The best metal drummers in the world right now, according to you

Join us for our traditional look back at the stories and features that hit the spot in 2022

Best of 2022: 2022 was a busy time for metal, with newer bands, current fan favourites and seasoned acts alike all returning with new music. 

Our metal poll features some of the fiercest competition from the most powerful, speedy and technical players on the planet, and this year was no exception. With over 30 of the genre's most brutal drummers on our long list, you voted in your droves to boil it down to this hard-hitting Top 10.

1. Jay Weinberg - Slipknot

After a year off, the Slipknot drummer returns to reclaim his crown as your pick for 2022’s best metal drummer. Slipknot unleashed The End, So Far this autumn, giving Jay Weinberg the opportunity to prove once again why he’s such a fan favourite. It's far from the first time Jay has featured in the top spot, and we doubt very much that it will be his last. Congratulations, Jay!

2. Christoph Schneider - Rammstein

It’s been about three years since Covid changed the world and its plans. But instead of baking banana bread (maybe they did?), Rammstein took to writing and recording Zeit. Released earlier this year, it put Christoph Schneider’s industrial beats in the running for this poll, and thanks to you he placed highly.  

3. Mario Duplantier - Gojira

Last year’s winner, Mario is your favourite metal drummer’s favourite metal drummer. Here, the Gojira man brings in the top three. If you’re somehow still not familiar with his hypnotic grooves, impressive fills and awesome drum sound, there’s never been a better time to check him out.

4. Brann Dailor - Mastodon

Mastodon released latest album Hushed and Grim towards the tail end of last year, but the singles kept coming into 2022 thus qualifying the metal band with not only one of the most creative drummers on the scene - but one who can and does take the role of lead vocalist - for a shot at this year’s poll. Forget the social media platform, Brann Dailor’s Mastodon is the one you should be Googling.

5. Daniel Erlandsson - Arch Enemy

While the six-stringers are distracted by the sweeps and tapping, we’re fixing our attention firmly on Daniel Erlandsson. Five years in the making, Arch Enemy’s latest album, Deceivers, was finally released this August giving us an 11-song treat of extreme metal drumming from a veteran of the genre. 

6. Danny Carey - Tool

“Hang on, I move house more often than Tool releases new music!”. Silence. Yes, Fear Inoculum was released in 2019, but Carey and Co. released a re-recorded version of Opiate featuring extended sections all-round. The great news is that Danny Carey has also mentioned that the band has already made a start on their next album, which puts him in great stead for this poll sometime in the next decade. Hopefully.

7. Charlie Engen - Five Finger Death Punch

What began as filling-in for a tour in 2018 has become Charlie Engen’s full-time JOB. No longer ‘the new guy’, Engen has had a busy 2022 with new album AfterLife and a solid touring schedule that looks set to continue all the way into 2024!

8. Max Portnoy - Tallah

When you’re the son of a prog-metal drumming legend and have one of the most iconic FX cymbals named after you, it’s fair to say you’re probably going to have a passing interest in drumming. 

Max Portnoy proves he’s his own drummer though, and his band Tallah released their second full-length album The Generation of Danger in 2022, and Max delivers some heavy nu-metal inspired grooves throughout.

9. Art Cruz - Lamb of God

Art Cruz is one of metal’s most precise and powerful players, and like a few others on this list, he’s had the double-edged sword of replacing a fan favourite. But with LoG’s latest, Omens, he’s proved that there’s no better drummer for the job, fusing chops and groove in a way that sits perfectly in the band’s catalogue.

10. Nicko McBrain - Iron Maiden

The Maiden train kept rolling through 2022 with the Legacy of the Beast tour taking in all corners of the globe. Nicko warmed up with some gigs of his own, and the band reissued the pre-Nicko Number of The Beast album. Oh yeah, and Nicko also received his impressive British Drum Co. kit  to take on tour!

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.