The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers



The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers - MetalSucksDirk Verbeuren

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 Dirk Verbeuren of Soilwork…

Like many other drummers on this list, Dirk Verbeuren’s singular talent isn’t the kind that necessarily announces itself on first, second or tenth listen. I listened to Soilwork’s albums for years without ever really paying that much attention to the drums until one day it just hit me. Holy. Shit. Dude can PLAY.

Verbeuren didn’t make his recording debut with Soilwork until 2005’s Stabbing the Drama, which might explain why some of my all-time favorite moments of top-notch Soilwork drumdom appear on that phenomenal record. The devil’s in the details with Dirk, and those details are all in the hands; that’s what she said. No, but seriously: Dirk’s got some of the smoothest, tastiest, and most deceptively quick hands in all the land. His breakneck tom fills aren’t just fast but artful, his intricate cymbal work equaled by no one (ok maybe one guy), and like yeah no duh, he can pound and blast along with any band like the best of ’em — so can lots of dudes, but not as elegantly and delicately as Dirk.

Dig the verse (starting at 0:30) in forceful StD track “One with the Flies.” At first you’re all “ho hum four on the floor” until you really focus in on the fills, rolls, hi-hat clutches and cymbal accents between bars — dreamy! And then you’ve got a potentially pedestrian chorus made UNSTOPPABLE by the syncopated china:

My unrivaled all-time favorite moment of Verbeuren’s genius drumming: the little fade-in, accelerating snare roll that brings the band back in after a pause, starting just after 3:00 in “Distance”:

It’s like ice cream and unicorns to my ears. I could point out dozens of examples in every song on Stabbing the Drama and all subsequent Soilwork albums, but there’s no need for that; you already know how great this guy is.



#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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