TPM Top Drums of 2018


Drums are like a grand mystery to the way my mind works.  I love technical drumming, well conceived fills, and that “oomph” that every song needs.  However, I don’t think my body is capable of producing that sort of movement.  Regardless, I love drums and notice them immediately.  Check out my top ten favorites from 2018.


10. Tim Doyle – The Dark Third

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The Dark Third’s debut is an outside-the-box approach to progressive rock, and you can chalk that up to Tim’s drumming especially.  From peaceful portions to cacophonous blast beats, Tim offers a wide range of accents and kinetic energy.


9. James Fosberry – inFictions

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InFiction’s new album was full of grace and heft, and James’ input is a major reason for that.  The meaty fills and the awesome grooves he produces really made the album something special.


8. Stefan Norgren – Seventh Wonder

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Stefan’s drumming with Seventh Wonder has always been a high point for them.  This time around, I was particularly impressed with the kinetic and dark portions that he offered, especially in the last half of the album.  His off kilter beats are a real highlight for Seventh Wonder’s return.


7. Luke Wenczel – Divine Ascension

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One of my favorite parts of the new Divine Ascension album is the huge and energetic drumming from Luke.  His style is heavy and glorious, and he is part of what really makes this band a real presence to behold.


6. Chris Quirarte – Redemption

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Chris has been one of my favorite drummers for years.  His output with Redemption has always been full of oomph and technical splendor.  On the latest album, he crafts some exquisite, detailed blast beats and fills that bring back memories of Redemption’s older albums.


5. Marco Alonso – Anima Mundi

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I’ve discussed Anima Mundi’s latest album pretty extensively.  It is abstract and progressive to the core.  Marco’s drumming added depth and personality to this experiment, making it feel full of flourish and weight.


4. Brendan Perry – Dead Can Dance

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I felt the need to put Brendan on this list, even though he’s not a drummer, per se.  The percussion on the new Dead Can Dance album is wonderfully composed, not to mention immaculately produced.  You can feel every beat and will react to every thump and bump.  It’s a fantastic showing for these veterans.


3. Jeff Friedl – A Perfect Circle

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One of my biggest questions of 2018 in prog was, “Who played the drums on APC’s new album”?  After much research, it does appear that Jeff did perform them, however vague the album credits might be.  That said, they are amazing.  The hefty and addictive nature of the beats on every single song is something that instantly won me over to the new offering.


2. Matthew Kerschner – Lux Terminus

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You’ve seen Lux Terminus in the TPM Awards multiple times now, and there’s a reason for that.  Matt’s drumming is something of beauty, following the bass and keyboards of his band mates with ease and splendid fills.  On top of that, some of the oddest and most difficult time signatures of the year can be heard in Matt’s performance.


1. Ray Hearne – Haken

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Speaking of time signatures, Ray showed me that he is truly one of the best drummers in the world.  His technical skill is undeniable, and his prowess is truly phenomenal as seen on “Vector”.  From spellbinding blast beats to deft rhythms, Ray is easily my favorite drummer of 2018.



5 responses to “TPM Top Drums of 2018

  1. Nice list. However, as an amateur drummer and the son of a pro drummer, I must point out that drumming is primarily a mental task. Almost anyone is physically capable of drumming technically if they put in the work!




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