Dan Foord (Sikth)
The Rhythm Best of Drums 2015 polls have received over 102,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2015. Here, we present the Best Metal Drummer of 2015. First up we have Dan Foord of Sikth.
2015 Highlight: The fact that Sikth are back is highlight enough in many people’s eyes… after all, the Watford djent-metal stars had in fact called it a day back in 2008. But, a mini-album studio return –Opacities–reminded us what we've been missing, with Dan's rolling tom work and double-kick virtuosity putting a smile on our faces.
Zyon Cavalera (Soulfly)
2015 Highlight: No longer the 'new boy' in Soulfly, young Zyon (son of Max, nephew of Igor) Cavalera once again proved that metal talent does indeed run in the family, as he laid down monstrous metal grooves on Soulfly’s latest album, Archangel.
Matt Nicholls (Bring Me The Horizon)
2015 Highlight: Matt and his Bring Me The Horizon bandmates have come on somewhat since the UK metallers’ snot-nosed beginnings a decade or so ago. Matt’s playing has in particular matured, to the point where every beat, fill and groove in the band's music feels well-worked and integral to the band's sound as proved perfectly on latest album That's The Spirit.
Lars Ulrich (Metallica)
2015 Highlight: A triumphant Reading and Leeds festival this year surely proved Lars’ detractors wrong. A powerful drumming display that confirmed his power and metal finesse behind the kit for the mighty Metallica. Lars has also suggested that a new ’Tallica album is in the bag, so roll on 2016…
Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
2015 Highlight: Brann Dailor is the pumping heart of the Atlanta sludge-metallers, and his complex proggy drum parts and thunderous fills bring real heaviosity to the band. Their 2014 album Once More Round The Sun didn't disappoint, filled to the brim as it is with monster drum tracks like ‘Aunt Lisa’ and ‘The Motherload’, and the band continued to tour that album in 2015, but Brann and the boys still took time out to appear as Wildlings in Game Of Thrones…
Nicko McBrain (NIcko McBrain)
2015 Highlight: Nicko and co returned in 2015 with a monumental new Iron Maiden album, The Book Of Souls, which racked up an astonishing 90 minutes… something that would surely crush a lesser drummer required to keep up the kind of right-foot dexterity Nicko employs. Not bad for the old timers of the new wave of British heavy metal.
Dave McClain (Machine Head)
2015 Highlight: Dave McClain continues to be one of metal’s most interesting players, and he and his band Machine Head have been busy touring last year's immense //Bloodstone & Diamonds// album throughout North America. The good news is, you've still got time to catch them on a European tour in 2016!
Paul Bostaph (Slayer)
2015 Highlight: With Lombardo out of Slayer, who could the thrash legends call upon but their old mate, Testament’s Paul Bostaph? After all, he'd been in the band before, and has proved equal to the task of replacing Dave as the band put out a cracking new album, Repentless.
Ray Luzier (Korn)
2015 Highlight:After building his reputation in Army Of Anyone and via an instructional video, as well as his own release KXM, Ray Luzier continues to impress as Korn’s drummer.Although we're still awaiting Ray and Korn’s follow up to their 2013 album The Paradigm shift, Ray’s been busy touring with the band, and earlier in the year Ray took time out to discuss modern metal drumming alongside tour-mates King 810’s Andrew Workman.
Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch)
2015 Highlight: Nevada metallers Five Finger Death Punch are driven by the furious fills, immense double-kick work and huge sound of drummer Jeremy Spencer.FFDP’s latest album, Got Your Six, cements the band’s reputation for crunching riffs, hooky choruses and the powerful drumming of Spencer, blasting round the kit on sure-fire metal hits like ‘Jekyll And Hyde'.
George Kollias (Nile)
2015 Highlight: The Greek-born sticksman is best known for his frighteningly fast technique, best showcased by extreme metallers Nile.Nile and Kollias returned this year with a new album, What Should Not Be Unearthed. George’s dizzing hand and foot speed has to be seen to be believed. “I’ll get to 280bpm with my right foot, which is pretty crazy,” admitted George in Rhythm lately. The rest of us can only dream of catching up.
Chris Adler (Lamb Of God)
2015 Highlight: The Lamb Of God sticksman regular tops metal drumming polls for his speed and power, delivering brutal beats behind the band’s bludgeoning guitar assault.It's been a tough few years for the band, but they returned, triumphantly this year with a new album, Sturm Und Drang, which sees Adler channelling righteous fury on brilliant tracks like ‘Still Echoes’.
WINNER: Jay Weinberg (Slipknot)
2015 Highlight: Jay Weinberg was this year unmasked as the new drummer in Slipknot, replacing the popular Joey Jordison behind the kit.Jay’s stepping up to the Slipknot drum throne vacated by Joey Jordison was initially shrouded in mystery –who was that masked guy? – but the talented son of Mighty Max Weinberg has proved more than equal to the biggest gig in metal, absolutely smashing it and, dare we say it, threatening to surpass even Joey himself.