The page features some of the all-girl metal, power-metal and nu-metal bands from Japan. It is part of a series: All-girl Rock Bands from Japan.
If you are going to go metal, you need a vocalist with a powerful voice and musicians with a lot of skill and technique. The bands featured here definitely have those. The Japanese all-female metal bands tend to have devoted followings, but generally lack a broader appeal that would allow them to transcend the genre and enjoy crossover success with pop fans.
There don’t seem to be a lot of completely new all-female bands in this genre, especially compared with the number of new all-female indie bands . This is likely because of a relative decline of popularity of metal in general combined with its ‘high entry requirements’. Metal is very technically demanding—so the pool of musicians able to handle the genre is quite small (compared to a genre like ‘garage rock’).
This article focuses only on metal bands. You can refer to one of the other pages for other genres. For example, if you are looking for BAND-MAID, you can find them on the All-female Hard Rock Band page) and on the main page (All-Girl Rock Bands from Japan).
- Main Article: All-Girl Rock Bands from Japan
- Part 1: Hard Rock Bands
This section include Aldious, the bands that came out Destrose (FATE GEAR, Mary’s Blood, Disqualia and LOVEBITES), BRIDEAR, NEMOPHILA, Trident (formerly Girls Rock Band Kakumei), RiViNi, Ark Royal and Anarchy Stone.
Current lineup: Yoshi (guitar), Toki (guitar), Sawa (bass), Marina (drums)
Aldious is perhaps the best-known of the female metal bands and is also one of the most versatile in terms of style, with acoustic intros and interludes, punk-pop songs and eighties-style power ballads thrown into the mix. The band was formed by vocalist Rami and guitarist Yoshi in Osaka in 2008 and has undergone a few personnel changes over the years and this year (2019) seems them go on tour with guest vocalists Saki (from the band Cyntia) and RIN. I am more familiar with the band’s songs that feature Re:NO on vocals. She has an elegant singing style with a strong presence and full-rich tone that never seems overpowering or strained. Unfortunately, due to issues with her hearing, she had to drop out of the band in 2018. The band has released six studio albums between 2010 and 2017. The years following the release of Aldious’s first album in 2010 saw a surge in the formation of all-female metal bands in Japan (official website: aldious.net)
Destrose*, FATE GEAR, Mary’s Blood, Disqualia LOVEBITES
Destrose* was a heavy-metal band active between 2007 and 2015. Although Destrose only released a single studio album, a live album and a handful of singles and mini-albums, the band were hugely influential in the the development of all-female metal bands in Japan. Four of the original members left to found Mary’s Blood, another member helped found FATE GEAR and two other members formed LOVEBITES and two more helped form Disqualia.
The lineup of the Destrose changed frequently due to members dropping out to form new bands as well as members quitting due to heath issues. The website Metal Storm has a full list of the different lineups over the years: www.metalstorm.net/bands/timeline.php?band_id=8475&bandname=Destrose
Mary’s Blood (current lineup): Eye (vocals), Saki (guitar), Rio (bass), Mari (drums), Yashio (support member: guitar)
Mary’s Blood is one of the most popular of the bands that grew out of Destrose. It was formed by in 2009 by four of the members of Destrose: vocalist Eye, guitarist Eri, bassist Niboshi and drummer Mari. In 2012, Chiba, Eri and Niboshi dropped out were replaced by and Saki (she is the guitarist in the photo at the top of the page and is yet another alumna of Destrose) and Rio (on bass). I’ve chosen a live performance of Marionette for the video as it can showcase Eye’s commanding stage presence and the skills of the two guitarists. The band’s fifth studio album is due to be released in the summer of 2019. In terms of style, Mary’s Blood continues to work the heavier, darker metal vein that Destrose was fond of.
FATE GEAR (current lineup): Minako Nakamura (guitar), Nico Shizuka (vocals), Erika (bass), Yuri (keyboards), Haruka Mori (drums).
FATE GEAR, a metal band with a steampunk visual aesthetic, was formed in 2015. After Destrose broke up, one of that band’s guitarists, Minako Nakamura, went on to form FATE GEAR,with vocalist Nico Shizuka. In its current incarnation, in addition to the two founding members, the band features Erika, Yuri and Haruka Mori. The band has released four albums, but so far none of the albums have managed to break into the top 100 in Oricon’s weekly sales charts. Hopefully, the band will gain more exposure soon. The arrangement of the featured song—Scars in My Life—is interesting, with the light texture in the the verses giving space for the lead vocals to shine through. There is also an interesting keyboard vs guitar duel during the solos. (official site: fategear.jp)
Disqualia: Narumi (guitar), Hazuki (guitar), RISA☆RISA (drums), IBUKI vocals, MAI (Bass)
Disqualia featured two Destrose alumnae, Narumi and RISA☆RISA. This short-lived metal band released two singles and a mini-album during 2015-2016. Guitarist Hazuki went on the play with NEMOPHILIA and is now a member of the Li-Sa-X BAND
LOVEBITES: Miho (bass), Haruna (drums), Midori, (guitar, vocals), Miyako (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Asami (lead vocals)
LOVEBITES was formed in 2016 by two Destrose alumnae bassist Miho and drummer Haruna, who were joined by Midori, (guitar, vocals). The band has released two studio albums and won the Best New Band award at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The band’s style is fast and relentless and features virtuoso guitar solos, but the overall feel is brighter and more positive than the other bands in this section. They have gone on to me the most famous of the bands coming out of Destrose (official site: lovebites.jp).
Current lineup: KIMI (vocals), Haru (bass), Yuri (drums), Misaki (guitar), Ayumi (guitar)
BRIDEAR straddles the genres of heavy metal and hard rock. Some of their material, like the song Light in the Dark ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxSrOqAxaKw), with its busy drum patterns, guitar harmonies and dense texture, are very much in the metal tradition. While other songs, like Ignite, with its emphasis on guitar riffs, lean more towards hard rock (though the song still features the ‘metal’ growling vocals of former guitarist Misa). BRIDEAR was formed in Fukuoka in 2011 years by KIMI (vocals) and Haru (bass). The band’s lineup has recently changed, with Yuri, Misaki and Ayumi joining the band (offical website: bridear.jp).
NEMOPHILIA: Mayu (vocals), Saki (guitar), Hazuki, (guitar), Haraguchi-san (bass) and Tamu Murata (drums).
NEMOPHILA is a hard-hitting metal quintet from Tokyo. It was formed by vocalist Mayu in 2019. Bassit Haraguchi-san was her former classmate. Mayu is a former member of Mary’s Blood and Hazuki is a former member of Disqualia and current member of the Li-sa X BAND (mentioned on the All-Female Hard Rock Bands from Japan page). The name of the band, Nemophilia, means ‘woodland-loving.’
Girls Rock Band Kakumei (ガールズロックバンド革命) & TRiDENT
TRiDENT: ASAKA (vocals, guitar), SERINA (bass, vocals), Nagisa (drums)
Girls Rock Band Kakumei: ASAKA (vocals, guitar), SERINA (bass, vocals), JUNNA (drums)
Girls Rock Band Kakumei is a rock trio in which the arrangements and mix focus heavily on the famously hyper-enthusiastic drumming of JUNNA. The band was formed in Osaka in 2015 and released its first first album in 2017. JUNNA left the band in 2020 and was replaced by Nagisa. Nagisa doesn’t have quite the same non-stop intensity that Junna has, but I find her style suits the overall sound of the band better.
Illumina (vocals, guitar), The squid (guitar), Marsa (bass), Megu-chan (drums)
Ark Royal is a relatively new metal quartet. They released their first album, Arise, in 2019. They have a
Rie a.k.a. Suzaku (guitar), Vivi (drums), Nicky (vocals), Ami (bass)
RiViNi is a rock quartet formed in 2018. Guitarist Rie a.k.a. Suzaku is a well established solo artist, so I’m surprised her new endeavor hasn’t attracted more attention. Here is one of her solo instrumentals (she has also worked with guest singers a lot):
Maki (vocals, bass), Yamashita (drums)
Anarchy Stone was formed in 2008 and features Maki on bass and lead vocals and Yamashita on drums. They have gone through three different guitarists (Miya, Natumi and Yuino) and are currently without a permanent guitarist. Trying to choose a representative video for this band was difficult because the band’s music style has changed a lot. The 2009 song 帰り道 sounds like alt-pop band The Brilliant Green. 2011’s Goes to 4D has a more metal sound (particularly in the drumming). The songs two most popular videos—China Town and Our World, released in 2012 and 2013, respectively—are in a melodic metal style. The most recent video K.O. has more of a pop punk vibe. Maki’s vocal range is quite high (almost like nightcore vocals without being ‘nightcored’), and I think it is better suited to the band’s more pop-oriented styles. (official site: anarchystone.net)
Original lineup: Yui (guitar), Kanoko (drums), Ayano (keyboards), Airi (bass), Saki (vocals)
Like Aldious, Cyntia is another metal band that frequently embraces a pop aesthetic. One of the signature elements of their sound is the interplay between the keyboard and guitar parts. Cyntia was formed in 2011 by guitarist Yui and drummer Kanoko. The pair then recruited Ayano, Airi and Saki, but Airi later had to drop out due to health issues and was replaced with Azu from LAZYgunsBRISKY. Kanoko dropped out in 2015, and when the other founding member, Yui, developed muscle problems a couple of years later, the band decided to call it a day. Cyntia released five albums between 2012 and 2016.
New Strike Zipper
Chiori (vocals), Nao (Vocals), Yuki (guitar), Yuino (guitar) Mika (bass), Ka-ni (drums)
New Strike Zipper is a six-piece punk/nu-metal band formed in Tokyo in 2005 and featuring . They released one album—All Is Not Lost. Unlike Linkin Park, in which one vocalist handled rap while the other sang, both vocalists in New Strike Zipper did some of each. They appear to have ceased activity around 2012.