Metal is no stranger to some of the most skilled and technical drummers on the planet. Speed, blast beats and the weight of that kick pedal is what metal-heads have been drawn to for decades. As time goes on the drumming gets more technical, faster and mind blowing. I've always gravitated towards drummers and their ability, so it occurred to me that a piece on my favourite metal drummers was overdue.
5. Inferno - Behemoth
I am a relatively new fan of Behemoth, having discovered them late 2016, my love and appreciation for them has only grown. What struck me, especially after listening to, "Demigod", was the ability of the band's drummer, Inferno. The technical ability is mind blowing and the man is simply all over the songs. Inferno's blast beats are unbelievably quick and his sense of technicality is what brings Behemoth's music to the next level. The drumming in itself is its own piece of seperate music worthy of appreciation. Inferno's ability, complimented with the complexity of the music is what makes Behemoth so great.
Recommended album: Demigod
4. Mario Duplantier - Gojira
"The Art of Dying", that is all... That was the first track I heard from this monument of a band that has taken the metal scene by storm. I have not looked back since first hearing that song, and the intro drumming is quite simply... mind-blowing. Mario is the backbone of Gojira, and is getting the well deserved recognition as being one of metal's finest ever drummers.
His work on every Gojira album has gone from strength to strength. His sense of groove, speed and ability to maintain the structure of the rhythm section is something many drummers have trouble achieving. This is a band I am yet to see live, but reading online comments and watching live videos I am anxiously awaiting a Sydney tour.
Recommended songs: The Art of Dying, L'Enfant Sauvage, The Cell
3. Dave Lombardo -Slayer
Would this list be complete without one of the forefathers of extreme drumming? Probably not. I had the fortunate pleasure of meeting Dave Lombardo and he's not only a phenomenal drummer but a great person. You could ask any drummer from metal to name their favourites and Dave would probably come up the most, and that's for a reason... "Reign in Fucking Blood".
The drumming on the Lombardo-led era of Slayer is what has made Lombardo the legend that he is today. "Reign in Blood", still to this day is an influence and a blueprint for metal drumming. The technicality, speed and moments is something every metal-head knows, (have a listen to the kick-pedal breakdown in Angel of Death). I love the power that Lombardo plays with and you can feel every beat, which is simply electrifying.
Recommended albums/songs: Reign in Blood, Ghosts of War (South of Heaven), Seasons in the Abyss
2. Chris Adler - Lamb of God
It is no secret to the metal world that Adler is an absolute monster behind the drum kit. His work on every Lamb of God album is extraordinary and outside of that he shines on Megadeth's latest album, "Dystopia". I have memorised close to every Adler beat there is, and that's why he made this list. His drumming is a large part of why I love Lamb of God so much.
The opening kick-pedals of, "Laid to Rest", is where it all began for me, and I haven't looked back since. Adler's ability to play technical but keep the groove is a feat that I still struggle in working out how he does it. I've seen him perform with both, Megadeth and Lamb of God, and he brings a unique flavour to both bands. I respect his ability to stay true to the core of whatever band he drums for, but you know Adler's playing when you hear it, and that's the sign of a memorable drummer.
Recommended songs: Laid to Rest, Redneck, Desolation, Beating on Death's Door
1. Tomas Haake - Meshuggah
I could sit here for hours and write about Tomas Haake's drumming, as I'm convinced he is part human part cyborg. Haake's ability to play largely complicated rhythm over a 4/4 base time is something not many drummers can do. But it goes so much further, each limb of Haake operates on its own, playing an individual part, and that's why I'm convinced the man is part machine.
Seeing Meshuggah live only confirmed this. Since discovering this band so many years ago, Haake is my favourite drummer, regardless of genre, and I truly believe he is one of the greatest to ever come out of metal. His jazz flavour that he brings to Meshuggah's music is what makes his playing stand out, and the technicality of his drumming makes you question what's possible. He blew the metal world open with his drumming on "Bleed", and since then has earned the reputation as one of metal's leading drummers and lyricists.
Recommended songs: Bleed, Clockworks, Marrow, Future Breed Machine, and the entire Meshuggah discography