What is the MOST BRUTAL SNARE SOUND of all times???
Many people think that the most important instrument in metal is the guitar. But they could not be more wrong!! The key to heavy music is drums, and specifically the right snare drum sound! A wimpy, flat snare or a fat, bloofy one that sounds like a sampled sneeze will ruin even the sickest pit riffment. With guitars tuning lower and lower, the need for brutal snares that cut through the mix has never been greater, and finding the right one isn’t getting any easier. But don’t worry: I am here to help!! As a 20+ year veteran of the metal scene and expert on drums, in this post I will help you decide what snare is right for you. Read on for answers!!
For a quick example of what I’m talking about, let’s compare these two popular slam bands:
Fig 1, ABOMINABLE PUTRIDITY. Decent riffs that are handicapped by crappy, midrangey guitar tone. But the real problem is THE FUCKING SNARE WTFFFFFFF it sounds like it’s from a CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND song. NOT BRUTAL!!!!!
Fig 2, DISCONFORMITY. Similar riffing, but 10000x more brutal thanks to the scooped, jun-jun guitar sound and most of all, a snare that sounds like someone banging on the side of an empty oil tanker with an iron bar. BRUTAL AS FUCK.
While scholars debate the precise origin of the brutal snare, the general consensus is that it first appeared in the early-to-mid 90s. For such a poppy band, 311 has one of the most shockingly brutal snares in the history of recorded music and even the best slam bands struggle to match it’s clangy ringiness! (Check out this video for the secret to Chad’s snare sound: GOOD TECHNIQUE)
HELMET were also early pioneers of the brutal snare, which was complimented by John Stanier’s highly syncopated, hip-hop influenced drumming style that is just begging for the listener to bust out the wiggerish arm movements. This song is particularly innovative in the way it combines the ringy snare with an actual sample of some metallic clanging noise– very advanced!! Steven Slate, are u listening???
While INTERNAL BLEEDING were probably the pioneers of the brutal snare in the context of slam, I believe that it was only perfected in the last year or so, with the release of the second CEREBRAL INCUBATION album. While I suppose one could argue that this snare could use just a bit more ping, I personally get erect every time I notice how full bodied it is, and how despite being compressed to shit, you can still hear the slight variation in velocity on every hit during a blast. PERFECTION!!
If I could just get an acapella track of this PURULENT JACUZZI snare I would listen to it on repeat all day, every day.
If you need any further proof that the snare is the most important element in heavy music, look no further than SUISIDE SILENCE. While a lot of people will point to things like their songwriting or stage presence, I think it is obvious if u listen to their music that the reason SUISIDE SILENCE is so much more popular than any other deathcore band is that they are the only one who uses the brutal snare!! Think about it– seems obvious now that I mention it, doesn’t it??
And last but certainly not least, the mother of all brutal snares: ST FUCKIN ANGER!!!! It goes without saying that this album is a complete abortion in terms of songwriting, production, lyrics and absolutely everything else but the snare so please do not think I’m trolling or saying that METALLICA is a good band because I agree, they’re fucking awful. But MY GOD THIS SNARE!!!!!! I would gladly drink a gallon of Dave Mustaine’s saliva for clean samples of that thing… truly god tier!