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#1 Edited by jakob187 (21758 posts) -

To start, if you just wanna come into the thread and shit on metal, then >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.door out of the thread.  Use it. 
 
Metal drumming and what constitutes as "good metal drumming" is an incredibly subjective idea.  What do you consider?  Well, here are the things that I look for: 

  • Accuracy
  • Technique
  • Tone
  • Variation
 
That last one, variation, might seem a little odd to some people with a finely tuned ear to the ways of heavy metal.  Nonetheless, I want to ask the metal community of Giant Bomb:  who do you think is the BEST metal drummer? 
 
It's a tough choice for me.  However, there's one guy that always continues to impress me with his abilities and technique every time he records or plays live: 
 
Raymond Herrera of Fear Factory and Arkaea
 Raymond Herrera uses a mix of drumming styles with incredible execution.  He's capable of doing prog, speed, thrash, death, melodic, whatever you ask of him.  His technique is one of the best in the industry as well.  While I could've rattled off Gene Hoglan, Dave Lombardo, Chris Adler, Vinnie Paul, Dave McClaine, Danny Carey, or even Jason Costa, Raymond Herrera is a drummer that proves that style, groove, and flawless execution mean everything. 
 
He's well-known for his overhand crossovers leading between cymbal and snare to create off-time mix-ups, as well as a unique double bass kick ability.  This guy can TRULY stop on a dime, and his double bass helped define an entire generation of new drummers.  Here are a few examples that show why I think Raymond Herrera is the best metal drummer: 
  
 
 
 
Raymond Herrera's drum sessions for Fear Factory's Transgression album 
Fear Factory's My Grave (the song he's laying the drum track down for on the first video)
Arkaea's The World As One 
Fear Factory's Shock (in the beginning, the snare rolls are all one-handed, as are the cymbals rolls 
Fear Factory's Shock (live at Big Day Out without Dino) 
Fear Factory's Cyberwaste 
Fear Factory's Slave Labor 
Fear Factory's Zero Signal (live)
#2 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

theres no "best" anything.. several drummers for several genres, several guitarists for several sounds ..

#3 Posted by damnboyadvance (4061 posts) -

There are some good metal drummers. Can't name one though.

#4 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
" theres no "best" anything.. several drummers for several genres, several guitarists for several sounds .. "
Again, it's a subjective thing.  I'm completely aware of that.  Consider this a way of educating some folks on their metal drummers and understanding the complexities of this style rather than just saying "oh, well, it all sounds the same".
#5 Posted by alsnuts2 (675 posts) -

I always thought the guy from Tool played some solid drums, but i base this on absolutely zero knowledge.  My friends are almost all drummers and they say that travis barker is actually quite a technically skilled drummer.  To which I always respond, "Thats nice, now beer me"

#6 Posted by SJSchmidt93 (4899 posts) -

Don't play drums so I wouldn't know. Metal fan sure, but not enough to know the names of all the metal bands I like drummer.  
 
(that last sentence is wrong... but I don't know how to make it sound right. Help?)

#7 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

well im just another dude who listens to metal all the time, but i just dont have it in me to be as precise and detailed as you..  
the drummers that impress me and get my attention are 1983-1991 Lars Ulrich ALOT, and nowadays lars ulrich still has a different touch, and umm.. i dunno! i pay attention to guitars more

#8 Posted by Black_Rose (7785 posts) -

Maybe not the best but my favorite is X Japan's Yoshiki.

#9 Posted by Dr_Feelgood38 (1550 posts) -

I'm partial to Mike Portnoy.

#10 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

Hmm... well does Tool count as metal ? If so Danny Carey is pretty great 
If not, I nominate Brann Dailor from Mastodon

#11 Posted by alsnuts2 (675 posts) -
@SJSchmidt93 said:

" Don't play drums so I wouldn't know. Metal fan sure, but not enough to know the names of all the metal bands I like drummer.   (that last sentence is wrong... but I don't know how to make it sound right. Help?) "

 Metal fan sure, but not enough to know the drummers of all the metal bands I like. 
 
my best guess
#12 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@addictedtopinescent said:
" Hmm... well does Tool count as metal ? If so Danny Carey is pretty great If not, I nominate Brann Dailor from Mastodon "
Brann Dailor is a fucking BEAST, man!  That dood's snare work is fucking NUTS!  He has to go through more snare heads in one show than most bands use in a year!!! 
 
@Dr_Feelgood38 said:
" I'm partial to Mike Portnoy. "
Oh, the usual Dream Theater comment.  lol  Portnoy is damn good at his craft.  Unfortunately, I've gotten to the point where I listen to his work but I don't feel any soul in what he's doing.  It's too...mechanical...I guess, for lack of a better word.  With Herrera, you can hear when he's beating the shit out of a kit and when he's being light.  He's got little accents that I just don't hear with Portnoy's work.  But technically, yeah, Portnoy is a good choice as well. 
 
@Black_Rose said:
" Maybe not the best but my favorite is X Japan's Yoshiki. "
Not familiar with this.  *looks it up*  OH!  THAT SONG!  The one they have in the free 20 for Rock Band 2.  Alright...I'll have to listen to more to get familiar with their stuff. 
 
@alsnuts2: Travis Barker is a hell of a drummer.  Technically, he's fucking BRILLIANT at what he does.  Seriously!!!  Nonetheless, this is about metal drumming.  He ain't metal.  =  /  Sorry.
#13 Posted by The_Dude (798 posts) -

Flo Mounier from Cryptopsy, or Hans Grossmann from Necrophagist.

#14 Posted by Disengage (429 posts) -

Gene Hoglan. Fact.

#15 Edited by Dethfish (3697 posts) -

I couldn't really tell you who I think is the best drummer because I don't pay attention to that stuff. Not the drumming but who is better than who. I just listen to it.

#16 Posted by georgecletus (68 posts) -

Tool or Dillinger Escape Plan drummer. They are stellar, and being prog metal, they play in some funky time signatures.

#17 Posted by Arkthemaniac (6535 posts) -

Danny Carey makes my head go boom. 
 
On another note, I think the most overrated metal drummer is Mike Portnoy.

#18 Posted by DanielJW (4915 posts) -

Keith Moon?

#19 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@Disengage said:
" Gene Hoglan. Fact. "
Fun fact:  Gene Hoglan is the new drummer for Fear Factory.  Apparently, Burton had some disagreements with Wolbers and Herrera, and so they are not in the band anymore.  Meanwhile, Dino Cazares is back in the band on guitars, with Byron from SYL on bass and Gene on drums.  Very interesting to hear about, but I don't know how I feel about Herrera not being in the mix.  His drums were what defined Fear Factory to me. 
 
@The_Dude said:
" Flo Mounier from Cryptopsy, or Hans Grossmann from Necrophagist. "
Mmmm...Necrophagist.  Brett Batdorf (what a horrible name for someone!  lol) was great when he was with The Faceless.  Just listen to "Leira" and you can hear how awesome he can be.  
 
@Dethfish77 said:
" Metal is dumb. I hate it.   I couldn't really tell you who I think is the best drummer because I don't pay attention to that stuff. Not the drumming but who is better than who. I just listen to it. "
Metal hates you.
#20 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -

Nicholas Barker. 
His technique incorporates fast double bass drumming, extremely accurate blast beats and fills and precise dynamic accuracy.    
#21 Posted by Dr_Feelgood38 (1550 posts) -
@jakob187: Haha, I guess I'll go with someone a bit less prolific then: Zach Hill.
 This song isn't exactly metal but I'm always amazed by what he can do and I recently learned that he's a part of Team Sleep which is crazy awesome.
 
#22 Posted by Dethfish (3697 posts) -
@jakob187: Sarcasm never works on the internet, does it.
#23 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Necrophagist's ex live drummer Marco Minnemann is pretty fucking talented.  
 

 
 
His successor, Romain Goulon isn't too bad either.
  
I used to really like Danny Carey's drumming also until I started looking for something heavier.
#24 Edited by Lepuke (327 posts) -
#25 Posted by sgjackson (529 posts) -

I don't know enough about drummers to really comment well on this, but I can say I love Dave Lombardo's drumming on old Slayer albums.

#26 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -

You know who else is quickly becoming a prolific name?  Cameron Losch, the drummer for Born of Osiris.  That dood has a LOT of range, as one can find on their new album.  It's not just blast beats and super fast shit.  He's got a lot of texture to his work on that album.  Very nice to hear.  Probably one of my favorite metal albums from this year. 
 
@GunnBjorn said:

" Nicholas Barker. His technique incorporates fast double bass drumming, extremely accurate blast beats and fills and precise dynamic accuracy.     "
Personally, I'm not a fan of Cradle or Dimmu...but Nicholas Barker is a HELL of a drummer.  I've always been impressed with his work as a drummer.  Unfortunately, I've never really seen much range with him between various styles of metal like I have with Herrera.  Still, Mike Smith blasts harder and crisper than anyone out there.
#27 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

Oh, who could forget Steve Ashiem?
 
edit: Neat, my 666th post was about Deicide.

#28 Posted by baconbits33 (1155 posts) -

Shannon Larkin he's just fuckin awesome 
  

  
#29 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@baconbits33: As much as I hate Godsmack (and I mean I REALLY hate Godsmack), Larkin's work has always been good as well.  He's got great tom work, as well as a really unique sense of movement with his arms.  Plus, there's few guys that can get away with the kind of cymbal work he does.  His stuff with Amen was really good.
#30 Edited by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (560 posts) -

Former Necrophagist drummer Marco Minneman was the last drummer I saw that truly blew me away. On the DVD of the Summer Slaughter tour there is a solo from him that's totally insane. Not only is his blast beat utterly ridiculous but his prog and jazz influences really shine through, even in the actual songs. The old school metal fan in me would like to mention Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante as well.
 
EDIT: Didn't notice MrKlorox's comment. Great minds think alike.

#31 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -
@Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497: I tried to find that video and post it... but they started to all look the same.
#32 Posted by Hamst3r (4563 posts) -

Bernard Purdie is the greatest metal drummer ever:
 
    
It doesn't get more metal than that. Buddy Rich is pretty metal too. Oh and Tomas Haake from Meshuggah.
 
Really though, I don't care. It's the music as a whole that matters and technique doesn't impress me. :)
#33 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -

Gotta say...it's weird to see that no one has said anything about Tempesta or Bostaph.  lol  Hell, ESPECIALLY Bostaph when it comes to thrash.

#34 Posted by guiseppe (2842 posts) -

The one that comes to mind is Chris Adler. I also have to mention Todd Hansen from the band The Berzerker, although he may just be insanely fast.
#35 Posted by Lashe (1266 posts) -

For straight up metal, I don't think you can go too wrong with Joey Jordison, especially in his recent years. Although if we're taking 'metal' as a little bit of a loose genre, Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy would be my first choice.

#36 Posted by MetalGearSunny (7003 posts) -

Dave Grohl?

#37 Posted by Equal_Opportunity_Destroyer497 (560 posts) -
@MrKlorox said:
" Oh, who could forget Steve Ashiem?   edit: Neat, my 666th post was about Deicide. "
 
I'm sure Steve would approve.
#38 Edited by WanderingBear (84 posts) -

    Omar Abidi from fightstar his sound is beasty

#39 Posted by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@MattBradz: o.O  What the HELL was that?!  METAL drumming.  There was nothing metal in that video...at all!!! 
 
@Hamst3r: If it weren't for the fact that you reminded me that Tomas Haake was someone I haven't mentioned at all...for some dumb fucking reason...then I would rip your fingers off your hands and your tongue from your throat.
#40 Posted by Kohe321 (3533 posts) -

Tomas Haake from meshuggah and Hellhammer from various metal bands (IMO).

#41 Posted by ahriman22 (2746 posts) -

Dir En Grey's Shinya or Lamb Of God's Chris Adler.

#42 Posted by WanderingBear (84 posts) -
@jakob187: Maybe that wasnt the best choice of song to represent their "metal" sound, is this more like it? 
 
    
#43 Posted by destruktive (1069 posts) -

Since my favorite band overall throughout years is Dream Theater, I kinda have to say Portnoy.
But I must mention the drummer of Machine Head (Which name escapes me. Just came home from a party). Seeing them live and seeing him drumming his ass off really impressed me.
 
At the same time I have to nominate the drummer in my band. Hopefully, you'll learn his name after a few years :)

#44 Posted by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

The timing makes me not want to listen to Meshuggah. It's all high concept that doesn't necessarily sound that great upon execution. I have some friends that flip over it, but it just sounds disharmonious and cacophonous to me.

#45 Posted by PowerSerj (987 posts) -

After a couple of quick F5s and coming up with no hits, I figured noone had come up with the right answer. The only answer is Inferno of Behemoth, objectively.

#46 Posted by baconbits33 (1155 posts) -
@jakob187: Yeah I used to really hate Godsmack but get into a fight to that music and your hooked for the rest of your life. (You have to win the fight though)
#47 Posted by PowerSerj (987 posts) -
@Lashe said:
" For straight up metal, I don't think you can go too wrong with Joey Jordison, especially in his recent years. Although if we're taking 'metal' as a little bit of a loose genre, Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy would be my first choice. "
Joey Jordison is not good compared to the majority of extreme metal drummers. Also, there's nothing loose metal-wise when talking about Dream Theater. Prog metal is as defined as Thrash or Black.
#48 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

What? There's nothing progressive about Thrash or Black. I certainly wouldn't classify Spastic Ink or Death as thrash or black, but definitely prog metal. Well, less Spastik Ink more Blotted Science or Gorod if you're talking extreme metal prog.

#49 Edited by PowerSerj (987 posts) -
@MrKlorox: What? I think you may have missed a crucial 'as' in my post.
#50 Edited by jakob187 (21758 posts) -
@MattBradz: Still can't say that I think it's metal...but eh, to each their own, I guess.  I'm pretty sure those guys covered a song on the Kerrang tribute album to Metallica.  *goes to look it up*  Yep, they did "Leper Messiah" on the Master of Puppets tribute.  Apparently, they also covered "Fear of the Dark" by Maiden.  Interesting...  *looks up "Fear of the Dark" cover*  Okay...that's...interesting.  I can't say that I hate it, but I don't know how I feel about that guy's voice.  =  /  *looks up "Leper Messiah" cover to refresh memory*  Yeah, the vocals were the problem on that too. 
 
Actually, while I was looking those up, I checked some more stuff.  I cannot honestly say these guys are metal without feeling like I need to cut my nutsack off.  =  /  Sorry, bro.  Drummer isn't bad, though.  Seems like he's being held back in that band. 
 
@MrKlorox:
Klorox, it's hard for me to take you seriously about your disdain for Meshuggah when you have Violent J as your avatar.  -_-  Also... 
 
BEAMS OF FIRE SWEEPING THROUGH MY HEAD THRUSTS OF PAIN INCREASINGLY ENGAGED SENSORY RECEPTORS SUCCUMB I'M NOTHING NOW ONLY AGONY!!!