Charlie Benante: Anthrax’s Worship Music

Charlie’s Setup

Charlie Benante

Drums Tama Starclassic (Black Metallic)
1 22" x 20" Bass Drum
2 14" x 6.5" Charlie Benante Signature Snare Drum
3 10" x 10" Tom
4 12" x 10" Tom
5 13" x 9" Tom
6 14" x 14" Tom
7 18" x 16" Tom
8 13" x 5.5" Snare Drum

Cymbals Paiste
A 13" Signature Dark Crisp Hi-Hat
B 16" Rude Crash
C 16" Prototype Custom Mega Cup Ride
D 18" Signature Crash
E 8" Signature Splash
F 10" Signature Splash
G 19" Rude Crash
H 18" Rude Crash
I 20" or 22" Signature Dark Metal Ride
J 18" 2002 Novo China
K 14" Sound Edge Hi-Hat (closed)
L 20" Signature 2002 Novo China

Charlie Benante also uses Tama hardware and Tama Speed Cobra pedals, Evans heads (G2 Clear batters; G1 Clear resos; and EQ3 kicks), Vic Firth Charlie Benante Signature sticks, and Ddrum triggers and module.

Charlie’s Lethal Beats

Charlie Benante is a multitalented musician and ripping metal drummer. His pioneering double bass work with Anthrax has inspired a generation of younger metal drummers and his early adoption of blastbeats helped popularize the groove throughout the thrash genre. He’s also one of the primary songwriter’s in his band and plays guitar on Anthrax’s studio recordings. His creative side even extends to his artwork, which is used on many of the band’s CD covers and T-shirts. Most importantly, he’s also a nice guy and annually drops off holiday treats to all of us who work at the Drum Pad in Chicago. Thanks, Charlie!

“Earth On Hell”
This aggressive track starts with a quick blastbeat that Benante tags with a tasty triplet fill. The verse has another variation on a thrash beat. Benante often plays these kinds of patterns open-handed, with his left hand on the hi-hat and right hand on his snare. There’s a quarter-note triplet fill that turns into a metric modulation that occurs in the fifth line. At that point the quarter-note triplet becomes the new implied pulse of the song, seen in the bottom line.

DRUM! Notation Guide

Charlie Benante

“Fight ’Em Til You Can’t”
Frankly, I’m surprised there aren’t more songs about Zombies rising to eat our brains since it seems to be such fertile material for lyricists. Here’s a helpful tip: Football helmets slow them down.

Benante begins this one with a triplet bass drum ruff leading into quarter-note triplet cymbal crashes. He then plays a backwards polka or downbeat skank beat with the snare on the beats and the kick drum on the &’s. Next, he amps it up with the sixteenth-note double bass version of this groove. There’s a nice fill based on “quads” (RH LH RF LF) used to set up the entrance of the first verse. The kick pattern in this section implies a 4:3 relationship.

Charlie Benante
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