The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers

#12: NAVENE KOPERWEIS (ANIMALS AS LEADERS, ANIMOSITY, FLESHWROUGHT)

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MetalSucks recently polled its staff to determine The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers, and after an incredible amount of arguing, name calling, and physical violence, we have finalized that list! The only requirements to be eligible for the list were that the musician in question had to a) play metal (duh), b) play drums (double-duh), and c) have recorded something in the past five years. Today we continue our countdown with Navene Koperweis, currently of Animals as Leaders and formerly of Animosity…

Few people really viewed Animosity as pioneers of metal, even in their prime, but drummer Navene Koperweis has been influencing the extreme music world since he sat down at the drum kit when he was just eleven years old. He was just fifteen when he recorded Shut It Down with Animosity, and now, at the ripe old age of twenty-six, he’s making huge waves as the drummer of Animals as Leaders. And his musical expertise goes way beyond blast beats and double kicks, and even way beyond drumming — Koperweis performed all of the instruments, except the vocals, on Fleshwrought’s 2010 debut Dementia/Dyslexia.

But what really makes Koperweis an awesome drummer is his absolute versatility and dominance over time and tempo. So many songs on the latest Animals as Leaders release, 2011’s Weightless, are made interesting simply by the textured drum sounds he works in, turning songs like “Do Not Go Gently” into slamming metal tunes that still sound like progressive jazzy compositions. He also knows how to strike just the right balance between brutality and musicality — so many death metal drummers allow their songs to degenerate into amorphous walls of sounds. Each song Navene works on ends up being memorable, and that’s a sure sign of a phenomenal drummer. You just don’t hear things like the distorted fade-out of “A Passionate Journey” anywhere but on records with Koperweis.

Fact is, he can make anything sound good, and that’s why Navene’s really got everything going for him: skill, versatility, experience, and motivation. He made a name for himself crazy early on, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Koperweis is going to remain an unappreciated pinnacle of the scene for years to come.

-DM

THE LIST SO FAR:

#13: Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve)
#14: Kevin Talley
#15: Morgan Rose (Sevendust)
#16: Stef Broks (Textures)
#17: Blake Richardson (Between the Buried and Me)

#18: Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Ludicra, Worm Ouroboros)
#19: Shannon Lucas (The Black Dahlia Murder)
#20: Ben Koller (Converge, All Pigs Must Die, United Nations, Acid Tiger)
#21: Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantômas, Grip Inc., Philm)
#22: Paul Bostaph
#23: Phil Dubois-Coyne (Revocation)
#24: Jade Simonetto (Hate Eternal)
#25: Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob)

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