Top Ten Best Progressive Metal Drummers

List of the Best drummers in Progressive Metal/Djent/etc. Bands.

The Top Ten

1 Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) 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.

My opinion, he is the best drummer in the world. Keep it up Portnoy so we love you! :)) laugh out loud

He is a best drummer in the world. And also better than mangini

Best drummer in the world indeed! No one can or will ever do it like he does!

Agree. he has got talent to be a prog metal drummer - zxm

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2 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.

Danny Carey is not only the best progressive metal drummer in the world, he is one of the best drummers of the modern era. Without Carey, Tool doesn't exist, period. He is beautiful to watch on the drums as he effortlessly delivers some of the best sequences on the planet. The only frustration is that Tool hardly ever comes out with new material, but when they do, it's always a step above the previous sound.

Danny Carey is better I'd say. Portnoy is also a legend, but greatly overrated. Carey on the other hand is not known by people as well as Portnoy but I think Carey is technically better. Drumming is not just speeding up your double bass. Get it.

Without ANY DOUBT! Danny carey Is the best progressive metal DRUMMER.Listen to:Lateralus.10000Days.The Pot AND...

It's very debatable if Tool are metal though. For me they aren't. - Metal_Treasure

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3 Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) Mike Mangini (Dream Theater) 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.

I keep seeing this debate about Mangini vs Portnoy. First of all, they are both two of the best drummers in the world. They are both off the scales amazing at what they do (in fact anyone who can play every DT song is). Technically, Mangini kicks Portnoy's ass, that's a fact. Mangini can do a lot more and is much more technically advanced. But it's Portnoy's showmanship that everyone loves. Also it's one thing to write the drums to a DT song (Portnoy) but another to be able to cover it note for note (Mangini). In my opinion there is no better drummer they are both amazing in their own way. Portnoy shouldn't have messed about with taking breaks etc and this wouldn't have happened anyway! - carterthedrummer

One of the or simply the fastest drummer ever. - zxm

Much better than Portnoy, this guy is a beast!

Simply the best.

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4 Thomas Haake (Meshuggah)

MIND BLOWING...can't my opinion MIKE and CARREY are bests...haake is below them!

Listen to bleed and you will understand what true talent is - jakespencer22

Thomas is like a butter menthol for my soul

He's not a man... he's a machine!

5 Martin Lopez (Opeth)

He is a monster! When he was in opeth he did something that will never be repeated
You should be a drummer and listen part to part to find out what he plays specially in ghost reveriies.
Best in the history of prog metal with no doubt...

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

Space time
Le Awesome... :)
Technically L'awesome

7 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.

He is probably one of the greatest drummers out there. After Mike Portnoy and Neil Pert. OF COURSE.

Great drumming PLUS singing? Come on!

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8 Jason Rullo (Symphony X)

Jason rullo is the best prog drummer for me because his rudiments is better than any drummers here.. Peace

9 Blake Richardson (Between The Buried and Me)

Watch the parallax drums video, he is so effortless on playing very complex parts, but not for the sake of complexity, but for the groove or texture of a passage.

Blake's ability to play incredibly technical and complex rhythms while maintaining flawless technique and dynamics is simply and utterly mind blowing. - MistaCrave

Blake Richardson's technical ability is beyond belief.

Better than Portnoy!

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10 Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree)

Gavin Harrison is the best drummer in the world period. Let alone the best drummer in any individual category of music that he plays. You don't win progressive drummer of the year multiple times without being the best.

I just saw him with King crimson. I was lucky all the pawn shops were closed, otherwise I would have sold my drums and quit playing. What a beast!

He can really groove in odd time signatures and make the music feel good

He is beast. Plain as that.

He is so self aware of what he plays, and that is quality that is hard to find amongst many musicians. He should more attention than he does now, as his playing has opened up my ears to how I perceive odd time signatures and odd groupings. A good example would be Sound Of Muzak or the bridge section of Halo (Both are works by PT).

He also seems so humble and kind. A lot of musicians are usually quite the opposite.

The Contenders

11 Virgil Donati (Planet X)

I wouldn't say anyone underestimates his drumming or questions his ability. he is just not higher in the list only because his bands are not as well known as Dream Theater or Tool. He is very technical and unorthodox. That makes his style unique and brilliant.

One of the most insanely technical and progressive musicians out there!

12 Martin Axenrot (Opeth)
13 Casey Grillo (Kamelot)

He is easily the best drummer in this..

14 Matt Halpern (Periphery)

Periphery drummer is easily the best new progressive drummer out there. Obviously he is no mike portnoy or mangini, but if you listen to Make Total Destroy or Feed the Ground, then you'll know what I'm talking about. Technically superior to any other drummer on this list besides the Dream Theatre drummers.

Its all about polyrythems, Halpern can do em, and the only other drummer that can do em is Thomas Haake from Meshuggah. You guys obviously aren't very deep into drumming if Matt Halpern isn't in the top 5

He is only below Mike from DT!

15 Mark Zonder (Fates Warning)

Just look at his body of work!

16 Daniel Presland (Ne Obliviscaris) Daniel Presland (Ne Obliviscaris)
17 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.

What is this guy even doing here?

This guy is NOT progressive

Kidding right? What is he doing here?

18 Shaju (Artcell)

Glad that Metal_Treasure chose this guy on his remix. He is really a very good prog metal drummer, also prog rock. His solos are great - zxm

19 Matt Garstka (Animals as Leaders)

This dude is seriously a beast. Very underrated cannot even believe he's not on this list... Rhythm Drummer named him #7 last year. He's the current drummer for Animals As Leaders.

20 Matt McDonough (Mudvayne)
21 Matt Greiner (August Burns Red)
22 Marco Minnemann
23 Neil Peart Neil Peart Neil Ellwood Peart (born September 12, 1952 in Hamilton, Canada) is a Canadian-American musician and author, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances.
24 Ryan Van Poederooyen (The Devin Townsend Project)
25 Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche)
26 Dan Carle

After the burial has some of the most technically demanding music in prog metal today, and Dan carle absolutely nails every single solitary part to the point just short of perfection. Dan is a robot and gives no care.

27 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.

Not progressive at all.

28 Ryan Seaman (Falling In Reverse)

He is very under rated because Ronnie and Jackie take up all of the attention not being mean here Ronnie and Jacky are my idols but Ryan should not be over looked Ronnie and Jackie well deserve the attention they get but Ryan is being over looked to much look up Ryan seaman drum solo and come back and vote

29 Anup Sastry (Skyharbor, Jeff Loomis, Intervals)

Take a look at any of his solo work. One of the most creative, musically acute drummers of our generation. Leagues above the competition in terms of skill and versatility while also having incredible compositional skills. Check out his EPs or his YouTube channel to see what I'm talking about. A truely masterful drummer,

30 Daniel Liljekvist
31 Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson) William Scott "Bill" Bruford is an English retired drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, and record label owner.

You guys realize that this is a list about "progressive" drummers, right? How about actually including a REAL progressive drummer..

Do YOU realize that this is a list about progressive METAL drummers? How about actually including only progressive METAL drummers. And this guy isn't metal. - Metal_Treasure

32 Van Williams (Nevermore)

Can't believe this guy was not even added to this list until now..
Beast of a drummer!
Power √
Technique √
Versatility √
Check out this band of you want some face punching And Equally emotional Music.

33 John Dolmayan John Dolmayan John Dolmayan is a Lebanese-born Armenian-American songwriter and drummer. He is best known as the drummer of System of a Down.
34 Ray Hearne (Haken)
35 Joe Nevolo (Shadow Gallery)
36 Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria)
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List Stats

400 votes
36 listings
5 years, 312 days old

Top Remixes

1. Mike Mangini (Dream Theater)
2. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
3. Thomas Haake (Meshuggah)
1. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
2. Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
3. Blake Richardson (Between The Buried and Me)
1. Martin Lopez (Opeth)
2. Mike Mangini (Dream Theater)
3. Danny Carey (Tool)


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