The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium

30th Jul 2013 | 11:00

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
The 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
You voted in the thousands for the best drum track since 2000

DRUM EXP0 2013: The results are in! We asked you to vote on what you think is the greatest drum beat since the year 2000, and you answered in your thousands.

A huge variety of modern musical genres were put under Rhythm magazine's special drum microscope to select over 50 candidates for the final poll, and from that, you selected these tracks to form the Top 20.

For those of you who believe nothing good has come of the drums since John Bonham shuffled off this mortal coil, check out the huge drum talent on display here…

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Slipknot - Psychosocial
Joey Jordison unleashes his astonishing power and metal chops

Power, precision and aggression are a hallmark of the Slipknot man's drumming, and they're all present and correct here. Straight out of the box, 'Psychosocial' is classic Joey with a funky syncopated double kick groove that marries perfectly with the guitar riff. Then the breakdown section is quite simply jaw-dropping.

The greatest drummer of the last 25 years? It's hard to argue on this evidence.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
My Chemical Romance - Welcome To The Black Parade
Bob Bryar's drum corps emo hybrid

An arguably slightly over-reaching track from the emo teen pin-ups has one fantastic thing going for it - a military cadence courtesy of drummer Bob Bryar.

His drum corps-style snare work fits perfectly with the song's 'Parade' theme, and when he brings in the other parts of the kit, thumping around the toms, it somehow also recalls Roger Taylor's best work with Queen too, before he launches into a more familiar punk beat for the main part of the track.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Muse - Time Is Running Out
Power and chops from Dom Howard on this Muse classic

When it comes to kick-ass live bands, it doesn’t get much better than Muse, and Dom Howard’s powerful style is engaging to watch and perfectly suited to Muse’s operatic rock sound.

‘Time Is Running Out’ features Dom doing what he does best, playing grooves and fills that fit the song like a glove while never taking away from the band’s sound. His musical choices masterfully set up and define each section of the tune.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Deftones - Digital Bath
Abe Cunningham provides a hard-rocking but funky groove

'Digital Bath', from Deftones' third album White Pony just crept into the list with its 2000 release date. It features a seriously funky drum groove from the fantastic Abe Cunningham to set the track apart.

The Sacramento alt-rock outfit have always been about groove, due in no small part to Abe's ability to provide a hard-rocking drum presence yet somehow really groove as well.Funky little ghosted notes and subtleties in the verse give way to a big, big sound as the track builds, and it's one of our favourite Deftones tracks of all time.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
The Melvins - The Talking Horse
Dale Crover and Coady Willis bring the double-drumming joy

Now you might think that using two drummers is kinda cheating when it comes to a contest about greatest drum beat, but the Melvins' drum duo of Dale Crover and Coady Willis between them provide Buzz Osbourne's punky, sludgy outfit with an arsenal of fantastic beats.

'The Talking Horse', from the bands 15th album (A) Senile Animal, is a beast of a groove and for those who don't know it (and plenty of you do, to have voted it into our top 20), we recommend you check it out immediately.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Radiohead - 15 Step
Phil Selway proves his quiet invention

One of the most successful and rabidly-supported bands ever to come out of the UK's indie scene, Radiohead have continued to impress and astound with recent albums such as In Rainbows and King Of Limbs.

'15 Step' from 2007's self-released 'pay what you want' album In Rainbows shows drummer Phil Selway at his most inventive best, with this odd-time groove that has a light drum'n'bass feel providing the irresistible backbeat to the band's experimental rock.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
Maybe not the greatest technical player, but Meg's beat rocks

The White Stripes drummer has had a lot of stick over the years - mostly from other drummers. Okay, so she's not the best drummer in the world. Okay, she wasn't the best drummer in the White Stripes. But what Meg brought to the White Stripes' punky-blues was an ability to create the kind of infectious beats that have you banging the table top along to them - and that's not just drummers.

'Seven Nation Army's relentless snare and floor tom groove, with that constant hi-hat 'chick', rattled our heads for what seemed like an entire year in 2003. Go and listen to it now, and then try and argue with that beat's inclusion here.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Avenged Sevenfold - Bat Country
Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan's finest moment

On 'Bat Country', from Avenged Sevenfold's 2005 album City Of Evil is one of the best examples of how cool modern metal can sound, due in no small amount to the considerable talents of the late, great Jimmy Sullivan. The Rev brings his love of Vinnie Paul and Mike Portnoy to bear on one of A7X's best moments, with plenty of classic metal licks and double bass drum action. We love it, and it's really hard to play.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Paramore - Misery Business
Zac Farro's tom work anchors the emo hit

The Farro brothers may have left Hayley Williams’ emo superstars, with no less than Ilan Rubin stepping up to the kit, but original drummer Zac Farro helped the band's musical credibility alongside their bankable pop hooks.

Never content to go for the obvious straightahead punk-pop grooves favoured by so many of their contemporaries, Zac's musical playing and intelligent choices within the tracks – riding on the toms, and adding plenty of fast snare rolls to provide pace and urgency where appropriate – make 'Misery Business' a particularly worthy inclusion here.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Meshuggah - Bleed
Heavy, heavy beats from mathcore metal drumming maestro Tomas Haake

For two decades since their debut album, Contradictions Collapse, Tomas Haake and Meshuggah have been pushing at the limits of metal, making their densely-crafted music from layers of polyrhythms and unconventional time signatures.

Haake’s talent for navigating his way through the complex arrangements has made him one of the most respected players in extreme metal, and ‘Bleed’, from 2008 album ‘Obzen’ is a particular awe-inspiring Haake drum track.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm

“The other lads had guitars, so I thought I’d get some drums and we’d start a band,” he told Rhythm of his start on the drums for Sheffield megastars Arctic Monkeys. ‘Brianstorm’ was the first single from the band‘s second album and remains one of the Monkeys’ best loved tunes, featuring a frantic, Surfaris-inspired 16th-note feel and tribal tom groove.

With a new album out this year, Helders’ drumming continues to go from strength to strength – just check out the drum feature ‘R U Mine?’ for more proof of his fantastic ability.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Tool - Jambi
Danny Carey brings tribal energy to metal

With his highly-lauded alt-metal band Tool, Danny Carey has been a poster-boy for modern progressive drumming for some years. His awesome chops and way with a tribal groove are in evidence in this track from the band's fourth album 10,000 days.

It's a great little odd-time workout - another of Danny Carey's trademarks - in 9/8 and 6/4. Yet it still provides the track with a meaty, driving backbone, something that makes Danny's ability even more enviable.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Foo FIghters - Rope
Taylor Hawkins proves his worth in Dave Grohl's band

Foo Fighters tracks regularly feature interesting rhythmic ideas, though none more deceptive than ‘Rope’s guitar intro with Taylor Hawkins smashing out the unison 16th-note snare drum figure into the main groove with everything landing on the ‘&’ of beat ‘1’.

With some tasty work on the ride cymbal bell and a couple of fantastic drum breaks, it’s one of Foo Fighters finest beats.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Porcupine Tree - Bonnie The Cat
Gavin Harrison's exercise in prog-rock drumming perfection

When it comes to modern prog rock drummers, Gavin Harrison is right up there and you lot voted his 'Bonnie The Cat' groove from Porcupine Tree's album The Incident as one of your favourite tracks. And it's easy to see why, with Gavin's kit dexterity and polyrhythmic mastery lending the track's heavy riffs and metal breakouts some serious percussive magic.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Rush - Little Victory
Neil Peart's still delivering in the 21st Century

'One Little Victory', from Rush's magnificent Vapor Trails album is one of Neil Peart's finest and most rocking beats. Beginning with a drum cadence, Peart proceeds to cover all bases throughout the driving pace of the track, following Geddy Lee's insistent bassline and matching the track's changes of pace with a fresh approach each time. His undeniable kit dexterity, time-keeping and invention are all on show once again, yet, crucially, he doesn't forget to rock out.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Blink-182 - Feeling This
Travis's groove is classic punk-pop drumming

Bonham hand/foot triplet combinations and 'Rock And Roll'-esque eighth notes in the intro set Travis's stall out, while drum’n’bass breaks in the middle lift the track way above your standard pop-punk drumming and prove just why Travis is regarded as a modern master of punk rock drumming.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
No Doubt - Underneath It All
Adrian Young brings the reggae feel

One of ska-punk rockers No Doubt's finest track is given a perfect reggae groove by sticksman Adrian Young, who proves that loud and hard is not always what rock bands are about.

Tight yet subtly busy, his reggae groove prove his mastery of the one-drop feel that has always been at the heart of the band's sound. You voted 'Underneath It All' in at Number Four, and we reckon that shows pretty good taste.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows
Dave Grohl on QOTSA's Songs For The Deaf

Dave Grohl stepped up to the kit for Queens Of The Stone Age's 2002 album Songs For The Deaf, and their lead-off single 'No One Knows' contains one of the most memorable drum tracks of all.

The opening and closing of the hi-hat on the main groove fills in the holes left by the rhythm guitar, while the snare hit just before the fourth beat in bar four helps give the primarily quarter-note groove a real swing feel. Then there are the fantastic triplet-based licks showcasing Dave's fantastic single-stroke control and power.

In a word, it's an awesome rock drum beat.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Clutch - Electric Worry
Jean Paul Gaster's swinging blues-rock feel

Maryland blues rock giants Clutch have been on the radar since the early ’90s, but it’s on this millennium's output – including the albums Blast Tyrant, FromBeale Street To Oblivion and 2013's Earth Rocker that the strength of the band’s rhythm section, solidified by Jean-Paul Gaster’s unbelievable grasp of foot-tapping tempo, has really impressed.

On 'Electric Worry', JP provides a sublime shuffle beat to the track, with its Southern Rock vibe and New Orleans-esque funky feel. And he even gets to do a bit of a solo at the end, too. You voted the track into second place with 5.23% of the vote.

The top 20 greatest drum beats of the millennium
Green Day - American Idiot
Punk-pop genius from Tre Cool

The title track from Green Day's 2004 album pretty much sums up Tre Cool's playing. The insistent four-on-the-floor tom beat during the first half of each verse turnaround gives the beat its signature, while all of Tre's other trademarks are also thrown in the mixfast single stroke rolls, syncopated, swinging kick drum and riding on the floor toms in the breakdown, and crashing like a maniac in the chorus.

He might not have quite the technical finesse of Neil Peart et al, but Tre's hard-hitting yet musical playing has powered the punk trio to mega-success. A worthy winner, we reckon, with a massive 31.8% of the vote.

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