Here come Groups Three and Four.
GROUP THREE [DRUMMERS ELEVEN THROUGH FIFTEEN]
11. Casey Grillo
The vibe that Kamelot's young drummer gives off is scarily reminiscent of Dave Lombardo, except with slightly less power and slightly more finesse. Grillo's standout traits are his solid fundamentals, machine-like consistency and remarkable endurance. Yup, sounds like Lombardo. The key difference: Grillo's penchant for pulling off stick-twirling stunts while belting out long double-kick passages.
12. Hannes Grossmann
The above clip in and of itself shows Grossmann to be a hugely accomplished jazz drummer capable of slapping up polyrhythms and swing beats while maintaining an understated yet extremely tangible groove. Now for some context: Grossmann was the drummer for freaking Necrophagist's Epitaph album. Now that's a mixture of skill and versatility. (Side note: The other German drummer to have been featured so far, Marco Minnemann, is primarily a jazz-fusion drummer but has also gigged for Necrophagist and is already in our Final Eight. Hmmmmm.)
13. Mike Mangini
Mangini is best known for two things: being an incredibly masterful technician and holding multiple world speed records for drumming. Dream Theater's incumbent drummer has been around the scene for a good three decades now and is showing absolutely no signs of slowing down or letting up. There is literally nothing this man cannot play.
14. Vinnie Paul Abbott
Vinnie's game isn't about showy five-minute-long solos or complicated time signatures; he'll be the first one to tell you that. Vinnie makes this vaunted twenty-strong list, however, on the basis of how much he brought to metal - he was one of the first few drummers to truly integrate catchy, listenable grooves into his band's music and still is one of the select few drummers who plays with incredible tone and power regardless of kit. A true legend, and always a blast live.
15. Tomas Haake
You knew this was coming. 'Bleed' is the one song most associated with Haake and his band Meshuggah. The scary thing about Haake is that during live performances, he matches the original recordings note for note and then some. Here, he piles on ghost note after ghost note on top of what has to be one of the most challenging pieces to play not just in metal but in all of music. Haake is a frighteningly talented drummer, a legitimate freak.
Verdict: This group is unquestionably the most diverse of the three thus far, with drummers of varying ages, genres, styles and techniques. All in all, Tomas Haake and Mike Mangini stood a cut above the rest this time (Hannes Grossmann has to be considered a huge casualty here and by huge I mean colossal, super-size, god damned huge).