The 4 Best Drum Heads for Metal – Reviews 2024

best drum heads for metal

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If we were to list the most important features for an outstanding, bone crushing heavy metal sound, a powerful, resonant drum is an absolute must.  Even with the finest, sharpest, most roaring sound of guitars, it all comes down to a crushing failure if you cannot round up the sonic delivery with a proper drum groove.

And to achieve one, you will need the best drum heads for metal, because without them, even the finest wood in the world will lead you nowhere.

We took the liberty of sifting through the market to find such products with the following criteria in mind:  strong low end, lots of punch, articulation, massive power, and good value for money.  We came up with four quality options so check ’em out below.

Remo ES0616PS Ebony Pinstripe

First off, we have a dark drum head to please your dark groove needs. This drum head goes by the name of Remo Ebony Pinstripe, and in our opinion, it is perfect for metal.

The item is crafted with a set of two 10 mm 5 mm Mylar plies with an added measured layer of a ring reducing agent. The agent is added right between the plies, at the outer edge of their stripe, dampening high frequency overtones for warm and well rounded resonance.

Now, the metal aspect – this drum head secures what is simply described as a “fat” sound. A sound full of raw, powerful, yet easy to control low frequencies, combined with punch and a pinch of brightness. That’s right, the ideal tone for metal music.

The head works with equal efficiency both in studio and live concert environment, and is very reliable. The durability is also at top level, and since we’re dealing with one of the leading manufacturers of the drum head niche, you can rest assured that the product will come with each of the company’s quality standards and certificates.

This is, without a doubt, one of the best drum heads for metal.

Evans EC2 Tompack Clear Rock

The second option we have in store is the Evans EC2 series, the Clear Rock model (see full specs) to be specific.  While the Remo Ebony Pinstripe is more well suited for fans of modern punch, groove metal and today’s production values, this option is more suitable for the fans of classic heavy metal sound.

If fat tone is not your top priority but rather punch and more power in the middle and high frequency department, this is your winning ticket.

Available in 10-inch, 12-inch, and 16-inch editions, these drum heads consist of two plies of 7mil film, securing audio consistency and extended durability.

Designed and manufactured right in the US of A, the drum head utilizes the globally renowned Sound Shaping Technology, or the SST. This is one of the factors that placed Evans at the top of the drum head game, and a key ingredient to getting the best sound you’ve imagined.

All the listed features make this item very easy to play, leaving you to focus entirely on your creativity and signature style.

Remo Powerstroke 4

When representatives of Remo were named to single out their best drumhead for metal music and darker vibe, they went ahead with the Powerstroke 4 model.  This drum head utilizes a 14 inch diameter with a 2-ply version of the Powerstroke 3 model to secure focused mid tones.

What this means is strong punch and a meaty sound. Even with a weak hit, this skin will resonate like a beast, securing outstanding loudness and extra sonic capacity.  From all the items on the list, this fella just might be the darkest sounding one, and if you like your drum set to groove in a menacing way, the ‘Stroke 4 is an ideal candidate for your battery kit.

Durability is also this product’s strong point, as it is able to easily withstand severe bashing. If you like your skins bashed Bonham-style, this is definitely yet another plus.  It’s one of the best drum heads for metal on the market.

Aquarian Drumheads SKII22 Super-Kick II

To wrap things up, we bring you the underdog – Aquarian Drumheads Super Kick II. As you might have noticed, the world of drum heads is dominated by two companies – Remo and Evans.  Both are stellar companies, but we feel like a bit of variety can’t hurt, and this item offers a healthy dose of competition with a product fully worthy of your attention.

The product (see full specs) comes with a set of two 7mil plies, as well as a built-in floating felt muffle ring that guarantees that no extra muffing is required.

The strongest point of this bass drum head is absolutely the low end. The kick it presents is very well-rounded, but there something about the extra low end punch of this thing that makes us shiver with excitement.  What we particularly like here is how the manufacturer managed to offer a top-notch sound that can seamlessly be integrated into a variety of metal subgenres.

Whether you are into the classic brand of heavy metal or thrash metal or modern groove metal, this skin will deliver the exact sound you’ve been yearning for. And that’s definitely not something we can say about every drum head out there.

What Makes the Best Drum Head for Metal?

We’ll use the final section of the article to discuss the factors that make a drum head ideal for metal.

Foremost, you’ll need to know your preferences and the exact type of metal you’ll want to deliver. With that in mind, these are always features praised within the metal genre: punch, fat tone, groove.

First off, you will need punch to cut through the mix. You are dealing with some very strong guitars and bass, and if your tone just floats in the mix without cutting it, it won’t work.

Then, a strong low end, the fat tone. Metal is driven by a stomping groove and you’re need a fat tone to present it. And finally, the groove part, the ability to resonate among the listeners even with all the raw power in the combo.

With that in mind, get yourself one of these bad boys that we’ve reviewed and start rockin’ ASAP.  Good luck!

Written and Reviewed By

  • 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.

  • Marko is the senior editor and writer on Ultimate Guitar, the No. 1 guitar spot on the web, since early 2013. His work was also featured on a variety of other notable gear spots such as Guitar Fella, Consordini, and, of course, Song Simian. His musical journey began at a very young age, and he finally opted to pick up an instrument in his early teenage years. A fan of King Crimson. A travel enthusiast.

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