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Richard Christy’s Top 10 Favorite Drum Parts in Metal, Prog, and Hard Rock

Carlos Labongo

Howard Stern fans first became acquainted with Richard Christy in July of 2004, when he joined ‘The King of All Media’ as a writer on his smash hit morning radio show. By that time, most in-the-know metalheads already knew Christy from his work with everyone from Iced Earth to the legendary Death. In 2009, Christy teamed up with Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-Judas Priest), Steve DiGiorgio (Sadus), and guitarist-producer Jason Suecof for a new project called Charred Walls of the Damned. While taking a break from working on the new CWOTD album, Christy spoke to Noisecreep about some of his drum heroes and the performances that have inspired him. Here, in his own words, are Richard Christy’s top 10 favorite metal drum parts.

10

‘Silent Darkness (Smothered Life)’
Wrathchild America (1989)

Shannon Larkin, now in Godsmack, is a god to me. In this song, he rips through a series of tom fills that still makes my blood boil. It sounds like he’s rolling across twenty different toms — sized 1 inch to 20 inches! Listening to Shannon, I really miss the days of massive tom rolls where drummers had to reach behind their left ear to start it, then end 10 seconds later behind their right ear! The part happens from 2:50 to 2:53.”

Wrathchild America
Amazon

09

‘Saltrubbed Eyes’
Seance (1993)

“Here’s the only death metal song that I know of with a jazzy boogie-woogie hi-hat intro. Drummer Micke Pettersson’s catchy hi-hat beat leads into a super-cool, odd-time death metal riff that sounds like AC/DC mixed with Entombed. This album also has one of my favorite tom sounds ever.”

Seance
Amazon

08

‘Sorrowfilled’
Dismember (1993)

“Charmingly sloppy, Fred Estby is one of my favorite drummers and I’ve been practicing along to Dismember‘s albums for years. Estby’s helped me perfect the classic thrash/death metal beat. This drum part sounds like Fred is dumping a bucket of nuts and bolts all over his tom toms while rolling his kick drums down the stairs! A drummer has to be amazing to be sloppy and awesome at the same time, and Fred definitely pulls it off. Check out the part at 3:44 to 3:53.”

Dismember
Amazon

07

‘Don’t Fear the Winter’
Rage (1988)

“Chris Efthimiadis, has the hardest name of any drummer I know to spell. I had to copy and paste that one. During this one part in ‘Don’t Fear the Winter,’ his three triplets on the toms create one of the coolest drum fills of all time. Simple but effective, and another great example of a drum fill that makes you turn your head and take notice. This album also features what could possibly be my favorite snare drum sound ever. Listen to the fill from 1:15 to 1:17.”

rage
Amazon

06

‘Hot for Teacher’
Van Halen (1984)

“Simply put, this intro is the reason I started playing drums. I first heard it in 1984 and started playing drums that same year. I still don’t know exactly how Alex Van Halen plays that intro. Like aliens and the Bermuda Triangle, it’s one of mankind’s greatest mysteries and who knows if it will ever be revealed!”

Van Halen
Amazon

05

‘Together as One’
Death (1991)

“This is one of the most amazing odd-time drum parts ever created. Sean Reinert’s use of splash cymbals and ghost strokes is incredible. When I was the drummer in Death, we played this song live and it took me about a week straight of practice to learn this part. I still don’t know what time signature it’s in, I just know it rules! The part I’m talking about happens from 1:56 to 2:32.”

Death
Amazon

04

‘Thundersteel’
Riot (1988)

“Bobby Jarzombek creates one of the most genius drum fills ever during the guitar solo in this song. It’s one of those fills that makes you slap your head and go, ‘What the heck was that?’ It is so brilliantly tasteful and original. It was a tough decision between this and the intro to the same album’s ‘Flight of the Warrior.’ You win either way! Check out the magic from 2:27 to 2:29.”

Riot
Amazon

03

‘The Eldritch’
Watchtower (1989)

“Incorporating super-technical jazz/metal drumming and electronic drums, Rick Colaluca has been a major source of inspiration to the jazzier side of my style. I’ve been playing along to ‘Control and Resistance’ since I was teenager, and I still can’t figure out half of the drum parts!”

Watchtower
Amazon

02

‘Coronation of Our Domain’
Malevolent Creation (1992)

“The mighty Alex Marquez created this tastefully killer drum intro, featuring some incredible tom and kick drum fills. The album it’s on, ‘Retribution,’ was also a huge influence on my playing and helped me learn how to incorporate tom and kick drum mixed triplets and quadruple fills.”

Malovelent Creation
Amazon

01

‘Welcome Home’
King Diamond (1988)

“This is my all-time favorite drum intro. I was 14 years old when I saw this video on cable, and Mikkey Dee quickly became a hero to me.”

King Diamond
Amazon

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