Best Thrash Drummers

I have always thought that drumming is very important for thrash metal. What are the best drummers in this awesome genre?

The Top Ten

1 Nick Menza (Megadeth) 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".

Just like Dave Mustaine, so technical and full of quality. Ten times better than Ulrich but fully underated.

Nick Menza has the sense of rhythm. He's best known as his kick-snare riffs. - generalduncan

Megadeth was always a band that combined the aggression of punk with the refinement of heavy metal and jazz. Nick was a master of drumming it. The job he's done on Holy wars is just crashing.

0:06, and also 4:58 in Holy Wars. Unreal badassery. Actually, basically all of Holy Wars and his material with Megadeth.

V 24 Comments
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.

Fast, accurate, incredible transitions. Some of the faster drummers lose the power hit on the drums, not Lombardo. It is a testament to how good Lombardo is that all the drummers that play with Slayer play slower live and that they still don't get the power hit on the drums, despite Slayer slowing down the songs for the replacement drummers. I think John Dette is the best replacement, but he's still not Lombardo. I have seen Lars Ulrich try to play Raining Blood and it's an epic fail every time.

Oh, snap! He was Testament's drummer? Did not know that.

The godfather of double bass!

The best!

V 6 Comments
3 Charlie Benante (Anthrax, S.O.D.)

If you were to ask any of the thrash bands who was tops in drumming benante would be the popular vote. The speed and creativity gave songs like gung- ho and indians life.

This man is my Thrash Metal drumming hero. Wouldn't be playing drums the way I do now if it wasn't for Charlie.

Sick lad right here. Definitely the drummer I have the most respect for

His and Lombardo are my favorite drummers, but this man takes my vote.

4 Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Exodus)

Paul, great drummer. Any man who can step in and (somewhat) fill Daves shoes, respect!

5 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 ...read more.

Igor Cavalera is seriously a great drummer. I'd say he's underrated because all people know is Lombardo, Ulrich or Menza but Igor is the best of all. Just listen to his drum work in Beneath The Remains, Arise & Chaos AD. a wesome!

Igor is the best hands down better than all others on this list

Beneath the Remains - the most insane drumming in thrash metal history! Listen to any thrashy Sepultura song and the first thing you hear is the great man Igor Cavalera - Cmf97351

Igor vs Dave.
Lars payed out sepultura in an interview way back, probably because he shat a big brick of week old danish when he heard the drumming on Beneath the Remains for the first time. what a twat!
Igor is clearly equal first with Dave

V 1 Comment
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.

Serious!?!? Even his early stuff sucked live. Studio wizardry had him keeping time, but live, sorry. Shouldn't be on any drummer list. Nihilistic wanna be Lombardo. Hell, Jordison, or Weinberg. Not Lars.

Worst drummer ever, even he admits he's not great. He's just lucky he has real talent around him.

Look at his brilliant work from killém all, all the way through to And justice for all, simply an amazing drummer, yeah he fell away afterwards, but lets not forget the legend he once was/is

Overhated, And is a great drummer. I don’t care what the haters say. - awesomedp900

V 4 Comments
7 Mike Mangini (Annihilator) Mike Mangini (Annihilator) 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.

This guy has been getting more attention since he joined Dream Theater in 2011. But he was great before that, when played for Annihilator - he was just more underrated than now. Mangini admitted that Annihilator's stuff made him learn to play faster and faster. And better. - Metal_Treasure

8 Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall)
9 Gene Hoglan (Death, Death Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad) Gene Hoglan (Death, Death Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad) 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.

Just listen to Symbolic, that's all you need to hear of his insane skill.

Gene- amazing!

So lars is better than gene? wow, he should be 2nd or 3rd

10 Pete Webber (Havok) Pete Webber (Havok)

Easily top 3. Solid argument for one of the best ever. Very surprised he's so low. Guess no one heard of him.

I rank their album Time Is Up as one of the best of all time right there with Bonded By Blood, Reign in Blood and Kill 'Em All. I was a senior in high school when Kill 'Em All came out. Any of you old schoolers have to listen to this album!

If people knew who Havok was, this guy would easily be a part of the top ten list.

The Contenders

11 Juergen "Ventor" Reil (Kreator)

Switch place with lars!

This guy can do double bass better than Lombardo or Cavalera.

It's actually Jürgen, but nonetheless, he's an incredibly talented drummer. He definitely deserves a spot in the top 10.

Top 5...no question. Comparable to Lombardo...in my opinion better. Ventor is my top drummer.

V 1 Comment
12 Michael "Moose" Thomas (Bullet for My Valenine)
13 Gar Samuelson (Megadeth)

Combine the spontaneity and artistic maturity of jazz with the physicality and aggression of metal. The product of this combination is Gar Samuelson, who introduced a flavor to metal that few other drummers have matched. Whether he is laying down a thick groove in "Peace Sells" or keeping up with Mustaine's incredibly challenging timing in "Last Rites/Loved to Death, " Gar always maintained a powerful presence in the pocket and provided a reliable base for the fast guitars and bass.

Top 5 for sure, and definitely ahead of Nic Menza. Blistering single stroke rolls, jazzy swing, great feel & transitioning between sections so smooth! Every drummer after Gar in Megadeth sounds too mechanical & I feel they lost a big part of their sound after he was gone.

Should be number at least in the top 3 just listen to Good Mourning/Black Friday drum track.

One of the funkiest drummers to ever play thrash metal.

V 4 Comments
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 ...read more.

Heaviest drummer ever

15 Tom Hunting (Exodus) Tom Hunting (Exodus)

Listen to iconoclasm and you'll see why he deserves to be one of the top 5.

This guy INVENTED thrash drumming. He set the standard and is still the best.

THIS GUY RIGHT HERE. I HAVE NEVER SEEN SOMEONE HAVE SO MUCH CLASS THAT HE MAKES A DIFFERENCE OVER A DRUMMER LIKE PAUL BOSTAPH. Insanely good drummer.

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

This guy sucks. He is Lars without even having the good songwriting aspect (literally the only good thing about Lars)

17 Joe Cangelosi (Kreator)

Ticket to Mayhem and Cause for Conflict are some if the best thrash drumming on the planet

Very good drummer

The best thrash drummer ever!

The best of the best!Played with Whiplash Kreator and Massacre... a true beast and underdog

18 Ted Kirkpatrick (Tourniquet)
19 Travis Smith (Trivium)
20 Jon Allen (Sadus)

Also stepped in to replace Dave Lombardo and Paul Bostaph in Testament for live shows when needed

The drumming on Illusions and swallowed in black is the most fierce and cutting edge for its time.

Most under-rated of ALL time in metal!

21 Randy Black (Annihilator, Primal Fear) Randy Black (Annihilator, Primal Fear) Randy Black is a Canadian-born metal drummer and recording artist best known for his stints as the drummer for Annihilator, Primal Fear, Duskmachine, and Bif Naked. He is an ambidextrous drummer.
22 Dave McClain (Machine Head)
23 Bobby Schottkowski (Sodom)
24 Chris Witchhunter (Sodom)

The early sodom stuff is so awful it's awesome. outbreak of evil!

He was the brutalst drummer.

His cymbal work was fantastic,speed and nice fills,very food drummer

25 Glenn Mancaruso (Vengeance Rising)
26 Sid Falck
27 Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, MD.45, Alice Cooper, Dokken, Y&T)
28 Greg Hall (Sacred Reich)

I can't believe you have Ulrich here and don't know Greg...you guys don't know nothing about drumming for sure...One of the top 5 thrash drummers ever

29 Louie Clemente

Pretty much simple drumming but has a few good drum parts like Over the Wall and First Strike is Deadly

30 Jayson Sherlock (Mortification, Paramæcium, inExordium, Horde)

Best thrash drummer I have heard

31 Chris Hyde (Deliverance)
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top Ten Thrash Metal Drummers Top Ten Most Influential Thrash Metal Band Drummers Best Rock Drummers Greatest Drummers of All Time Top Ten Best Metal Drummers

List Stats

600 votes
31 listings
7 years, 126 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
2. Gene Hoglan (Death, Death Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)
3. Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
nooreldeen
1. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
2. Nick Menza (Megadeth)
3. Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Testament, Exodus)
gemcloben
1. Mike Mangini (Annihilator)
2. Gene Hoglan (Death, Death Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)
3. Jason Bittner (Shadows Fall)
Metal_Treasure

WRemix
View All 4

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P