Metallica

RTC

Libera et impera!
Just had a shower thought/semi unpopular opinion:

Lars is not that bad a drummer. I'm not saying he's Bonham/Peart tier, but I think most of the backlash towards him either comes from the Napster controversy or the overuse of snare drums in St Anger. And Justice is still pretty much tied as my favourite Metallica album with RTL, and some of his performances on that album are outstanding.
 

Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Yeah, I think he’s main flaw is lack of imagination. He does what’s needed, no more, no less. And on occasion he’ll throw in something cool (Orion is a good example of him flirting with time changes).
 

Flaming Blimp Crash

Educated Fool
It wouldn't be the same band if you had a Dave Lombardo or Nick Menza in the group. Lars, despite not being the most technically proficient drummer out there by far (and he'd tell you as such), has a style that is just quintessentially Metallica. There's little 'Lars-isms' in his playing/drum lines that make the songs great.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
It wouldn't be the same band if you had a Dave Lombardo or Nick Menza in the group. Lars, despite not being the most technically proficient drummer out there by far (and he'd tell you as such), has a style that is just quintessentially Metallica. There's little 'Lars-isms' in his playing/drum lines that make the songs great.
That, and the fact that Lars is responsible for a lot of the arrangement of the songs.
 

Mosh

Winner of the 2020 Dumbest Comment Ever Award
Staff member
I wish Lars had a better sense of time. The Napster thing hurt his reputation for sure, but he was never a fantastic drummer.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Lars has enormous drum lines especially on Master and Justice (Justice especially). Then, Black album onward, I really don't know what happened. It's rare the song where this guy comes with something a bit more than mundane. Here's an example: I like Hardwired To Self Destruct. But damn... the drum fills, the breaks, it seems it's all the same: snare ruffles or snare hits. Zero feeling, zero creativity, zero dynamics. The only exception being Dream No More where he makes a clever use of crashes and breakdowns. But even so light years away from Blackened, Shortest Straw, Justice, Frayed Ends, One, Master, Battery and Orion. I mean many of the things this dude used to do weren't even complicated... they were simply clever and creative. After And Justice it's rare when he plays little more than filling.
 

Detective Beauregard

Independent as a hog on ice
Lars has enormous drum lines especially on Master and Justice (Justice especially). Then, Black album onward, I really don't know what happened. It's rare the song where this guy comes with something a bit more than mundane. Here's an example: I like Hardwired To Self Destruct. But damn... the drum fills, the breaks, it seems it's all the same: snare ruffles or snare hits. Zero feeling, zero creativity, zero dynamics. The only exception being Dream No More where he makes a clever use of crashes and breakdowns. But even so light years away from Blackened, Shortest Straw, Justice, Frayed Ends, One, Master, Battery and Orion. I mean many of the things this dude used to do weren't even complicated... they were simply clever and creative. After And Justice it's rare when he plays little more than filling.
You're absolutely correct - it's like he's a completely different drummer from the black album onward. That could have been due to Bob Rock's influence or the songs being simpler in general (or perhaps he just got lazy). Maybe he wanted to simplify his parts so they'd be easier to play live. I do miss his drumming on Justice, though. That's easily my favorite Metallica album, and Lars-isms like over-the-line fills really help the songs stand out.
 

Spambot

Ancient Mariner
My 2 cents on Lars.

I remember watching one of his interviews around 2010 (it's a bit longer one and I can't find it at the moment) where Lars said a thing that IMO led him to slippery slope. He said, back in the 90's he had a feeling that as a drummer "he didn't have to prove anything to anybody". In other words, he started settling some 25 years ago.

Once he started that, it was like a slow quicksand (pun not intended.) I remember seeing him live on Death Magnetic tour and I could swore I heard and saw he bisected those bass drums during that middle part in "One". Listening to official bootleg - they were there. Now, I'm not saying he's not enjoying it, he definitely does. He even said it in the same interview that going on stage is the best feeling you can have with your clothes on (I guess dude likes long showers.)

Anyway, I think it was only a matter of time before he started cheating on certain drum fills and patterns to a point he forgot how he recorded them originally and it doesn't bother him at all. On footage from making of DM and HW you can see he lacks that extra vigor that would make him want to add something extra, like McBrain/Portnoy/Peart do/did. So, it had nothing to do with age, like some people say.

I'm not a drummer, but I think he was a good drummer. I remember hearing drums on The Call of Ktulu for the first time and my thought was: Well, it would take me some time to remember this. Nothing on that track is groundbreaking but you can see it had a unique style. Now, I think it would take him at least a week of practice to recreate that live and I think he would rather spend that time elsewhere.


TL;DR He was a good drummer, not anymore. Napster/St. Anger sound have nothing to do with it.
 

Flaming Blimp Crash

Educated Fool
My 2 cents on Lars.

I remember watching one of his interviews around 2010 (it's a bit longer one and I can't find it at the moment) where Lars said a thing that IMO led him to slippery slope. He said, back in the 90's he had a feeling that as a drummer "he didn't have to prove anything to anybody". In other words, he started settling some 25 years ago.
Metallica was practically the biggest thing going right around 1991-1992, so I'd completely get that perspective. He shrunk his drum set in 1994 to only have two rack toms rather than four, so that fits in with the timeline. Think he said he was inspired by Alice in Chains's drummer in doing that, wish I'd remember the quote on it though...
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
Metallica was practically the biggest thing going right around 1991-1992, so I'd completely get that perspective. He shrunk his drum set in 1994 to only have two rack toms rather than four, so that fits in with the timeline. Think he said he was inspired by Alice in Chains's drummer in doing that, wish I'd remember the quote on it though...

Watched some drummers video with Lars and I was fascinated how little he has interest in his own gear. He got the drumkit from Tama and used it as is, for those 13 years, then decided to remove two toms because his hi-hat was positioned far back.
 
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