Best Drummer of 2015 – 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards
The wildest member of any group is usually the drummer, but that's not surprising considering they make a living out of hitting things with sticks. They're more than just that though, holding everything together as the rest of the band follows their lead.
This year we saw some titans of the throne hammer away once again, putting on exemplary performances that elevate each of their respective bands. With so many different styles to account for, it will be difficult to determine a winner for the Best Drummer of 2015 in the 5th Annual Loudwire Music Awards. Check out the nominees below, and keep voting every hour until the polls close on Dec. 1 at 8AM ET.
Between the Buried and Me are one of metal's most fascinating bands, spanning a plethora of different styles all culminating into one cohesive and complex outfit. Blake Richardson, the man responsible for keeping this all together, has his work cut out for him with each album, but he completes the task, nailing some fancy stickwork and daunting tempo changes.
One defining quality of Disturbed's music is their heavy accent of muted rhythms. Drummer Mike Wengren often plays along to the band's chugging riffs, creating a bit of a role reversal along with one of the more unique dynamics in hard rock. Everything is in lock step and unmistakably Disturbed.
Drumming in Faith No More takes some serious chops, which is why Mike Bordin has been the only man to bash the skins for the avant-garde rockers. The band is back with their first album (Sol Invictus) in 18 years and Bordin hammers away dutifully, rounding out the cinematic feel that Faith No More deliver.
Jeremy Spencer plays with a sense of urgency, always keeping Five Finger Death Punch one step away from exploding at any moment. He has the arena feel that many drummers in the '80s utilized to gain staggering popularity. His lightning fills bring a bit more extremity to the band's feel, giving them their hardened edge.
Arejay Hale is a hard-hitting drummer who is not afraid to break a couple sticks. Halestorm's arena rock mentality is furthered by Arejay's heavily accented drumming. With arms and body flailing about like an unleashed beast, the band's anchor pounds away with the group's anthemic hits that have helped the band reach and stay on top.
One of the busiest men behind a drum kit, Nicko McBrain delivered yet again with a percussive performance on Iron Maiden's The Book of Souls. Never content just playing a straight beat, McBrain is constantly adding flourishes and fills, keeping the music accelerated. His slower playing like on the title track helps churn over the riffs and delivers a herculean feel.
Chris Adler is one of the best drummers of the modern metal era. Now pulling double duty with new school titans Lamb of God and old school thrash masters Megadeth, Adler is able to highlight just how skilled of a drummer he is. He laid down some pummeling work on Lamb of God's VII: Storm und Drang and will also be on Megadeth's upcoming 2016 release Dystopia.
Queensryche’s skinsman Scott Rockenfield is one of the most progressive players in the metal genre. His playing feels like wheels in motion, especially on songs like “Guardian,” keeping everything circulating with his octopus-like style. Parallels can be drawn to Rush’s Neil Peart in terms of the two drummers’ approach.
Sevendust know how to groove and it's all due to drummer Morgan Rose laying it down. Many drummers tend to overplay when focusing in on groove, but Rose restrains himself letting the music breathe, creating that classic Sevendust sound. His footwork is astounding, pushing and pulling the rhythm and giving it a fantastic flow.
Has Mike Portnoy even put down a stick in the last couple years? One of the busiest musicians of today, Portnoy churned out three albums, one with the Winery Dogs and another with the heavy metal legend collective Metal Allegiance and one with the Neal Morse Band (sorry we missed that one at first, Mike). Oh, and he’s drumming with Twisted Sister as they play their last shows following the tragic death of A.J. Pero. It seems that we’ve answered our own question. That answer is “no.” Oh, and did we mention he can rock a Hello Kitty drum kit like none other?