Top Ten Best Metal Drummers

Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Jimmy The Rev Sullivan (Avenged Sevenfold)
People saying he's getting sympathy votes, listen to Beast and the harlot drum solo, the song streets, his drumming AND singing on Critical Acclaim, and the quite insane intro on Chapter 4. He always was my idol, always will be. FoREVer


He isn't faster than Joey. He's on top of this list because of his death
"The Rev" is easily one of the greatest drummers ever... He's ability on the doubles isn't hugely impressive but he's feet and hand co-ordination is unbelievably accurate and he's easy ability to create an original flawless beat beats all other drummers hands down!

P.S. where's dave mcintosh(dragonforce) and virgil donati...
The best drummer of the world. Jimmy is wonderful with the drumsticks, praise for The Rev.
[Newest]His drumming in Nightmare and Beast and Harlot are awesome.
More comments about Jimmy The Rev Sullivan (Avenged Sevenfold)

2Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
I personally think Joey should be first. His playing is way more intense and technical than The Rev. Don't get me wrong I like both of em, but Joey is GOD and he is the reason why I started playing drums in the first place.
I think that everyone wants the Rev to be first because he is dead man get over it he's dead and you can't do anything about it let joey be first he is the best. Don't get me wrong I love both drummers but I think that joey should be 1st.
this is a list on the best drummers ever. when that comes to mind I think "ability to play difficult things. " not influence, not potential, only the ability to play difficult things on the drums. in the genre of metal joey wins. "The rev had great potential" big deal, this is not a list about that. "lars had the biggest influence" big deal, this is not the most influential metal drummers. "daney carey puts feel into it" this is not a list about that. joey can play more difficult things then any other metal drummer, so he wins.


[Newest]He is in the right place.. but Mike Portnoy should be in no. 1
More comments about Joey Jordison (Slipknot)

3Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
By far the best should be number 1 just listen to spill the blood
SLAYER isn't as mainstream as the bands above them, which is why I believe lombardo is all the way down here, if slayer was more mainstream lombardo would be on top, but not being mainstream makes them SLAYER.
[Newest]Just listen to Seasons in the Abyss.
More comments about Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)

4Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment)
People who think Lars Ulrich is the best probably don't even know who Mike Portnoy is. If you haven't listened to Dream Theater you definitely should.
mike he is the best... his drumming is just so ammazing... no one else got the talent like he does in drumming field...


He can drum according to the songs mood. He is not hammering the drum when playing smooth DT songs. He is not being slow when playing aggressive DT songs. Versatility is what DT and its band members all about.
[Newest]In my opinion.. He's the best!
More comments about Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment)

5Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
The Rev is highly influenced by Lars. Without lars around he wouldn't play drums.
Metallica is the greatest but Lars isn't.. Shouldn't be top 10.. And the Rev should not be higher than 5
naahhh you guys are all wrong lars ulrich is pro. just listen to him in battery blackend and his bass pedals
wicked they are so fast
Influenced many to come. Just listen to Dyer's Eve and you will se why he is the best!
[Newest]On this list Lars influenced every one of them so he is the father
More comments about Lars Ulrich (Metallica)

6Chris Adler (Lamb of God)
Lars Ulrich on no. 4? haha whose voting here? little girls?

no one better than adler.. no one!
Hey adler may be fast but his songs don't have much variations as lars
chris might not as fast as several others but his foot technique with the double bass is awesome.
No doubt chris is best metal drummer out there.!
all hail the god of drums.
[Newest]Lol chris is better than lars ulrich...
More comments about Chris Adler (Lamb of God)

7Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
The opening track of "Where Eagles Dare" famously displays McBrain's ability to use the single drum pedal very quickly just like double pedal. McBrain often employs the back end of his left hand drum stick to get more aggressive sound of the snare drum. He is able to play a variety of styles. the 7/8 riff which follows the second chorus of "Alexander the Great". The 7/4 riff on the song "Brighter Than a Thousand Suns" and the 14/8 riff that follows the second chorus on the song "The Longest Day" are other examples of his versatility.
Iron Maiden rules and Nicko just keeps going! Great, heavy & hard hitting drummer. He's also the nicest of 'em all!
I couldn't choose between The Rev (come on - his Double Rides are epic) and Nicko here, but seeing Nicko not even in the top 10 absolutely disgusts me. Never uses Double-Foot pedal (with Face in The Sand being the only exception) and of course... Where Eagles Dare... Listen to that and tell me he shouldn't be in the top 3, let alone top 10!
[Newest]Maiden RULES and Nico rules the drums!

8Danny Carey (Tool)
come on guys... a true musician. not just a drummer but a musician.. and creative as hell. just listen to some tool songs, and you'll see
The most creative drummer on this list to be sure. While he doesn't make a conspicuous effort to show off his technical ability and agility so much as Joey Jordison, his rhythms are far more intricate and versatile. Both are very fun and incredible to listen to, but most metal drummers' rhythms get old somewhat quickly, and it's up to the guitarists and vocalists to keep the music interesting and relevant. Tool is so driven by rhythm, and Carey's drumming is absolutely the driving force behind that.
Danny Carey is far from the best metal drummer (you can't compare different techniques of drumming). HOWEVER, people like the Rev, Joey, Lars and the likes should be nowhere near the top 10 of anything besides overrated. As a drummer who has met Lars I can safely say he was never very good, above average? Yes. Great? No. Same goes for The Rev. Virgil Donati should be #1 on any drummer list, but Danny Carey gets mad respect from me.
[Newest]Can't really say much of the others but I don't see how anyone else can entertain me more with drums...
More comments about Danny Carey (Tool)

9Casey Grillo (Kamelot)
He plays for Kamelot, a symphonic metal band. Many of their songs must mix the beauty and melody of classical rhythms with the drive and aggression of metal. It takes an unbelievable drummer to do this with the amount of feel he does. He has the ability to balance four on the four thunder with technical flavour without distracting from the song. He plays to the needs of the music, not his own ego. He's perfect for his band and his genre, while the philosophy of his drumming can be applied to any other. Any drummer will tell you that these are among the most important qualities to look for in a drummer, and sets him apart from the other technical beasts of the metal genre. (Note: his drumming live easily matches or exceeds that which is recorded. That compliment for Casey also extends to the whole band. )
Being probably the most dedicated and personalized drummer ever, Casey's progressive style has so many various implementations it makes him easily the best for intricacy as well as rhythmically. He deserves number one for easily being the better battery in the music industry. Take all these so-called mainstream "metal idols" off the top because that's what Casey Grillo is. I would agree with anyone who calls him king. So go listen to Kamelot and Casey, not people who know how to just crash their cymbals and gallop the double bass as fast as possible.
Casey is by far one of the best and most versatile drummers of this day and age... Massively underrated and deserves a load more credit and recognition than he gets... Superior technique and playing to the likes of other metal drummers (including joey jordison... Don't get me wrong I love joeys playing but Casey just leaves him in his dust). Also a very humble man who makes time for his fans and is always happy to talk and share his opinions and knowledge with those who wish to hear it... The man is the king!
[Newest]The vest for all Time
More comments about Casey Grillo (Kamelot)

10Ariën van Weesenbeek (Epica)
Speed, power and unbelievable control. Along with some others that spring to mind he doesn't always get the recognition he deserves in this genre in my opinion. Also check out his work with MaYaN, it's seriously good. He deserves to be way higher on this list.
He makes honor to his nickname "The beast", it's totally amazing when you discover at the end of the a show that he is completely wet because of sweating. Is a real monster on stage and he shows tons of energy when he's playing.

Respect for this incredible drummer.
Not because of his energy in epica but also because of his work in Mayan. His touch is remarkable m/
[Newest]Really fast und powerful

The Contenders

11George Kollias (Nile)
The fact that Lars Ulrich is even above George Kollias just proves that the people here don't know s! @$ about drumming.
Seriously, George is only number 10? Do any of you have ANY idea about drumming? Do any of you even know half of these people? My hunch is you're all voting for your favorites, not for the 'best metal drummer'. George is absolutely insane. He can reach 280bpm (proven and recorded) which is badass, and his double bass is insane. His technique is flawless and I have to say he is like a god compared to half of these "number one drummers". I don't even like Nile.
What? People really think that The Rev, Lars Ulrich and Yoshiki Hayashi are beter than George Kollias? No these little girl, who vote for Lars Ulrich just don't know anything about real metal drummin, double bass, blast beats etc. Why George Kollias? Best metal drummer in the world, just listen to his double bass. And I'm not Nile fan!
[Newest]Possibly the only drummer to play blast beats on single bass pedal.

12John Dolmayan (System Of a Down)
Every drummer in this Top Ten is amazingly good, without excepction. But If I had to vote in one of these it had to be on John just because he is the only drummer that I imagine to play in every genres of music. And to prove it you can listen to all the System of a Down and Scars on Broadway and you can see in al of his breaks are amazing and he insists of doing those challenges to himself in every thing he plays... John to the top 5 at least. As soon as you guys listen to Toxicity and I-E-A-I-A-I-O you know what I'm talking about.
Best drummer I know... His rhythms are just... I mean just listen to
I-E-A-I-A-I-O and you'll know what I'm talking about. He doesn't miss a beat live.
Dolmayan really should be higher on this list. With all his work with different musicians. John's rhythms are spot on and he can keep a fast beat. Plus he does some pretty good drumming on those timbales which is very unique for a metal drummer. Instead if showing off with a blast beat I think a drummer with skills in different areas of the percussion deserves #1
[Newest]Are you serious! He must be on the top 3 metal drummers!

13Franky Costanza (Dagoba)
When I listened to this band the first time ( and it wasn't too long ago maybe a few months) I was like who is this drummer, then I started listen to more songs and I gotta say this guy is a monster, technical simple power, love this band love the drummer.
Franky is an amazing Drummer with a big heart, drum is his passion and he shared this passion with the fans. Not just an amazing Drummer but an amazing person that's the reason Why I vote for Franky
Best drummer in the world. An animal on Stage, a SIR on Backstage. See him in Portugal with Epica and Dragonforce, a true gentleman under the "stage animal" skin. Franky Rules!
[Newest]Simply amazing on stage! One of the best in the world for me.

14Gene Holgan (Death, Death Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)
an insanely fast, but still groovy and precise drummer that played in several important bands
Gene Hoglan's intense and accurate playing means that he can play extreme metal, and record it in two or three takes. That's a drummer. Most of the above are as sloppy and you could get, excluding Portnoy. But then, Hoglan is ten times better. Listen to any Strapping Young Lad song, Laser Cannon Death Sentence or Biological Warfare.
People vote for Lars and Jimmy The Rev Sullivan are stupid and don't know anything about drums, Joey jordison is just madness. Gene is accurate, fast and most importantly he can play at any tempo, he is a god when it comes to sudden tempo change

15Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
I don't know about drumming, but I do know quite a lot about rhythms and rhythmical challenges, and I'll have to say: This man REALLY knows what he's doing. And it's not only the rhythmical stuff, but also the way he uses his set. Haake is excellent at bringing colour into the quite dense mix of Meshuggah, by utilizing all tools at his disposal. Not only is his drumming tighter than your elder sister's asshole, but it's also filled with details and a diversity hardly matched by other drummers in metal.
Ever listened to "I"? You'll see what I mean. This man is brilliant. Twenty two minutes of poor ecstatic drumming which is guaranteed to leave you breathless. A monstrous drummer.
Haake's Mastery of of polyrhythms in 4/4 are almost unrivaled in the metal genre. He is also one of the most technically precise drummers I've ever heard.
[Newest]Bleed. That is all that needs to be said

16Vinnie Paul (Pantera)
I'm not sure who made this list but the only one in the top ten that should be there is Dave Lombardo! He should be #1 and what is the Rev and Jordison doing in the top 3? Drumming isn't just speed you fools! Watch Vinnie Paul play behind some of the heaviest riffs of all time, he plays some sick off beat licks that blend beautifully and turn on the speed when he needs to. Like Lombardo he doesn't just throw all together in a blurred mess they hit with intensity fast or slow that makes you rock your body. You need to give the right people the respect they have earned, this isn't a popularity contest! Work on your ear for music before you make a list like this! UNREAL!
I wouldn't say Vince is the greatest but to be able to back Dimebag isn't an easy task. He has a different approach to drumming. He doesn't gimmick around with fast and unnecessary beats. He keeps it simple but tight! No space for errors! He's sometimes fast like a machine gun too.
Above all, he's one badass killer drummer!
Vince knew how to let a song breath, instead of filling it unnecessary double kick and noodley business. Death Metal drummers need to learn from guys like Vinnie Paul and Dave Lombardo and know when to groove instead of blast. Sometimes less is truly more.
[Newest]Listen to 13 steps to nowhere, your argument is invalid

17Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)
Bill should be at least in the top 5, that guy was amazing, hell I don't even play drums but he is the only drummer that really got to me because he stand's out from the rest... Don't believe me? Listen to war pigs, beyond the walls of sleep or just about any Sabbath song.
I don't care how fast you can play, playing as fast as you can is NOT music. Bill Ward was the first metal drummer and there wouldn't be any metal without him and his band (or Led Zeppelin).
Absoulute legend in the making, Bill Ward was and is still the most inspiring metal drummer today, he's a one of a kind and his skill's where most incredibly shown on stage or wherever he played. Bill Ward is a monster on the drums and again his skill's show it all, god bless him and Black Sabbath
[Newest]Give me a break, his influence alone gets him top 3

18Yoshiki Hayashi (X-japan)
Puts so much PASSION and enthusiasm into everything he does, especially drumming. He works so hard especially when he's on stage switching back and forth between drums and piano. Was a PLEASURE to see him at Lollapalooza. I only went to see them
No drummer in the face of Rock plays like Yoshiki! He's brilliant! On Drums & Piano! He's a god on Drums & piano! No one can play like Yoshiki!
A lot of drummers are great but Yoshiki, who can play the piano and the drums, knows music with passion, he's got music in his blood. Listen how he plays the drums, he keeps the heart alive.
[Newest]Listen to X Japan's song "Art of Life" and you'll know why he's the best.

19Mike Mangini
Mangini kicks it off in the new 2012 Dream Theater album. With 4 World's Fastest Drummer Records, and his insane technical abilities, I think Mike Mangini deserves a spot in the Top 10. He preforms a mind-blowing keyboard-drum duet in 'Illumination Theory', and consistently finds a way to impress me more than even Rudess or Petrucci. Great start for Mike Mangini, and I expect that he'll continue to impress everybody.
Dream Theater's new drummer is one of the fastest I have ever seen.
One of the most musical drummers, with amazing rhythmic perception and a unique style of playing, other times subtle, other times in your face. Probably the most versatile and non-egoistic drummers in the metal world.

20Mike Terrana (Rage, Yngwie Malmsteen, Masterplan,Metalium, Tarja, etc)
Not a big name at all but trust me this guy is a beast.
Perfect metal drumming master. He can play everything! Go on Mike!
He can play different styles and be awesome in each and every one. With Tarja and in his solo albums he proves that he isn't just a metal drummer.
[Newest]His drum solo I saw on a video from Argentina 2012 has me voting him all the way.

21Scott Travis (Judas Priest)
Scott is a powerhouse, as his notorious solo on PainKiller will rip your face off, but he's also much more technical than many of the drummers on this list. Definitely in the top 10. (Anyone else confused why you have to go beyond the top 5 to find Judas Priest on any list? )
the starting solo in painkiller make he get in one of the top tree he is incredible
Of course, the Painkiller solo is an insane drum experience, but come on guy, look at his lives, he'll show you that his techniques are more stronger than only one song!

Scott is THE master of the drums in a Heavy Metal band.

22Mario Duplantier
Mario is #16 who in hell is voting here...? I know its a matter of opinion, but chris adler is no awesome drummer!
Mario plays clean and precise a drumming god and should well be within the top 5.
Mario Duplantier should be top 10. I'm assuming the masses haven't heard of him or Gojira. #57 is an insult.
Gojira aren't a well known band, but Mario is an absolute genius on the drums, I've never heard somebody quite like him. His drum solos are one of a kind!
[Newest]Just a legend for me!

23Nick Menza (Megadeth)
I wouldn't say he's the best heavy metal drummer out there, but he fits with the band really well, I've never seen anyone who's able to do that, in fact most of metal drummers just playing fast, and doesn't give a crap about what other bands member are playing. I would listen to Menza's more simpler beats and drum fills rather than listening to Joey Jordison's boring solo (joey plays only one drum fill, and repeats over and over again) Another good Metal drummer is Thomas Lang, who is more legendary and more technical than Menza. I vote for Menza because he's work impress me the most
Good drummer from Megadeth. Did a nice job on "Rust in Peace".
Megadeth is my favorite band is my favorite band and rust in peace is my favorite band by them so obviously nick menza is my favorite drummer
[Newest]Very good but not as Gar

24Neil Pert (Rush)
This dude is by far the best drummer and the most knowledgeable in drums and percussion. Incredible player. He belongs on top!
Best drummer in the world not the fastest or loudest but technically a wizard on the drum set. As good as the rev was in my book Neil still wins.
The Professor is the most technically talented drummer in the world! Rhe drum kit is about percussion, nott just being good on "the skins", as most novice fans think, as is evidenced by the vote. Anyone with a true knowledge of percussion would have to vote him #1.
[Newest]Best drummer? Yes. Metal? No

25Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death)
What why is no one voting for Benante. This guy is amazing. Even Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, and Lars Ulrich said Benante is the greatest metal drummer.
Massively underrated, I'm picking those voting for slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold drummers have probably never listened to Anthrax
Charlie is by far the fastest most technical drummer on the list he should be number 2


26Jukka Nevalainen (Nightwish)
Jukka is phenomenal, he 's an absolute Beast, he 's really fast, POWERFUL, and the most important, his creativity on drums is High as hell. I can't say he's the fastest drummer, but speed never matters. There must be faster drummers than him, but they 're just noisy, and not enjoyable. He 's an amazing musician and he knows perfectly to fill a song in the best possible way!
Jukka Nevalainen is an ANIMAL on the battery! His style and emotionality while playing are second to NONE! Jukka may not be the most technical drummer out there. But he is Tight, Highly skilled, and Incredibly musical behind his Instrument.
I just love how he took extra lessons in jazz to get his jazz performance better for just one song. He is dedicated and an absolute genius on the drums. He is a musician on the drums and that certainly counts.
[Newest]Jukka is an amazing powerful drummer, the best!

27Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel, Terrorizer)
More fastest and technical drummer! Morbid Angel it is one of the most brutal and technical band ever in METAL! They are one of the few death metal bands that influences most death metal bands in times! Summarizing they have great technical, heavier and fastest metal! Without Pete Sandoval in the band it's not the same! They to be back with old school metal they have before the last album! The album it's not bad but it is not MORBID ANGEL old shool!
He is one from best death metal drummers, try song from morbid angel drum check and after that you should know what I'm talking about
I definitely like some of these other guys but Pete is by by far my favorite. Its obvious through his music, he loves playing.

28Igor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy)
People forgot Igor now, but he reinvented metal drums, mixing thrash with tribal percussion and hardcore. Very influential for nu metal and groove metal.
I agree Igor is amazing as a drummer and does belong on this list. Cavalera Conspiracy Conspiracy and Sepultura have used quite inventive ways of using several forms of percussion.
Igor would rip most of the drummers above him a new one, he definitely deserves higher if not the top

29Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
No need to be upset - these lists are based on voting - so its pretty obvious the more famous band drummers would top the list - No wonder Lars is 5 th and Joey is 2nd
Mastodon is obviously not as popular as Metallica or a7x - Brann was bound to get less votes but that doesn't take away the fact he is one of the fastest and technically accurate drummers when it comes to rolls.
His style is unique and people covering his songs are known to loose pounds and pounds of weight in the process - you can imagine the effort he puts in every song. Definitely among the top 10 drummers of all time.
Crazy that drummers like joey jordison are higher than brann on this list. Brann brings to metal what not many other drummers do. He makes pin point drum rolls fit and jazz influenced beats fit in places where they wouldn't normally fit in a song. Not many drummers are recognizable as soon as you hear them like brann is! Key part of the band and a killer voice too!
Brann Dailor is seriously one of the best. I had never known who he was until I finally gave Mastodon a listen... And my life has never been the same. Brann brings to metal what it needed! He's very different which is why he kicks so much ass.
[Newest]I'm fairly certain he actually has 8 arms to play the fills he does...

30Martin Škaroupka (Cradle of Filth)
One of the finest and most intricate drummers ever! Superb.

31Matt Greiner (August Burns Red)
Matt Greiner is the best drummer in the world, hands down. Look at the list above and try and tell me he isn't better than anyone up there. His speed, precision, and creativity beats everyone. Not that everyone on the list isn't great, it's just that Matt is better. Watch some of his live videos, it's beyond words
I am going to have to say Matt Greiner is Top 3 if not number one, he is an awesome devoted drummer, he has so much precision and passion. His beats are amazing and will make you go crazy. The guy who said to listen, to those three songs, don't do that, listen to all of their songs! Then you will have a new favorite band.
He should definitely be in the top 20 AT LEAST. Have you heard his how technical all the drumming to their songs are? And all his techniques live and in the studio. I think he is a lot better than plenty of the drummers on here. I think his skill definitely should get him up past judas priest for sure.
[Newest]Matt Greiner. Enough said.

32Mikkey Dee (Motorhead, Helloween, King Diamond, Dokken)
Super drummer, fast and accurate, I don't understand why he's so low in this rating.
This guy has serious skill, I've watched a lot of metal music videos and listened to a lot of metal music and this guy stands out when he really gets going in my view.
best. drummer. ever listen to Hell Was Made In Heaven or any song he did with Motorhead

[Newest]My biggest influence ever! Thank you

33Francesco "Scythe" Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse)
Speed And Technicality!
Should be in the top 3... He obliterates most of these drummers!
Death Metal drummers rule!
He has to be the number 1, no question. The speed, skill and endurance is far above anyone else.
Please listen to their new album, the drums kick so much ass
[Newest]He should be way above this...

34Dave McClain (Machine Head)
Dave McClain is a great and amazing technical drummer and should be much higher as he displays skills nearly all above him do not. He has never let a fan down in listening and loves to hide neat little things in that I find when listening even years later. You will find less than a handful which rival him in skill.
Kicks the arse off of most of those listed above him. Hell, if Metallica think he's good enough to fill in for Lars for a portion of their festival set, then he must have something going for him in the industry... if he weren't tied into Machine Head I'd almost tip him to be Joey's ideal replacement for Slipknot...
The best drummer still getting around. Dave McClain should easily be in the top 10. His drumming on the Blackening and Unto the locust is some of the best of all time and he can punch it out night after night on your for 3 hours plus Lars at no 3 what a joke

35John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
Great drummer. Kept up a steady beat in many of Zeppelin's songs.
Come on! John should be number one! Who is voting? Lars? The rev?

36Martin Lopez (Opeth, Amon Amarth)
Amazing drummer. It's too bad he had to leave Opeth.
Oh and Lars Ulrich sucks.
Martin Lopez is great, and not many drummers from his time compare. I don't see how half of the drummers on this list made it here. Being popular should not be an indicator of a drummer's skill (Lars Ulrich, Christian Coma, Joey Jordison, etc. ). I love Metallica and Black Veil Brides, but their drummers just don't compare to Mr. Lopez.
Laugh out loud how is Lars Ulrich or even Joey above Martin Lopez, this guy can mix metal drumming with latin/jazzy feel, full of ghost notes, complexity and incredible feel, those 2 are mediocre against him...
[Newest]Oh my god, martin lopez 30th? I'm rolling on the floor laughing

37Clive Burr (Iron Maiden)
Drumming is not just about difficulty of tracks but the groove or feeling of a drum track the winner is easily Clive Burr just listen to Run To The Hills or The Prisoner (Which Nicko can't play as well as Clive, with all respect to Nicko) Clive is the best drummer for Iron Maiden.
I know he's not number one... But he is my top 10 and should be in everyone else's. Like why are drummers from Asking Alexandria, Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Parkand Blink 182 above this metal god!
Produced great iron maiden songs why not top 50?
[Newest]Clive taken away way to soon from us.. And A. Huge part of the rise of Maiden... A name... a legend

38Daniel Erlandson (Arch Enemy)
This dude is just so overpowered, seriously he's got so much skill, his drums parts are so complicated, in term of speed and in term of breaks. This dude is just a genius!
He has a lot of talent, war eternal has a lot of challenging drumming and he nailed it.
This guy is just so underrated for what he does :/ He's just so skilled

39Zbigniew Robert "Inferno" Prominski (Behemoth)
Seriously like why is he not on here? Song slaves shall serve he drums at 280bpm. Shemhamforash he clocks in at just under 290. Please I beg you if you like drumming look him and his band up on youtube.
Um, top 10. Fast isn't always best but he's extremely skilled. He should be many many many many many slots higher up on the list.
What! He is without doubt in the top 3 of all time metal drummers. Listen and actually watch him play is just mind blowing

40Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy)
Probably the most insane technical wizard I've ever heard behind the drum kit, in any genre. All the teenagers who think the Rev is the greatest metal drummer are working from a very small sample size in terms of their own metal knowledge.
Listen to te album "None So Vile and you'll know what I'm talking about.
Next too unheard of studio musicians this guy tops em all for speed, accuracy, and musical ability. The man is a machine.. Only downside is that he"s canadian

41Shawn Drover (Megadeth)
just listen to endgame he done a great job on that album


He can do a hell of a lot more than he usually lets on. He doesn't show off very much so not everyone really knows everything he can do.
Just listen to Never Dead on Th1rth3en! It is awesome and perfect! The ranking has to be updated, because number 30 is ridiculous.
[Newest]Deserves to be around 20 some guys up there don't deserve it

42Arin Ilejay (Avenged Sevenfold)
He is a great drummer. He really knows how to drum. He is a replacement for The Rev. He needs to be on higher position!
People only think of speed
Amazing obsessive chops are important
And this guy delivers
And he's still young
GReat drummer as a replacement of REV... Nyc style of drumming... He will be one of the top 10 drummers...

43Blake Richardson (Between the Buried and Me)
Obviously the people voting here have never actually listened to any music let alone metal. There are very few men that can compare with Blake and the few that can are depressingly low on the list as well.
Watch 'Blake Richardson recording Obfuscation' on Youtube, you'll realise why he deserves a spot on this list!
Wow... Not one on here knows metal.

44Richard Christy (Death, Iced Earth, Control Denied)
This guy is a top 5 drummer easily. Listen to Death's "The Sound of Perseverance"... Any song will do... How about 'Scavenger of Human Sorrow? '. 'The Rev' and Ulrich and all the like... None of them could play that song. And in that creativity is tremendous feel, as well. The ONLY thing that drags him down is that in other projects he went for a more straightforward approach.
Extremely underrated drummer. He has a perfect blend of technique and creativity. He can play anything, and he is very creative about his use of more technical playing. Truly an amazing drummer, he'd very well end up at #1 on my list.
Helped define the death metal genre with "The Sound of Perseverance". Can't say I agree with this list, as some of these bands wouldn't exist with out his work with Death.
[Newest]If he isn't in top 10 (at least) little girls are voting here

45Michael 'Moose' Thomas (Bullet For My Valentine)
You must be kidding just listen to scream aim fire and you ll see


Amazing drummer. Can play songs very well. If you listen to Bullet for My Valentine's albums like Scream Aim Fire or Temper Temper you'll notice how solid the drumming is. Same with all of their albums.
Man he is the best! You guys should hear the songs - waking the demon, scream aim fire, last fight!

46Jordan Mancino (As I Lay Dying)
This Guy Should be on the top 10 not the best but one of the best for sure... Perfect drummer in terms of being Technical & Accurate and named as one of the most talked drummer in modern metal
He has amazing control over his pedals, great speed and technicallity. But he also knows when to hold back and slow things down. Additionally, the chemistry he has with his band mates doesn't hurt him either.
I am a drummer and he is literally my idol!
[Newest]Technically sound and soundly perfect.

47Gar Samuelsson (Megadeth)
36th PLACE! Come on people! This guy was a legend. He easily beats Lars and every other drummer here (minus Dave Lombardo and Neil Peart (Not metal, but who cares? )). Just listen to Killing is My Business... And Business is Good and Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? And you'll see what I mean.
Very underrated. Listen to the drums in wake up dead and into the lungs of hell. He was crucial in making megadeth songs awesome in peace sells and so far so good albums
WHY IS GAR SAMUELSON ON 36 PLACE?! He should be on the top 10. Just listen to The Conjuring, My Last Words, Loved to Death, Rattlehead, and every song on Killing Is My Business and Peace Sells. I like Lars but I'd pick Gar and Dave Lombardo over him.

48Christoph Doom Schneider [Rammstein]
He has so much passion for what he does. Christoph respects and loves the fans. He loves what he does. I can't even tell you how much Rammstein has saved my life, and Christoph is a big part of that. He deserves a spot in the Top 5.
Maybe the best drummer. THe reason I started to listen to Rammstein
Schneider is my favorite!
[Newest]Schneider has such a charisma when playing, he delivers like no other drummer. Definitely top 10 at least.

49Jason Costa (All That Remains)
Once again, I am stunned to see Jason Costa not in the top ten of a "best drummers" list. This guy is amazing. Personally, I think Joey Jordison is the best, but Jason Costa belongs right up there with him.
Wow 36? That is wrong, he's easily in the top 10 if not the top 5.. But Jimmy Sullivan definitely is where he should be on this list.. A7x foREVer
He plays with traditional sticking! That guy knows his rudiments and syncopation like no other. His fills and solo's and double base are ridiculous, he belongs in the top 10.
[Newest]Most accurate drummer on the planet!

50Nick Augusto (Trivium)
One of the best drummers ever. Filled in perfectly for Travis smith (who is also one of the best drummers ever) and was able to raise the bar for trivium with his clever beats, amazing footwork and incredible blast beats. This man is a real life god. TRIVIUM ALL THE WAY!
I agree that he is a great drummer, but what about Travis Smith, he was there before Nick.

51Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse)
He is my favorite

52Félix Bronke (Edguy, Avantasia)
He is fantastic! Last night at concert in Santiago de Chile, his drum solo was great! That confirm to me his talent :D
The best drummer! A machine Felix!
Felix is really outstanding!

53Jaska Raatikainen
What? Are you kidding me? Jaska at 32? This guy is one of the best double bass drummer in the world and his precision and accuracy is way beyond imagination. You should check out some of his solos and songs like every time I die, in your face, etc where he plays the drums absolutely amazingly.
How come in 32, he should be in top 10
Check out his speedy legs for his double paddle


54Hellhammer (Mayhem)
Listening at this guy playing is simply mind-blowing. Even if you don't like all of the projects/bands he has participated in you can't deny his playing is out of this world. Such speed, such technicality, power and everything. He is one of a kind and should be in the top-10 (instead of John Dolmayan).
I've seen hundreds of metal drummers live, including many of the names higher on this list. Easily the most impressive live performance behind the kit I've ever seen came from Hellhammer.
They don't call him HellHammer for nothing. I know, most people think speed is nothing, but he can easily double bass his way out to the unthinkable (to back this up, go have a look at "The Chosen Legacy" from Dimmu Borgir's 2007 album "In Sorte Diaboli"). If speed does not interrest you, HellHammer's technique is outstanding and he puts a lot of brutalness into his drumming, esspecially in his work with Mayhem. Want to see emotion? Go check out his work at Age of Silence and most certainally Winds. That, my friends is excellence. Oh, and Lars sucks. Don't come with that story with "Sure, he isn't fast, but he is a good drummer. " I am a drummer, the stuff he plays is too easy. No creativity, no skill, nor talent, nor good dynamics and grooves... His technique is rotten... The Rev is overrated, JJ threw his talent away, for he has made his fame and fortune, someone devoted to music wouldn't do that, and I can name a few other people under the top 10 being overrated. As for Thomas Haake, George Kollias, Derek Roddy and esspecially Martin Lopez. They deserve better...

55Mike Wengren (Disturbed)
Sure mike may not be the fastest drummer but his use of all the drums and cymbols are so well placed and the kicks as simple as they sound are sometimes in such obscure spots because he's following the guitar but he does it seamlessly. Not to mention the tribal drumming like a beast. How can the drummer who came up with one of the most recognizable beats (Down With The Sickness) be so low on the list?
Are you serious? How can you listen to "Down with the Sickness" or any other Disturbed song and not recognize how skilled and hard-hitting this guy is.
The drum beats are what gives away Down With The Sickness. He deserves to be much higher on the list.

56Jürgen Reil (Kreator)
What the hell... this guys should be at Top 20 at least... he did an amazing drumming on popular Kreator song such as Flag Of Hate, Pleasure To Kill, Awakening Of The God and Riot Of Violence ( in this song, he is the vocalist ).. especially on Flag Of Hate... One of the most underrated and talented thrash drummer...


57Matt Cameron (Soundgarden)
God, Avenged Sevenfold fans are really polluting the metal world. Yeah, we get it, he died young. Keith Moon and John Bonham died young, but that's not why they got all their respect. It was because they were amazing. Not dissing the Rev here, just dissing the stupid teenagers that vote for him because he's dead and he was in their favorite band. Anyway, HOW IS MATT THIS LOW? Seriously, he is top 20 at least, no questions asked. The only ones I can see besting him are Dave Lombardo and Danny Carey (Although I'm a fan of Scott Travis, Bill Ward, Nick Menza, Nicko McBrain, Brann Dailor, etc.).
Him is one of the best even better than the ones on the top numbers... GO MATT.. SOUNDGARDEN best of all voices

58Matt Garstka (Animals as Leaders)
Matt Garstka is the most technical of this list. Playing in 11/8 time signature while keeping a hihat going while playing ghost notes on snare and polyrhythms on cymbals? Not to mention he's one of the more dynamic performers of modern music. Exceptionally talented and his playing really flows with the progressive metal feel.

59Marco Minnemann
He's not metal, but he's a machine.

60Shannon Larkin (Godsmack)
Saw him from the time he first started playing the clubs around Maryland and even at the age of 16 you couldn't take your eyes off him. I saw Wrathchild every single time I was able to. I'm not a drummer but the guy is fun to watch... And very fast when needed.
Come on guys. Just watch his playing style and you will be looking your jaws on the ground. He is really talented and my personally favorite drummer, because of his playing style but for his technique too!
Incredible style! Non-stop energy! One of the best drummers that you will ever see live!

61Ian Paice (Deep Purple)
Can't believe I had to add him. He is amazing. He was one of the founding fathers of heavy metal and invented several drum techniques!
Top 5 of all times...

62Kevin Talley (Dying Fetus, Daath)

63Mike Smith (Suffocation)

64Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Forbidden)
Played the albums "Divine Intervention" "Undisputed Attitude" and "God Hates Us All" with Slayer, and drums for Testament. His drums on Slayers track "Disciple" are unbelievably quick and catchy.
This is always the go to guy we big bands need to have a bad ass album and concert. Every album this guy appears on has awesome sound. His drumming style is my personal favorite. He is a very underrated drummer with great sound and a great drum tech.
Always overshadowed by his thrash peers, Bostaph was just as good. He deserves a place in the top 5 at least his work is on the level of Lombardo and Hoglan
[Newest]This drummer is underrated

65Nicholas Barker (Cradle of Filth, Lockup)

66Shannon Lucas (The Black Dahlia Murder)
I played in a band with shannon lucas called killing cycle and he is by far one of the best sickest drummer out there! John panzino
Best drummer out there, hands down. Stupid limit lololololol

67Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars)

68Joe Rickard (RED)

69David Silveria (Korn)
Only 82? Haha he blows "drummers" like Joey Jordison out of the water with his funk style drums. He is versatile, and can go from hardcore drumming like in "Faget", to a hip hop sound like in "Helmet in the Bush," to a funk/groovy sound like in "Porno Creep." It's sad how underrated he is.

70Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin)
91, like really?! Szeliga is really really good and his work with Breaking Benjamin and Black Label Society is awesome! He doesn't deserve this place!

71Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch)
I can't believe that I am the first one to think of adding 5FDP's drummer! I have only been listening to them for a little while, but Jeremy Spencer is by far the best drummer ever. I'll admit that Jimmy The Rev Sullivan does deserve to be in the top ten, but he can't match Jeremy Spencer's ability. Jeremy Spencer's best song is Under and Over it.
What the Hell! Jeremy Spencer must be from the Top 3
72! You must be kidding me
Jeremy spencer is top 3 for sure. His hits are so clean and his feel and timing are absolutely incredible, and the way he utilizes his bass drum is epic, he also won drummer of the year over some huge names. Only drummer on this list that's better in my opinion is jordinson. Jeremy will get the respect he deserves someday.
[Newest]Jeremy is the boss man, all the things I learned is form him, so Jeremy yeah

72Tommy Lee
Are you guys outside your ever lovin mind? As for metal drummers, he should at least make the top 10.
Who else can keep such a rhythm while on a rotating drum set...
Best drummer in the world
[Newest]Check out the grand rapids solo, its insane

73Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses)
Great guy awesome drummer

74Doug Bohn (Suffocation)

75Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth)

76Hannes Grossmann (Obscura, Necrophagist)

77Derek Roddy (Hate Eternal, Nile Malevolent Creation)
This guy is unbelievable - go to YouTube and rest in awe... Lars Ulrich is outplayed by Derek with just the left foot.
Derek crushed the whole top ten list! Period.

78Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down)
System of a the
He is a beast of the drums
System of down hands down is great

79Abe Cunningham (Deftones)
AWESOME and Overlooked by most
Should be higher on this list!
Caffine Beats, He has been able to adapted to all of Chino and Steph's different musical lines. He is so consistant.

80Fredrik Andersson (Amon Amarth)

81Snowy Shaw (Dream Evil)
Amazing drummer but better singer.

82Chris Reifert (Autopsy)

83Mike Bordin (Faith No More, Ozzy Osbourne)
Underrated drummer who was over-shadowed in Faith No More by Patton and Jim Martin.
Hardest working guy out there
Bordin is very underrated

84Kai Hahto
Kai's versatility has enabled him to play in a variety of genres: death metal, doom metal, grindcore, ambient, melodic death, as well as whatever Wintersun is. An example of his genius can be heard in Wintersun's song Sons of Winter and Stars, where he can be heard playing multiple time signatures simultaneously.
Is everyone ok? Kai definitely need to be in the top 5, he's technique and speed are impeccable and his talent out if this world. By the way he's in Wintersun and the new nightwish drummer (until Jukka feels better).
A very, very talented drummer. He has speed but even more versatility. His drums are not only about rhythm but even melody.
[Newest]How the hell is Kai so far down? He should be on top of list!

85Robert Ortiz (Escape the Fate)
Very passionate and skillful drummer. Uses pearl drums and other custom cymbals.

86Chris Kontos (Machine Head)
39 what, this dude is buddy love of metal/hardcore. When he left machine head, it was over with the fun. It became a lame slow and boring band, machine head dudes, thanks for nothing.
And the new attitude adjustment is a killer(all the records are, and don't forget the demo with kristallnacht on it)
Chris you rule
He is a great drummer like Benante. SUPERCHARGER

87Tom Hunting (Exodus)
Very good drummer and underrated

88Michel Langevin (Voivod)
Whether you love voiovd or not, this guy can come up with odder drum beats and is the best with the tom-tom drum rolls. Perhaps only beaten in the genre by thom Haake and Dave Lombaro.

89Ken Owen (Carcass)
Maybe not the fastest, or heaviest in metal but I think he has the most interesting style.

90Nick Pierce (Unearth)
He's also in 7 Horns 7 Eyes

91Steve Asheim (Deicide)

92Ted Kirkpatrick (Tourniquet)
Ted is one of the most underrated, yet highly revered drummers of all time. If he were a secular drummer, I am almost certain his name would be synonymous with Danny Carey, Carl Palmer, John Bonham, Mike Portnoy, 'Rev', Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Simon Phillips, or Terry Bozzio. As the OP mentioned, give Psycho Surgery a quick listen and you'll wonder why you've never listened to Tourniquet before. Ted is truly gifted and blessed.
This list made me laugh out loud so much. But I'll add a vote for Kirkpatrick. You could switch him with almost any thrash drummer, and people would never know the difference. Great speed and precision. Check out Psycho Surgery and Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance.
Listen to IN THE SHADOW OF THE MASTERS where Ted plays along with some great classical music. Maybe one the most versatile drummers of our time.

93Travis Smith (Trivium)
A drummer that beats any other he should be in the top 3 for sure. Kirisute gomen has the best double bass I have ever heard and shows what smith is able to do. He is a living legend.

94Yogi Watts (Demon Hunter)
Big guy but one of my inspirations
Best band in the world

95Oliver Fokin (Ensiferum)
Listen to "Ensiferum" and "Iron" albums, especially songs like "Hero In A Dream", "Windrider", "Battle Song", "Iron" and "Into Battle".

96Amilcar Christofaro (Torture Squad)

97James Cassells (Asking Alexandria)
Gnarly to the max
What this guy should be in top 10
I really like this guy

98Yuki (Versailles)
Awesome skill, I like he's played in song ascended master, after cloudia, revenant choir, aristocrat shymphoni, and new song and new band jupiter blessing in the future
Lagu favorit ascended master, revenant choir, phila, dan lagu baru dari band baru dimana yuki masih menjadi seorang drummer, jupiter blessing of the future

99Timmy Lafayette (The Looking Glass Self)
Very diverse, extreme. I really think some of his other bands are better than TLGS, but none the less, a brutal metal drummer.


100Merlin Sutter (Eluveitie)
Why is he but higher? Oh wait I know, people that voted here just listen to radio, they don't know what real metal sounds like.
Merlin is not only a great drummer but amazing to watch live.

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List






see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 6 years, 14 days ago and has been voted on over 16,000 times. This top ten list contains 217 items, has been remixed 67 times and has been blogged about 2 times.

Updated Friday, April 24, 2015

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.