Download all Drum Q&A mp3 files (isolated drum parts from Worlds Beyond The Veil - 2mb ZIPPED mp3 files)

Because we get asked questions about these isolated drum recordings a lot, here is the lowdown on these isolated recordings and how we did them. This page will be updated as we get new questions.


These mp3s are a mix of the isolated drum tracks from the album 'Worlds Beyond The Veil' multitracks. The sound is the exact mix from the album, so it sounds slightly weird as the mix is designed to have guitars bass and vocals alongside it. It is also "unmastered".

The bass drums are 100% triggered (no kick mics), the toms 50/50 compressed mic/trigger and the snare about 80/20 mic/trigger, not at all unusual for extreme metal.

The bass drums are not edited or programmed, and you can hear it's a real person playing from the small errors and inconsistencies. If we were going to bother trying to edit them they'd have sounded much tighter!

The bass drumming is single strokes with heel up technique on Tama Iron Cobra pedals with 2 bass drums.

The fast bass drumming on the first sample is equivalent to 16th notes at 300bpm. This part was recorded to a programmed metronome as was most of the album.

What is impossible for one person is not necessarily impossible for another and I'm far from being the only person capable of playing these speeds. Although these tempos are difficult, I've seen quite a few drummers pass 260bpm, and our ex live drummer Sean Broster can play 280bpm+. Apparently, according to himself, George Kollias (Nile) can now play 280bpm which I'm sure is true judging by his drumming videos. Perhaps when / if he gets to 300bpm people will suddenly concur it's possible to play this speed. Loads of drummers are now posting videos of near 300bpm speeds, so it's not so surprising anymore.

Listen to the normal sample and then the half time sample before deciding that the bass drumming isn't as fast as stated, you can clearly hear that the part "doubles" in speed / number of strokes after half way and with your own metronome / software should be able to work it out.

Yes there is a "mistake" where a few notes are missing, sadly i was not able to get a better take in the short amount of time we had in the studio.

Granted I am not hitting the bass drums as hard as when I play 200bpm 16ths, but the volume is about the same as when I play 265bpm 16ths, and from what I've seen my hits are in the same ballpark power wise as comparable drummers (and I've seen a lot, and some of them very close up). My beaters were set to 10cm / 4 inches distance from the heads on this recording, which is normal for drummers who play very fast double bass. Obviously you wouldn't raise your sticks 2 feet in the air between each hit when doing a blastbeat as the extra distance travelled would reduce your maximum speed (physics) and the same applies to feet and bass drumming.

Unfortunately we did not video the drum recording for this song, although we have some snippets someone visiting with a camera took of the session. It would have been unfeasible to record the entire drum recording session (being as it lasted several days) and we didn't expect all the interest around these sections (or we might have tried to make a special video). Please bear in mind these sessions happened in early 2003, and the interest in them didn't build until much more recently. Atm I can't play 300bpm, but I'm getting close again (exceeding 280 regularly). If I do reach 300bpm i'll attempt to make a video of sorts so people can claim it's sped up and fake ;)
I've got a video online now of me rehearsing in my other band (The Senseless) where I play over 275bpm in a few places, here's a link:

I am definitely not the 'Worlds Fastest Drummer' and do not claim to be, and I cannot play 300bpm 16ths for an entire minute (supposed criteria for winning the 'Worlds Fastest Drummer' contest) so would not be able to certify at this speed in competition. I play heel up single strokes, and the record for this technique is 1040 hits in a minute. My best ever for a minute (recorded while playing a song) is just under 1000 hits but I can occasionally get just over 1000 when practicing if I'm "feeling it" as it were.

I don't agree with people who say the basic definition of "top speed" related to drumming inherently means "how fast you can play for an entire minute". "Top Speed" means the fastest you can play, you need to add a suffix to give further definition, i.e how long you can play it for, i.e. "230bpm 16ths for 45 seconds" etc.

Sorry, I didn't realise there was a rule specific to extreme metal whereby as a musician you aren't allowed to play more than one instrument if you want to be taken seriously.

The maximum drum speed someone can reach is probably partly determined by their genetics, so maybe I'm just lucky to be able to play this fast, however it did take years of practice and experimentation. People are good at different things. For example if I was to turn my hand at running 100m, no matter how long I trained at it, I'd probably still be beaten by people who were genetically gifted and had done loads less or never trained at running.