No conspiracy actually: most of my favourite bands are late 90s / early 2000s “female fronted metal” outfits. It was a glorious era, and this era has ended. Some singers and musicians are still floating around, either in a session player capacity or as teachers (both stints not necessarily related to the metal community); some have disappeared off the scene whatsoever. There is also an issue of bands mutating into something I don’t like, but that’s a whole ‘nother can o’worms.
So, here is one of those bands I A.D.O.R.E., and they even have not one but two LPs out (one was even re-recorded when they got a record deal around 2005), and there’s also an early demo floating around the shadier corners of the World Wide Web.
Ebony Ark, from Spain.
Beatriz Albert who fronted them is actually a professional singer these days, a soprano. She’s three years older than me, so do the math. She posts covers on youtube occasionally and records guest appearances on obscure Spanish projects, but it’s still not Ebony Ark.
First of all, for the reason she doesn’t seem to use her aggressive side much anymore, and it was what really set her apart from a lot of other singers of the genre. Bea is not your run-of-the-mill “lyrical soprano” of the sort infesting the femfronted scene today: she can invoke a tremendously expressive, “witchy” dark sound that she used a lot in her Ebony Ark days.
She’s the only 80s-born singer who can IMO challenge Floor Jansen’s position as the most powerful and technically skilful singer in metal: while Floor has learnt to do growls over the years, I’ve never heard her actually do melodic distorted vocals, which takes a lot of technique. So it’s a tie. And maybe if we put them side by side, one of them will win range-wise. Hard to say.
And the second reason is that Ebony Ark also had their bass player Daniel Melián provide additional vocal lines from time to time… and while I generally dislike male vocals (because most males can’t sing for [SEHT], duh; yes my ears are sexist), these were really really good, and worked tremendously well with Bea’s voice. // yeah I am wondering if a duet addiction is a medical condition, too //
The final (and the most important) reason is that Ebony Ark have written a number of complex and yet accessible and memorable songs. Their first album somehow boasted more of the “catchier” material; the second one could be theoretically described as even “less commercial”.
Here are a promo video from the “single” off their first album…
…and an obligatory live version, of a track composed for their first album but re-recorded in Spanish for their sophomore effort. Bea is, well, being Bea here. You’d think she was cheating and lip-synching or something, but she’s a professional singer, that’s all.