There are many striking facets to Brazilian powerhouse drummer Aquiles Priester’s drum-cam YouTube offering, from the vivid red cymbals and drumheads to the incredible control and precision of his playing. Shot in HD with multiple cameras in March of 2018 at Adair Daufembach’s studio in Hollywood, California, Priester’s video finds him ripping through his band Angra’s furious “Temple of Hate” from 2004’s Temple of Shadows. He demonstrates all the chops and musicality needed to execute the track, without looking like he’s breaking a sweat.
“I researched among my fans which songs from [the album] they wanted to see and hear me play,” Priester tells MD. “I decided to take the opportunity and record ‘The Temple of Hate’ in one take. I wanted the energy of a live take, so I used a floor monitor with miked-up bass drums and backing tracks. I only stopped once or twice when I thought I could obtain a better take, but that was overzealousness on my part.”
Bursting out of the gate with hard cymbal chokes and a double-time pattern, Priester lays into his kit with aggressiveness and fervor. The drummer is doubling and complementing some virtuosic guitar work here, and there’s not one second to catch your breath, as new drum part after new drum part comes quickly in succession—a two-handed ride fill here and unbelievably tight double-bass work there.
When asked about how his approach to the song’s drum composition evolved over the past fourteen years, Priester offers, “I did change it a little, but to a higher degree of difficulty, especially on the guitar solo. Heavy metal fans don’t understand the term ‘less is more’; it is always more, and that is what I deliver. I never change a part to make it simpler. I always add more notes and make things more complicated. They like that! And then they want to see that performed live, faithfully.”
The track is a perfect mix of Iron Maiden and Dream Theater influences, but Priester throws in some unexpected spices, as in a wicked ride-bell polyrhythm at the 2:41 mark, which he returns to during the guitar solo. “That is a reference to the blues rhythm,” says Priester. “If you play the grooves on the snares as ghost notes, you will understand the pulse.”
Of note is the beautiful audio and video quality. “Adair knows exactly how to record and produce my work, making it sound even better than the studio original,” says Priester. “He delivered an avalanche of sound in a simple drum video. And the video was done by another friend and former drum student of mine from Brazil, Arthur Galvão.”
And what’s with all the red? “Last year Evans asked me to try out the Red [Hydraulic] drumheads, and I loved the quality of the sound and their durability,” Priester says. “Paiste launched the Color Sound cymbal line at last year’s NAMM, and I had already envisioned a red kit. I spoke with Erik Paiste, and he loved the idea, since I was going on tour with W.A.S.P.’s classic album Re-Idolized—the main color of which is also red. So everything worked out extremely well.”