Best Hard Rock-Metal Drummers

The Top Ten

1 Jimmy The Rev Sullivan - Avenged Sevenfold

I don't care if he is dead and people say he is getting sympathy votes, he is by far the best drummer of all time. Look, he has the necessary prerequisites, super fast feet and hands, very precise and creative (look at Chapter 4) and as an added bonus can scream like a boss. RIP Jimmy, A7X FoREVer.

I'm in no way a fanboy. His technicality was amazing. Look at City of Evil and their self titled album. Musically, he was a genius... He wrote A Little Piece of Heaven which is an absolute masterpiece. Also, the man's vocals were outstanding.

The people who call the rev overrated can blow me and then set their asses on fire


2 John Bonham - Led Zeppelin John Henry Bonham was born on May 31, 1948 in Redditch, United Kingdom. Bonham (nicknamed Bonzo) was a professional hard rock drummer who was best known for being the drummer in the band Led Zeppelin. Bonham was also one of the background singers in the band. His drumming is mainly displayed on the more.

Lars Ulrich above Bonzo? I mean lars couldn't even play as good than Bonzo if he had 4 arms. Lars can't even play to a metronome why is he above? I mean Metallica are a good band but why is lars above this god?

This is the man who pretty much started it all, every other drummer on this list grew up idealizing this dude.

Kids, listen to him and then form an opinion.

He started it all - the Godfather of hard rock/metal drumming.

Best rock drummer that ever lived remains JOHN HENRY BONHAM of Led Zeppelin. Nobody even close.

3 Joey Jordison - Slipknot Joey Jordison, is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, best known for his work as the former drummer and co-songwriter for the heavy metal band Slipknot as well as guitarist in the Horror-punk band Murderdolls. He is the co-founder and drummer for the Blackened Death Metal band Sinsaenum more.

Guys come on no doubt joey is number 1 He is far more better than rev. Drummers like rev are nothing compared to joey. No one can compete with him when it comes to drumming. He is fast, excellent and the best metal drummer the world has witnessed. Joey rules

I love rev but rev is a bit overrated.. Sorry rev :) but joey is a REAL MASTERPIECE DRUMMER don, t believe me? Hear any slipknot song.. - nooreldeen

You guys are very unnoligible when it comes to drumming the rev was a decent drummer but his overall talent and complexity does not match that of most the others on this list. It kind of annoys me knowing that most the people who voted for the rev are probably just A7x fanboys and just like their new stuff for you who like their older stuff CHEERS but anyway joey is a lot better than the rev. But RIP jimmy

I've seen this guy drumming at a 90 degree angle while him and his drum set is rotating. also he wears a sweaty mask so he is hardER rock

4 Keith Moon - The Who Keith John Moon was an English drummer for the rock band the Who. He was noted for his unique style and his eccentric, often self-destructive behaviour. His drumming continues to be praised by critics and musicians.

The first Rockstar - and still one of the wildest ever. And he played drums like a hurricane!

Keith my top rock drummer period hands down

5 Neil Peart - Rush Neil Ellwood Peart, (September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020) was a Canadian musician and writer best known as the drummer and primary lyricist of the rock band Rush. Peart received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making more.

The list title is "Best Hard Rock-Metal Drummers". He can be on the list. - Metal_Treasure

He shouldn't be on this list because he's not heavy metal

R yall absolutely retarded I never even heard of this butt munch from avenged sevenfold and he's better than peart Bonham Danny carey Davelombardo and Keith moon hell I like godsmacks drummer better than a7fold

6 Mike Portnoy - Dream Theater, Avenged Sevenfold Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.

I have to say... The Rev is overrated. I'm not hating on him, he's a great drummer, but he's not the best. I could easily name many drummers better like Mike Portnoy who is just amazing. Also, Ted Kirpatrick, who pretty much shreds on the drums.

He can play 17/16 time in the song called dance of eternity

No one can defeat Mike in terms of technicality, precision and versality.

I don't remember him drumming for a7x though

7 Lars Ulrich - Metallica Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica.

Its a joke... Metallica deserve 1st position in every list they all are best and check work of Lars in there every album... Lars deserve 1st position... James, Kirk, rob also deserve 1st position in every list... Just Metallica only... There are people like me who cannot live without there songs... Love Metallica and there songs

Where is Chris Adler on this list? What about Fredrick Andeerson from Amon Amarth? Both great metal drummers... All these popular fools suck. Lars is okay,

Why Lars is in this position?! He's a master of the drummers, he deserves more u_u

Is Lars good? Yes. Is he the best? By far not. He is good but his timing is almost painful - Johnnyt800

8 Danny Carey - Tool Daniel Edwin "Danny" Carey, born May 10, 1961 in Lawrence, Kansas, is an American drummer and instrumentalist best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning progressive rock band Tool. He has also contributed to albums by and played with such artists as Zaum, Green Jellÿ, Pigface, Skinny more.

You can't put TOOL's Danny Carey in any category with a typically good drummer who can hit a few extra licks between licks. Being a drummer myself, Naturally I listen to those parts of songs more intensely so that I learn the music even just to sing along.
I became a Tool fan only after hearing this incredible eclectic configuration of percussions and the unpredictable offsets that could lead one to believe that there may be second drummer.
Yes a lot of these guys who are mentioned here in this opinion rating are very good...But none of them can even be categorized with this guy playing for TOOL. He's in a class of his own. Truly MESMERIC! I'm getting chills right now as I brag on him. HE IS UNDOUBTEDLY the most Incredible, the most Enthralling drummer, percussionist I have ever heard. Thus leading me (A self proclaimed Pooh-Bah) to proclaim that "Danny Carey is the best drummer known".
Ide sure love to crawl into his head during his writing. Love Ya Danny!

Any list of the greatest drummers of all time - that excludes Danny Carey - loses all credibility in my eyes. Travis Barker? Really?

The power produced by his "banging" coupled with the unique time signatures puts him in the company of only Peart and Bonham..

Danny deserves to be in the top ten, for those who have not seen tool or Danny live you must before you vote or voice an opinion.

Imagine if John bonham and bill bruford had a child, injected octopus DNA into said child, then offered him up to the kind spirit jabubah in exchange for a distinct creative style. Now picture him standing at about 6'5 with luscious golden locks, and you've got Danny Carey. A drummer who actually enhances the music he plays for, rather than only keeping time and showing off.

9 Dave Lombardo David "Dave" Lombardo is a Cuban American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

He's the godfather of double bass drumming, he's got to be higher! - Nintendonix

It's a joke how low he is ranked. At least top 5.

Put him in top 5 dave is a big piece of pure metal drumming

Intense Drummer. Top 5 for sure.

10 Dave Grohl - Nirvana David Eric "Dave" Grohl is an American rock musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer and film director. He is best known as the former drummer of the hugely popular 90s grunge band Nirvana and the vocalist/guitarist for the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. He has sat behind the more.

He may not be the very best but his attitude while drumming is something that other drummers can't really compete with.

20? Are you kidding me? HE IS DAVE GROHL!

The Contenders

11 Nicko McBrain - Iron Maiden Michael Henry "Nicko" McBrain is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, which he joined in 1982.

Lars is good, but Nicko is way better. You know a metal drummer has fast feet when he proclaims "Double pedal is cheating." Just listen to Wickerman and Ghost of the Navigator and you will understand. Single pedal on both. He also comes up with some amazing fills, and awesome riffs. As far as heavy metal, McBrain is the best drummer.

Just simply Awesome energy!

Listened to many drummers from all walks of life, nobody comes close to Nicko!

12 Yoshiki Hayashi - X Japan Yoshiki Hayashi is a Japanese musician, songwriter, composer and record producer. Better known by his stage name Yoshiki, he is best known as the leader and a co-founder of the heavy metal band X Japan, for which he is the drummer, pianist and main songwriter. The band achieved breakthrough success more.

Yoshiki san is the best drummer of Japan. His musicality and graciousness is something different which is found only once in a generation.

13 David Silveria - Korn

Greatest Metal drummer ever, period. Revolutionized groove, musicianship, accents, and china/splash cymbal embellishments. Perfect snare accents and ghost notes, synergistically complimenting Fieldy's slap patterns. Perfect ebb and flow with tom/snare and then contrasting cymbal/snare patterns. He knew when to let cymbals bleed through and when to cut them off as well as when to shut up. The human groove god and musical genius David Silvera.

He hits so hard you'd think they're going to break!

Listen to the first 2 korn abums. Those are inspirational for me and shows that metal drums don't have to heavily rely on double bass or blastbeats.

14 John Dolayman - System of a Down

One of best drummer, love his rolls

15 Nick Menza - Megadeth Nick Menza (1964-2016) was a professional drummer best known for his work in Megadeth from 1989-1998 and in 2004. He recorded drums on four of Megadeth's albums "Rust In Peace", "Countdown To Extinction", "Youthanasia", and "Cryptic Writings".

He is just awesome. When I listened to "Rust In Peace... Polaris" first time, I Thought: Their drummer is incredible, no, he can't be real, it's played by a computer program. But few years I've heard this and some other songs live, and that was even more amazing, that this guy really can do such things.

Sad that the Rev is in front of Nick and Dave Lombardo

Listen too his drum roles on the intro of holy wars

16 Alex Van Halen - Van Halen Alexander Arthur "Alex" Van Halen is a Dutch-born American musician, best known as the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen.
17 Scott Phillips - Alter Bridge Thomas Scott "Flip" Phillips is an American musician and songwriter. He is the drummer and co-founder of the bands Creed, Alter Bridge, and Projected.
18 Nick Mason - Pink Floyd Nicholas Berkeley "Nick" Mason is an English musician and composer, best known as the drummer of legendary rock band Pink Floyd.


19 Ian Paice - Deep Purple Ian Anderson Paice (born 29 June 1948) is an English musician, best known as the drummer of the English rock band Deep Purple. He has been the band's only constant member since its foundation.

In my opinion he is so good, he should be in the first top five.

Second to none. Undoubtedly. John Bonham n Keith Moon n Lars Ulrich are close by. Nicko Mc Brain is very good too

He’s drums are not only keeping the rhythm but telling you stories, rising your adrenalin. One of the top 5 to me.

20 Mike Mangini Mike Mangini is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy.
21 Bill Bruford William Scott "Bill" Bruford is an English retired drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, and record label owner.
22 Phil Rudd - AC/DC Phillip Hugh Norman Rudd is a New Zealand-based Australian drummer, best known for his membership in Australian hard rock band AC/DC from 1975 through 1983, and again from 1994 to 2015. Upon the 1977 departure of bass guitarist Mark Evans from AC/DC, Rudd became the only Australian-born member of the more.
23 John Otto - Limp Bizkit

Seriously underrated drummer. Creates some real funky drum beats.

24 Ginger Baker - Cream Peter Edward "Ginger" Baker is an English drummer, best known as the founder of the rock band Cream. His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of "rock's first superstar drummer," while his individual style melds a jazz background with African rhythms.
25 Cozy Powell - Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake Colin Trevor "Cozy" Powell was an English rock drummer, who made his name with many major rock bands and artists like The Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow, Robert Plant, Whitesnake and Black Sabbath.

This guy set a world record for the most drums (400) played in under one minute, live on television (BBC). - Metal_Treasure

26 Ringo Starr - The Beatles Richard Starkey known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles.
27 Tomas Haake - Meshuggah Tomas Haake is a Swedish drummer and main songwriter of the experimental metal band Meshuggah. He is known for his polyrhythms and technical ability. In 2012, he was named the 5th best Modern Metal drummer by He was named the number one drummer in the "Metal" category, in the July 2008 more.

Maybe the people voting on here are not familiar with Tomas? Or Danny Carey for that matter... Faster is not better in my opinion. Innovation and difficulty should be standard of which the "best" should be measured.

When it comes down to it there isn't a drummer on this list that is as complex as Tom Haake. The rev just plays really fast but safe and uninspired metal core and really isn't the best. Tom Haake is a genius

Let's face it, progressive metal and the wide use of polyrhythms and very technical drumming leads to some great drummers. Tomas Haake is a cut above the rest in my book!

This guy and Danny Carey are amazing

28 Brad Wilk - Rage Against the Machine Bradley J. "Brad" Wilk is a musician, actor, and activist from the United States. He is best known as the drummer of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage.
29 Vinnie Paul - Pantera Vincent Paul Abbott, better known as "Vinnie Paul" (March 11, 1964 - June 22nd, 2018) was an American professional drummer and producer. Alongside his late brother Dimebag Darrell, he co-founded the Heavy Metal Bands Pantera and Damageplan, with whom he would find success with in the former. After the more.
30 Gene Hoglan Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II is an American drummer. He is acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including use of odd devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms.
31 Joe Rickard - RED
32 George Kollias - Nile Georgios "George" Kollias is a Greek heavy metal drummer and music teacher best known for his work with American technical death metal band Nile.

Yeah right John bonham at 13 and George kollias at 21. Side by side george will blow the led zepplin drummer away, Bonham wont even keep up. George kollias, gene Hoglan and Peter Sandoval are the best three metal drummers of all time.. All three should be in top 3 spots.

33 Shannon Larkin - Godsmack

Saw him live just the other night...Shannon Larkin is unreal. Talent personified

Godsmack most underrated band in the world. Shannon is a beast.

34 Taylor Hawkins - Foo Fighters Oliver Taylor Hawkins is an American musician, best known as the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters.
35 Michael Thomas - Bullet for My Valentine

He is a tight drummer with a great sense... He deserves to be in top 10

Bullet For My Valentine is pretty cool.

36 Matt Greiner - August Burns Red

The speed, the complexity, the epic sound. No one is nearly at this drummers level. Double bass at it's best! Pure genius talent.

10/10 must be on the top 5

Umm Thirty and Seven anyone?

37 Roger Taylor - Queen Roger Meddows Taylor is an English musician , multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter born on July 26th,1949 in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. He was the drummer of the band Queen and wrote few of many hits such as "Under Pressure", "A Kind Of Magic" and "Radio Ga Ga". Despite being well known in Queen more.

HELLO... ? It's ROGER TAYLOR! From the greatest band in the universe, QUEEN! Roger is AWESOME! Absolutely the Best!

Are you kidding me?! Roger Taylor is the greatest drummer on Earth! Ever!

He is 121st in the "Best rock drummers" list and this is unfair.

38 Chris Adler Christopher James Adler is an American drummer, best known as a member and founder of the groove metal band Lamb of God, and Grammy Award winning member of Megadeth.

Really Chris Adler is only nine hundred years old still putting out the sickest rhythms and amazing double bass ever

39 Jordan Mancino - As I Lay Dying
40 Steven Adler Steven Adler is an American musician. He is best known as the former drummer and co-songwriter of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s.

Best drummer ever!

41 Christian "CC" Coma

Best drummer of BVB leaving Sandra!

42 Arejay Hale - Halestorm

Sometimes I hear the words "drum solo" at concerts and I groan, wishing it was over. I mean, the drummers who do those solos are good, but they are boring to watch. So when I went to see Halestorm last year and I heard there was going to be a drum solo, my initial thoughts weren't positive. Well, I would like to apologize to Arejay Hale and all of Halestorm if they ever see this. His drum solo was so awesome it blew my mind.

Two words: Criminally Underrated. Watch their "Love Bites" video amongst the live performances and tell me this cat ain't top 20, at least!

43 Hellhammer - Dimmu Borgir
44 Yogi Watts - Demon Hunter

Number 12 for metal in my opinion

45 Virgil Donati
46 Scott Travis - Judas Priest Mark Scott Travis is a Grammy Award winning American rock musician, best known as the drummer for the English heavy metal band Judas Priest and the American heavy metal band Racer X.
47 Raymond Herrera Raymond Herrera is best known as the former drummer and founding member of the heavy metal band Fear Factory. He was also the drummer for his former band Brujeria and the drummer for industrial metal band Arkaea.
48 Carl Palmer - Emerson, Lake, and Palmer Carl Frederick Kendall Palmer is an English drummer and percussionist most famed for playing with the progressive rock bands Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Asia.
49 Terry Bozzio - Frank Zappa Terry John "Ted" Bozzio is an American drummer best known for his work with Missing Persons and Frank Zappa.
50 Chad Butler - Switchfoot
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