David’s Drum Off: #7 – Mario Duplantier

Metal drumming isn’t all about speed and endurance, but coordination and timing as well.  It involves all the basics of drumming 101 but takes them to levels previously thought impossible.  Not only do you have to be fast, you have to be powerful and nimble, and most of all you have to be distinctive.

My number 7 pick embodies all of these qualities to a tee.  Mario Duplantier of French metal giants Gojira can take the most complex and blistering drum parts and turn them into robotic feats of strength.  His immense power behind the kit is downright scary.  Don’t let his average stature fool you, he can harness the power of 1,000 vikings when he’s behind the kit.  Couple that with his brother, Joe Duplantier‘s massive guitar playing and you’ve got an unstoppable force of brutality.

Like many of the drummers on this list, Mario wasn’t picked based solely on his technical prowess, but his creativity as well.  He frequently takes the basics and inverts them, turning them on their heads and causing your ear drums to do a double take.  His discipline behind the kit allows him to seamlessly blend different styles into Gojira‘s monstrous sound, adding polyrhythms and rudiments that drive the music forward and keep you on your toes.

Check out the video below.  He’s taken one of the most basic rudiments (the paradiddle) and turned it into something complex and catchy.  Hell, his solos groove harder than some of the heaviest metal bands out there.

Check out Gojira‘s new song, off of their upcoming untitled Sea Shepherd EP, called “Blood And Salt” featuring the great Devin Townsend and Meshuggah‘s Fredrik Thordendal.  It gives me goosebumps!

The Top Ten:
#10. John Longstreth (Origin, Dim Mak, Gorguts)
#9. Kenneth Schalk (Candiria)
#8. John Merryman (Cephalic Carnage)

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