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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:09 pm
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Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:19 pm 
 

It's become pretty clear to me that the vast majority of drummers in black metal aren't anything special. Not because they're sloppy (well, in some cases they are) but because they are almost always the most bland, uninteresting and uncreative drummers to listen to. From the repetitive, constant blast beats to the stupidly simplistic, minimalistic and boring grooves, black metal drummers put me to sleep. Yes, blast beats can make a part sound very aggressive, but if that's the only thing you know how to do your playing becomes pretty stale. Even with some bands that I really like, I still hear their drummer and think "Really? Is that really the best you can do?" (and this is coming from a guitar player)

Now I'm not saying every drummer has to be like Brann Dailor of Mastodon (I think he's an amazing drummer. His style obviously wouldn't fit with Dark Funeral for example, but his principle on creativity could really turn a few bands in the right direction), but even if they still made an effort to do a little more they can really make the band as a whole more enjoyable to listen to. Fortunately, there are a few drummers out there that make that effort, and as a result they add a certain flare that improves the band as a whole (although this doesn't mean adding in a cool fill every so often. How interesting are their beats?).

So my question to you guys is, who do you guys think are some of the best drummers in the black metal genre?

OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD (meaning there may be a few that I can't think of right now), I have a few answers in no particular order:

1: PROSCRIPTOR MCGOVERN - ABSU: Now I just saw Absu last night in Toronto and was front and center, and if I didn't take in before how good he was I certainly did during the show. He's the perfect example of an extreme black metal drummer who puts in the effort to make interesting beats and adding subtle intricacies to turn decent parts into great parts.

2: GARGHUF - ex-ENTHRONED: This is probably one guy that most people wouldn't think of, but he was on Enthroned's most recent 2 albums, Pentagrammaton and Obsidium (side note, I don't understand why everyone shits on Pentagrammaton. That was a killer album). This case is similar to Proscriptor, but to a lesser extent. However, while he's not the MOST diverse drummer in black metal, he's still great at adding just enough to a part to make it interesting, exciting and creative without overplaying anything. For example, listen to the beginning of the song Nehas't from Pentagrammaton. I'm willing to bet that 99.9% of black metal drummers (including popular ones) would've just done a simple 4/4 or 2/4 groove. He added some nice tom rhythms though, which really spiced it up. Come to think of it, Enthroned have usually had a pretty good drummer, especially after the first few albums, but I think Garghuf was their best. I'm so sad he's not in the band anymore :(

3. CATO BEKKEVOLD - ENSLAVED: This might be a bit debatable considering how proggy Enslaved is nowadays, but he's one of the reasons why I think newer Enslaved is way better than their old stuff. He's done some stuff that not many black metal drummers have ever thought of doing and he really spices things up.

4. VLAD - DRUDKH: While a lot of the time he's just doing enough to fill in the parts of the songs well, there are moments where he really shines and creates some really interesting ideas and brings out the best in the whole band. Like the tom rhythms in Furrows Of Gods, and also the beginning of Forests In Fire And Gold. He's done that beat in a few of their songs, and I always know it as "the Drudkh beat."

5. HELLHAMMER: While I'm not huge on De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, most of the stuff he's done has been pretty elaborate and he's shown how diverse he can be.

6. TRYM TORSON - EMPEROR: Similar case to Vlad and Garghuf I'd say. He's got solid technique, he's very tight and when needed he can pull off some pretty cool stuff.

Also, don't try to tell me that "real/true black metal must have simple drumming because that's how it's supposed to be." That is total bullshit. Listening to some of the early black metal albums, there are definitely ways you can add more to it and make parts sound WAY better.
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VRR wrote:
I was thinking mainly about the one Turn of the wheel which is about the seasons on whatever album it was. I doubt it is any more profound in Ukrainian, seeing as the meaning is something like "Summer is hot/Winter is not/Spring-a-ding-a-ling/Autumn I forgot."

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Peroy
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Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:44 am
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:25 pm 
 

Well, you already named Proscriptor, who would be one of my top choices, too. His unique drumming certainly is a big part of the appeal of Absu.

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:28 pm 
 

Peroy wrote:
Well, you already named Proscriptor, who would be one of my top choices, too. His unique drumming certainly is a big part of the appeal of Absu.


They seem pretty drum oriented as a band in general; I wouldn't be surprised if he wrote a lot of it in terms of structure and the guitars filled in certain gaps and wrote to his playing.
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VRR wrote:
I was thinking mainly about the one Turn of the wheel which is about the seasons on whatever album it was. I doubt it is any more profound in Ukrainian, seeing as the meaning is something like "Summer is hot/Winter is not/Spring-a-ding-a-ling/Autumn I forgot."

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Peroy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:37 pm 
 

Makes sense. It's "his" band, after all...

Personally, I like the drumming on every Endstille album, if not for any particular reason. It just always seems fitting and never out of place. That band all around is pretty damn solid.

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:50 pm 
 

Peroy wrote:
Makes sense. It's "his" band, after all...

Personally, I like the drumming on every Endstille album, if not for any particular reason. It just always seems fitting and never out of place. That band all around is pretty damn solid.


Never heard them actually - I know OF them, but have never heard them. Recommend a song?
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VRR wrote:
I was thinking mainly about the one Turn of the wheel which is about the seasons on whatever album it was. I doubt it is any more profound in Ukrainian, seeing as the meaning is something like "Summer is hot/Winter is not/Spring-a-ding-a-ling/Autumn I forgot."

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raumr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:01 pm 
 

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
4. VLAD - DRUDKH: While a lot of the time he's just doing enough to fill in the parts of the songs well, there are moments where he really shines and creates some really interesting ideas and brings out the best in the whole band. Like the tom rhythms in Furrows Of Gods, and also the beginning of Forests In Fire And Gold. He's done that beat in a few of their songs, and I always know it as "the Drudkh beat."

Vlad did not play on those songs, at least not according to The Metal Archives. My personal favourite dummer is the one that played on Autumn Aurora, awesome stuff! He really shines, and plays exactly what is needed for the songs to work. [Digression]: How do you see the line-up for Drudkh anyway? I know they list their current members on their Myspace, but I can't find a line-up on any of the booklets on any of the albums that I own.

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Peroy
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:05 pm 
 

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
Peroy wrote:
Makes sense. It's "his" band, after all...

Personally, I like the drumming on every Endstille album, if not for any particular reason. It just always seems fitting and never out of place. That band all around is pretty damn solid.


Never heard them actually - I know OF them, but have never heard them. Recommend a song?


I'd check out Tired Sun, With the Fog they come, Monotonus II and Völkerschlächter on Youtube... Pretty good overview of their range.

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NARAKU666
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:10 pm 
 

I don't know what's the general opinion, but i always like the work of Horgh in Immortal. Has some kind of groovy, yet "blastastic" style.
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:11 pm 
 

If counts, Asgeir Mickelson drumming for Borknagar was exquisite, diverse yet aggressive enough to fit the whole concept of progressive black metal.

On the other hand, Grim was a pretty solid drummer which added a lot to the albums where he played. Gorgoroth's UTSOH and Borknagar's first 2 albums feature ferocious drumming; Grim's blasts always sounds overwhelming And relentlessly powerful.

Shamaatae is another one that should be mentioned. His skills has always been high, but Antikosmos.onwards the drumming in Arckanum has been just incredible.
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waiguoren
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:18 pm 
 

I've always thought Incubus from Inquisition was a pretty good drummer. Who knows, maybe it's just because it's easy to hear everything he is doing behind the kit. He certainly has a lot of energy though. As previously mentioned, Proscriptor is good, but I prefer guitar-oriented bands. What's the point of all that good drumming if the guitars are mostly unmemorable and low in the mix?
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Flugeldufel
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:19 pm 
 

Fenriz immediately comes to mind. He does some very creative stuff with very little, especially on Under a Funeral Moon.

If Mercyful Fate counts, then Kim Ruzz is/was another excellent drummer. He had a very funky, cool style that added a lot of swing and feel to their early material.

When he was able to play drums, Carl-Michael Eide was outstanding on anything he drummed on. Aura Noir, Cadaver Inc, Dodheimsgard, Ved Buens Ende, etc.

Oh, and I have to mention Svein from Lugubrum. Especially on later work like Albino de Congo, he sounds like a guy trained in jazz or some other highbrow style that applies his skills to metal.

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Hastein45
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:04 pm 
 

One that immediately comes to mind is Stormblast from Infernal War. Though his blastbeats are very fast and sometimes he makes liberal use of them, his style is tight and it has variation. His fills and double bass are tight and I love his implementation of the top part of his cymbals which give that pink sound. He is a big part of the reason I like Infernal War so much: http://youtu.be/lvWmlPxTpZY

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FLIPPITYFLOOP
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Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:09 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:11 pm 
 

raumr wrote:
Vlad did not play on those songs, at least not according to The Metal Archives.


I forgot about that actually, although he joined at the Swan Road I believe and he's done great stuff since then. Also the lineup is on Season Of Mist's website.

Kveldulfr wrote:
If counts, Asgeir Mickelson drumming for Borknagar was exquisite, diverse yet aggressive enough to fit the whole concept of progressive black metal.


Fully forgot about Borknagar. They're drumming has been pretty sweet too.

waiguoren wrote:
What's the point of all that good drumming if the guitars are mostly unmemorable and low in the mix?


That's pretty opinionated. I personally think Absu is great, but in any case it's hard to blame a band for bad production because sometimes they just don't have the budget for high quality. I can tell Absu is a band that values production because their most recent albums have good production. Check out their most recent, it has some good riffs!

Flugeldufel wrote:
Fenriz immediately comes to mind. He does some very creative stuff with very little, especially on Under a Funeral Moon.

If Mercyful Fate counts, then Kim Ruzz is/was another excellent drummer. He had a very funky, cool style that added a lot of swing and feel to their early material.

When he was able to play drums, Carl-Michael Eide was outstanding on anything he drummed on. Aura Noir, Cadaver Inc, Dodheimsgard, Ved Buens Ende, etc.

Oh, and I have to mention Svein from Lugubrum. Especially on later work like Albino de Congo, he sounds like a guy trained in jazz or some other highbrow style that applies his skills to metal.


I find Fenriz to be hit and miss. Sometimes he's great, but other times he puts me to sleep. Soulside Journey was great, but he didn't need to play the same beat through the entire transilvanian hunger album.

I wouldn't really count Mercyful Fate just because they aren't really black metal, even though they inspired it a lot. He's also a good drummer though.

Carl-Michael Eide is good too.

I gotta hear this dude Svein, I've never heard of Lugubrum. Recommend a song?
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VRR wrote:
I was thinking mainly about the one Turn of the wheel which is about the seasons on whatever album it was. I doubt it is any more profound in Ukrainian, seeing as the meaning is something like "Summer is hot/Winter is not/Spring-a-ding-a-ling/Autumn I forgot."

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Apteronotus
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:33 pm 
 

waiguoren wrote:
As previously mentioned, Proscriptor is good, but I prefer guitar-oriented bands. What's the point of all that good drumming if the guitars are mostly unmemorable and low in the mix?


Have you heard Melechesh's Sphyx or Djinn? Proscriptor does the drumming on those albums, and Melechesh for me feels more guitar oriented than Absu. Melechesh also currently has a great drummer in Xul who played on Emissaries and The Epigenesis. The Epigenesis really stood out for me in the percussion department, I'd have to think it over before making a top list of drummers but he would probably be on it just based on that album.

FLIPPITYFLOOP wrote:
I've never heard of Lugubrum.


You need to fix that, Lugubrum is fantastic. I have De Vette Cuecken but nothing else by them, so I can't really comment on how the drumming is on Albino de Congo, but I'll probably check for it on youtube later on.
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Necronipple
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:51 pm 
 

Im surprised Frost hasn't been mentioned yet. His work with 1349 and Satyricon is pretty awesome.

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Sick6Six
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:26 pm 
 

The drumming on the newest "Darkened Nocturn Slaughtercult" album is fucking NASTY
hmm I would have to think about this longer, but I'd add Mgla's drummer and Lugubre to the mix
Other than that I pretty much agree with what was already mentioned.
Edit: Derp. Vainaja from Horna
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Headless420
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:27 pm 
 

T.T. from Abigor. Highly underrated drummer. My personal favorite. Incredible speed and intricacy. I am a sucker for huge fills and he tends to go crazy with them.

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ThePoop
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:29 pm 
 

Off the top of my head three drummers come to mind who may not be the most technically proficient drummers but their creativity behind the kit adds a necessary and extremely important dynamic to each projects respective sound.

Wrest - Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice - I think I could probably mention Wrest in any "best black metal vocalist/bassist/writer" discussion and find people who agree. But even the multi-talented man admits that he is a drummer first and foremost. He provides a steady beat for his more slower to mid tempo songs, and also goes full blast when the need arises. While I am certainly no drummer I always find little intricacies in his work that impress me a lot.

_ - Njiqahdda - Man, this guy is one of my favorite drummers period. Part of what makes him so good is that so much of what he brings to the band in terms of drums are very much unlike what you'd expect in black metal. From really catchy grooves, to strange fills and everything in between. They always have an improvised feel to them, yet it adds to the oddity that is this band.

A.Lunn - Panopticon - First thing, he really has one of my favorite drum "sounds" in metal. Every Panopticon record has a certain immensity behind the drums that just make them sound absolutely POWERFUL. Plus Austin's work never void of a drum track that doesn't sound really interesting or fit the music perfectly.
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Nochielo
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:44 pm 
 

To me, Proscriptor is king. That man can drum. Also drummers from Clad in Darkness (whoever did it in Amidst Her Shadows), Valkyrja (Jocke Wallgren) and Keep of Kalessin (Vyl) come to mind. Particularly the Clad in Darkness guy, that's some impressive drumming.
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Pichushkin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:21 pm 
 

Fucking Stormblast from Infernal War. One of the fastest most brutal drummers I've ever heard. Just listen to Terrorfront and see for yourself

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FredSanford
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:46 pm 
 

Necronipple wrote:
Im surprised Frost hasn't been mentioned yet. His work with 1349 and Satyricon is pretty awesome.
+1

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Lightsbane
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:08 pm 
 

Hellhammer is great especially on A Grand Declaration of War. A strange album but his drumming totally fits Blasphemer's unique approach to songwriting.

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TikrasTamsusNaktis
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:28 pm 
 

Mike from Fell Voices. Definitely. He plays the most intense drumming I have ever seen/heard. The drumming style is very unique too. Stamina is just incredible

I also think that Aaron Weaver from Wolves in the Throne Room is pretty good compared to others. He has some nice fills and creative passages throughout many songs. I also just really like the sound of his snare in some songs.

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DaBuddha
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:28 pm 
 

I'll add Nick Barker to this thread. The first time I heard him drumming was on CoF's Dusk and her Embrace album. The intro fill to Funeral in Carpathia blew me away. He's got some awesome rolls on that album, plus his double kick is insane.

Munruthel (ex-Nokturnal Mortum) always struck me as a really good BM drummer, but he's so much more than speed. His cymbal work was especially interesting. It's a shame that he's not more recognized.
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Subrick
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:36 pm 
 

Speaking of Nick Barker, ever notice how he almost completely moved away from black metal after he left Dimmu? The only black metal thing I know of him doing in the decade since then is playing live with God Seed. MA says that he's the drummer for Ancient but I don't know if they've done anything in years.

On topic, Nils Fjellstrom from Dark Funeral immediately comes to mind. Dude is an absolute animal and one of the only guys I know of that can do 300 BPM blasting without any fills or rolls in between for extended periods of time.
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ThePoop
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:38 pm 
 

TikrasTamsusNaktis wrote:
Mike from Fell Voices. Definitely. He plays the most intense drumming I have ever seen/heard. The drumming style is very unique too. Stamina is just incredible

Good call! Completely forgot about him. Stuff in Sleepwalker is good as well.
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SnideVille
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:38 am 
 

I don´t know the guys name but I think there´s really good drumming in every Hades/Hades almighty record.

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Acidgobblin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:31 am 
 

The guy for Deathspell Omega performs some really great, intense, creative drumming. Quite unique.

Flippityfloop wrote:
Soulside Journey was great, but he didn't need to play the same beat through the entire transilvanian hunger album.


No, he definitely did need to; saying otherwise is almost missing the point entirely. Its absolutely non-technical (indeed, the entire album is) and is meant to create a hypnotic backing and not distract the listener but create that almost droning, blurry atmosphere. If the drumming had been at all fancy, the album would have had much less impact.
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Sick6Six
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:25 am 
 

Pichushkin wrote:
Fucking Stormblast from Infernal War. One of the fastest most brutal drummers I've ever heard. Just listen to Terrorfront and see for yourself

Agreed. I have been waiting for a new album by them for years.

Also agree with Nills from dark funeral, but I rarely listen to them.
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adace
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:33 am 
 

Necronipple wrote:
Im surprised Frost hasn't been mentioned yet. His work with 1349 and Satyricon is pretty awesome.

This.

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bodomlord
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:38 am 
 

I will second the guy from Deathspell Omega, and also add the W.D. Feld from Blut Aus Nord. This guy is the main reason why I like BAN, his drumming is varied and very hypnotic.

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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:47 am 
 

Its also surprising to not see a mention of Kollias, Inferno, Tim Yeung, Roddy, Mounier, among others.
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matras
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 8:38 am 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
Its also surprising to not see a mention of Kollias, Inferno, Tim Yeung, Roddy, Mounier, among others.


Because it's a thread about black metal drummers? Just a guess.

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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:01 am 
 

An obvious one, Alexander Von Meilenwald. Creative, personal, passionate, and doesn't rely on triggering, quantising or other stuff that generally sucks the life out of drumming (but is, of course, required unless the drummer is highly skilled).
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Lagartija
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:02 am 
 

Hastein45 wrote:
One that immediately comes to mind is Stormblast from Infernal War. Though his blastbeats are very fast and sometimes he makes liberal use of them, his style is tight and it has variation. His fills and double bass are tight and I love his implementation of the top part of his cymbals which give that pink sound. He is a big part of the reason I like Infernal War so much: http://youtu.be/lvWmlPxTpZY

Yeah, IW is fucking intense and the drums are well high in the mix, deffinitely one of their most stand-out traits.

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Awblaster
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:53 am 
 

Fenriz. He had the creativity to completely strip the drumming down on Transilvanian Hunger. And even then, blasting at that high a tempo for that long isn't easy. And they recorded the drums on that album with one microphone, so to get a very even and consistent sound out of the kit really says a lot for his playing. Also it's interesting to note how he recorded the Isengard material - he simply went through the guitar riffs in his head whilst recording the drums - and to still have great time and feel with no guides at all is incredibly impressive.
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Inspector_Satan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:57 am 
 

Headless420 wrote:
T.T. from Abigor. Highly underrated drummer. My personal favorite. Incredible speed and intricacy. I am a sucker for huge fills and he tends to go crazy with them.


YES. T.T.'s undeniably fast but he also has a knack for oddly catchy beats and huge fills and some really imaginative cymbal work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vpX9Vh-MuM

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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:21 am 
 

matras wrote:
Kveldulfr wrote:
Its also surprising to not see a mention of Kollias, Inferno, Tim Yeung, Roddy, Mounier, among others.


Because it's a thread about black metal drummers? Just a guess.


My bad! bad idea to post so early in the morning.

Well, I nominee Jocke Pettersson. He has played for tons of bands, but probably he's better known as the ex drummer of Dawn (Swe) and Thy Primordial. Slaughtersun's drumming is just incredible IMO.
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Maniac Matis
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:58 am 
 

Acidgobblin wrote:
The guy for Deathspell Omega performs some really great, intense, creative drumming. Quite unique.


Came here to say just that. Really suprised he hasn't been mentioned as often as he should be. Also seen someone mention Blut Aus Nord. I always thought Vindsval programmed BaN's drumming on most albums. Could be wrong on that, but the drums just SOUND mechanical!
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Ilwhyan
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:16 am 
 

Maniac Matis wrote:
Acidgobblin wrote:
The guy for Deathspell Omega performs some really great, intense, creative drumming. Quite unique.


Came here to say just that. Really suprised he hasn't been mentioned as often as he should be. Also seen someone mention Blut Aus Nord. I always thought Vindsval programmed BaN's drumming on most albums. Could be wrong on that, but the drums just SOUND mechanical!

DSO's drumming is also presumably programmed. If it isn't, it's extremely pro-tooled, and there are apparently several tracks (eg. drum fills while the beat itself is playing). I can't believe people consider that to be good drumming.
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