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 Aesop Dekker from Agalloch, Ludicra, and Worm Ouroboros…

When faced with the task of compiling this list, there were a couple musicians that came to mind immediately. One of those individuals was Aesop Dekker. There are a great many reasons for this of course, but when I get down to it, what I believe is his stand-out attribute may surprise you: he’s considerate. No, not in a “letting little old ladies across the street” kind of way, though I’m sure if such a situation arose he’d kindly oblige. Nope — no matter what sort of outfit he’s playing for, what guitar riff or bass flow he’s accompanying — his approach is always that of a certain grace, even when offering the most punishing of drum-beats.

As the percussionist for Bay Area “grey metal” pioneers Ludicra, Dekker’s drum-style ran the gamut from somber, rhythmic, lapping to boisterous, earth shattering destruction. It’s through this band that most of us have become so familiar with Dekker, myself included. Through recordings it had always been evident that he was not one to fuck with behind the kit, and it became even more apparent watching him live. This holds true, too, with his induction into the latest Agalloch line-up. A distinctive sound was brought to their latest album, Marrow of the Spirit, and in my opinion, that’s due in large part to Dekker’s pristine skills.  He brings pure black metal ferocity when appropriate and then mellows out, creating at times an almost waterlike atmosphere to the more subdued areas – a staple on any Agalloch recording, made wholly his own through his finely crafted methods.

These days he’s engrossed himself in yet another project: Worm Ouroboros. Leaning towards the more ambient sides of doom and folk alike, we’re again shown how delicate yet powerful Aesop’s skill sets are.

It can’t hurt either that the guy is so enamored with finding the most rare and obscure black, death and doom creations with his much pined-over blog, Cosmic Hearse. Quite obviously we’re dealing with an artist with impeccable taste. This fact alone may help set him apart from his peers, taking inspiration from artists that have also wandered down a path less traveled. Whatever the hell it is, it’s working, and damn well at that. You better believe I’ll be keeping track of any project Aesop Dekker finds himself involved in until the day he decides to lay down his sticks, an event I’m sure we’re all crossing our fingers won’t come to pass any time in the near future.



#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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