The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers



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 Gene Hoglan…

To many, Gene Hoglan is extreme metal drumming’s first superhero. Sure, somebody else invented flying and capes, but Superman was the first to whiz by our windows en route to save an imperiled babe in a business suit. And extreme metal needed its saviors in the mid-‘90s, when the genre was dangling out the window of a burning building, legs kicking and eyes bulged at the drop to the grungy pavement below. In swooped Hoglan, once of not-amazing thrashers Dark Angel, on a pair of thrilling, evolutionary albums from Death, and then, in 1997 alone, Strapping Young Lad’s pivotal City and Testament’s foray into brutality, Demonic.

It’s something to think about: The guy once tasked with holding together Dave Lombardo’s drumkit during the recording of Slayer’s 1983 debut was now turning in blinding, technically implausible drum performances — ones barely prevented from complete show-stealing by metal mega-talents Chuck Schuldiner, Devin Townsend, and Eric Peterson. Wow, right?

It was around this time that I began hearing that Hoglan’s brains match his skill: His drum tracking required only a few days in the studio. (In 2012, we can count Hoglan’s short-notice fill-ins for Anthrax and Forbidden as further evidence of super-human reliability.) Best of all, the recently slimmed Hoglan busts drummer cliches with his outsized personality: I remember his profanity-laced I.D. for The Root Of All Evil, a Saturday night metal show on Minneapolis public radio; I also remember picking up my jaw upon reading the 1997 Metal Maniacs interview in which Hoglan casually informed an oblivious Chuck Billy of his defection to Testament tour mates Strapping Young Lad. Ouch!



#7: Danny Carey (Tool)
#8: Proscriptor McGovern (Absu)
#9: Chris Adler (Lamb of God)
#10: Sean Reinert (Cynic)
#11: Dave Witte
#12: Navene Koperweis (Animals as Leaders, Animosity, Fleshwrought)
#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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