Top Ten Best Metal Drummers

The Top Ten

1 Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment) Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment) 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.

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.

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.

mike he is the best... his drumming is just so ammazing... no one else got the talent like he does in drumming field... - deadlydawn

Lovable man

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

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.

And Dream Theater is even less mainstream but Mike Portnoy is number 1.Dave deserves second though - Lord28

By far the best should be number 1 just listen to spill the blood


Dave is the heartbeat of Slayer. Always number one on any list.

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3 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 - K_to-the_c_Reverend1

A Little Piece Of Heaven, his speed, the complexity of his work. He is at least first or second best at being a Drummer/Backing Vocalist, but he deserves the same for best drummer alone! Salute this talented, funny guy. God bless Rev! - EliHbk

"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.

I think he is the best drummer and he inspired me but unfortunately he died

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4 Joey Jordison (Slipknot) 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.

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.

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. - maggot-104

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.

Are you kidding? The Rev is extremely talented. How would you feel if I said, "Paul Gray's dead, get over it." Both these drummers are good, but The Rev's not #1 solely off of sympathy votes. He's a musical genius. - VengeanceUniv

I like him very much, what a great drummer. Oh, but the commenter on here who thinks best is only about technicality, it's really not. It's about Technicality, grooving, influentialness, potential and other things in the mix.

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5 Danny Carey (Tool) 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.

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.

Uncomparable. just listen to him playing end of story.!

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6 Lars Ulrich (Metallica) Lars Ulrich (Metallica) Lars Ulrich is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American thrash metal band Metallica.

His style has changed severely. His powerful double bass in "One" and his energetic bashing in "Fade to Black" shows how good he was in the past. "...And Justice for all" was the last album to really feature is amazing talent. "Hardwired... To self destruct" has some great drum beats, "Spit out the bone" is a wonderful example of his talent.' But Lars is getting old, he isn't what he used to be. All of Metallica are getting old. Kirk can shred but like the old days (Dave Mustaine has been doing really well with megadeth guitar wise) James s up the vocals in live shows by always adding "Yeahs" or "ohh" it really effects the power of the song (also... STOP SAYING ANYTHING ELSE OTHER THAN "FIX ME" in live performances of "Master of Puppets") Metallica is a fantastic band who can still put out material, but they need to make the material quality. I would rather have no albums after the black album up ...more - Redhood654

Influenced many to come. Just listen to Dyer's Eve and you will se why he is the best!

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

Lars doesn't put effort in, can't keep a beat and can be upstaged by a 6 year-old. Extremely overrated.

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7 Gene Holgan (Death, Dark Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)

an insanely fast, but still groovy and precise drummer that played in several important bands

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

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.

The worst thing about him, he's a self learner...

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8 Chris Adler (Lamb of God) Chris Adler (Lamb of God) 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.

Lars Ulrich on no. 4? haha whose voting here? little girls?

no one better than adler.. no one!

As much variations as Lars? Lars's songs only have variation because of what the rest of the band plays. The guy only knows 3 drum beats and can't even play them properly.

The fills are so basic that a 3 year-old could play them. - AdamDestructorJr.

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.

Chris Adler feet is too damn fast and all of live performance, Mr. Adler really nailed it

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9 George Kollias (Nile) 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.

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.

I totally have to agree with the other comment about this drummer. Listen to some real music before even thinking about doing lists. Avenged Sevenfold, #1? Come on, let's be serious

Kollias is way too low on this list. Criminally low. And stuff Lars' ass at the bottom, lol.

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10 Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) 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.

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!


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The Newcomers

? John Longstreth (Origin)

The Contenders

11 Tomas Haake (Meshuggah) 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.

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.

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.

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.

The best of all time, no one can really play the songs this man composes.

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12 Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) William Thomas "Bill" Ward is an English musician and visual artist, best known as the original drummer for the British heavy metal band 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

Flies kind of under the radar because of the other legends in his band, but Christ this man can drum. The Paranoid album has some of the best drumming ever, dude. - MetalPope

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13 John Dolmayan (System Of a Down) John Dolmayan (System Of a Down) John Dolmayan is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American songwriter and drummer. He is best known as the drummer of 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

System of a Down are NOT a metal band and he shouldn't be on this list at all. Let alone at #13. I am not commenting on whether he's good or bad. He just doesn't belong. - Metal_Treasure

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14 Vinnie Paul (Pantera) 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.

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.

The most influential one of all metal drummers, his contribution is MONUMENTAL!

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15 Blake 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.

He's definitely number one in my opinion. Watch Telos demonstration on YouTube. Enough said!

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16 Brann Dailor (Mastodon) Brann Dailor (Mastodon) Brann Timothy Dailor is an American drummer/singer best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he is the drummer, backing vocalist, lead vocalist and primary lyricist.

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.

Danny Carey is my favorite and I really want to upvote him for a higher spot than 5, but Brann Dailor is criminally far down on this list. It really is sad that the fact that Mastodon isn't as well known as some of the other bands puts Brann at such a disadvantage. His drumming is DEFINETILY enough to place him higher on the list, but just to add he also has one of the greatest voices in the entire genre! Sometimes it's insane how he manages to sing while holding some insane beats and put in cool fills.

Brann and Danny should be up in the top 3 with Mike Portnoy. Mario Duplantier also deserves to be close up there!

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17 Mario Duplantier Mario Duplantier Mario Duplantier is a French musician and artist best known as the drummer of technical death metal band Gojira.

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.

Just started to listen to Gojira guys in 2015. He is now in my top 5 of metal drummers. Not surprised that he's this low considering that his band isn't one of the popular metal bands.

Mario is EASILY better than anyone else on this list

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18 Mike Mangini 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.

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.

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.

Dream Theater's new drummer is one of the fastest I have ever seen.

Mangini behind the drummer of System of a Down who isn't even a metal drummer? Oh, and Mangini also behind The Rev, Joey Jordison... - Metal_Treasure

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19 Neil 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.

Neil was one of the greatest drummer that picked up the drumsticks. Just listen to the drums for any song. He's a genius. Hell, he wrote a lot of the bands music! So this is the man here

Uh rush is not metal they are progressive rock but Neil peart is still amazing by the way Bill ward should be higher he’s great

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20 Pete 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

Yes. When I first heard him on Altars of Madness and Blessed Are The Sick/Wicked? (I forget), it was out of this world. It's one of those 'you had to see it to believe it' sort of things.

Morbid angel drummer? the best - Morbid_Deth

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21 Casey 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!

Has to be at least in the top 10. Phenomenal drummer of a great band!
His energy and creativity in the songs...just amazing!
Casey is the great allround drummer: Double bass, speed, way of using the cymbals, workmanship (sticktwist at almost every up-tempo song! )

Master of the drummers! Together with Nicko Mcbrain and Dominic Howard one of the greatest inspirations for me as young drummer.

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22 Scott Travis (Judas Priest) 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.

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.

Travis is a beast on drums and should be in Top Ten.

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23 Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) Flo Mounier (Cryptopsy) Flo Mounier is the drummer of technical death metal band Cryptopsy. He has toured Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and the United States as a headlining act over the last 24 years, and combined record sales have reached over 300,000 copies to date.

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

Defenestration, the pestilence that walketh in darkness, phobophile, cold hate warm blood, all amazing drumming and his vocals are insane. While lord worm does the lows flo is right behind doing the insanely high shrieks

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24 Charlie 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.

Benante is by far the most awesome metal drummer... Hails to CHarlie

Massively underrated, I'm picking those voting for slipknot and Avenged Sevenfold drummers have probably never listened to Anthrax

This guy definitely gets my vote. - N4XUS

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25 John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) 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.

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?

28th on the list? John Bonham should be at the top! He was nothing less than amazing.

He was the best. But Zepp was not really metal (by todays standards)

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26 Abe Cunningham (Deftones)

AWESOME and Overlooked by most

Should be higher on this list!

Better Than Steve Asheim?

Caffine Beats, He has been able to adapted to all of Chino and Steph's different musical lines. He is so consistant.

27 Francesco "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

Francesco Paoli is Number one.. Because have speed so kill. Blastt to the Number One blast it yeah!

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28 Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) Matt Cameron is an American composer, and musician. He is mostly famous for being the drummer of the three grunge bands Soundagrden, Pearl Jam, and Temple of the Dog.

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.).

Matt is like my Mum's Sunday dinner. Simplest ingredients, nothing fancy and most satisfying meal ever. Thanks Matt

Him is one of the best even better than the ones on the top numbers... GO MATT.. SOUNDGARDEN best of all voices

Probably the most underrated drummer of all time.

29 Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse) Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse)

He is my favorite

Who cares about speed and technic, Paul sounds better, a lot of CC songs wouldn't be without his sound.

Very amazing drummer... So talented... You will be shocked after hearing drum songs like:-Evisceration Plague, Priests Of Sodom, Hammer Smashed Face, Make Them Suffer, I Cum Blood, - nooreldeen

Pfff, this list sucks. - GREYBOYY

30 Mikkey Dee (Motorhead, Helloween, King Diamond, Dokken) Mikkey Dee (Motorhead, Helloween, King Diamond, Dokken) Micael Kiriakos Delaoglou, known better by his stage name Mikkey Dee, is a Greek-Swedish rock musician.

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 -

Amazing drummer, better than Snowy Shaw

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31 Hellhammer (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.

When it's COLD... And when it's DARK... The freezing moon can obsess YOU! Hellhammer shifts tectonic plates with his drumming.

Aside: where is Sean Reinert on this list? Listen to Cynic's "Focus" if you don't know who he is.

This guy is the most skilled speed drummer of all time. his is insane listen to any mayhem song and hear him - Morbid_Deth

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32 Matt Garstka (Animals as Leaders)

I saw animals as leaders for the first time in July. Let me tell you, his drumming is so dynamic, technically complex and challenging. He is not only a drummer, he is an amazing all around musician and is skillful in most generes. The only drummer who is more versatile than him is Danny Carey. Please folks, I have extensively studied most drummers' styles on this list and matt is such a technical drummer compared to most other ones here. I am a jazz drummer and I still love this guy.

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.

Animals as Leaders are just people trying to be cool by showing off their skills and changing time. Pay attention to how your music sounds.

Polyrhythms, speed, endurance, technicality, creativity, diversity... he’s got it all

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33 Jukka 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.

This guy is my Idol and the reason I started Drumming!

please come back Jukka. Wish u the best of luck.
Hope to hear u soon. - JulianTexo

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34 Mike Smith (Suffocation)

WANTED - great comments and mentions for brutal technical death metal's groove master,naysayers need not comment,cause there is nothing bad to say about him anyway.

35 Shawn Drover (Megadeth) Shawn Drover (Megadeth) Shawn Drover is a Canadian musician, best known for his work with the American thrash metal band Megadeth.

just listen to endgame he done a great job on that album - sherno94

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.

He was an awesome drummer for Megadeth. Endgame is just awesome. - LightningBlade

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36 Richard 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.

I’m only here because of the Howard Stern show.

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37 Dave 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

Sadly this list is just a popularity contest not the actual skills..dave should far higher in this list among the top 3 I think alongside portnoy and duplantier

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38 Gar 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.

This man merged trash metal with his strong jazz background. Unique style.

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


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39 Matt 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.

I don't know if I can say Greiner is the best Metal drummer of all time but he is certainly top of the class right now. It's just a matter of time and exposure. A talent like Matt can only go so unappreciated for so long.

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40 Martin Škaroupka (Cradle of Filth)

People like to hate on Cradle of Filth for some reason, but they have one of the best drummers in modern metal.

One of the finest and most intricate drummers ever! Superb.

41 Marco Minnemann

He has playing with Necrophagist. Not metal?

He's not metal, but he's a machine.

The Aristocrats, KMB (Keneally/Minnemann/Beller), Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani.

42 Martin 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...

Wow this list sucks.. I was hoping to see Martin lopez in at least the top 10 because he is not as popular as portnoy or lombardo but Clearly people need to experience this beast of a drummer. He's not just about the fast drumming and trust me he does that as well as anyone. He's got his own style of drumming. He incorporates jazz style of drumming in death/prog metal and it's heavenly. at least get him to top 20. Half the drummers mentioned above wouldn't be able to hold themselves together if they were asked to do what Mr. Lopez does.

V 5 Comments
43 Jürgen Reil (Kreator) Jürgen Reil (Kreator) Jürgen "Ventor" Reil is the long-time drummer for German thrash metal band Kreator. He is one of the only two original members left in the band, although he has left "at least twice" due to personal differences. Reil plays the double bass drum style prevalent in thrash and death metal.

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... - JavaneseThrasher

This guy is great, I may even say he's as good as dave Lombardo, and seriously, the rev? Lars ulrich? Get outta here.

SAD! the people here vote for popularity and not for quality... the legend Ventor in place 41? this is a sick joke! he must be after Lombardo, Portnoy and Perl... by the way where is Gus Pyn form Sacrifice... yeah nobody know him, Ventor it's powerful and fast just take a breath and try to catch him knocking in your desktop; Unbelievable!...

One of those drummers that made me want to rewind the tape back and listen to what he was doing so skilfully without slippin' up.One of the elder statesmen of thrash metal drumming along with Hoglan,Lombardo,Ulrich,
Benante,Samuelson,Hunting and his fellow countryman Chris Witchunter (Sodom).

44 Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin) Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin) Chad Szeliga is an American drummer and percussionist from Elyria, Ohio. He is best known as the former drummer for the band 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!

45 Jason 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.

He is easily in the top 10. No question.

V 6 Comments
46 Igor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy) Igor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy) Igor Graziano Cavalera is a Brazilian musician. He is best known as the former drummer for Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura, which he co-founded with his brother Max in 1984. Max left the band in 1996, and Cavalera himself would depart ten years later, making him the last original member of Sepultura more.

Drums don't have to be a blazing machine gun or a circus of tricks, they have to sound good, go with the music and give that extra that catches your ear. The man always did that, wrote tracks that wouldn't be without those drums, blended his style with local influences, had his own sound... Top 10 for me.

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.

How could he be this low?

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47 Mike 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.

Hey Disturbed Fans Where are you, Hey punkass can you hear me or you are deaf? His best Because Disturbed is best

V 2 Comments
48 Arin 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...

He's been doing a great job as a replacement of the rev, amazing double bassing skills, not as good as the rev but he is still very young

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49 Nick 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.

50 Christoph 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!

Love the drum track on Heirate mich

V 8 Comments
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21,000 votes
241 listings
9 years, 218 days old

Top Remixes (84)

1. Mario Duplantier
2. Blake Richardson (Between the Buried and Me)
3. Gene Holgan (Death, Dark Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)
1. Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
2. Chris Adler (Lamb of God)
3. Mario Duplantier
1. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
2. Danny Carey (Tool)
3. Matt Cameron (Soundgarden)

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