How to buy aggressive cymbals
Aggressive cymbals do pretty much exactly what it says on the tin - that is provide cutting, powerful sounds to slice through layers of guitar at high volume. If this is where your gig is at, then this type of cymbal is ideal.
When investing in a noisy set of metals, however, make sure that the rest of your kit matches the cymbals in intensity, because if the cymbals are too loud and wipe out the sound of the rest of your drums then you won’t be getting too many calls.
Be aware, though, that the trade-off for the sort of extreme performance you get from an aggressive cymbal is a shortening of versatility.
Although that heavy 24" monster ride might be just the ticket to cut through a sizeable wall of Marshall stacks on a full stage, in the pokey back room of the Red Lion it could be a little overwhelming, particularly if it’s jazz/funk night. You have been warned.
These cymbals have been designed to deliver brutal amounts of volume and also withstand punishment. This means that they are heavier than regular cymbals so quite apart from the fact of lugging them around, they also require a fairly physical action to actually play.
You would also be extremely unwise to expose yourself to the volume levels that such cymbals generate on a regular basis without investing in some good hearing protection too.
Here’s our guide to buying the best…
Cast from the same tin-rich bronze as the company’s warmer cymbals, Bosphorus Gold cymbals are on the medium-heavy side and are all highly polished to encourage attack. The Golds offer bright, penetrating highs balanced by a warm, harmonious swell. Superb value, too.
The original dedicated metal/punk cymbal range, launched in 1980. Unlathed to accentuate mid-range harmonics, the cymbals’ raw finish gives them an industrial look which drops heavy hints of the in-your-face tonality and searing power contained within. In a word: loud.
Impressive combination of cutting brilliance and warm tonality. Largely handmade, the Mb20s deal out withering amounts of power without sacrificing their innate musicality. The large diameters and mirror-like polished finish of the cymbals guarantee maximum volume. (Read the full Meinl Mb20 Series review)
Zildjian Z Custom
Stacked with big, heavy cymbals designed for high-volume situations. With their studded hammering patterns, the Z Customs are every bit as powerful as their appearance suggests. The 20" Z Custom Projection crash is the loudest cymbal Zildjian’s ever produced. Pardon? (Read the full Zildjian Z Custom review)
Made from B8 bronze, this range comes from the school of hard knocks. These hand-lathed cymbals are in possession of a searing top-end, enabling clean projection. Range includes the full complement of hats, rides, crashes, splashes, chinas and brutal O-Zone crashes. With these babies, hearing protection is a must! (Read the full Sabian APX cymbals review)