The man basically invented metal drumming. No, shut up, he did. Black metal, death metal, thrash metal, power metal...if it's a significant genre of heavy metal, Dave Lombardo probably influenced the guy sitting behind the kit. He more or less made double bass drumming the thing to do when playing metal, and good God in Heaven, have you heard the drums on "Angel of Death"? I almost feel silly writing a blurb for this guy: Dave Lombardo is one of the elite few who simply defies the need for description. Hearing is all it takes to believe.
7. Matt Helders(Arctic Monkeys)
Matt Helders might look like he's about 14 years old, but it doesn't even take a minute of listening to realize that you're hearing the drumwork of a wizened sage(were wizened sages the sort to play drums in a rock and roll band). His drums are some of the most curiously quietly dominating you'll hear: Whether he's hitting the skins at mach-4 or pounding out a heavy groove, he has a tendency of adding a hefty dose of electricity to any given song without becoming overbearing. Add in the sheer, immaculately tightened ferocity of his style and you have a drummer who unquestionably adds tremendous value to any song he's playing on.
Atsuo's style takes direct influence from a drummer who will appear later on the list, and what he lacks in the unrelenting heaviness of his forerunner, he makes up for with versatility and singularity within each individual song. Not many drummers can switch from crushing, claustrophobic drone-doom metal to exuberant hardcore punk at the blink of an eye, and not a one of them can do it as memorably as Atsuo does. His drumming has an ability that's generally left for the guitar: The ability to make his drumlines catchy and memorable, staying in your head at least as prominently as the guitar or vocals. No drummer today throws curveballs like Atsuo does, and none are as much sheer fun to listen to.
9. Jeremiah Green(Modest Mouse)
More than any other of the great drummers today, Jeremiah Green's talent has a quality that is, quite simply, implacable. There's an aloofness to his style that's hard to pin down. Is it the power of his drumming? That's part of it, but it's not really the reason he's great. His military-style precision juxtaposed with a thumping energy that might even be called sloppy? I'm not sure that's it, either. Could it be his ability to run all over the drumkit while maintaining a somber, forceful groove? Maybe. The real heart of the matter is this: Green's drumming is unforgettable, and his style is inimitable.
10. Dale Crover(The Melvins, Fantomas)
Of all the drummers mentioned so far-both on Rock Radio's list and the one I've been making-none of them can compare to Dale Crover for relentless, titanic force. Crover's drums don't only sound big, they feel big, right down in your gut. The way in which he makes each stroke of the kit feel like the world's angriest thunderclap is downright remarkable, and what's more remarkable than that is that he doesn't lose that power when he starts drumming fast. The Melvins were a punk band before they were a sludge metal band, and Crover combines both disciplines seamlessly to monstrous, bowel-movingly powerful effect. Dale Crover may not be the most technical drummer who's ever lived, but he may be the most forceful, and with that kind of power backing him up, who wants technique?
You hated this list, didn't you? Of course you did. Tell me why in the comments. Tell me if you liked it too, but I'd be just as interested in hearing your own picks.