TPM Top Drums of 2021


10. Adam Figura – Lord Helmet

I’ve been a fan of Adam’s since his work with Sloth back in the day. His new duo in Lord Helmet is even better, though, and he hasn’t lost any of the lumbering, towering feeling. I love the way he plays.


9. Antoine Guertin – Hillward

I mentioned that Hillward’s rhythm section is amazing, and here is the second half of it. I love the precision and beats that Antoine brings, the excellent fills and cymbal work. He is a machine.


8. Baard Kolstad – Leprous

Baard is becoming a legendary drummer, and his powerful, strongman tone really brings needed oomph to the latest Leprous album. On top of that, he featured in the new Earthside single, another fantastic performance on his part.


7. Jesse Bosman – Perfect Storm

Sometimes I am surprised at how amazing some new bands can sound and play.  Perfect Storm sounds great on all fronts, especially in Jesse’s voluptuous, meaty drumming.  The album is a playground for melody, but Jesse grounds all of it with his great performance.


6. Francisco Garo – Somewhereout

Francisco is a great drummer, leading Somewhereout through glorious transitions and thunderous climaxes. His work punctuates an album that loves the loud-quiet dynamic.


5. Robert Ruszczyk – Sunnata

Up against the burning bass lines on Sunnata’s latest, Robert shines. His mighty and varied drumming falls into both rock and ritualistic genres, and he will work his way into your very mind. HIs performance is haunting, to say the least.


4. Jeremy Chababaux – Grorr

It would be difficult to stand out in an album like the new one from Grorr. So many instruments are in play, and so many melodies and riffs are sprouting at any given moment. Jeremy does stand out, though, with his satisfying and hungry drumming that is the icing on the cake of this great record.


3. Skoota Warner – RA

Skoota is the original drummer for RA, and I was excited to see him return. He’s always had a massive presence with addictive beats and cinematic flair. On the new RA album, I know he was asked to do some things that I personally haven’t heard much before, and he rocked every single moment. I’m sure his legs got a workout in the meantime.


2. Ariën van Weesenbeek – Epica

Do I even really need to explain this? Ariën is known as “the beast” for a reason, and Epica’s amazing album Omega displayed his raw power and prowess. It was no surprise, of course, but still as thrilling as ever.


1. Wolfgang Ostermann

– Feeling of Presence

Wolfgang was a member of Frequency Drift before the band’s demise, and so it was only natural to see him pop up in Andreas Hack’s new side project. But I didn’t expect him to go full bore! Wolfgang lays down some of the most refined and even “cool” beats I heard last year, and his lumbering and dynamic presence is felt all over the album. You really need to hear it.


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