Theme Thursday – Drumming

The heavy metal drummer is the official timekeeper of the band.  Often taking a back seat (literally) to the glitz and glam of the lead singer and guitarists, the drummer has perhaps the most difficult job…especially in metal.  First of all, they have to use all four limbs in rapid succession.  They must also use said limbs in an orderly fashion of some sort both of which require countless hours of practice and dedication.  An indirect benefit of being a drummer is that they get to A.  Sit down on the job and B. get a cardio-intense workout while sitting down on the job.

I wanted to take a Theme Thursday and focus some time and energy on the dude (or chick) sitting at the back of the stage somewhat perched up higher than the rest of the band.  Some drummers are well known for their drumming while others just drum and that’s cool too.  Some metal drummers have made a name for themselves in the business  so I wanted to take some time to recognize them, but also note some drummers that you may have not heard of that deserve some recognition.

I am not a drummer, so I hold no personal drumming preference to any one person or band. I am just calling it like I see it.  There may be some awesome drummers out there I have yet to hear.  For now here is a list of drummers that have carved a path for not only themselves, but for their band and the metal genre.

Slipknot’s Joey Jordison made his mark drumming his way to stardom.  On the Disasterpiece DVD you can see his acrobatic drum kit revolving in all directions as he pounds his way through his solo.  Pretty cool, I would say so.  Personally, I like the clip I found of him playing the song Disasterpiece.  This is one of the bonus features of the DVD where you can choose a musician to watch for the entire song.  Here is Joey’s part in that song.

Fleshgod Apocalypse is an Italian death metal machine that just made their way into my metal library.  They are a nice refreshing death metal band that has some serious promise for the genre.  Personally, I think drummer Francesco Paoli is a cyborg.  You can see for yourselves with this incredible drumming clip.

There is no doubt that Slayer’s Dave Lombardo reign among supreme in the drumming world. His speed and ferocity are that of which few men could easily replicate.  I am not sure how he can keep up with himself, but he is still keeping Slayer’s music at near warp speed after all these years.  Check him out in this drum solo clip.

Mike Portnoy, formerly of Dream Theater, is top-notch in this pacemaker’s career field.  He is one of the premier drummers in prog metal and responsible for much of Dream Theater’s success although the rest of the guys in the band are outstanding musicians as well.  Here is a drum clinic solo of Mike Portnoy.  For some reason it is called impossible.  I will say that it certainly looks possible I doubt it is that easy.

If you listen to Amon Amarth you know that Fredrick Andersson’s double bass drum is like a car traveling at 80MPH on cruise control.  He must eat his Wheaties in the morning because it must take up a lot of energy to keep up that pace throughout an entire live set.

Kevin Talley is either incredibly versatile or easily bored.  He has been a part of or either a full time member of Dying Fetus Miserly Index, Soils of Fate, Chimaira, Daath, and now Six Feet Under.  In this particular clip, Talley was asked to help out DevilDriver with about 5 hours notice to learn the set and fly out to meet the band for a gig.  The full-time DD drummer was sick so Talley filled in; pretty versatile if you ask me.

Machine Head has always had a fairly stable career.  They produced solid albums since their inception in 1992, but their last two albums Through the Ashes of Empires and The Blackening have elevated Machine Head to a new level.  Dave McClain, their drummer, has emerged as a formidable drummer and deserves some props here for Machine Head’s current success.  His drumming is solid and I am sure added a whole new element to Machine head’s forthcoming release Locust.


About Reggie

Just a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!

Posted on September 8, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Cool theme. Drums are awesome. Did you know, in almost all recording sessions the drums are the first thing to be recorded, without them the rest of the band really has nothing to follow when laying down their parts. Like the frame of a house, they the framework of music, and, minus some rare instances, are an integral part(and most important) of metal. A drummer can really make or break a band, almost all music is about timing, and that’s the drummers specialty. I tried playing drums for a while, and it ain’t easy, but damn is it fun(played for only about a year when my room mate had a kit, then we moved from a house to an apartment, so the drums couldn’t come along, would like to pick it back up one day).
    DevilDriver’s full time drummer John Boecklin is damn sick and gets better with each album, I think he’s destined to become one of the greats. And that dude from FleshGod Apocalypse is a great up and comer, he’s like a robotic metal octopus on amphetamines.
    Some other drummers I’d like to give a shout out to are:
    Tomas Haake of Meshuggah- I’m not a huge fan of their music, but there’s no denying that that dude isn’t one of the sickest and most complex drummers there are in metal. Some of the rhythms and patterns he pulls off are just mind-blowing. I’d like to hear him do something major outside of Meshuggah one day.
    Danny Carey of Tool- Like the above, amazing rhythms and patterns but is a bit more “spiritual” with his style and works great with his counter part bass player Justin Chancellor and really gives Tool their signature sound.
    Neil Peart of Rush- I don’t think explanation is required.
    Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden- That riding the high-hat thing he does really gives so many Maiden songs their “pop”(don’t know the technical term, but see “Sea of Madness” for a good example). And again is a perfect drummer for Steve Harris.
    Jason Bittner of Shadows Fall- Shadow’s Fall is real hit or miss with me(except “The War Within” that album is awesome front to back), but their drummer is always there tearing things up.

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