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I'm posting this since it's been rolling around in my head and getting it typed out helps me collect it all in one place. Plus, I should probably talk about these metal guys before more of them die off (Rest in Peace.)

Throughout my music listening career, I've never been much of a drummer fan. I've always noticed it. It's there. I just didn't think twice about it. Then, once we had ownership of Rock Band, I decided to see how bad I was at the drums. It turns out I was very first. Once I got into it and once I learned how to control each limb on it's own, it became really fun. I'm still no expert and you could argue that they're not real drums; I definitely have more rhythm than I had a year ago. There is no doubt about that. One thing the game does teach is rhythm and limb independence.

Once that happened, I started hearing music in a brand new way. Now I can hear the drums and each and every note. I can now pick out the bass drum and other drums. Music that I haven't listened to in long time suddenly becomes new to me. I have much more respect for a lot of the drummers I listen to. I find myself reading more articles on metal drummers and watching them more in concerts. I still have no idea about the ins-and-outs of a drum kit, but I'd love to learn. If money and floor space were no object (sadly, they are) I'd love to get a drum kit and learn. Fortunately, my current Rock Band drum kit can also work as a pretty decent electronic drum kit, so I do have that going for me.

I thought I'd brain dump my favorite metal drummers (in no particular order) and maybe, hopefully open up others to their style and talent.

Mike Portnoy
Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy

(Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment, Transatlantic)

Mike has a really good lead on being my favorite drummer. I love his style and his overall personality. He seems like a down-to-earth guy. Loves (and knows) his music and is open to all types of different styles. When I watch him play I'm usually in awe at just how easy he makes it look. He's not a fast, speedy drummer, but that's not what he does best. He also must be pretty good since he's won 23 awards from Modern Drummer magazine and is in the Modern Drummer's Hall of Fame. I would love to meet him some day. [ Wikipedia | Video ]

Shannon Larkin

(Godsmack, Ugly Kid Joe, Candlebox)

It's not that Larkin is an amazing drummer, though he may be. I just love his energy and drumming style. We always joke that he is Animal in human form the way his arms are flailing all over. He just looks like he's getting a major workout back there. [ Wikipedia | Video (one of my favorite concert moments, too.) ]

Brann Dailor


Dailor sort of fits in with my progressive metal appreciation. Mastodon plays that style and I really enjoy it over speed drumming. Mastodon's songs are some of the most challenging and most fun to play in the rhythm games. [ Wikipedia | Video ]

Travis Smith


Though he is no longer in Trivium, having left recently, I've always like his style. It was fast, but with a touch of a more progressive metal style thrown in. He is known for his fast footwork. Syrana and I got to meet them when we saw Trivium last November. Fortunately, we got to do that before he left the band. I hope he finds another band. I'd like to see him continue drumming. [ Wikipedia | Video ]

Joey Jordinson


I just love his style. He can play fast and he can play more progressive, and he makes it look easy. He has obviously earned the respect of many musicians having played drums with Metallica, Korn, and Rob Zombie to name a few while also producing a few albums. [ Wikipedia | Video ]

Honorable Mentions

I know I probably missed a bunch and I'll remember them later.

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  • While I don’t disagree with any of your choices, I have a few of my own to add.

    Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio)
    John Dolmayan (System of a Down)
    John Bonham
    Keith Moon (If you don’t know these two…I’m sorry.)

    Of course, ANY of these guys pale in comparison to Rick Allen from Def Lepard. Dude only has ONE ARM.
    .-= Samodean’s last post: Thank You, Lost =-.

  • Yeah, completely agree, I know I missed a bunch. I even thought of some last night. I just have been listening to most of these more recently. It’s like trying to name your favorite guitarists..there are just too many to list.


We are a family of gamers. Mom (Darcy/Syrana) and Dad (Brian/Sideshow) have been gaming for as long as they can remember back when you only had a joystick to use and saved your games to cassette tapes.

They've been gaming together since they met in 2002. Sometime after 2006, they both started playing World of Warcraft and did that for many years. They started this blog, originally called Sideshow & Syrana which has now transitioned to the new Stay-At-Home Gamers site, while keeping all of the original content.

Starting in 2010, two more gamers came along (now known as Princess Boo and Mr. X) and they are now old enough where they both enjoy playing games and watching others play games. They are both excited to have others to watch them play their favorite games. Come along with us and let's enjoy these games together!