An uncommonly perceptive YouTube commenter called Galás the “H.R. Giger of music performance,” and that nails it.


“I consider her a post-human deity/demon and I could never do what she does and I wouldn’t dare to try.”

Source: The Village Voice, August 8, 2017


I will never forget the first time I heard Diamanda Galas being played from my neighbor’s stereo upstairs while living in New Orleans. I had to march right up those stairs and knock on her door immediately and ask, “WHO the fuck is this??” 

Ka Baird, AFRICAN PAPER, 2017

Diamanda Galas – her voice is the STRONGEST I’ve ever heard. I saw her in 2015 and it seems to remain unchanged from the early 80’s , late 70’s.

Haley Fohr, The Quietus, 2017

“I was reminded as I was watching all these horror films that they often have a lot of beautiful melodic music,” she says. “There are so many delicate, sexual elements. So much is everyday life. You can also say that about Diamanda Galas music — it has delicate elements with synths, drums, spoken word, whispering. “
Jenny Hval, The Chicago Tribune, 2017

Pharmakon, “She’s a trained opera singer with an insane range…”

INDY Week, talking about Diamanda Galás

“It might sound cliche, but the one fast rule I always clung to when searching out music, throughout my teens into adulthood was that it needed to have a degree of danger. Whether it was KISS, Black Flag, Motorhead, Public Enemy, Diamanda Galás, The Boredoms or John Coltrane, to turn something as intangible and abstract as music into something with an edge of menace was always attractive to me. ”

Source: “The Greatest Band That Will Never Get a Grammy”, Danko Jones, November 11, 2012


“Anyone that has ever had the privilege of meeting or seeing one of Diamanda Galás’ shows will know how lucky we are to have her contribute to the album [Rock Me Gently]. Her voice shoots off into outer space & weaves in & out of the synth tight-rope like supersonic warrior.”

Source: ‘Erasure’, by Andy Bell, Erasure’s official website


“The purity of and strength of that expression that [Diamanda Galás] does just with her voice and a piano, it really reminds you of where the energy of things really comes from.”

Source: Decibel magazine

IHSAHN from EMPEROR (Norwegian Black Metal composer)

“[Diamanda Galás] confirmed herself the most disturbing and seductive incarnation of darkness and desperation, but we have still in our hearts her best performance of all times: Vena Cava. Ensoph compared to Diamanda Galás are like a grain of sand near a mountain, so I can’t imagine a projection of her voice into our music.”

Source: ‘Ensoph’, by Evil Dr. Smith, Lords of Metal Internet Magazine, April 2004

ENSOPH (Gothic Industrial band)

[After Diamanda Galás performed the lead role in his music/theater piece, Un Jour Comme un Autre, at the 1979 Festival D’Avignon, France]
“She mastered brilliantly the extremely difficult task… She is a very inventive person, working hard, good ear, beautiful technique.”

VICTOR GLOBOKAR (Slovenian classical composer)

“Our friends with AIDS were dying. It was an epidemic and there were, then, no miracle drugs, so it really did feel like genocide. Diamanda Galás was already dealing with the crisis in her music, and hers was a release of anger.”

Source: Boston Phoenix 14, by Ted Drozdowski, September 2006


“What a killer record. Diamanda Galás and John Paul Jones’ [The Sporting Life]. Really out there… She kind of rules!”

Source: ‘Spare Time in the A.M.’, 6767.com, July 2004


“[Diamanda Galás] uses her voices in a very unorthodox way and I have been very much influenced by her, mostly in the improvisational part….I had seen her live in Athens and it was a breathtaking presence, she was very, very strong, very intense and that stayed with me.”

Source: http://www.rootsworld.com/interview/yannatou.html

SAVINA YANNATOU (Greek singer)

[Diamanda Galás contributed vocals on Alan Wilder’s single, Strange Hours, released on Liquid (Recoil)]
“I’ve always wanted to work with a classically trained singer. Diamanda displays an astonishing ability to adapt herself to all styles. She likes to work with very little preparation, which is perfect because I wanted her to improvise a lot. I adored working with her and I believe her work on ‘Liquid,’ is very different from anything else she’s done until now.”

Source: www.labels.tm.fr/
“I really like her more restrained singing, the way she sings on the first part of the song. Like she’s just about to break out. With the music I had, which was a really a dark blues kind of thing, I thought if I could get her to sing in that style, it would just have to work.”

Source: ‘Recoil – the dark world of Alan WIlder’, by Mattias Huss, Release Magazine, March 2000


“When Novoselic and Las Vegas began working together, Novoselic exclusively played 12-string acoustic guitar. But hearing The Sporting Life, Diamanda Galás’ collaboration with former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones, led to an epiphany: ‘I heard that record and immediately thought, Why am I playing acoustic guitar? I wanna rock.’”

Source: Novoelic’s website
“We wore capes and stuff, and we were playing Diamanda Galás and John Paul Jones in the background – perfect blood-drinking music!”

Source: ‘Sweetness in Seattle’ The Independent (London), Aug 22 1997 by James McNair

KRIST NOVOSELIC (NIRVANA’s former bassist)

“[The Sporting Life] The year’s wildest guitar solos emanate not from a guitar, but the extraordinary throat of avant-diva Galás. Over gargantuan bass and drum grooves, she emits scarifying screams and roars (imagine Tina Turner subbing for Linda Blair in The Exorcist), sounding at times like a cross between Hendrix, Vai, and Bucket-head. The best record by any former Zep member, hands down.”

Source: ‘The Sporting Life’, Joe Gore Guitar Player, 28.n11 (Nov 1994): pp 151

[From an interview between Joe Gore and John Paul Jones:]
“Diamanda Galás’s free-form vocalizing often sounds less like a human throat than Jimi Hendrix morphing into Buckethead. If a guitarist had generated the torrential swoops and shrieks on ‘Skoteseme,’ for example, the 6-string community would genuflect en masse. “Well,” allows Jones, “it certainly is a power trio.”

Source: ‘John Paul Jones: Led Zeppelin’s heaviest on riff & rhythm’, Joe Gore Guitar Player, 29.n2 (Feb 1995): pp 27


“We would like to work with Diamanda Galás….That would be great, that would be the ultimate.”

Source: Imhotep Magazine

DANI FILTH from CRADLE OF FILTH (British Heavy Metal band)

“Diamanda Galás, the avant-weird performance artist… ‘The devil’s wife,’ someone calls her. Faith No More loves Diamanda Galás…”

Source: ‘Faith No More, Something Weird This Way Comes ‘, by Daina Darzin, Faces Magazine, 1990


[On John Paul Jones and Diamanda Galás’s album, The Sporting Life]
“She’s my favorite piano player. She’s just very inspiring as an artist, passionate, committed… She got me playing steel guitar again, which I hadn’t done for years. [The Sporting Life:] That was the first time I’d tried using that sort of riff, drums and voice. A lot of people didn’t like it, but to me it was blindingly obvious. I couldn’t see why nobody had thought of it before, especially with her voice, because she has all that range and passion. Plus, her lyrics are great! These homicidal love songs are wonderful (laughs).”

Source: ‘Getting the Led Out: A John Paul Jones Interview’, by Gail Worley, Knac.com, April 2002


“I have seen Diamanda perform quite a few times and it’s always the most intense live experience I have as an audience member that year….I have no idea what she puts herself though to reach that level of intensity, [but] I have never heard a voice and a talent anywhere near hers.”

Source: www.harmonyinmyhead.com, Playlist 10-31-06


“She’s incredible!”

Source: ‘John Zorn Interview’, by Mike Burma, browbeat, issue number 1, fall 1993


“When we started Freedom, we said the only two people who could sing with us would be Iggy Pop and Diamanda Galás. What sparked it all [was buying] The Singer, which was all blues covers, which could be so cheesy but is so amazing it just rips your heart out.”

Source: The Wire’s ‘Invisible Jukebox’ feature, issue 236, October 2003


“My own relationship to the listening experience with you usually not with the lyrics, it’s usually just the voice. And your show at the Knitting Factory was so great, it took me so many totally unexpected places.”

Source: ‘Diamanda Galas’ (with WIll Oldham), Index Magazine, 1999


“Diamanda Galas is one of the more powerful individuals walking among us. She may be the only satanic gospel singer out there. The title of this song [“My World Is Empty Without You”] sounds like an admission of weakness, but there’s this unbelievable power and agency in it.”

Source: Father John Misty: The Music That Made Me, Rolling Stone, May 8, 2015


“[Galás] is a great artist with a very powerful voice.”

Source: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1jctbp/i_am_performance_artist_marina_abramovic_ask_me/cbdeddm


“…her voice–ONE MOMENT SERPENTINE, THE NEXT A JUGGERNAUT–carries her audience on a journey into primal regions, where intellectual analysis and even aesthetic judgments become redundant. All you can do is listen and feel.”

Source: From the introduction to Shit of God: The Texts of Diamanda Galás (Galás, 1996, pp.i-ii)


“The first time I saw her live was in a dingy bar in the meatpacking district in the early 90s. She was doing a techno collaboration with Aldo Hernandez – I remember feeling like she had ripped my guts out and driven knives through my body with her voice. I was left quaking. I had never experienced the voice so physically – it was undeniable and utterly arresting. It’s like a tidal wave moving through you. She harnesses tremendous power and delivers it through her voice.

Her influence on me was like that of Kali (the Hindu goddess of destruction) on a pedestrian. She is one artist that you gaze at in awe… I don’t know anyone who has committed her life and energy more entirely to her work than Diamanda. I don’t know anyone who has scaled the face of the moon with her voice like Diamanda, who has sat alone in blackness and sought like her.

She has always exhibited tremendous courage – in this way, she is a pioneer and represents the frontier of musical expression. She has given more of herself than we can fathom. She strives for excellence with each breath, her singing is unrivalled. She is Olympic in her skill and quite simply, she stands alone.

She is the Maria Callas of our day, and she is without equal. She has stayed true to her intentions throughout her career, brutally faithful to her values. You cannot do more as an artist. She sets the bar.”

Source: ‘#Cult VIP: Diamanda Galas’, by Luke Turner, Dazed & Confused magazine


“You can sing a very aggressive word in such a way that it’s very funny. You can change words, completely turn them around on their head so that they mean exactly the opposite of what they are written down. There are endless possibilities which I think Diamanda Galás is doing already. She turns everything upside down by the way she sings it. She makes you feel nauseous or horrified or ridiculous just by her voice. I think that’s an incredible power.”

Source: ‘Melody Maker’, by Simon Reynolds, Joy Press, December 25 1993/January 1 1994, pg 5

“Another reason for the Robert Plant histrionics might be that Harvey’s been taking opera lessons for eight months (two retired opera singers happen to live in her village). But if rock opera summons up fright mare images of Meat Loaf or Freddie Mercury, think again. Polly really admires and aspires to the hair-raising, marrow-curdling vocal acrobatics of Diamanda Galás, the avant-garde demon-diva who’s closer to a sorceress or shaman than Maria Callas.”

Source: ‘What Makes Polly Scream?’, by Simon Reynolds, i-D, October 1993