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100 Greatest Heavy Metal Drummers

Top 100 Heavy Metal Drummers

The various styles and techniques of drummers in the realms of metal make the jaw drop. Dwell in a showcase of the best heavy metal drummers.

When you hear the aggressive attack of a snare roll or the lightning speed of the double bass pedal on the kick drum, you feel overwhelmed by the sheer energy a drummer brings forth. The heavy metal genre is home to some of the most technically proficient drummers. From brutal speed to poetic artistry, we’ve seen it all unfold in the realms of heavy metal and its subgenres.

Over the years the number of technical drummers has increased significantly in metal. Drumming techniques in recent years have reached another level. The speed and accuracy with which drummers beat skin is astonishing. It’s testimony to the fact that drummers spend hours practicing their craft.

The drumming styles and techniques of drummers in various subgenres of heavy metal vary in accordance with preference.

In many subgenres of heavy metal manic tempo changes form an integral part of musical structure. In progressive metal, experimental metal and technical metal genres drummers showcase a range of techniques and styles that are unconventional in the norms of drumming. Odd time signatures and off time drumming patterns are popular in progressive metal and Avant-garde metal. Drummers in the heavy metal genre are known for their technique and accuracy. Precision and timing is exceedingly important, especially when you get down to playing exceedingly fast tempos on the drums. Many heavy metal drummers exhibit metronomic timings which are integral to song structure.

The list below showcases drummers from Heavy metal and its subgenres. Mentioned in brackets is band with which the drummer gained recognition and genre.

100 Greatest Heavy Metal Drummers

  1. Mike Mangini (/Dream Theater/Annihilator/Steve Vai- Progressive Metal/Heavy Metal)
  2. Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater- Progressive Metal)
  3. Dave Lombardo (Slayer- Thrash Metal)
  4. Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel/Fear Factory/Strapping Young Lad- Heavy Metal/Technical Metal)
  5. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath- Heavy Metal))
  6. Nick Menza (Megadeth- Speed Metal/Thrash Metal)
  7. Dan Foord (Sikth- Progressive Metal)
  8. Chris Adler (Lamb of God- Groove Metal)
  9. Danny Carey (Tool- Progressive Metal)
  10. The Rev (Avenged Sevenfold- Heavy Metal)
  11. Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine- Rap Metal/Alternative Metal)
  12. Lars Ulrich (Metallica- Heavy Metal/Thrash Metal)
  13. Martin Lopez (Opeth- Heavy Metal/Progressive Black Metal)
  14. Vinnie Paul (Pantera- Heavy Metal/Groove Metal)
  15. Brann Dailor (Mastodon- Heavy Metal)
  16. Joey Jordison (Slipknot/Scar The Martyr- Heavy Metal)
  17. Keith Moon (The Who/Heavy Metal)
  18. Scott Travis (Judas Priest- Hard Rock/ Heavy Metal)
  19. Randy Castillo (Ozzy Osbourne- Heavy Metal)
  20. Bobby Jarzombek (Riot- Hard Rock/Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal)
  21. Mike Wengren (Disturbed- Heavy Metal)
  22. Dave McLain (Machine Head- Heavy Metal)
  23. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin-Rock/Heavy Metal)
  24. Ian Paice (Deep Purple- Heavy Metal)
  25. Alex Van Halen (Van Halen- Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  26. Will Calhoun (Living Colour- Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)
  27. Charlie Benante (Anthrax- Thrash/Speed Metal)
  28. Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch- Heavy Metal)
  29. Eric Singer (Kiss- Heavy Metal)
  30. Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden- Heavy Metal)
  31. George Kollias (Nile- Technical Death Metal/Heavy Metal)
  32. Ray Luzier (Korn- Heavy Metal/Nu Metal)
  33. Zyon Cavalera (Soulfly/Lody Kong- Heavy Metal)
  34. Igor Cavalera (Sepultura- Thrash/Speed Metal)
  35. Matt Sorum (Velvet Revolver/Guns N’ Roses- Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)
  36. Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy- Melodic Death Metal)
  37. Jason Costa (All That Remains- Metalcore)
  38. Cozy Powell (Rainbow/Black Sabbath- Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  39. Richard Christy (Death- Heavy Metal)
  40. Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake- Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  41. Philthy Animal Taylor (Motorhead- Rock N’ Roll/Heavy Metal)
  42. David Silveria (Korn- Heavy Metal/Nu Metal)
  43. Clive Burr (Iron Maiden- Heavy Metal)
  44. David Kinkade (Borknagar- Progressive Metal/ Black Metal)
  45. Tim Alexander (Primus- Heavy Metal/Experimental Metal)
  46. Nick Augusto (Trivium- Heavy Metal)
  47. Daniel Davison (Norma Jean- Metalcore)
  48. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers- Funk Metal/Rap Metal)
  49. Flo Mounier (Cryptosy- Technical Death Metal)
  50. Dirk Bruinenberg (Elegy/Adagio- Progressive Metal/Power Metal)
  51. Carmine Appice (Cactus/Blue Murder- Heavy Metal)
  52. Casey Grillo (Kamelot- Power Metal/ Heavy Metal)
  53. Mike Terrana (Progressive Metal/Neo-classical Metal/- Rage/Masterplan)
  54. Shannon Larkin (Godsmack- Heavy Metal)
  55. Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot/W.A.S.P- Heavy Metal)
  56. Jimmy DeGrasso (Y&T- Heavy Metal)
  57. Paul Bostaph (Forbidden/Exodus/Slayer- Heavy Metal/Thrash)
  58. Steve Asheim (Deicide- Heavy Metal/Death Metal)
  59. Eric Carr (Kiss- Heavy Metal)
  60. Tomas Haake (Meshuggah- Extreme Metal)
  61. Vinny Apice (Dio/Heaven & Hell- Heavy Metal)
  62. John Tempesta (Exodus/Testament- Heavy Metal/Thrash Metal)
  63. Mikkey Dee (Motorhead/King Diamond- Heavy Metal)
  64. Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses- Heavy Metal)
  65. Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin/Black Label Society- Heavy Metal)
  66. Joey Kramer (Aerosmith- Heavy Metal)
  67. Deen Castronovo (Cacophony- Heavy Metal/Hard Rock)
  68. Jerry Gaskill (Kings X- Progressive Metal)
  69. Louie Clemente (Testament- Thrash Metal)
  70. Gary Holland (Great White- Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  71. Matt Garstka (Animals as Leaders- Progressive Metal)
  72. Ricardo Confessori (Angra- Power Metal)
  73. Gar Samuelson (Megadeth- Speed Metal/Heavy Metal)
  74. Mario Duplantier (Gojira- Technical Death Metal)
  75. Abe Cunningham (Deftones- Alternative Metal)
  76. Dave Culross (Malevolent Creation/Sufffocation- Heavy Metal/Death Metal)
  77. Shawn Drower (Megadeth- Heavy Metal)
  78. Will Hunt (Evanescence/Black Label Society- Heavy Metal/Nu Metal)
  79. Johnny Kelly (Type O Negative- Gothic Metal)
  80. Pete Snadoval (Morbid Angel/ Terrorizer- Death Metal)
  81. Greg Gall (Six Feet Under- Heavy Metal)
  82. Jason Rullo (Symphony X- Progressive Metal)
  83. Tom Hunting (Exodus/Angel Witch- Heavy Metal/Thrash)
  84. Sean Kinney (Alice In Chains- Alternative Metal)
  85. Paul Mazurkiewicz (Cannibal Corpse- Death Metal)
  86. Tony Laureano (Angelcorpse/Nile/Dimmu Borgir- Heavy Metal/Extreme Metal)
  87. Dennis Leeflang (Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal/Sun Caged) (Heavy Metal/Progressive Metal)
  88. Sean Reinert (Cynic- Progressive Metal)
  89. Matt Greiner (August Burns Red- Metalcore)
  90. Derek Roddy (Hate Eternal/Nile/Malevolent Creation)
  91. Martin Marthus Škaroupka (Cradle of Filth- Extreme Metal)
  92. Jorge Iacobellis (Hirax- Thrash Metal)
  93. Aquiles Priester (Midas Fate- Progressive Metal)
  94. Tony Palermo (Papa Roach- Alternative Rock/ Heavy Metal)
  95. Shannon Lucas (The Black Dahlia Murder/All That Remains- Melodic Death Metal/ Metalcore)
  96. Francesco ‘Scythe’ Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse)
  97. Nick Oshiro (Static X- Industrial Metal/Alternative Metal/Nu Metal)
  98. Scott Phillips (Creed/Alter Bridge- Alternative Metal)
  99. Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche- Progressive Metal)
  100. Ilan Rubin (Lost Prophets/Nine Inch Nails/Paramore- Alternative Metal)

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