Heavy metal has a problem with sexism. Every year, we get a big fat reminder of that fact from Revolver Magazine and their female-heavy “Hottest Chicks in Metal/Hard Rock” issue. This year, like every year, there’s only one question equality-minded folks find themselves asking: What about the men?
Yes, we all know that metal is a woman’s game, but seriously, it’s 2015: the time has come to level the playing field. Over the past four decades, men have contributed a hell of a lot to heavy metal and its various offshoots. There are a million examples: Girlschool let Motörhead guest on a few of their classic tunes, Nuclear Death had a male guitarist, Warlock had a male drummer, and even Jo Bench recruited not one, but multiple men to play in her band Bolt Thrower! And what’s more, men have proven time and time again that they can rock just as hard as the ladies. A new wave of male-fronted metal bands has even seen a handful of guys grabbing the mic and letting loose with deep, terrifying roars that would make Lori Bravo proud. Sure, they deal with sexism in the media (like Alissa White-Gluz’s poor boyfriend Doyle, who never gets credit for playing in his own boy band), and they do have a harder time on tour (I mean, would you want to be stuck in a van full of smelly girls, with nowhere to shave your jawline?) but still, they get out there and give it their all.
It’s a great time to be a male metal fan, and it’s about time that the media focused more heavily on men and boys, instead of treating them as novelties or tokens. There's always a ton of positive, balanced media coverage of women musicians, but men continually get the shaft, relegated to sidebars and, if they're lucky, special issues. Representation is important, which is why we here at Noisey wanted to shine a spotlight on 11 of the most talented men in heavy metal—sure, they’re easy on the eyes, but they’ve got chops, too!
This blonde bombshell is a metal lifer, and his hard-rocking, all-boy band Black Label Society have had a ton of success. He’s even collaborated with a number of other male musicians—talk about heavy metal brotherhood! It’s hard to look at Zakk without being distracted by his luscious locks and sky-blue eyes (and those MUSCLES—rawr!) but he’s actually a great guitarist, too. Talk about the total package!
Male drummers are rare in metal, and Vinny’s probably one of the best-known examples of guys who actually dropped the mic or bass and hopped behind the kit. His old band Pantera are legends, and nowadays Vinny keeps busy with all-male supergroup Hellyeah and—get this—owns a string of all-female strip clubs. Check out that cleavage, too.
Though he may be best-known for his acting abilities, Jared’s more than just a pretty face—he started his very own hard rock band, and man, can that boy wail! Sure, Thirty Seconds to Mars isn’t exactly underground, but seeing that beefcake babe up onstage rocking out in leather and eyeliner sure gets the blood pumping!
The nu-metal revival is real, and years after their prime, big names like Kittie and Wicked Wisdom are still going strong. Disturbed have always stood out thanks to their all-male lineup and emotional lyrics, as well as frontman David Draiman’s enlightened views on equality (and his sexy facial piercings). He’s not afraid to admit that love hurts, and songs like “Stricken” really give us a window into his masculine heart. It takes a real man to bare his soul like that, and Draiman is all man. You go, boy!
Speaking of nu-metal, everyone’s favorite Babymetal-inspired gimmick band, Slipknot (whose devilish stage show features seven guys wearing masks) is doing better than ever, and singer Corey Taylor is enjoying a successful solo career, too, as well as singing for his all-boy outfit Stone Sour. Turns out he was hiding a pretty face behind that mask!
Many people are familiar with Arch Enemy's legendary singer Alissa White-Gluz. But did you know she also has a boyfriend named Doyle who plays in a band called The Misfits? He even has a little solo career going on the side. And just look at those muscles! Alissa is a lucky lady.
Death metal may be a traditionally female-dominated subgenre, but these sexy Frenchmen make it clear that boys can be brutal, too. Their progressive, technical take on death metal has won them considerable acclaim from both fans and critics, and their tendency to tour with other all-male bands shows that they’re conscious of their status as role models for the next generation of dude metalheads. Also, look at all that hair!
In This Moment
The men of In This Moment are usually overshadowed by singer Maria Brink, but it’s high time they got some love, too! They may not be out there working the crowd or screaming up a storm, but their jobs are just as important. After all, every band needs a bassist!
These big, burly Vikings are enough to make any girl swoon, but their melodic, mythology-laced death metal odes really seal the deal! Wielding huge guitars and even bigger beards, these horn-y Swedish studs really underline why so many ladies swear that Scandinavian men are the hottest.
Black metal isn’t exactly known for its huge numbers of male fans—let alone man bands—but Carpathian Forest has always striven to break the mold with its all-boy lineup, risqué live shows, and a bassist who’s not afraid to show off his curves. These Scandinavian sweeties may have started out in the 90s, but thanks to all that makeup, they don’t look a day over 21!
This controversial man band is back after a long hiatus. Tousle-haired chanteur Hunter Hunt-Hendrix got the boys back together to record the follow-up to their controversial 2011 LP Aesthetica; their marketing campaign is shying away from the obvious “all-boy” angle, but one listen to Hunter’s shrieky singing and Greg Fox’s ultra-complex drumming, and it’s hard not to notice the band’s masculine charms. Ladies, take note—Liturgy’s the perfect “boyfriend metal” band to help wean your special guy onto heavier stuff.
Kim Kelly is glad the girls' club of metal is finally starting to collapse. Follow her on Twitter - @grimkim