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The 10 best metal drummers in the world right now, as decided by you

Mario Duplantier, Gojira
(Image credit: Steve Jennings / Getty)

The Best Metal Drummer is traditionally your favourite contest, with the votes turning into a battleground between some of the most technical, fast and powerful drummers on the planet. 

It's been a big year for heavy music, with many bigger metal bands getting back to the studio and releasing the albums that have been delayed by the pandemic. Here's who you placed in the Top 10! 

1 - Winner, Best Metal Drummer 2021: Mario Duplantier, Gojira

It’s been a hell of a year for Gojira, following a triumphant return with latest album Fortitude. His inventive parts, unbelievable precision, power and speed are keeping metal drumming interesting. No surprises, then, that you’ve placed Mario at the top of your list.

2. Alex Bent, Trivium

As he approaches five years with Trivium, Alex Bent has truly put his stamp on the band, showing that his brilliantly relentless metal chops are here to stay. From blastbeats to beatdowns, Alex’s drumming has brought an extra dimension to the band, and continues to help push the genre forward. 

3. Lars Ulrich, Metallica

Lars celebrated 30 years of the Black Album this year, he also released an anniversary version of his signature Tama snare, and more recently he and his bandmates took to Masterclass to teach you how to be a band, landing him a high ranking in your vote.

4. Brann Dailor, Mastodon

Not only does Brann Dailor possess mind-blowing technique, he also often takes lead vocal duty while playing. Latest album Hushed and Grim put Brann in the poll just in the nick of time, if you haven’t heard it yet then you’re in for a treat from the very first notes. 

5. Zev Rose, Spiritbox

Newcomers Spiritbox released their much-anticipated debut album, Eternal Blue to great acclaim this year, incorporating everything from nu-metal to electronic influences. Big grooves, big songs and some powerful playing from Zev Rose. Catch them as soon as you can.

6. Mike Mangini, Dream Theater

Mangini returned with prog-metal kings, Dream Theater this year. A View From The Top Of The World might only contain seven songs, but it’s 70 minutes long. That’s 70 minutes of education while Mangini weaves through odd timings like they’re nursery rhymes.

7. Nicko McBrain, Iron Maiden

Nicko busts out the classic metal chops once more on Maiden’s seventeenth studio album, Senjutsu. It’s easy to forget that metal once swung, and wasn’t always heavily sample-replaced. Come for the gallops, stay for the groove.

8. Eloy Casagrande, Sepultura

Every once in a while, a drummer comes along that crosses genres and makes the drumming community’s collective jaw drop. Sepultura's Eloy Casagrande is one such drummer, returning this year alongside his Casagrande & Hanysz side project. With unmatched levels of brutal power and speed, if you couldn’t see him doing it, you’d swear he was a machine.

9. Jason Bowld, Bullet For My Valentine

Since he joined Bullet For My Valentine proper in 2017, the world has learned what we’ve known in Europe for a long time: Jason Bowld is an absolute animal on the kit. This year’s self-titled album from Bullet, plus electronic-rock side project, Shadow Addict shows Jase isn’t slowing down any time soon.

10. John Otto, Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit Still Sucks! But John Otto still brings his signature bounce and feel to this nostalgic collection of new songs. As well as a new album, John recently unveiled plans to launch his own online music school too.