The 4 Best Black Metal Drum Kits – Reviews 2024

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The fast tempos of black metal put a lot of demands on the drummer—and on the equipment he plays. Most out of the box drum kits are going to need some modifications, most notably the addition of a double bass drum and an array of extra cymbals. Having said that, you can find some kits aimed at metal players that come with two bass drums—if you’ve got the budget for them.

When you’re shopping for a black metal drum kit, the main thing you want to focus on is getting one with good bones. Reinforced stands are key to hold up to the force and speed of a black metal drummer. You’ll also want to get a kit that’s easy to adjust as you add your own personal touches. All of the drums below have the strength, durability, and flexibility required by players in the genre.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best black metal drum kits on the market:

Pearl Export EXX 8-piece Double Bass Drum Kit

The Pearl Export EXX Drum Set is one of those rare kits that come with two double bass drums (and all the associated hardware). That makes it one of the few drum sets that you can take to a black metal stage straight out of the box.

The construction quality is high on the Pearl Export EXX (see full specs). The drum shells are made of mahogany and poplar, which gives them a tuneful resonance along with impressive longevity. The included hardware is from Pearl’s 830 series, the same high-end, durable stands you’ll find on their professional kits.

You’ll likely still want to add some cymbals to this rig. As far as the drums themselves, though, it has everything you need, with two floors toms and a snare as well as two 22” kick drums. All-told, it’s a beautiful and versatile way to get double-bass drum power in one convenient package.

Pearl Export Series EXX Drums | N Stuff Music

Pearl Roadshow 5-Piece Drum Kit

Pearl drums are renowned for their quality and consistency—and you don’t always have to spend a fortune to get them. If you’re looking for a more affordable option than the kit above, check out the Pearl Roadshow. This 5-piece kit is a great value, so even after you add a second bass drum (see it here), it’s still substantially cheaper than the Pearl Export EXX above (though price fluctuations do happen).

You can count on the hardware in all Pearl kits. The stands are double-braced for durability and hold up well to abuse. The all-poplar shells give the tone a bit more low-end warmth, and resist cracking and damage, too, thanks to the triple flanged hoops.

The New Fusion version of the Pearl Roadshow kit is the ideal base kit for black metal, in our opinion. Not only does it come with the largest bass drum option (22”), it also includes three toms (10”, 12”, and 16” floor tom). All-told, an excellent way to get powerful, professional sound at a great value. It’s without a doubt one of the best black metal drum kits around.

Pearl Roadshow review (black edition)

Tama Imperialstar 5-Piece Drum Kit

Tama was one of the first drum companies to offer heavy-duty hardware with their drum kits, and that’s made the company a favorite among metal drummers of all styles. The Imperialstar is their mid-range drum kit, offering a mix of built quality and value. While Tama does offer an 8-piece version of this set, it can be a bit difficult to find. The good news is, the second bass drum is the only thing you’ll miss in this 5-piece version, and that’s easy to add in down the line.

The 6-ply poplar shells on the Tama Imperialstar drums (see full specs) have a nicely round and balanced tone. They’re very responsive to dynamics and attacks, and with the right heads they give you a lot of power. While you’ll likely want to add cymbals, you won’t need to replace the ones that come included. Made by Meinl, the included Hairline Blue cymbals have a stage-worthy sound.

Tama kits are built to last for life, and that’s definitely true of the Tama Imperialstar. The core drums are durable, a joy to play, and have a nice sound for metal. The affordable price leaves you room in your budget to add components and customize the kit to your needs.

Tama Imperialstar Kit - Drummer's Review

Gammon Percussion Full Size Complete 5-Piece Drum Kit

If you’re looking for a drum kit on a budget, the Gammon Percussion 5-piece Drum Set gives you a lot of bang for your buck. The glossy black shells have a nice, clean look, and the hardware is easy to adjust and gives you a lot of flexibility set-up.

The main disadvantage of the Gammon kit is that it doesn’t use double-braced hardware. If you’re an aggressive player, you’ll probably want to buy a sturdier drum set. The sound is decent, and definitely impressive for the price—bar none, one of the best black metal drum kits for the money.

The Gammon Percussion 5-piece Drum Set is easy to set up and comes with everything you need to play. It’s a great kit for beginners, or hobbyists who want a quality set but don’t want to break the bank.

Gammon 5 Piece Drum Kit Review

Building the Best Black Metal Drum Kit

You’re not going to find any off the shelf drum kit that includes everything you need to play black metal. The drum set you buy will serve as the core of your kit, providing the basic drums and cymbals required across genres.

While a lot of drum sets come with cymbals, that shouldn’t be your primary focus when you’re comparing them. Cymbals naturally wear out more quickly and are also easier to replace or upgrade as you go. Focus on the quality of the drum shells and the included hardware. With proper handling, a high-quality drum shell can last for decades. If you can afford it, buying a high-end drum set with durable, tuneful shells is an investment in your musical future.

Mid-range options like the Pearl Roadshow or Tana Imperialstar can be an excellent choice for a black metal drummer. At about half the cost of most larger 8-piece drum sets, they’re road-worthy kits that save you space in your budgets for cymbals and other add-ons. The right kit for you all depends on how seriously you play, and how many drums you can afford. Best of luck in your search!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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