Posted by Imperator on 2nd July, 2021 @ 12:37 UTCBy Imperator on 02-07-2021 @ 12:37 UTC

When I first started getting into extreme metal, I really admired Nicholas Barker from his work with Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir, and to this day I still think he's one of the greatest metal drummers out there, his work on the "Dusk and Her Embrace" album is mindblowing:


I think his departure from Cradle of Filth marked the end of an era and the beginning of their decline, and even though I'm fond of Midian and I think Adrian Erlandsson is a good drummer, there's simply no way he could fill Nicholas Barker's shoes in that role, he's not in the same league and I don't think it even suits Adrian's style. I remember reading somewhere that Barker actually left CoF due to his disappointment and/or disagreement over how the drums on Cruelty and the Beast were mixed, where they indeed turned out quite thin.

Barker went on to join Dimmu Borgir to carry on doing what he did best, although with a notably more artificial sound to suit Dimmu's borderline industrial themes:


This type of complex fills and intricate use of cymbals blew my mind when I was a kid, and are still things I look out for and appreciate today when listening to any kind of music.

Later on I discovered the likes of Frost and Hellhammer. This rendition of Mother North is one of my favourite videos on youtube tbh:


Ironically one of my favourite Hellhammer performances is from a Dimmu Borgir song:


And recently I've discovered the joys of drumcams on youtube, especially from the likes of Fredrik Widigs (Marduk, Nordjevel) or Simon Schilling (Belphegor, Marduk). There's something both ridiculous and meditative about them:



Honorable mention:


So yeah. Drums, good shit. What's your favourite drummers/performances?

Last edited by Imperator on 3rd July, 2021 @ 09:14 UTC

for 'Who are your favourite drummers?'

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hmmm. interesting topic

well there are the obvious names like Frost and Hellhammer but for me, the most memorable drumming moments are the really primitive ones done so perfectly that stick to your mind more than the more technical ones!
and when it comes to that i dont think you can beat Fenriz (especially on Under a funeral moon). his greatest quality lies in his subtlety! instead of showing off with technical drumming, he always worked on perfectly executing the drums in a way to enhance the music rather than something to make him a famous drummer. i respect that alot!

also, similar to that, i cannot avoid talking about Vargs drumming. his drumming on the early stuff (especially on Filosofem) is written in my brain with a pernenent marker! using different (and even stupid) ideas and techniques to enhance the experience rather than focus on the instruments!

as for the most influential drummer, i have to go with Vvornth from Bathory (or indeed whoever played on Blood, Fire Death!) that kind of Manowar-influenced Galloping drum works were used a lot in the 90s scene. and of course philthy animal from Motorhead. without him "Extreme Metal" wouldn't have existed the way it did!

other notable performances for me: Gorgoroth - Under the sign of hell (Grim) / Windir - Arntor (Steingrim) / the extremely sloppy but badass drumming on Bathory - The Return..... (Larsson) / Root - Zjeveni ("mr. black drum" (EXTREMELY UNDERRATED!)) / Sarcofago - I.N.R.I. (dd crazy) / the first Summoning Album (ONE of the most forgotten performances and albums) and so on....

i don't want to sound "trve" or anything but Black metal drumming should be a bit less technical.
i love tons of technical drum performances elsewhere but not much when it comes to black metal. for example; Rick Colaluca from Watchtower / Fred Estby (dismember, Carnage) / Dave Lombardo (Slayer) / Gene Hoglan (Dark angel, prog era of Death) / Hellcop (Gehennah, (INSANELY BADASS!)

and so many more including tons of great prog drummers like mark Portnoy (From DT) / Scott Rockenfield from Queensryche ,....
(this namedropping will go right until we arrive at Bill ward and John Bonham so let's stop!)

anyway, i think the ones mentioned on the post above are the best in the business of Black metal but i think people like Fenriz deserve more respect! if you ask anyone, they will say that "oh yeah, that funny guy who hit a ruler on the cymbals on Transilvanian Hunger!" but for me, he's the guy who never sacrifices the integrity of the music for being on the spotlight of great drummers,...

Yeah, it's true that I've only really acknowledged the greats for their technical prowess, I am guilty of underappreciating the second style of drummer that you mention, the ones that compliment the music perfectly without even needing to resort to the technical side of things. When they're doing their job so perfectly I naturally just focus on the guitars and vocals instead lol

haha, youre exactly right! they are the invisble guys that make the listener focus on the Riffs.

either way, the ones mentioned on the post itself accurately represent the greatest drummers in BM history. i just thought that i should add some additional honorable mentions!

i just hope that we'll see more forums like this and that people would start to share their honest musical opinions and keep the flame of old school Metalhead forums alive! i'm so bored with the current forums that just focuses on the negative aspects or just people who just go on full-on gangsta mode with other fanboys based upon their personal taste and callin each other "posers" lol.

Frost from Satyricon + Reima Kellokoski from Impaled Nazarene and Belial.

Good question, i will personally say Inferno from Behemoth. If you listen at the album demigod and you concentrate yourself just on drums, you realize the insane technicality of his play. He can play so fast, it's really impressive. The best example for me is the song "Sculpting The Throne Ov Seth". And sometimes it's not that technical but just incredibly good like in the song "Ov Fire And The Void".

Another one that i really like is Horgh from Immortal. He's also pretty technical for a black metal drummer. This time, if you look at what is probably their biggest success name "One by One", yes it's technical but it's also just extremely good drums, and that's the best combinaison.

Also, if we get out a bit of black metal there is the drummer of Nile named George Kollias who is totally awesome, a really brillant drummer. Again, the big success of the band "Sacrifice unto Sebek" is a really good example.

Another non-black metal example is from a deathcore band, a metal subgenre that i really don't like (like any subgenre who finish by core other than grindcore) named Infant Annihilator. But even if i don't like what they play, it doesn't mean that they don't have talent at all, and Aaron Kitcher is the proof. This guy is clearly not human. Go check "Cuntcrusher" by Infant Annihilator in drum-playthrough video by the guy himself, like i said, he's clearly not human. He's the fastest drummer of all time and it's not just an opinion, it's a fact.

good call on Horgh. he is one of the most insanely underrated names in BM history. goofy poses on the photoshoots for album covers aside, his drumming is one of the major factors contributing to the superiority of latter day Immortal releases.

I prefer most of my drum-work to be on the slower, perhaps doomier and groovier side, but boy do I love the way Nick Barker blasts his way through some of those tracks. Whoever tf plays for Deathspell Omega has to be my favorite though. He/she/it??? has some of the tastiest lines and grooves ever. I also can't not mention Darkside of Mgła. I can't get enough of the flashy cymbal work that's also prevalent in a lot of Ulcerate. I don't know how many arms these guys have but they sure know how to use 'em.

*Obligatory Bill Ward appreciation comment*

Anup Sastry -
Best Drummer i ever seen/heard. It looks so easy when i watching him.
A Progressive Metal & Djent Metal Drummer
Sky Harbor, Intervals, Monuments, Devin Townsend...
But he's own Projekt's are amazing too:
- Ghost 2013 Djent/Progressive-Metal Instrumental
- Iluminated 2019 Djent/Progressive-Metal Instrumental

But i also like Jay Weinberg (Slipknot) and Mike Malyan (The Algorithm and Monuments) Watch the London-Show with The Algorithm !!!

And Phill Rudd is the Engine of Ac/dc ! He's doesen't play spectacular but solid and with a absolut exaktly feeling for Tempis!!

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