I fucking love grindcore. Everything about it. It’s short, fast, in-your-fucking-face, full of angst and it gets my blood pumping in ways no other music can.
Grindcore drumming tends to be fairly straight forward in a lot of cases: endless blast beats driven by a punk mentality that pushes the limits of what drumming can be. My number 8 pick is the epitome of grindcore-ific drumming. John Merryman of deathgrind titans Cephalic Carnage is a beast to slay all beasts. His playing is utterly insane. It’s nonstop mayhem every second and it just makes me smile.
Not only is he an insanely brutal drummer, he’s amazingly creative with his playing. No one else approaches death metal and grindcore the way John does. He’s obviously well versed in many styles of playing and each one of them seeps through his frenetic hyper-blasting technique. Not only that, but he manages to turn grindcore, an already esoteric genre, into utter chaos when he’s plowing through your speakers. Cephalic Carnage are known for their epileptic approach to grindcore and death metal and it’s all thanks to Merryman’s insanity coupled with guitarist Steve Hopp‘s sweeping arpeggios and his onslaught of tremolo picking. The two of them together make for some of the most intense listening experiences you will ever have.
It’s not all hyper-blasting and (Cephalic’s own dubbed) Rocky Mountain Hydrogrind that makes Merryman so great at what he does, it’s also the subdued moments of gloom and doom that he forces down your throat during their sludge metal moments that really showcase his versatility behind the kit. He’s all over the place and it’s oh so good.
Watch the video below of one of my favorite Cephalic Carnage songs “Lucid Interval”. Notice all the nuances sprinkled throughout the song that tend to slip by you upon first listen. Shit gets my dick hard. He’s got more dexterity in one finger than most have in their entire body.
Here’s the official video for the song so you can actually hear it. It’s by far one of the most ridiculous music videos ever made and displays Cephalic’s outrageous mentality perfectly. Love it!
Hear more of John’s insanity on Cephalic Carnage‘s new CD, Misled By Certainty, out now on Relapse Records.