Top Ten Thrash Metal Drummers


The Top Ten

1 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.

Lombardo's double kick is absolutely insane. A thrash metal drummer is graded on a scale of 1-Lombardo. - ryanrimmel

Lombardo is brutality, lombardo is thrash

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2 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".

Menza had a 9 year stint with Megadeth. He is heard on Cryptic Writings, Countdown to Extinction, Hidden Treasures, Youthanasia, and Rust in Peace. (Often cited as the greatest thrash album of all time) - ryanrimmel

3 Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death) Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Stormtroopers of Death)

Most underrated band of the big 4, but Benante is easily one of the best drummers ever. - ryanrimmel

4 Jürgen Reil (Kreator) Jürgen Reil (Kreator)

Crazy double kick, listen to Pleasure to Kill and you will understand. - ryanrimmel

5 Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament) Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament) 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.

I would rate Gene Hoglan higher than Nick Menza and Lars Ulrich. - Metal_Treasure

Hoglan has worked with many bands, such as Testament, Death, Dethlokk, Opeth. But his biggest accomplishment is his work in Dark Angel in the 80s and 90s. - ryanrimmel

6 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.

He's the best drummer on this list and the best metal drummer in general. Nobody else (except Randy Black - the other Annihilator drummer) can handle both thrash drumming and prog metal drumming at his level of technical skills.
Annihilator's technical thrash requires both thrash and prog skills (Randy Black also combines these 2 types of drumming skills; another thing in common is that both Mike Mangini and Randy Black are ambidextrous).

Speed is not everything but Mike Mangini is officially the fastest metal drummer. - Metal_Treasure

Annihilator's Alice in Hell earned the band critical acclaim. Mangini and Annihilator are staples of how thrash metal should be graded. - ryanrimmel

Even though Mangini wasn't the drummer on Alice in Hell (1989), everything is correct - Alice in Hell earned the critical acclaim; Mangini and Annihilator are staples. Mangini's first album came out in 1993. - Metal_Treasure

Recognition works in a weird way - Mangini was a great drummer 25 years ago but he got attention in 2011, when joined a very popular band (Dream Theater). - Metal_Treasure

7 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.

You always need to include Lars. Metallica's early albums defined thrash metal. - ryanrimmel

8 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.

Igor spent 20 years in Sepultura before forming Cavalera Conspiracy with his brother, Max. The album Arise is probably his best album. The intro on Territory is one of the greatest drum intros in heavy metal history. - ryanrimmel

9 Randy Black (Annihilator) Randy Black (Annihilator) 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.

Annihilator's technical thrash is prog influenced and requires both thrash and prog drumming skills.

Similarly to Mike Mangini, Randy Black also combines these 2 types of drumming skills - Randy started his career in a Rush tribute band and he had to come close to Neil Peart.

Another thing in common is that both Mike Mangini and Randy Black are ambidextrous, which is not only sick - it gives them more autonomy in the drumming process because they are not dependent on left or right limbs (their left and right limbs are equally good). - Metal_Treasure

Amazing ambidextrous drummer. He's like a metronome. One of the drummers who finds ways to make drums a leading metal instrument, at least for some song sections. In his case it's not easy because he competes with Jeff Waters - a guitar virtuoso.

Try 'Ultra Motion' - its speed is over 210 bpm (single strokes). Pay attention to his double bass in the middle (2:15-3:15) - it's not a difficult beat to play but it's speed and the beat change itself make double bass sound beautiful. For a minute drums are a leading instrument (play this section louder! )
Annihilator - Ultra Motion [HD/1080i]
(it's uploaded by AGENT Thrasher).

Make sure you found the original track because Annihilator re-recorded this song with a new lineup. The original is from 'Waking The Fury' album 2002 - brownish cover art with band members photos. - Metal_Treasure

10 Tom Hunting (Exodus) Tom Hunting (Exodus)

Is heard on Exodus's first 3 albums, Bonded By Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh, and Fabulous Disaster. He rejoined Exodus for short stints before joining permanently in 2007 - ryanrimmel

The Contenders

11 Pete Webber (Havok) Pete Webber (Havok)

Havok is part of the new wave of thrash metal along with Evile, Municipal Waste, and Bonded By Blood. Pete Webber is very underrated. Listen to the album Time is Up. - ryanrimmel

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12 Vinnie Paul (Pantera) Vinnie Paul (Pantera) Vincent Paul Abbott, also known as "Vinnie Paul", is an American professional drummer and producer who is best known for being a former member, and co-founder, of the heavy metal band Pantera.
13 Rat Skates (Overkill)
14 Gar Samuelson

The pioneer of thrash drumming, enough said.

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List Stats

14 listings
3 years, 14 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Mike Mangini (Annihilator)
2. Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament)
3. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
1. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
2. Mike Mangini (Annihilator)
3. Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament)
1. Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Testament)
2. Nick Menza (Megadeth)
3. Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel, Testament)

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