Metal is undoubtedly one of the most technically challenging styles of music to play on drums. Metal drumming requires serious stamina and exceptional control. On top of that, grooves and fills must be executed with surgical precision!
There is also an enormous pool of talent within the metal drumming community. There are far too many drummers worthy of a place on this list of the best drummers in metal.
In this article, I’ve shortlisted the very best metal drummers in the world right now. While being a difficult selection process, I’ve made my decision based on several factors including creativity, technique, power, speed, musicality, and consistency.
- The Best Metal Drummers in the World Right Now
- Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura)
- Matt Gartska (Animals as Leaders)
- Danny Carey (TOOL)
- Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
- Alex Rudinger (Whitechapel/ Independent)
- Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
- Matt Greiner (August Burns Red)
- Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre)
- Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
- Chris Turner (Oceans Ate Alaska)
- II (Sleep Token)
- El Estepario Siberiano (Independent)
- Luke Holland (Jason Richardson/ Independent)
The Best Metal Drummers in the World Right Now
Each drummer featured in this list of the top 10 metal drummers has an individual playing style that makes them totally unique and awe-inspiring to behold. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here is my pick of the greatest metal drummers right now.
Eloy Casagrande (Sepultura)
Eloy Casagrande is a Brazilian drummer who rose to fame at the tender age of 13, after being touted as the next big thing by Modern Drummer Magazine, and winning several competitions including Undiscovered Drummer of The Year 2006.
Currently performing with the heavy metal outfit Sepultura, Eloy has continued to progress from a child prodigy into one of the world’s best metal drummers. His playing strengths lie with his unrivaled power and consistency, and he dominates the stage on a drum riser with an astounding physical presence.
Make no mistake, Eloy Casagrande is without a doubt one of the most powerful drummers on the planet. But he also demonstrates a great deal of musicality and creativity behind the drum set as he lays down his instantly recognizable drum fills.
Matt Gartska (Animals as Leaders)
Matt Gartska is another supremely gifted metal drummer who has received no shortage of praise within the metal community! He is renowned for writing and performing some of the most complex and musically creative drum parts of any drummer alive.
Ever since graduating from Berklee in 2011, Matt has toured with progressive/tech metal outfit Animals as Leaders, and he has been nominated for plenty of awards including ‘Best Progressive Rock Drummer’. His triumphant live performances have captured the attention of music fans around the world.
Performing a mind-bending medley of extreme odd-time signatures and gospel-infused chops with impeccable technique and precision, Matt Gartska truly represents the pinnacle of modern drumming.
Danny Carey (TOOL)
No newcomer to the metal music scene, Danny Carey has been expertly crafting captivating grooves for the Grammy award-winning progressive metal band TOOL since 1989. Danny has found huge favor amongst musicians with credit due to the diversity of his sound.
Incorporating unique elements from styles such as Jazz and world music, Danny Carey delivers sensational performances on arena stages around the world. He is a master of odd-time signatures and limb independence.
Danny performs with exceptional musicianship and can switch between playing with authoritative power and a graceful, delicate touch at a moment’s notice. Danny chops and genius time manipulation throughout TOOL’s entire catalog that can only be considered untouchable.
Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
Very few drummers are as exciting to watch as Brann Dailor! The Mastodon stickman has a distinctive playing style. He compliments the band’s crushing riffs with trailblazing fills and exceptionally tight grooves that are incredibly energetic.
Brann Dailor ferociously drives the band’s sound forward with musicality and technical prowess. Not only is he fast and powerful, but his playing also has a very unique style that’s just so enjoyable to watch.
Inspired by early Jazz drummers and prog-rock drummers, Brann is regarded by many as one of the top drummers in the modern era. His style can instantly be described as “organized chaos”!
Alex Rudinger (Whitechapel/ Independent)
One of my personal favorite drummers; Alex Rudinger burst onto the scene in 2012 with his sensational video performances that quickly went viral and caught the attention of musicians around the globe.
His drumming style encompasses extreme technical precision, and he seems to possess the stamina of a professional athlete. It’s mind-blowing when you consider how fast he plays a double bass drum pedal for extended periods of time.
Having toured with some of the biggest names in metal including Whitechapel and The Faceless, Alex Rudinger has risen from a home YouTuber to becoming one of the best metal drummers of the 21st century.
While Alex has an incredible natural drumming gift, it’s clear he has worked tremendously hard to reach lightning fast speeds on the drum set. Let’s also take a moment to appreciate his musical excellence regarding his ability to write both challenging, and creative drum parts.
Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
There is only one man who could match Gojira’s assault of colossal riffs on the drums: Mario Duplantier. He is the complete drummer, blending virtuoso and originality behind the drum kit.
Not only is his technique flawless, but he also achieves an enormous sound that really sets the foundation for the band’s powerful music. An impressive thing to note is that Mario does not use any click tracks for recording or playing live. Despite this, he possesses a staggeringly consistent sense of time.
Mario Duplantier also draws inspiration from tribal music, blending complex polyrhythms with tasteful musicality. He unleashes a sonic barrage on the drum set that can only be regarded as purely phenomenal.
Matt Greiner (August Burns Red)
Matt Greiner is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of modern metalcore drumming, and he is an incredible drummer who serves the music perfectly while delivering his own unique style. Watching him play, you can see how much he loves drums, and he is a very inspiring drummer to behold.
He is not only one of the most technically gifted and unique modern drummers, but his August Burns Red performances are some of the most creative drum compositions found in metal drumming.
Matt’s playing strengths can be attributed to his rock-solid timekeeping to a click track playing with in-ear monitors, superior consistency with playing dynamics, unmatched feel and control on the drum set, and competency with odd-time signatures.
Mike Portnoy (Dream Theatre)
Very few drummers have made a positive impact like Mike Portnoy has had on the music world. He has inspired drummers around the world with his signature flair, creative drum fills, and odd-time signature playing.
Mike Portnoy’s long list of awards as a professional metal drummer includes 30 Modern Drummer Readers polls and is the youngest inductee into the Modern Drummer’s Hall of Fame. There is no denying he has cemented himself as one of the best metal drummers of all time.
He is also widely recognized for his enormous Tama drum set that includes 2 bass drums as well as a huge array of toms and cymbals, all mounted on a huge drum rack. Many pro drummers today cite Mike Portnoy as an inspiration due to his uniquely charismatic playing style on the drums.
Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
Tomas Haake is an undeniable force to be reckoned with in the metal drumming world. As the drummer for Meshuggah, he brings a unique and original style that has influenced countless other musicians in the genre.
Known for his precision and technicality, Haake’s drumming is often described as “math metal” due to its complex time signatures and intricate patterns. He seamlessly weaves together polyrhythms and syncopated grooves, creating a powerful and mesmerizing sound.
With his incredible speed and control, Tomas Haake continues to push the boundaries of what is possible on the drums, solidifying his place as one of the best metal drummers in the world right now.
Chris Turner (Oceans Ate Alaska)
Despite being one of the lesser-known drummers on this list, Chris Turner is a rare drummer who has captured the attention of drummers around the world with his robot-like precision and unique metalcore drum parts.
Chris is particularly remarkable because he does not use any triggers, sample replacement, or editing for his drum performances both live and in the studio. It’s 100% natural and this is very rare for metal drummers.
Most metal drummers rely on triggers to achieve fast speeds and huge power together. But not Chris Turner. He can do it all on his own, simply with unbelievable accuracy. This is what makes Chris’ drumming so extraordinary and what makes him one of the best metal drummers today.
Clay Aeschliman (Polyphia)
Clay Aeschliman from Polyphia is a master of precision, renowned for his tight sound and high-performance drumming. Clay has been playing drums for Polyphia since 2016 and has garnered praise for his technique and style.
He demonstrates proficiency in complex rhythms, fast fills, and intricate patterns, which adds depth and complexity to Polyphia’s music.
Clay’s drumming goes beyond technicality; he understands the musical context and knows how to enhance the overall sound of the band. He has a keen sense of dynamics, groove, and timing, allowing him to create impactful and cohesive drum parts.
He also incorporates many various styles and influences into his playing, blending elements of rock, metal, jazz, and more.
George Kollias (Nile)
George Kollias is a renowned metal drummer known for his exceptional skills and speed. He is best known as the drummer for the extreme metal band Nile. With his precise and powerful drumming, he has earned a spot among the top death metal drummers in metal music today.
George Kollias’ technical double bass proficiency and ability to perform complex blast beats have made him a favorite among fans of the genre.
His contributions to Nile’s discography, including their critically acclaimed album “Black Seeds of Vengeance,” showcase his mastery of the drums and his unique style that blends precision and aggression.
George Kollias continues to be a prominent figure in the world of drumming, solidifying his place as one of the best in the business.
Mike Mangini (Dream Theater)
Mike Mangini is a powerhouse behind the drum kit, known for his technical precision and musicality. As the drummer for progressive metal pioneers Dream Theater, he has solidified himself as one of the best in the world right now.
With lightning-fast hands and mind-boggling coordination, Mangini delivers high-energy performances that leave audiences in awe. His ability to seamlessly navigate complex time signatures and execute intricate fills showcases his exceptional skills and musicality.
Mike Mangini is a true master of his craft, pushing boundaries and setting new standards for metal drumming today.
Ray Luzier (Korn)
Ray Luzier is renowned for his impressive drumming skills and energetic stage presence as the drummer for the iconic metal band Korn. With his powerhouse playing style, Luzier has made a name for himself in the world of metal music.
Known for his power and groove, he seamlessly blends intricate rhythms with heavy-hitting beats that perfectly complement Korn’s intense sound. Whether it’s his thunderous double bass pedal work or his ability to create complex time signatures, Luzier’s drumming stands out as a driving force behind Korn’s powerful performances.
Ray Luzier continues to showcase his exceptional talent and solidify his status as an influential figure in modern metal music.
II (Sleep Token)
II from Sleep Token is a phenomenally skilled and impressive drummer that brings a distinctively unique approach to metal drumming. II has contributed significantly to Sleep Token’s rise as well as their distinct musical identity.
Sleep Token’s drum parts are some of the most creative and original in the metal genre, period. Exceptionally creative, intricate, precise, musical, and dynamic are a few ways you can describe II’s drumming.
Throughout songs you can hear trailblazing Gospel-chops inspired fills, tight hi-hat work, and pummelling double-kick grooves, all seamlessly blended to produce a truly amazing sound. II provides the perfect percussive array for Sleep Token’s wildly varied musical arrangements!
Derek Roddy (Independent)
Derek Roddy is another exceptional metal drummer known for his incredible speed, precision, and technicality. As the former drummer of several acts including Hate Eternal, he has left a lasting impact on the world of extreme metal drumming.
With lightning-fast double bass pedal techniques and mind-blowing blast beats, Derek’s drumming style is unmatched. His ability to navigate complex time signatures with ease showcases his mastery over the drums.
Derek Roddy’s ludicrously fast and aggressive double bass drumming has earned him a well-deserved spot on this list of influential metal drummers.
El Estepario Siberiano (Independent)
El Estepario Siberiano is a very talented drummer who has gained significant recognition and a large following through his online presence. His drum covers, lessons, and social media content have garnered millions of views and inspired aspiring drummers worldwide.
He showcases very impressive technical skills on the drums. He is known for his fast and precise playing, intricate drum patterns, and creative fills.
Siberiano brings a fresh and innovative approach to his drumming. He incorporates unique rhythms, complex polyrhythms, and unconventional techniques into his playing, making his performances captivating and enjoyable to watch.
Luke Holland (Jason Richardson/ Independent)
Online drumming sensation Luke Holland is no stranger within the drumming world. His online videos have racked up over an astonishing 100 million views.
Luke became a great drummer at a relatively young age, Luke Holland has already experienced a great deal of success in the music industry, being one of the most in-demand metal session drummers right now.
Luke Holland’s playing strengths lie in his fast and technical footwork, tasteful and creative drum parts, and his showmanship on the drums.
Having already performed and toured with bands such as The Word Alive, I See Stars, Jason Richardson, and Hollywood Undead; Luke has firmly established himself as one of the most popular metal drummers of our time.
These drummers have proven themselves to be the best in the metal world right now. From their lightning-fast speed to their complex time signatures, they bring an unmatched level of skill and precision to the metal music scene.
Get ready to headbang and experience the raw power of these extraordinary drummers as they dominate stages around the globe.