite the Bullet," I was hooked. Her voice is like being hit with a velvet-covered brick wall. Her power and range are just incredible. Her stamina, live, is also otherworldly. I played their Invasion of the Queen DVD for a friend who is a voice teacher, and she was just amazed at how Eye was able to maintain the same level of grit and power for a full two-hour show. Where Fuki's voice hints at regal power held in check, Eye's voice says she'll cut you if you mess with her. I love it.
  3. Marina - Crazy powerful voice with a totally odd vibrato that I can't get enough of. Also, love her attitude. Watching her on the Destrose DVD, she absolutely commands the stage and nails every single note. Again, I watched this with my voice teacher friend and she was absolutely stunned by Marina's control.
  4. Rami - Came across her first with Raglaia and then went back to her Aldious days. An interesting voice that can simultaneously sound both laid-back and powerful. A very odd combination, but very striking.
  5. Jyou * - Simply put, one of the most emotionally expressive vocalists I've ever come across.

* I technically don't have playlists for Eye or Jyou since I don't currently have anything other than their current bands, so a playlist isn't necessary to collect their discography. With Eye, I hope to acquire her Destrose stuff at some point but I don't think Jyou has appeared on anything outside of existxtrace.

From elsewhere:
  1. Floor Jansen - Able to sing pop, rock, metal, opera, and growl. Incredibly versatile. Love her voice, sometimes more than the music over which she's singing.
  2. Elize Ryd - Love her crystal clear tone and power. She's not much for grit, but she can put a snarl in her voice when necessary, but she seems to have an unlimited reservoir of power. Saw her live with Amaranthe at Scout Bar in Houston last year and her voice cut through all the surrounding musical chaos like a scalpel. Just amazing.
For those who are interested in that sort of thing, my collection on Discogs.com.
In no real particular order:

1. Mari Hamada
2. Keiko Terada (Show-Ya)
3. Fuki
4. Marina (Mardelas)
5. Kuroneko (陰陽座)
6. Kazue Akao (Kruberablinka/Terra Rosa)
7. Hiro (ex-Vrain)
8. Nanase Aikawa
9. Queen M (Animetal the Second)
10. Ann Lewis

Favourite non-Japanese: Anneke van Giersbergen
I think Rami has improved a lot since her Aldious days. She is clearly working with a vocal coach.

Eye and Jyou are also favorites, and we've forgotten Liv Moon. She's the closest thing to a Japanese Tarja Turunen you're going to find.

Not sure what I'm missing with Fuki. She just doesn't grab me.

What do you guys think of the Disqualia singer? I haven't heard enough to form an opinion yet.
Ibuki ain't bad. She definitely has skill, uniqueness, conviction, but at times her voice sounds rather... weird (and not in a good way). Engrave was probably the best I've heard her. Around the Nation (her solo project) wasn't bad, but that's more pop/rock than metal (bar one metallish song where she does some good wailing on it). Some of her vox on Blazing World sounded pretty off - dunno if it was a recording misfire or just deliberately choosing strange notes to work with.
There are many, but Kazue Akao remains my all-time favorite Japanese female metal vocalist. I also liked the vocalists from Volfeed, Vanishing Point, Show-Ya, Rajas, Velle Witch, and the like.

Outside of Japan, and best one of all time for me? Leather Leone of Chastain.
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Fuki for me, without a doubt. She has a style that makes vibrato sound aggressive rather than being shitty opera emulation. And her occasional screams are spinechilling.

Aside from that... I love Sophia from Blood Stain Child, Anoji of Gonin-ish, Lola from Minstrelix, Haruka from Tears of Tragedy, Mikity from Octaviagrace, Hiro from Vrain, Yuko from Fatima Hill, Yu from Mergingmoon, and Elisa Martin of Dark Moor/Hamka/Dreamaker.

For nonmetal: Shiina Ringo, Seiko Oomori, Jun Togawa, Chiaki Ishikawa, Yumi Uchimura, Reol (song in the link is one of fav pop songs ever), Bjork, and Kate Bush.
Here's my tentative list.

1. Fuki: Pretty much a no brainer. She can flipping from poppy-laden, cute stuff to extremely powerful power metal wailing on a dime. Probably one of the most talented vocalists in power metal period.
2. Kuroneko: Also an easy one. She has an extremely beautiful voice and can carry ballads all by herself. Of course, Kuroneko can also do some poppy stuff as well as powerful chorus. She's an extremely diverse and talented vocalist.
3. Hiroka Nagai (Mr. Sirius): Supposedly she's a classically trained vocalist. I never saw a source on that claim, but I believe it. Like the previous two (I'm noticing a pattern here), she was a ridiculously diverse vocalist. She sang some cutesy, pop numbers, operatic orchestra-esque tracks, and just had a stunning voice overall. Bonus points added for good English pronunciation.
4. Haruka: Basically Haruka is what happens when you put all of your stat points into beauty, and it's wonderful. Continuation of the Dream is the prettiest power metal album I have ever heard and Haruka's voice is a big reason why.
5. Anoji Matsuoka (Gonin-ish): She gets points for going completely off the rails. In addition to some cleans, there's crazy growls and shrieks all over this thing. The introduction to the last track on their second album is legendary.
6. Junko Sera: Ridiculously over-the-top with ear-splitting wails everywhere. She can do operatic stuff as well.
7. U (MergingMoon): I guess she's kind of similar to Gonin-ish's vocalist with the whole "crazy chick does harsh vocals and cleans" thing, but she's got her own style. One of the few vocalists that can pull of brees without bothering me. Insane stuff.
Occasionally, I write Western and Japanese music reviews.
(09-06-2016, 01:46 PM)Painkiller Wrote: Outside of Japan, and best one of all time for me? Leather Leone of Chastain.

Ever meet her? I have. She's about the size of most of the Japanese women listed here. I had to look down to talk to her. But jeez that monstrous voice...
Never met her, but have interviewed her a few months back. She seems like a great person.

Her voice is amazing. It still holds up to this day. The last two Chastain albums have been pretty good.
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