Top Metal Drummers of All Time

As a drummer, you have to be able to play fast and hard. You have to be able to keep up with the guitarists and bassist, but also add your own style or flair. The best metal drummers in history are capable of doing that for sure!

Here is a list of some great drummers who can rock out on any song: Dave Lombardo from Slayer, Lars Ulrich from Metallica, Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden and Joey Jordison from Slipknot. Any one of these guys would make an awesome addition to our list!

So what do we need? A great drummer who can lay down some sick beats while staying in time with the rest of the band members. That’s what we need.

Another great way to spot a talented drummer in the metal world is through their bands. For example, Rob Zombie’s former drummer Johnny Tempesta (of Exodus and Testament fame) has an incredible skillset with the double bass drums that sets him apart from his peers.

So who is your favorite? Is it the classic Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich? Or maybe it is Slayer’s Dave Lombardo—the guy who basically invented his genre of metal drumming.

Each one of these guys certainly deserve a spot on this list! See if your favorite made the cut.

1. Mike Mangini, (Dream Theater Winery Dogs, Transatlantic)

Mike Mangini is a drummer from the US who comes from an autodidactic approach to playing drums. He has had a tough time with his past bands, but he has been able to excel in Dream Theater Winery Dogs, Transatlantic where he can showcase his skills more. He has a wide range of technique he uses to deliver his stone cold technical drumming.

2. Dave Lombardo from Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies

Dave Lombardo is not just a drummer from Los Angeles—he is on of thrash metal’s pioneers and one of the most respected drummers of all time. He is known to use a double bass drum set up which he uses really well. His live performances are certainly going to be something you wouldn’t forget, and it would be an honor if he could record your song for you!

3. Lars Ulrich from Metallica

Lars Ulrich from Metallica is definitely one of the best drummers of all time. He has been with the band since 1981, but he also has an impressive resume outside of that. He founded his own record label called Excel Entertainment, where he produced the debut album by Danish guitar legend Michael Schenker.

4. Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden

Nicko McBrain is one of the most accomplished drummers in history. He has played for Iron Maiden since 1976, and has been able to keep up with the band ever since. He has an aggressive style that fits well with the sound of Iron Maiden; he can really bring life to his drums. That’s why he’s consistently rated as one of the greatest metal drummers alive today.

Nicko McBrain began his career when he was twelve years old, drumming in various local bands around London. His first connections were with Irish schoolfriends; he later played with them in bands like Black Rose and Gypsy’s Kiss.

McBrain’s time with Iron Maiden started when he was just seventeen years old, after drummer Doug Sampson left the band. He recorded his first album with them, entitled  Killers.

5. Joey Jordison from Slipknot

Joey Jordison is the former drummer and founding member of Slipknot. His drumming style was very influential in the death metal genre, but he played with a double bass pedal most of time with his right foot doing one bass drum beat per measure.

Joey Jordison is one of the most impressive drummers to ever grace the metal world. But not only does he play for his own band, Murderdolls; he also plays for industrial metal band, Ministry. And he actually played drums for both bands at the same time before getting kicked out of both bands within a year! He also has played live with Rob Zombie and Metallica. No big deal.

6. Aaron Kitcher from Infant Annihilator

Aaron Kitcher is a drummer from Canada who has been playing drums since he was four years old. He played in various bands before joining Infant Annihilator in 2011. His skills and talent have allowed him to play with some of the most popular bands and musicians, such as Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal.

I’m really passionate about music because it’s my life, you know? I love playing the drums and I want to take that passion and give it to other people through what I do.

I think everyone should be exposed to heavy metal at least once in their lives because it’s such an incredible genre of music. When you hear it for the first time, you may not enjoy it, but I believe you should still give it a chance because this music plays an important role in the genre of music today. If you ask me, I think heavy metal is one of the most powerful genres out there because it has so much history and meaning to it! It’s not just about playing loud guitars, but knowing why you’re playing them, too!

Aaron Kitcher has a pretty good list of accomplishments.

1. First Place in Drum Wars 2011 at The Rockpile with Infant Annihilator<br>

2. Second Place in Drum Wars 2012 at The Rockpile with Infant Annihilator<br>

3. Upcoming Release New Album “Infinite Death” with Industry Giant Dave Chavarri (Ill Nino)

7 Dave Lombardo from Slayer

Dave Lombardo is probably one of the most iconic drummers ever. He is the drummer for Slayer, who formed in 1981 and released their first EP “Haunting The Chapel” in 1984. His style of double bass drumming has proven to be influential for metal music. He was fired from the band in 1992 because he refused to play at a summer festival due to double-dipping conflict. He also formed his own band called Fantomas with two former members of Slayer, which was a project group that had a lot of different influences and styles of music ranging from jazz, progressive rock and fusion.

8 Chris Adler (Lamb of God, Megadeth)

Chris Adler is a drummer from Richmond, Virginia. He has been playing drums since he was 12 years old and is most well known for his work with the band Lamb of God, who formed in 1991. His style encompasses a lot of different genres of music, which you can easily identify from their albums Wrath and Sacrificed Sons.

9 Eloy Casagrande from Sepultura

Eloy (1993). His skill playing drums rooted in South America allowed the band to branch out into other styles of music, such as thrash metal, hardcore punk and death metal.Casagrande is the drummer for one of the most legendary bands in metal music history, Sepultura. He joined them in 1986 and played on their albums Beneath The Remains (1989), Arise (1991) and Chaos A.D.

10 Chris Kontos (Overkill, Testament, Machine Head)

Chris Kontos is another one of the most well-known drummers for heavy metal. He was the drummer for the band Testament, who formed in 1983. He left in 1996 and joined Machine Head in 1997, which he has been playing drums with ever since. His style is hard to pinpoint because it varies depending on which band he’s playing for, but he has cited Rush as being an influence on his style of drumming.

11 Paul Bostaph (Slayer, Exodus)

Paul Bostaph has played drums for some of the best-known bands in metal music history, such as Slayer and Exodus. He joined Slayer in 1990 after Dave Lombardo got fired from the band due to double-dipping conflict. Bostaph left the band in 1992, but he rejoined them again for a brief period of time from 2001-2004 until Dave Lombardo returned to the band. He joined Exodus next and played on their albums Tempo Of The Damned (2004) and Shovel Headed Kill Machine (2005).

12 Charlie Benante (Anthrax, S.U.N. and Benante-Cuzo)

Charlie Benante is the drummer for the band Anthrax, which was formed in 1981. He has played drums for them on most of their albums, including Among The Living (1987), State Of Euphoria (1988) and Persistence of Time (1990). His experience in metal music is also exposed through his other bands, S.U.N., which he’s with since 1995, and Benante-Cuzo, which he joined in 2006.

13 Jason Bittner from Shadows Fall

Jason Bittner is one of the best metal drummers because his style is thought-provoking and has a lot of depth. He plays drums for Shadows Fall and has been with them since 1995, which is long before they achieved success with their albums “Threads Of Life” (1999), “The War Within” (2002) and “Retribution” (2008). His style allows the music to be played at a fast pace without sacrificing any intensity or intricacy.

15 Danny Carey from Tool

Danny Carey is an American drummer who was born in 1962. He has been one of the drummers for the band Tool, which he joined in 1990. His style of drumming is typically categorized as progressive metal and incorporates different types of methods such as poly-rhythmic, metric modulation and time signature changes.

16 Kevin Talley (Dååth, Machine Head, Suffocation)

Kevin Talley is a drummer who was born in 1976. He started playing drums when he was just four years old, which you can tell from his drumming because it sounds really tight and precise. One of the main influences on his style of drumming has been metal music. He’s played drums with many bands during his long career, including Dååth, Machine Head and Suffocation.

17. Tommy Clufetos (Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper)

Tommy Clufetos has been playing drums for many bands throughout his career. His style is hard to pinpoint, but it’s thought-provoking and has a lot of depth. He has played drums for a few small bands like Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper, not too shabby.

18 David Silveria from Korn

David Silveria is a drummer who was born in 1966. He joined the band Korn in 1993, just before they released their first album, “Korn” (1994). Silveria played drums for them on all of their albums up until 2006. His style of drumming is often described as reggae-style of drumming.

19 Shawn Drover, (Megadeth, Eidolon)

Shawn Drover is a metal drummer from Canada also known as The Thunder God! He plays with such force and passion that it makes him an unstoppable force. He does not need double bass pedals to control the song. He plays with such finesse that it makes his performances stand out among other drummers in metal music.


To figure out the top metal drummers of all time, you need to consider a number of factors. What are their influences? Which bands have they played with? How many albums does each drummer play on? These questions will help narrow down your search for the best metal drummers around today. The musicians we’ve listed above are some of our favorites and should be at or near the top of any list about this topic!