A Different Kind of Playthrough – Unearth’s Nick Pierce – “Trail to Fire” Superior Drummer Version

Nick Pierce is unreal. Having played on one of my Top 5 Albums of the Year, he’s cemented his place in my mind as one of the sickest drummers in metal.


According to this article on MetalSucks about him joining Unearth back in 2012,

“Nick Pierce is a self taught drummer who’s been playing since age 10. He grew up playing for local bands in the Seattle/Tacoma area (Culling the Weak, Eterna Nocturna, Embalmed) as well as LA based band The Faceless. Nick first sat in behind the kit for Unearth in May of 2011 during their two show trip to Alaska. Unearth discovered Pierce on YouTube where he had been covering Unearth songs, among many other bands, on a series of videos on his YouTube channel.”

So he’s clearly as comfortable playing Unearth jams on camera as he is playing metal with a trad-style grip, which I think is totally slick and classy as hell – like sticking your pinky out while drinking jet fuel from a viking horn. He also played in The Faceless, whose music is as difficult to play as it is for them to retain members.

For this playthrough, which is mostly meant as a demo for Toontrack’s Superior Drummer, Nick is playing the part, but ALL the audio is replaced with SD sounds. Not just a triggered layer, but everything you hear is from the software. Now, it’s not as if he can’t play the song and they needed to replace it – you can see that he’s fucking CRUSHING it – it’s just a demonstration of the versatility of the sounds. I feel like if they hadn’t told me that it was all Toontrack, I might have been fooled. It’s a good demonstration of how to use the software well, make it sound pretty realistic and natural.

Check out Unearth’s totally awesome new album Watchers of Rule, out now.

Written by

As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.

Latest comments
  • still don’t understand the appeal behind traditional grip for this style of drumming, but the guy has got some serious accuracy.

  • Can’t wait for the toontrack shoegaze expansion.

  • There’s nothing natural about that sound.

    • Then again, it’s a VST based on samples, and in this take the drums have too much reverb on it. I believe this would be really nice for people with electronic drum kits who want to record demos with some better sounding drums.

  • Dat Reverb tail on the last snare hittt

leave a comment