TPM Top Drums of 2017


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Drummers come in all kinds of packages, and so my favorites can have wildly different styles.  I’m usually looking for intuition and an understanding of the music more than pure technical power.  Here are my favorite drum performances of 2017.

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10. Luuk van der Velden – Hologram Earth – “Black Cell Program”

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I’m not sure anyone on this list has more understanding of his musical style than Luuk.  His style is outside the box and is used, not as a technical show, but as something that drives the rhythm and melody, keeping things interesting and off kilter.  It works so well, keeping you on your toes with what might come next.

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9. Morten Gade Sørensen – Anubis Gate – “Covered in Black”

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Morten’s drums are fairly straightforward, but they are pure deluge and fire.  From powerful blast beats to awesome fills, Morten gives us everything we want.

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8. Sami Kuoppamäki – Von Hertzen Brothers – “War Is Over”

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Though he isn’t an official part of the band (as far as I can tell), Sami returns on the Von Hertzen Brothers’ newest album to great effect.  His sound is pounding with lots of impressive fills and monolithic moments, giving the album an arena feel at some points.

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7. Baard Kolstad – Leprous – “Malina”

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Baard might have the most difficult drumming job in the prog community.  He has to follow the off kilter odd time signatures of the rest of Leprous; or, perhaps, he’s the one leading the charge.  It certainly feels that way many times as Baard thunders and fills his way to perfection on “Malina”.

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6. Sergi “Bobby” Verdeguer – Persefone – “Aathma”

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Sergi’s immense double blast beat style drives the music on Persefone’s masterpiece.  However, seeing as how “Aathma” is full of tender moments, Sergi proves his versatility as well as his dexterity.

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5. Kristoffer Egefelt – The Interbeing – “Among the Amorphous”

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Kristoffer provided something I really wanted when The Interbeing’s latest released: balls to the walls hefty drumming.  Much like Sergi’s offering, Kristoffer is capable of so many styles, but it is honestly the enormous amount of double bass that really won me over to his playing.

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4. Frosty Beedle – Lifesigns – “Cardington”

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While the rest of the band really shines, Frosty is the play maker of the bunch.  His drumming may not be incredibly technical or fancy, but he has it where it counts.  His drums provide some of the punchiest moments of the album.

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3. Léo Margarit – Pain of Salvation – “In the Passing Light of Day”

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Léo really proved his steadfastness and worth on PoS’ latest offering.  His hefty, lumbering style is not common in prog, but it is his ability to keep you guessing about the upcoming beats that really makes him interesting and mysterious.

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2. Josh Griffin – Caligula’s Horse – “In Contact”

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Josh is the unsung hero of Caligula’s Horse.  While the guitars are amazing and Jim’s voice is through the roof, it is Josh’s fantastic, intricate drumming that wraps each and every song up with a pretty little bow.

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1. Programmed Drums/ Kai Hahto – Wintersun – “The Forest Seasons”

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I thought and thought about who would claim top honors here, and the programmed drums on Wintersun’s latest album are what took the cake.  I know how this sounds, but I cannot deny how amazing they sound or how they are definitely my favorite.  Kai is the live drummer, most of the time, but the programmed drums on the album were my favorite of the year.  I’m just as surprised as you are.

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