10. Tommy Rizzitelli
– The Black Noodle Project
Tommy is pretty well known for his drumming skills, and to hear him on the new album from The Black Noodle Project was a joy. I love his kinetic, cymbal-heavy style as it added so much to the post-rock atmosphere of the record.
9. Sterlin Laws – Lo Moon
Sterlin is now a member of Lo Moon, as far as I can tell, and it is easy to hear why. His style is pure class and nuance, offering steady beats when necessary, or flitting around the periphery when needed. I really like his performance on A Modern Life.
8. Mark Zonder – A-Z
I have mixed feelings about the A-Z debut, but Mark’s drumming is under no doubt. He still has one of the most delicious and satisfying styles I’ve heard with great fills and towering moments. It was almost too much for the songs he wrote for this release, honestly.
7. Anders Köllerfors – Allen/Olzon
Allen and Olzon are the main attractions for their releases together, I know, but the musicians around them are terrific. Anders offers a fast-paced performance full of subtle blast beats and little twists all over the place. His style is so fun to hear.
6. Spencer Luckman – Galahad
Spencer’s playing is tasteful and hefty, giving oomph to an already muscular sound. I love his fills, especially, and his perfect, stumbling beats. He injects all of that into the latest Galahad album flawlessly.
5. Valtteri Revonkorpi – Rioghan
I was impressed not only by Valtteri’s drumming skills, but his ability to morph into whatever shape the music required. Rioghan’s debut is pretty diverse from one track to the next, and Valtteri’s follows suit without batting an eye.
4. Robert Kusik – Retrospective
Robert offers us truly groovy, sauntering style on the recent Retrospective album. His way is more nuanced and so might go unnoticed at first, but as the album grew on me, Robert’s contribution grew and grew tremendously.
3. Dobber Beverly
– Oceans of Slumber
I think Dobber has gone and become one of my very favorite drummers. On the new Oceans of Slumber album, he traded in hordes of blast beats for a heavy and hefty style that is an absolute treat. Every time I hear the record, I’m impressed yet again with his intuition for, instead of crowding the music, adding beauty and potency to the special sound they have already. I should mention his piano playing, too, which is gorgeous. He is an all-around amazing musician.
2. Daniel Vaxelaire – Selenic
Selenic is a young band, but, man, do they have vigor. Daniel’s drumming is a piledriving force of subtle fireworks. He is quick and effective without drowning out the other players. I absolutely love his style.
1. Ian Mosley – Marillion
Okay, this surprised even me. As I was considering this list, I re-listened to a bunch of albums where I had specifically noted my affection for the drumming, and Ian’s work is simply impeccable. Not only does he still hit hard with off-kilter beats and deft hands, he just has a way of elevating the music, pure and simple. I couldn’t think of another drum performance that stayed with me as much as his, even if the album itself is quite as good. His performance is definitely a highlight.