Who are the Big 4 of Metal Drummers?

A question rarely asked: who are the Big 4 of Metal Drummers? How would we grade each players for this question – would it be by influence, musicality, technique, stage presence, or the player’s role in the band? Who would make the cut, and who would fall by the wayside?


For me, the answer lies somewhere in the brains of actual musicians. So we checked in with a bunch of bands, a few of which possess some of our favorite modern drummers: Magrudergrind, Baptists, Candiria, Gorguts, Exodus, and more. Check out their answers below:

Written by

Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.

Latest comments
  • gene hoglan, richard christy, hannes grossman, george kolias

    • you misspelled DAVE LOMBARDO

  • Chris Adler or gtfo

  • Not one mention of Brann Dailor. For shame. Brann And Ben Koller are the best drummers in heavy music today. There are faster dudes in the death/grind world, but nobody rips a kit like those two guys.

  • Some 13 year old is gonna come on here and say Jimmy Sullivan, be aware of this

  • Victor Valera; Paul Bostaph; Pete Webber; Max Duhamel.

  • Drummer of Decrepit Birth is nasty

  • Mike Portney, Pete Webber, Bobby Jarzombek , Mark Zonder

  • Danny Carey, Dave Lombardo, Gene Hoglan, Ben Koller

  • John Bonham, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Dave Grohl

  • Really? No Charlie Benante? OK, Charlie, George Kollias, Dave Culross, and John Longstreth.

  • Dave lombardo, Mario Duplantier, Gene Hoglan, Charlie Benante

  • Dave Lombardo
    Gene Hoglan
    Vitek Kieltyka
    Paul Bostaph

  • not enough Flo Mounier

  • Chris Adler!

  • Steve Shelton (Confessor)

  • fuck speed i want momentum and Creativity

  • Gene Hoglan
    Dave Lombardo
    Mike Portnoy
    Hannes Grossmann

    • Thomas Lang
      Marco Minnemann

      • and Gavin Harrison during his Porcupine Stint. Not the most metal, but a drummer with an extremely unique style

  • John Bonham, Bill Ward, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy

  • Mickey Dee – sure, a pure power drummer. But he turned Motörhead around after Mr. Taylor´s Death and gave them the punch that kept them going for a long time

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