Heavy metal underwent significant change between 2000 and 2010, as the genre continually split into new styles. While the popularity of nu-metal began to ebb, melodic metalcore, mathcore, and djent, among other subgenres, rose to prominence. Here we check in with our readers and social media followers for some of their favorite metal albums from this transitional decade.
Temple of Shadows by Angra  with Aquiles Priester. The album features a perfect union of metal-style drums with many varied styles of percussion, all played by Priester.
Allegiance by As Blood Runs Black . Hector “Lech” De Santiago has great footwork as he navigates and complements varying tempos, awesome breakdowns, and sweet guitar harmonies throughout.
Martyr’s Feeding the Abscess  featuring Patrice Hamelin is such a ridiculous album on all instrumental fronts, but the drum performance is seriously next level. While this music could have easily been riddled with blast beats or tasteless speed, the groove and fills are executed with a human touch and intent, and Hamelin accents the intricate arrangements while elevating the music to a whole new plateau of technicality and musicianship. To be fair, this is music for musicians. But over a decade later I’m still floored by what Hamelin laid down.
Train of Thought by Dream Theater . It’s the band’s heaviest album, but it still features some of Mike Portnoy’s most technical work. The first five seconds of “Honor Thy Father” say it all.
Vektor’s Black Future  is one of my favorites. Blake Anderson elevates the neo-thrash genre to a place it seldom sees with a vast expanse of drumming styles crammed into a tightly arranged package. He combines the odd times, polyrhythms, and syncopation of prog rock with the all-out attack and merciless blast-note frenzy of black metal. Somehow, through it all he still retains a feeling of groove and headbanging pulse that results in a thrashy, old-school-feeling record. To top it off , Anderson plays completely open-handed, meaning he’s leading with his left hand about half the time as a naturally right-handed player.
Ryan Alexander Bloom
Constellations by August Burns Red . To me, Matt Greiner is the ideal metalcore drummer. He’s got power, speed, precision, and plenty of chops to throw in. You could put any of their albums up here, but Constellations happens to be my personal favorite.
Tool’s Lateralus  is a masterpiece. Danny Carey’s parts perfectly complement what everyone else is playing. He’s extremely technical without over-playing. And the odd meters never sound odd. I can still listen to this album and enjoy it as much as I did the first time I heard it.
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John Bonham’s First Drumset
As always, I enjoyed the article/history lesson in the January 2019 issue regarding John Bonham’s first Ludwig kit [Shop Talk]. I’m a bit of a Rogers guy, and I just wanted to mention a few thoughts regarding the piece.
I noticed that there’s a single Rogers Swivo-Matic mount on the right side of Bonham’s bass drum, and what appears to be the male part of a double Swivo-Matic tom mount on the left side of the bass drum. As per past comments by Bobby Chiasson of the Jollity Drum Farm, this seems to be another example of a 1960s drumset where non-Rogers tom mounts were ordered or switched out for the more advanced Rogers Swivo-Matic mounts. You might not see that type of combination today with high-end drum manufacturers, but the use of the Rogers Swivo-Matic mounts back then with non-Rogers drums wasn’t unheard of.
Anyway, as a long-time Modern Drummer subscriber who’s still using a vintage Rogers double bass kit in a black diamond finish that I purchased new in 1968, I just wanted to pass these thoughts along to you.
Allan M. Tepper
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