Metal Chick of the Month – Elizabeth Schall

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So follow me now, you’re falling behind… Have the will to set free…

It’s time to get really heavy at The Headbanging Moose with a woman that not only kicks some serious ass on guitar, but she manages to channel all her passion for Heavy Metal into her music flawlessly, creating some sick tunes that will definitely put you to bang your head and raise your horns like crazy. Of Chilean descent, here comes the incredible metal shredder Elizabeth Schall, an American singer, songwriter and guitarist mainly known for her work with Winterthrall, Dreaming Dead and The Iron Maidens, among several other bands and projects. If you want to know how badass Elizabeth is, let me tell you that some of her biggest influences in music are Iron Maiden, Slayer and Megadeth. Do I need to say more?

Daughter of Federico and Amanda Renee Schall, Elizabeth had to relocate to Chile after living in California, which despite not being easy for her and her family in the beginning it helped them learn to appreciate what they left behind in the United States, not to mention the enormous benefit for Elizabeth as she became fully bilingual then. In regards to music, our kick-ass guitarist started taking accordion lessons at an early stage of her life, switching to guitar later, saying that if it wasn’t for the accordion lessons maybe she wouldn’t be playing guitar today. Due to her exceptional skills as a guitar player, her commitment to learning the instrument and her passion for Heavy Metal, Elizabeth has become a role model for many young women who want to play guitar and play extreme music.

In regards to her career in metal music, she first came into the scene when she was recruited to join Death Metal band Winterthrall in 2003 as their guitarist and also doing backing vocals, leaving the band two years later. It was in September 2005 that she finally joined The Iron Maidens, right after the departure of guitarist and co-founder Josephine Draven, becoming the female version of Adrian Smith named “Adrianne Smith”. Despite leaving the band one year later, in October 2006, Elizabeth rejoined them in June 2010 in a guest appearance as “Deena Murray”. There’s a full concert of The Iron Maidens with Elizabeth on the guitar on YouTube, recorded on August 25, 2006 at Vinnie’s Bar & Grill in Concord, California, which might not be a high-quality footage but at least you can have a pretty good idea of how awesome she sounds playing all the mighty classics from Iron Maiden.

It was in 2006 when Elizabeth formed the band Manslaughter together with drummer Mike Caffell, recording that same year the EP Through the Eyes of Insanity. Following a brief tour, our raven-haired bombshell and Mike renamed the band to Dreaming Dead, recording the albums Within One in 2009, Midnightmares in 2012, and Funeral Twilight (which will soon be reviewed here at The Headbanging Moose) now in 2017. In all three records she was responsible for vocals and guitar, but in Within One our daredevil musician also recorded bass guitar and wrote all lyrics, proving how talented she is and how destined she was to heavy music. If you want to have a good taste of the havoc Elizabeth and Dreaming Dead are capable of generating, you should take a good listen at potent compositions like Midnightmares (you can check the official video for it at the end of this essay), Overlord and Buried.

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There are several other bands and projects where we can find Elizabeth shredding her axe, most of them related to Death Metal with hints of other extreme (and even not-so-extreme) subgenres of heavy music. Since 2013 she has been part of American Death Metal/Grindcore band Cretin, blasting her vicious riffs and solos in songs such as It from their 2014 album Stranger, and since 2014 she’s also been the guitarist for American Death/Thrash/Groove Metal project Dia de los Muertos.  In addition, you can also enjoy Elizabeth on lead guitar on  the song My Secret Things, from the 2012 album Horny Beast by American Heavy Metal/Deathrock band Lover of Sin; her backing vocals on the Cacophony cover Burn the Ground, from the 2008 album Future Addict, by the Progressive Rock/Metal solo project led by renowned guitarist Marty Friedman; and on piano on the 2012 album Results, by American Death Metal/Grindcore band Murder Construct (a side-project of members from Exhumed and Cattle Decapitation). If playing the guitar, the piano and singing is not enough for you, how about her work as a photographer in the 2013 album The Dead Still Dead Remain (a completely re-recorded version of the 2000 full-length The Dead Shall Dead Remain featuring the return of Leon del Muerte), by American Death Metal band Impaled? That’s how skillful our badass Elizabeth is.

Elizabeth, who by the way used to be married to Charles Elliott, lead singer and guitarist for American Death Metal band Abysmal Dawn, cites Swedish musician Peter Tägtgren (Hipocrisy, Pain) and American guitar hero Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) among her main influences, as well as renowned acts like Cryptopsy, Metallica, and the aforementioned Megadeth and Slayer. If you want to take a look at how our stunning guitar player deals with her beloved instrument, you can watch this high quality video of Elizabeth setting up and tuning her guitar, where she reviews tools, changing strings, tuning (from B to E standard), action and intonation, or also this other video where she talks about and demos her favorite Fernandes guitar and the Fernandes Sustainer.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this short but humble tribute to the amazing Elizabeth is the list of her favorite guitar riffs published on Decibel Magazine in July 2012, where she commented on the most impactful and meaningful riffs in her life, the ones that helped shape up her style and enhanced her relationship with her instrument. In the article you’ll be able to see exactly which riffs from specific songs she loves the most, blending metal and non-metal acts on her list. Obviously, as this is a Heavy Metal webzine, we need to highlight the presence of unmatched classics like Megadeth’s Tornado of Souls (by the way, she said she’s crazy about all the riffs in this masterpiece), Emperor’s The Tongue Of Fire, Type O Negative’s Love You To Death, and my favorite of all by far, Iron Maiden’s all-time classic Aces High. However, you’ll also find other interesting riffs from non-metal acts on her list, such as Los Prisioneros’ Estrechez de Corazon (80’s Chilean alternative pop) and Soundgarden’s Jesus Christ Pose. Well, there’s of course one of her own riffs on the list, the one from the chorus of the song Overlord by Dreaming Dead, but that’s more than expected when the musician in question is extremely talented and her music kicks some serious ass.

Elizabeth Schall’s Official Facebook page
Elizabeth Schall’s Official Twitter
Elizabeth Schall’s Official YouTube channel
Elizabeth Schall’s Official ReverbNation
Dreaming Dead’s Official Facebook page
Dreaming Dead’s Official Twitter
Dreaming Dead’s Official ReverbNation

“I like to think I live in a world where my gender has nothing to do with what I am capable of doing. You go onto YouTube and see 13-year old girls shredding out on metal songs.” – Elizabeth Schall

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Metal Chick of the Month – Mia Coldheart

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Rock Me Like The Devil!

Despite the fact that Angela Gossow is German, she is the lead singer of a Swedish band, so let’s stay around that same country for the second edition of the Metal Chick of the Month. This time I’m going to talk about Mia Coldheart, the lead singer and guitar of the awesome all-female hard rock band Crucified Barbara. Actually, I could talk about all four girls from the band, but let’s focus on one at a time to avoid any heart attacks, right?

Of course her last name is not Coldheart, and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have a cold heart at all. Her real name is Mia Karlsson and she was born on August 21, 1980 in the municipality of Tyresö, located in the Stockholm County in Sweden. And as you can see, she’s the only non-blonde in the band, which doesn’t mean she’s less beautiful than the others. Quite the contrary, her long dark hair makes her stand out among the other girls, and adding to that her powerful voice we have the perfect recipe for not only an amazing singer, but for a true hard rock frontwoman.

I believe Crucified Barbara would not be the same successful band without Mia’s voice. However, for those who don’t know it, the band started as a punk rock band back in 1998 and at that time she used to play the guitar only (unfortunately, I couldn’t finds any old material of the band to show how their music was). She became the lead singer of the band in 2003, just a couple of years before the band released their debut album, and in less than 10 years she has become a reference for many hard rock female singers all over the world.

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One thing that always comes to my mind while listening to Mia Coldeheart singing are the similarities between her voice and Lzzy Hale’s voice, from Halestorm. However, I prefer Mia’s voice a thousand times, and in my opinion the only reason for Crucified Barbara not being as famous as Halestorm is the fact that they’re not from North America, as I mentioned here. Pay attention to Mia’s voice in different songs and you’ll see how versatile her voice is, from a soft and smooth singing in the ballad Count Me In to a more hard rock approach in Rock Me Like The Devil, and a true heavy metal voice in the Motörhead-ish song The Crucifier. Lzzy is a great singer, but her voice sounds the same in every song, and besides, I’ve had the chance to check Mia and Lzzy singing live in some videos and Mia kicks fuckin’ ass. Besides, she plays the guitar all the time while singing, not only in some songs. If you don’t trust me, take a look at Crucified Barbara playing Bad Hangover live at Sweden Rock Festival (also check how cool the Swedish language is) and you’ll see what i’m talking about!

Talking about Mia’s biggest influences in music, I saw an interview where she said she started to play guitar because of Nirvana and the whole Grunge music scene, but then she started listening to bands like Dream Theater, Megadeth, and Helloween, and guys like Marty Friedman helped define her guitar style. Regarding her vocals, she said her biggest influence was Gigi Hangach, from the band Phantom Blue, who by the way was her motivation to actually start singing heavy music.

Mia’s entire career has been built with Crucified Barbara only, with which she has recorded three albums so far: In Distortion We Trust (2005), ‘Til Death Do Us Party (2009), and their most recent and my favorite one called The Midnight Chase (2012). Besides that, she has just recorded some additional vocals to some material from a Swedish progressive metal band called Mind’s Eye in two of their albums (Walking on H20, from 2006, and A Gentleman’s Hurricane, from 2007).

If you’re a fan of Halestorm, but would like to listen to something faster and heavier, you will love Crucified Barbara and especially Mia Coldheart’s voice. She will rock you like the devil, I’m pretty sure about that.

Equipment
Gibson Flying V (Gothic 2001)
Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier amp
Mesa Boogie 4×12 Rectifier cabinet
Rotosound strings 10-52

Personal website/blog
www.coldheart.se

“Don’t wait to find the perfect band. You can’t sit home and dream about a band. You have to get out, meet people, play with a lot of different people.” – Mia Coldheart