David’s Drum Off: #5 – Danny Walker

Since I started this little top ten of mine I’ve listed drummers who’ve made a huge impact on the scenes they play in.  Some helped pioneer certain genres, while others have taken already developed styles and pushed them to new heights.  My number 5 pick is the culmination of all of it.

Danny Walker has certainly made his mark on the scene in the relatively short amount of time he’s been involved in it.  He’s played and/or toured with dozens of bands in all different sub-genres of metal, building up a solid and consistent resume within the tightly packed scene.  He is a founding member of one of my favorite progressive bands, Intronaut; is currently a member of the newly reformed masters of gore Exhumed, and is also a part of the new grindcore supergroup Murder Construct.  It doesn’t stop there, though.  His other credits include grindcore veterans Phobia, metalcore trailblazers Uphill Battle, and experimental grinders Bad Acid Trip.

It’s pretty obvious just from that list he’s got some pretty superlative chops.  He’s possesses everything that makes a metal drummer great:  Speed, agility, dexterity, creativity and endurance.  Of all the bands he’s played with however, I think his true genius shows through the most in Intronaut.

Over time the term “metal” has become more and more vague, as a new sub-genre spawns seemingly every other day.  It can become overwhelming trying to weed out the mediocre from the innovative, especially with a sub-genre as prolific as progressive metal.  Intronaut definitely fall into the latter category and it’s thanks in no small part to Walker’s prowess behind the kit.  In fact, Intronaut have one of the most interesting and solid rhythm sections out there.  Bassist Joe Lester and Walker work together seamlessly, weaving incredibly subtle and intricate rhythm lines into the increasingly complex compositions the band is known for.  Walker’s beats in Intronaut are easily some of the most tasteful and creative out there, incorporating polyrhythms and elaborate cymbal work into his turbulent playing, making him stand out as a powerfully distinctive force.  It never ceases to amaze me how off-the-wall some of his beats are and it always leaves me with a great sense of awe.

Intronaut‘s music is so strongly driven by Danny’s playing that they even constructed an entire song around his idea for incorporating two drum sets into one song.  While this may seem like overkill, it’s done extremely well, each part never overtaking the other and muddying things up.  It’s so expertly written that at times it’s difficult to tell which part is coming from which set.  While this isn’t a new concept by any means, (The Allman Brothers frequently used two drummers, among others) it’s this kind of forward-thinking mentality that makes Danny such a joy to listen to.  He’s consistently pushing the boundaries of metal and drumming in general and it’s always exhilarating to listen to.

Here’s a video of Danny performing a song off of Intronaut‘s new CD Valley Of Smoke.  It represents just a little bit of what he is capable of and it’s truly mesmerizing.

You can hear more of Danny on Intronaut‘s new album Valley Of Smoke, Exhumed‘s brand new All Guts, No Glory and Murder Construct‘s debut EP, titled simply Murder Construct.


The Top Ten:
#10. John Longstreth (Origin, Dim Mak, Gorguts)
#9. Kenneth Schalk (Candiria)
#8. John Merryman (Cephalic Carnage)
#7. Mario Duplantier (Gojira)
#6. Flo Mournier (Cryptopsy)

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