John Stanier’s right foot sticks out on this quantum-leap outing. He’s now in hipster darlings Battles but he’ll never be as kick-tastic as he was the year punk broke.
Key Tracks: “I Know,” “Wilma’s Rainbow”
Rage Against The Machine
On Evil Empire, Brad Wilk’s boom-bap blossomed into pocket that wasn’t obvious. The single-stroke interstitials on “Bulls On Parade” are perfect synergies of groove and musicality.
Key Tracks: “Vietnow,” “Year Of The Boomerang”
300 Percent Density
Kenny Schalk flipped the script on the jazz-metaller’s fourth disc. The Tony Williams influence is there but it’s massive groove and disguised trickiness that land 300 on this list.
Key Tracks: “Without Water,” “300 Percent Density”
Dillinger Escape Plan
Chris Pennie’s speed and precision had drummers gasping for a while, but on their second record he was more dynamic than bludgeoning so those polyrhythms really popped.
Key Tracks: “Phone Home,” “We Are The Storm”
Meshuggah’s ’90s albums had 11/8 and other ridiculous times but ObZen saw Thomas Haake push an advanced math + busy + power formula. He improves with age.
Key Tracks: “ObZen,” “Bleed”