Top 10 Best Metal Drummers of All Time

The Top Ten
1 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 is not as mainstream as Slipknot and A7X. Plus, Dave is not dead. That's why he is number three. The Rev gets voted up only because he is dead. Lombardo was far more advanced, heavier, and more technical than Jimmy. As for Jordison, he is also better than The Rev. He is very technical and extremely fast. Dave is number one, though. Number two should be Mike Portnoy, who is equally good as Dave. Joey can come in at number three, followed by Ulrich at number four.

Slayer is, in fact, mainstream because Metallica made it so. Dave Lombardo, despite being in 2nd place, has always been the greatest metal drummer in history. The sheer brutality on Reign in Blood, Silent Scream, and the unparalleled technicality shown on South of Heaven is face-melting. I couldn't care less about popularity. Dave Lombardo has always been metal's greatest drummer.

The evil lyrics were hard for a kid raised in church his whole life to digest. But that beat is so sick you just can't stop listening. I'm 42 years old now, and I still rock those beats via 250-300 watts in my car every day coming home from work. Pantera is cool and all, but nothing comes close to that drum beat pissing off everyone around me in traffic daily. Spill the pure virgin blood. Rock on.

Dave Lombardo is the best. Those people who don't vote for him surely know nothing about metal. Joey Jordison? Oh, come on! Dave Lombardo can eat him alive! Joey Jordison is a fake drummer. He asks for help from the other two percussionists in the band Slipknot and he uses computer effects for his sound. Dave is all natural. Listen to Raining Blood by Slayer, and for sure, you'll forget Joey Jordison. Dave is number one. Number two is Portnoy.

2 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.

It is such an amazing feeling to click on a best metal drummers list and see your favorite at number 1. Mike has done so much for me in my personal life, through his work and perseverance in Dream Theater, and how much Dream Theater has done for me. In my drumming, I would be nowhere near as good as I am now without Mike. His drumming inspired me not only to play drums but also to enjoy it.

Every time I play Octavarium - yes, the whole thing - on the drums, there is just something about it that is incredible. His drumming and personality have so much energy and flamboyance that Dream Theater was never the same without him. I love Mike Mangini's playing, but he lacks that extra element that Mike Portnoy brought to the band. He is absolutely number 1.

By far, the best metal drummer of all time is Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater. I want to mention his other competitors in metal drumming, so here is my top 10:

1. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater)
2. Dave Lombardo (Slayer)
3. Thomas Haake (Meshuggah)
4. Danny Carey (Tool)
5. Joey Jordison (Slipknot)
6. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)
7. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
8. Vinnie Paul (Pantera)
9. Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
10. John Dolmayan (System of a Down)

I also want to clarify that the only reason I didn't include Neil Peart in this list is that I don't consider Rush to be anything close to metal. It's not because I don't think he is good. In fact, he is one of the best drummers of all time. I just don't consider him a metal drummer. I wanted to get that point across.

First of all, Mike Portnoy is the youngest person ever inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame. Just take a look at who else is on that list. MP is the only metal drummer on there. What Mike actually plays is insane. The Dance of Eternity is crazier than anything anybody else on this list has done. I'm not a huge fan of his live drum solos, but some of them are pretty cool.

His use of odd-time signatures is deadly, and his use of effects cymbals on off-beats and accents is just unreal. Take the intro to 6:00, for example.

I remember the first time I listened to Mike Portnoy (Awake album. I'm sure the song was 6:00). My mouth and eyes turned wide open. I was a Lars Ulrich and overall Nicko McBrain fan. I also liked Tool, jazz, and old-school prog drummers. A couple of times, I heard some Meshuggah songs, but I never thought a drummer could do things like Mr. Portnoy played. Thanks to him, I became a DT fan, and eventually, my admiration grew faster than his fills. I think The Rev was a great drummer, but for God's sake, new metal fans must listen to older bands and put their top ten in a better order. The Rev could easily be in a top ten, but Portnoy must be first! And what's up with Johan Langell, the former drummer of PoS? An underrated drummer for an underrated band! Langell must be in a top ten too!

3 Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan (Avenged Sevenfold) James Owen Sullivan (February 9th, 1981 - December 28th 2009), better known by his stage name "The Rev" (Short for "The Reverend Tholomew Plague") was an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the former drummer, backing vocalist and co-founder of the American alternative metal/ metalcore band Avenged Sevenfold. He was also in the metalcore stage of Avenged Sevenfold. He is often regarded as one of the world's best drummers, especially in the 21st century. He is not only known as one of the best drummers of the bands history, but also crucial to Avenged Sevenfold as a backing vocalist, making the song "A Little Piece Of Heaven" possible.

First off, I just want to say I think it's dumb how people are saying "Lars should be number one because if it wasn't for his influence none of these other guys would exist". How the hell do you think any good drummer becomes good? They are influenced by somebody. They listen to other drummers and learn from them. They develop a style that sometimes, not all the time, may sound a tad bit similar to their influences.

Secondly, this is a list for the "Best Metal Drummer" that anybody can vote on. This is basically a list of peoples opinions. Or in other words, a list of popularity. So, that being said I bet more than half the people that voted on this list know little to nothing about drumming. So people are gonna vote on their "favorite" drummer or the drummer from their favorite band.

Third of all, I want to say why I voted for Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. Some of my reasons may sound hypocritical. The first reason is because he was apart of my favorite band, Avenged ...more

Sympathy? Come on, guys. The Rev is huge - inspiration, master, god, you name it. If you can drum, sure, you have pure talent. Ok, now try this: drumming and singing. The Rev could do it all. Not only was he a drummer and a vocalist for A7X (Avenged Sevenfold), but he was also a pianist and a songwriter. If it wasn't for The Rev, A7X would not be anywhere near what it is today.

So please, I don't think The Rev is number one for "sympathy votes." If you want an excuse as to why he's number one, it's because of his fans, his talent, and his music. You don't get to number one by sympathy. You just don't. So stop with that sympathy BS, because it's just a pathetic excuse.

Sympathy vote, my ass. He is topping the list because he is genuinely a very talented drummer. He recorded the entirety of their first album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, in one take! Listen to the beginning of Forgotten Faces if you don't think he's fast. Joey is good, but all I hear from him is speed. The Rev has both speed and complex uniqueness. Not to mention, The Rev is one of the most musically talented people of our generation in general.

James Owen Sullivan, also known as The Rev, is God's drummer in heaven who destroys demons in hell, including fans of Bieber. In 2009, God needed a drummer, so He chose The Rev. He knew when He created The Rev in 1981 that He had made an entertainer who could never be replaced. I am proud to say that I would rather be his son than become a billionaire. Love The Rev forever. By the way, Joey Jordison, Lars Ulrich, Chris Adler, and Dave Lombardo are also great drummers. They too will become God's drummers one day, but they are not like that hentai punkass.

4 Joey Jordison (Slipknot) Joey Jordison, was 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 and a Heavy Metal side project VIMIC.

Nobody even comes close to Jordison. If you vote for the Avenged Sevenfold drummer over this "ex" Slipknot drummer, I suggest you try to notice how perfect the drum beats go with each song. Plus, it's basically Slipknot vs. Avenged Sevenfold. If someone were to ask me who has the better drummer, I might laugh. I mean, Avenged Sevenfold, are you kidding me?! They are just New Metal, and REAL metal is ending with Slipknot, Spineshank, older Trivium, Ill Nino, and Pantera (the best ever). Tool is my favorite band, and I think their drummer is a badass. He's the most unique drummer I have ever heard. Tool can't be put in the same category as Slipknot and Metallica.

I'm kind of like, "What the hell? Joey is second?" Well, I mean, he's Joey Jordison! Now is his time. He is the best. His playing is not only fast and precise, but he knows what is best for a song. He can make it sound better. Dave should be in second place. He was the king before Joey showed up. As for third place, I think it definitely belongs to Lars. He isn't as amazing as he used to be, but his role and the influence he's had on the entire music world, and drummers around the world, is very important. He was one of the first.

Joey Jordison is the best drummer around. I think he should be on top. He is by far the most focused on the pure sound of his art. He plays like a machine gun with pinpoint accuracy. He's been drumming for 39 years! He's not a full-on showman. He focuses on his technical work. Once, during a concert, he noticed that one of his drums was the tiniest bit out of tune, and during the song, he tuned the drum while playing! If that's not first-place worthy, then I don't know what is.

I was scrolling down to find the Rev, who is possibly one of the top 3 greatest modern drummers, to vote for him until I saw Joey. Mike Portnoy and Thomas Haake are also really good, but listen to Killpop and All Out Life. Joey is able to keep such a tight beat and work alongside the other percussionists. Everything he does ties in perfectly with the other instruments, and he is somehow able to find a flawless beat with no issues. I don't know how he does it. A robot couldn't keep a better beat than him.

5 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 Puppy, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, Carole King, Collide, The Wild Blue Yonder, Lusk, and the Melvins. more.

The most creative drummer on this list, to be sure. While he doesn't make a conspicuous effort to display his technical ability and agility as much as Joey Jordison does, his rhythms are far more intricate and versatile. Both are very fun and incredible to listen to. However, most metal drummers' rhythms become stale somewhat quickly. It's usually up to the guitarists and vocalists to keep the music interesting and relevant. Tool is driven by rhythm, and Carey's drumming is absolutely the force behind that.

He combines all the elements that other excellent drummers on this list excel at, but is often much more interesting and varied. He's perfectly precise live, from what I've seen and heard. He's also very good with complex time signatures. Listen to three-quarters of the way through Forty Six & 2, then Vicarious, then Ticks and Leeches. He doesn't simply rely on just one or two styles.

There isn't anything that shows your abilities as a drummer better than odd time signatures and avoiding overcrowding when it's not necessary. Can beating 140 bpm make you a good drummer? No, it makes you fast, not necessarily good. Also, Carey is not only a drummer but also a songwriter. This is uncommon among drummers due to the nature of the instrument.

How the hell is Danny Carey below Lars Ulrich? I understand that Lars is in a more popular band than Danny, but come on! Lars actually admitted to not practicing, yet he's rated higher than someone who practices for at least two hours a day. Unbelievable.

6 Gene Hoglan (Death, Dark Angel, Testament, Dethklok, Strapping Young Lad)

Gene 'Atomic Clock' Hoglan's works include Time Does Not Heal, Individual Thought Patterns, Symbolic, and Dark Roots of Earth. He is the reason that maybe one day I'll try to give some spins to SYL or Dethklok stuff. In one word: innovation. This includes improvisation and precise recording material after only two or three takes. It speaks for itself. It's not just about BPMs, blast beats, or double bass kicking. But there are many other fantastic drummers: Vinnie Colaiuta, Mike Mangini, Portnoy, Richard Christy, Thomas Lang, Dave Lombardo, and many others I have no clue about until I listen to some stuff played by them live. I laugh out loud when I read references to Dyers Eve, which was programmed so they could hardly play it live.

Those who praise Joey Jordison and The Rev don't know what they're talking about. There are probably no drummers in the industry today as composed, precise, and slamming as Gene Hoglan. However, Mike Portnoy, Brann Dailor, and Mario Duplantier all give him a run for his money. Why is Ryan Van Poederooyen (DTP) not even on this list, as far as I can see? He should definitely be in the top 20, if not the top 10. Gene also deserves a much higher ranking than this.

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 others are as sloppy as you could get, excluding Portnoy. But then, Hoglan is ten times better. Listen to any Strapping Young Lad song, like Laser Cannon Death Sentence or Biological Warfare.

Praised (and rightly so) for his fast playing, Gene Hoglan indeed never puts a foot wrong at incredibly high tempos and complexity levels. He seems to have boundless energy. But it's his creativity that often sets him apart. Listen to his work on some of Devin Townsend's solo albums, most notably Terria, especially the song The Fluke. It's incredible work.

7 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.

Seriously, George is only number 10? Do any of you have ANY idea about drumming? Do you even know half of these people? My hunch is that you're all voting for your favorites, not for the 'best metal drummer.' George is absolutely insane. He can reach 280 bpm (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 better than George Kollias? No, these little girls who vote for Lars Ulrich just don't know anything about real metal drumming, double bass, blast beats, etc. Why George Kollias? He's the best metal drummer in the world. Just listen to his double bass. And I'm not even a Nile fan!

As much as I dislike Nile's guitar sound, vocals, and the fact that you can't hear the bass, I listen to them just because of Kollias's drumming. Don't lie. When you go to a Nile concert, you don't go to see Nile, you go to see George Kollias!

His double bass drumming is so awesome! He inspired me to play drums (as did many others, but mainly him), and Lars is not the best. I'm tired of hearing, Who is George Kollias? especially in school. Even my music teacher didn't know who he is.

8 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 edition of Modern Drummer magazine, as decided upon in the magazine's Readers' Poll.

Everyone mentioned above is good. Most of them are my favorites. But Tomas is my idol. He is a beast when it comes to drumming, and he also writes the insane lyrics for Meshuggah. Okay, I know we're talking about drumming, so let's focus on that. He has speed and one of the greatest techniques in metal. He even influences Danny Carey. Listen to Meshuggah, and you will fall in love with him, just like I did. He really deserves a spot in the top 3.

All the drummers listed above are very talented gentlemen. However, when compared to Haake's tenacity, technical mastery (note the use of the word mastery and not just skill), and the fact that he has two brains (one controlling his arms and one controlling his feet), he stands above the rest. Whether you rank drumming by skill, speed, soul, badassness, or the brain-demolishing factor, Haake excels.

Why do people think that just because Joey Jordison is fast, he is good? Most of his work is so boring! Just listen to All Hope Is Gone (the song). Almost every fill is exactly the same, and it gets really boring really fast. Listening to Thomas, you never know what to expect, yet it always fits perfectly. He truly connects with, and understands, the music he plays.

Phenomenal drummer. It's obvious that the majority of people who voted have no idea about drumming. The Rev at number 1? Are you kidding me? How is he even above Portnoy? That's basically his mentor. Are you going to tell me he's better than Matt Greiner too? This is ridiculous. Haake and Greiner should share the #1 spot, straight up.

9 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.

By far the best metal drummer out there. He plays every bit of his drum set and commands as much attention as every other member in Lamb of God. Go to YouTube and try to find a reason why he shouldn't be the number one metal drummer. The Rev was a great drummer, but not even close to the skill level of Chris Adler. Tomas Haake from Meshuggah is probably the only one who could run a close race as far as metal drummers go.

Clearly, only drummers should be voting for the best drummer, regardless of genre. Popularity and talent are not mutually exclusive, but neither are technical execution and soul. Neil Peart is technically adept, but John Bonham is all soul. That said, Chris Adler is one of the most technically adept and soulful rhythmic composers in metal, and many in the industry are saying so.

Chris Adler doesn't need to mess around with being the fastest drummer. His style of playing is unlike any other metal drummer out there. As some have said, his kick technique is nuts. A perfect showcase of his talent can be heard in Blood of the Scribe and Now You've Got Something to Die For. He is by far my favorite drummer of all time.

He can start fills with his right or left hand and can start kick patterns with his right or left foot. It's not about speed, people! It's about versatility, technique, and coordination. Lars was a good stock thrash drummer for his time and influenced millions. But this isn't a popularity contest. It's about drumming abilities. Chris Adler wins.

10 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 a double pedal. McBrain often employs the back end of his left-hand drumstick to get a more aggressive sound from the snare drum. He is able to play a variety of styles. Take, for example, the 7/8 riff that 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.

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. He never uses a 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 the top 10!

It seems to me that the list is more about who can hit the double bass pedals faster. This does not make a good drummer. Nicko is one of the few drummers on this list who could play a song like "Where Eagles Dare" with only one bass pedal and continue with a two-hour concert without dropping a single beat.

The best. Lars Ulrich himself said that Iron Maiden is cooler than any other bands. One day, Ulrich was in New York and Maiden were performing in New Jersey. Lars went there and Maiden were on their Seventh Son of a Seventh Son world tour. Nicko McBrain handed his drumsticks to Lars, and Bruce introduced Lars to the audience. (By the way, Metallica weren't that famous at that time.) Lars performed Run to the Hills.

The Contenders
11 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 stands out from the rest. Don't believe me? Listen to War Pigs, Beyond the Walls of Sleep, or just about any Sabbath song.

An absolute legend in the making, Bill Ward was and still is the most inspiring metal drummer today. He's one of a kind, and his skills were most incredibly showcased on stage or wherever he played. Bill Ward is a monster on the drums, and his skills show it all. God bless him and Black Sabbath.

Thanks to all those who realize what an amazing drummer Bill Ward really was. He was the first true heavy metal drummer and created a sound that would not only change drumming but also music itself. He could easily be #1.

I'm mortified at this list. A7x at #1 and Slipknot at #2, while Bill Ward is at 18? It's pathetic that kids can't appreciate the old drummers. By the way, Slipknot has four percussionists, which is why they sound good to you. Bill Ward is better than all of them combined.

12 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.

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's really 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 definitely enough to place him higher on the list. 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 adding cool fills.

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

His drumming is absolutely awe-inspiring, especially the fills in Capillarian Crest. He is an energetic drummer who also possesses versatility, unique technique, and, most importantly, a good sense of control. In addition, he has a calm and composed temperament, which simply makes him a quintessential role model for any youngsters out there. This guy really inspires me to begin drumming lessons as soon as possible and batter the heck out of the drums.

It's crazy that drummers like Joey Jordison rank higher than Brann on this list. Brann brings to metal what not many other drummers do. He makes pinpoint drum rolls fit and incorporates jazz-influenced beats in places where they wouldn't normally fit in a song. Not many drummers are as recognizable as Brann as soon as you hear them. He's a key part of the band and has a killer voice too!

Brann Dailor is #1 for me. As a non-drummer, he's the only one whose drum tracks I can listen to all the way through without getting bored. They're compositions in themselves, rather than just beats. He's constantly adding rolls and fills, which sound totally spontaneous and keep you guessing all the way through. God bless him!

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

A true musical genius! People always hate on Lars and say he's a bad drummer, but the man changed the essence of drumming. Not to mention, he is one of the biggest drumming influences in the world. People complain because he changed his whole approach, but it's for the better good, in my opinion. If he's so bad, how did they sell over 130 million albums and sell out stadiums left and right? I started listening to Metallica back in '84, and yes, I was a tad upset after And Justice. However, listening to everything they play and how this man is so in tune with James Hetfield is mind-blowing.

Lars is a remarkable drummer. Just listen to any song by Metallica and notice how he constantly switches to different time signatures. Anyone who is a true Metallica fan would know that. Lars has his own unique style, and even after over 25 years, no one can match his exact style of playing. He is untouchable in a way. I can't say he is the world's best drummer, but he does deserve the top 5 spot he is in now.

Well, Lars used to be a great drummer and also an amazing artist. Lots of drummers were influenced by his drumming. But let's be honest, people. He doesn't practice much, even though he realizes that his skills have declined over the years and he can't even play his own songs, such as Dyers Eve. He admitted this fact in one of his interviews, and I also consider the recent Lars not an amazing drummer.

I voted for Lars because he plays in such a way that it just blends with the music. If this were a list of the fastest drummers, then he would be a no-no. But since this is a list of the best drummers, he gets my vote. Fast doesn't make good, guys and girls. He has contributed to making the band one of the best ever. Just name a song in which he doesn't perfectly match the riff and vocals.

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

He definitely deserves to be in the top 5, at least. He's by far my favorite musician. He plays with so much groove but maintains pristine precision. He manages god-like accuracy without sounding robotic at all. Gojira is one of the best, if not the best, modern metal bands.

He completely melts your mind when you're listening to Gojira. His performance is iconic - extremely technical, fast, precise, and jaw-dropping in every way. Just listen to Heaviest Matter of the Universe or any other song, for that matter.

Mario should definitely be higher on this list. Have you ever seen him live? He doesn't play like most death metal drummers who lightly tap the toms and snare. Instead, he puts in emotion, headbangs, feels the music, and overall steals the show. Also, he does not mess up. Rank 21? How the hell?

He is the best modern metal drummer in the world! He's an innovator and a genius! No one can touch him right now. The guy has studied jazz drumming for six years! How can you compete with that?

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 realize why he deserves a spot on this list!

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

16 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 passing of Dimebag and the dissolution of Damageplan, Vinnie would later join another band, Hellyeah. Vinnie died of a heart attack in June 2018.

I'm not sure who made this list, but the only one in the top ten who should be there is Dave Lombardo. He should be #1. What are the Rev and Jordison doing in the top 3? Drumming isn't just about 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 turns on the speed when he needs to. Like Lombardo, he doesn't just throw it all together in a blurred mess. He hits 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!

What people forget is that Pantera is a band. They were one of the tightest bands of all time, thanks to Darrell Abbott and Vinnie Paul. They never used Pro Tools to manipulate their tightness. They relied on professional skills. They became a bit too loose on Far Beyond Driven, but Cowboys and Vulgar were tight as a fish's ass.

I wouldn't say Vince is the greatest, but backing Dimebag isn't an easy task. He has a different approach to drumming. He doesn't mess around with fast and unnecessary beats. He keeps it simple but tight. No room for errors! Sometimes he's fast, like a machine gun. Above all, he's one badass, killer drummer.

Vince knew how to let a song breathe, instead of filling it with unnecessary double kicks and noodly business. Death metal drummers need to learn from guys like Vinnie Paul and Dave Lombardo and understand when to groove instead of blast. Sometimes, less is truly more.

17 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-floor thunder with technical flair 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 set 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 that it makes him easily the best for intricacy as well as rhythmically. He deserves the number one spot 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. He is massively underrated and deserves much more credit and recognition than he gets. His technique is superior to that of other metal drummers, including Joey Jordison. Don't get me wrong. I love Joey's playing, but Casey just leaves him in the dust. Additionally, Casey is 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 a king!

The absolute best, a true monster on a drum set! I am blessed to get to watch him perform all the time as he plays with my boys in Tampa. He is a magician and, most of all, a truly great person and humble - too humble, in my opinion, because I always tell him that I'm honored to be his friend.

18 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.

Mangini kicks it off in the new 2012 Dream Theater album. With four World's Fastest Drummer Records and his insane technical abilities, I think Mike Mangini deserves a spot in the Top 10. He performs a mind-blowing keyboard-drum duet in Illumination Theory and consistently finds ways to impress me more than even Rudess or Petrucci. It's a great start for Mike Mangini, and I expect that he'll continue to impress everyone.

He is one of the most musical drummers, with amazing rhythmic perception and a unique style of playing. Sometimes he's subtle, other times he's in your face. He is probably one of the most versatile and non-egoistic drummers in the metal world.

Mangini at rank 20? That clearly says everything about this poll. This guy is not only the best metal drummer. He's the best drummer in the world! Nobody can match his technique. Everyone who has seen him with DT knows that this guy is God. Rank 20? Bull!

This guy is the best thing that happened to Dream Theater. After Mike Portnoy left DT, this guy carried on his legacy. He's one of the fastest and most technical drummers in the world. He deserves at least 10th place. Other drummers cannot even compete with him.

19 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".

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 metal drummers just play fast and don't care about what the other band members are playing. I would listen to Menza's simpler beats and drum fills rather than listening to Joey Jordison's boring solo. (Joey plays only one drum fill and repeats it over and over again.) Another good metal drummer is Thomas Lang, who is more legendary and technical than Menza. I vote for Menza because his work impresses me the most.

Wait, what? He deserves a place in the top 10! He was the drummer on two legendary albums, such as Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction. He is underrated, and his technique is good. Along with Mustaine, he is my favorite band member. Credit to Menza!

I think he understands sound best and is a real master in techniques related to drums. He also knows what can make it sound better. Nick perfectly fits in the heavy metal category and with Megadeth. He is the best at both enjoying the show and performing in shows. For me, he is the best, at least better than any drummer Megadeth has ever had.

To see Nick Menza at number 20 is sad. He is top 10 material. The drumming on Holy Wars alone earns him the number 1 spot. And songs like Rust in Peace... Polaris, Five Magics, and Poison Was the Cure - I mean, come on. Number 20?

20 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. During System's hiatus, he made a solo album based solo on covers called These Grey Men, which featured vocal performances from Serj Tankian, M. Shadows, Franky Perez, Jonathan Dorr, Jonah Perry Nimoy, and Sirusho. Tom Morello provided guitar work on Street Spirit. Dolmayan and Serj have argued on social media, due to their drastically different political beliefs.

Dolmayan really should be higher on this list, given 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 of showing off with a blast beat, I think a drummer with skills in different areas of percussion deserves the #1 spot.

He is one of the best drummers I have ever heard in my life. If you listen to the Toxicity album, I can guarantee that you will understand why he is by far one of the best drummers out there. He never misses a beat live.

I would probably have to say that John is my drum idol. His drum technique is in my top 3. His drum lines in songs like Revenga, Chop Suey, and Toxicity are legendary and recognizable by everyone. This man deserves to be higher on the list.

John Dolmayan is a crazy good drummer! Some of the beats that he creates for System of a Down are incredible! I love his style of music, and the way he plays drums is mind-boggling!

21 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. 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. (Is anyone else confused about why you have to go beyond the top 5 to find Judas Priest on any list?)

Of course, the Painkiller solo is an insane drum experience. But come on, guy, look at his live performances. He'll show you that his techniques are stronger than just one song. Scott is THE master of the drums in a heavy metal band.

This should be in the top 10, not 21. He had an epic drumming solo in Painkiller, but besides that, I guess he is still pretty good.

Yeah, Painkiller is awesome. He double-basses like a crazy motherf*#!er. I think he should be in the top 10, at least.

22 Pete Sandoval (Morbid Angel, Terrorizer)

He's the fastest and most technical drummer! Morbid Angel is one of the most brutal and technical bands ever in metal. They are one of the few death metal bands that influence most other death metal bands. To summarize, they have great technical skill and play the heaviest and fastest metal. Without Pete Sandoval, the band is not the same. They need to go back to the old-school metal they had before the last album. The album isn't bad, but it's not the old-school Morbid Angel.

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

I definitely like some of these other guys, but Pete is by far my favorite. It's obvious through his music that he loves playing.

23 Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse) Paul Mazurkiewicz is an American drummer best known as a member for death metal band Cannibal Corpse. Mazurkiewicz was originally the drummer for the band, Tirant Sin, alongside two other future Cannibal Corpse members Chris Barnes and Bob Rusay.

Who cares about speed and technique? Paul sounds better. A lot of CC songs wouldn't exist without his sound.

He knows what he is doing. Great drummer!

He is my favorite.

24 Matt Cameron (Soundgarden) Matt Cameron is an American composer, and musician. He is mostly famous for being the drummer of the three grunge bands Soundgarden, 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 also died young, but that's not why they got all their respect. It was because they were amazing. I'm not dissing the Rev here. I'm just dissing the stupid teenagers who 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 mom's Sunday dinner. Simplest ingredients, nothing fancy, and the most satisfying meal ever. Thanks, Matt.

Probably the most underrated drummer of all time.

25 Ariën van Weesenbeek (Epica)

Speed, power, and unbelievable control. Along with some others that come 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 lives up to his nickname "The Beast." It's totally amazing when you discover at the end of the show that he is completely wet because of sweating. He is a real monster on stage and shows tons of energy when he's playing.

Respect for this incredible drummer.

Listen to Kingdom of Heaven on the album Design Your Universe. His drums are sick, AND he's the one doing most of the grunts and growls. He's seriously underrated!

This guy is way underappreciated. In my opinion, he is at the top, way higher than Lars. His work is great: speed, control, endurance - he's got everything.

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