Death metal. Black metal. Grind-core. Metal-core. Prog metal. The list of heavy subgenres is long and winding, and Canada’s Cryptopsy have explored nearly all of them. “We have fans from many of the metal scenes, and other scenes as well,” says Cryptopsy drummer-extraordinaire Flo Mounier. “We’ve had people with jazz backgrounds come see our shows because they think we play a more progressive style of metal.” If anything, Cryptopsy specialize in “extreme metal,” a tag the drummer suggests incorporates many subgenres of heavy music. And his technically impressive approach is often at the forefront of his band’s extreme amalgamations.
On his recent instructional DVD release, Extreme Metal Drumming 101, Mounier reveals how he balances so many signatures and patterns with such power, dexterity, groove, and originality. And the material presented on this two-disc set crash course–featuring clips of lessons, tablature, studio sessions, gigs, clinics, and drum festivals–are specifically designed to help drummers play more “extreme” than ever. In fact, Mounier did a market study to find out what fans wanted to learn and watch, which included the topic of stretching. “Drummers know how to get the left foot going faster,” Flo explains, “and to power with the right foot.”
Speaking of sick beats, plenty of them appear on Cryptopsy’s newest album, Once Was Not. “I tried to hit harder on it,” says Mounier, who relies on a Pearl Masterworks kit with an Icon rack and nineteen Sabian cymbals. “I developed techniques that make it easier to go fast, so my energy is more spent on the groove aspect.” The record also reveals how Mounier’s warp-speed chops complement his slower meanderings. “Doing the slow stuff allows the speed to come out more. It’s a dynamic that creates feeling. If there’s no feeling in a song, it’s not a song.”