Strip any given power metal song down to the bare bones of the rhythm section and a few simple but key elements emerge: speed, power, accuracy and extreme musical prowess. In respect of the drums, that’s exactly what this collection of MIDI is all about. Think the likes of Helloween, Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, Sabaton and Dragonforce and you’ll hear the galloping beats, the frenetic bass drums, the rampant tempos and, of course, the odd crushing heavy grooves with all the fills and epic parts to go with them.
This collection of MIDI is a full circle compilation covering the fundamentals of what the genre has had to offer thus far – from the classic late ’80s European era that launched the genre, through the often more aggressive and thrash-influenced American style predominant during the 1990s and ending up right where power metal is today: resurgent and ever so vibrant.
This “best of” grooves collection is the perfect match for anyone in need of a plethora of razor-sharp drum foundations for use in any epic metal context.
Works with EZdrummer, EZdrummer 2, Superior Drummer 2 and Superior Drummer 3 (optimized for 1 kick, 1 snare, 3 rack toms, 1 floor tom, 4 crash cymbals, 1 ride cymbal).
When and how did you realize you had a passion for music?
From quite a young age, music seemed to me like comic books or movies, as a way to experience new worlds. Having music on while doing something would just make me zone out completely, losing track of time. Of course I didn’t understand the English lyrics at the time, but that didn’t matter. Music alone was enough to intrigue me and has remained to do so ever since.
…and how come you ended up behind the drums?
At school I had a great teacher that saw that I had a natural talent for rhythm. So she pushed me to take up drumming, which I did through lessons and later on by joining a local orchestra as a percussionist.
What is your connection to the power metal metal genre, growing up and now?
Growing up, the early Helloween albums were something I listened a lot to. I particularly liked the strong choruses and the fact that they did longer, epic songs with lots of progression. That’s something I look for still to this day; music that contains both huge melodies and progressive elements.
And for this collection of grooves, what bands and drummers would you say inspired you?
The precise and steady work of Dan Zimmermann, Uli Kusch and Scott Columbus. Helloween, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian and Manowar in general.
Comparing the overall technique and musicianship today with way back in the day when the scene was “new”, it seems drummers on a general level have come a long way. Why do you think that is?
Well, I believe there was just a huge lack of information back then. Old hand-me-down instructional VHS tapes and word of mouth were practically the only way outside the music itself to learn things, at least for me. Nowadays with the internet, and YouTube in particular, it’s all out there for young sponge-minds to soak up. As long as they have the interest, the time and the dedication to learn (and hopefully some friends to jam with), there’s no telling how far tomorrow’s musicians can go.
What was the general train of thought behind this collection of grooves?
I tried to make a sort of best of collection, ranging from the early inventors of the genre such as Helloween, Manowar and Iced earth, on through the late ’90s with bands like Blind guardian, Rhapsody, Grave Digger etc. There are of course some fast tracks in there but I made sure to include some real heavy stompers as well. The power metal genre is quite diverse so I tried to mix things up a bit so it wouldn’t be all double bass all the time (not that there’s anything wrong with it).
Double bass drums or double-pedal?
Definitely double bass drums for the feel and the sheer looks. Double-pedal can be convenient, but if I can avoid it, I will.
Click track or no click track in your headphones on stage?
It depends. Most bands I’ve played with have used backing tracks in some shape or form, so I’m used to the click. I don’t even register, it’s there most of the time. I wouldn’t use it just to keep the beat though.
Best-ever power metal album?
Gamma Ray “Land of the Free”.
Best-ever non-power metal and non-metal album?
Non-power: Devin Townsend “Ocean Machine”. Non-metal: Uriah Heep “Demons and Wizards”.
Dream-team power metal band (with you on the drums!):
Vocals: Chris Valagao. Guitars: Kai Hansen and Yngwie Malmsteen. Bass: Joey DeMaio. Keyboards: Jens Johansson.
Helloween “Keeper of the Seven Keys” (1 & 2)
Blind Guardian “Imaginations from the Other Side”
Symphony X “V: The New Mythology Suite”
Who would you like behind the kit for your next song? Dirk Verbeuren, Tomas Haake, John Tempesta, Gene Hoglan, Matt Garstka, Jason Bowld, Matt Halpern? We have drum MIDI performed by some of the world’s top metal drummers. Check out our entire line here.DRUM MIDI