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6 Best Drum Sets for Metal in 2023 Reviewed

Punchy, loud, and aggressive drums are the tell-tale sign of heavy metal music. Metal drum sounds are uniquely deep and powerful and are all about precision. 

Cutting through a mixture of vocals, distorted guitars, and massive synths is the most challenging aspect that drum sets must overcome in metal. It should also be built with tough and quality materials to withstand the heavy playing of your recording sessions and live performances. 

Fortunately, you won’t have to scour the infinite interwebs to find the right kit. We’ve done all the hard work by compiling the top six drum sets for metal in 2022. Read on to learn about their features along with their pros and cons. 

6 Best Drum Sets for Metal Reviewed

Without further adieu, here are six of the top metal drum sets you’ll find in our shop: 

1. Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Set w/ 22” BD Raven Black

Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5pc Drum Set w/ 22" BD Raven Black

The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 5-piece Drum Set with 22” BD Raven Black is an incredibly versatile kit that sounds excellent in both a recording studio and live. Birch is renowned for its punchy and bright sounds and a snappy attack with focused tones, making it perfect for hard-hitting metal drummers. 

All the drums in this shell pack excel. The kick drum is extremely punchy and produces a satisfying low-end, while the snare drum delivers excellent attack and responds to fast-playing dynamics. Also, the rack and floor toms generate a strong initial attack and clean notes. 

The Yamaha Stage Custom Birch features high-end mounts, and hardware for long-lasting durability. Every component feels rock-solid, and the drum shells are thick and sturdy. 



  • Series: Stage Custom Birch 
  • Brand: Yamaha 
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x17
  • Shell: Birch 
  • Mounting Hardware: Double tom holder 


  • Perfect for studio recording and live performances 
  • Superb build quality 
  • Birch material offers focused and punchy tones for hard hitters 
  • Excellent tom mounts and hardware 


  • Not the most exciting finish options

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2. Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch 4pc Drum Set w/22BD Lacquered Charcoal Oyster - DCP Exclusive!

Tama Starclassic Walnut/Birch 4pc Drum Set w/22BD Lacquered Charcoal Oyster - DCP Exclusive!

The Tama Starclassic Walnut 4-piece drumset comes from Tama’s flagship line of drums and is one of the few brands a lot of metal drummers gravitate towards. The shells are a walnut/birch hybrid, which produces an extremely low tone; however, the birch adds plenty of attack to cut through a mix easily. 

The Tama Starclassic Walnut drum set has a superb build quality that really stands out. They have unique bearing edges that are rounder than the typical bearing edges, giving more contact from the drumhead to the shell. 

Also, this lacquered charcoal oyster finish is super cool and exclusive to us here at Drum Center of Portsmouth!



  • Series: Starclassic Walnut/Birch
  • Brand: Tama 
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x16 
  • Shell Layup: Walnut Birch 
  • Mounting Hardware: Star-Cast mounting system with quick-lock brackets 


  • Beautiful EXCLUSIVE finish 
  • Incredible build quality 
  • Exceptional tones across the board and especially in the low-end 
  • Bass drum offers a punchy yet warm tone 


  • Limited availability with add-ons 
  • The snare drum is sold separately

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3. Mapex Armory Series 6pc Studioease Drum Set - Black Burst - DCP Exclusive!

Mapex Armory Series 6pc Studioease Drum Set - Black Burst - DCP Exclusive!

The Mapex Armory Series 6-piece Studioease Drum Set is an impressive intermediate-level kit. This drum set boasts high-end features, beautiful birch/maple hybrid shells with a selection of beautiful finishes like this EXCLUSIVE black burst. 

The Mapex Armory Series is equipped with hand-selected birch/maple hybrid shells along with the patented Soniclear bearing edges for a warm and full tone. These drums pack a strong punch. They bring a clean and focused attack without sacrificing warmth. 

Included is a Tomahawk steel snare drum with an articulate and bright attack, and it explodes when played with a hard-hitting metal style. It offers great sensitivity for ghost notes but has plenty of volume for loud backbeats making it great in a metal band context. 



  • Series: Armory 
  • Brand: Mapex
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x18 
  • Shell Layup: Birch/maple/birch 
  • Mounting Hardware: SONIClear tom suspension mounts  


  • This Black Burst finish is stunning and EXCLUSIVE to DCP!
  • Soniclear bearing edges make for easy tuning
  • Great value for money
  • Professional-quality 


  • Stock heads are not great

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4. DW Performance 7pc Drum Set 22/8/10/12/14/16/14 Hard Satin American Rust

DW Performance 7pc Drum Set 22/8/10/12/14/16/14 Hard Satin American Rust

This DW Performance drum set is a DW drum set in every way. No detail has been overlooked, nor any corners cut. Its look and sound are decidedly DW. Custom-inspired, with a new Quarter Turret lug, low mass die-cast claw hook, new badge, logo head and a Lacquer finish that is sanded down to give the "Hard Satin" look, it's designed to get noticed and most importantly, Performance sounds like what you'd expect from DW. Easy to tune, superior sounding HVX shells, along with DW heads by Remo USA, STM (Suspension Tom Mounts), True Pitch Tuning and DW 45 degree back-cut bearing edges, all make these drums sing.

This drum set features Remo drumheads. Specifically, the snare drum is equipped with a coated reverse-dot head, which provides enhanced durability for heavy hitters. 



  • Series: Performance 
  • Brand: DW 
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x18
  • Shell Layup: Maple 
  • Mounting Hardware: Not included 


  • High-quality constructions 
  • True-Pitch tension rods make tuning easy  
  • Beautiful tones from the maple shells 
  • Designed for heavy hitters  


  • At the top end of the budget for many drummers

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5. Pearl Decade Maple 7pc Drum Set Classic Satin Amburst

Pearl Decade Maple 7pc Drum Set Classic Satin Amburst

The Pearl Decade Maple 7-piece drum set is the most popular intermediate kit from the Pearl brand. Their drums are constructed with 6-ply maple shells, which works well for playing metal music. The drum set also delivers a smooth midrange and its low-mass lugs and thin shell helps the drum have a very resonate tone. 

Regarding hardware, the Pearl Decade Maple utilizes mini NDL Lugs on their drums inspired by Pearl’s reference kits. The rack toms use an Uni-Lock suspension mount system for a secure hold, so they don’t move on you while you are playing. 



  • Series: Decade Maple
  • Brand: Pearl
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x18
  • Shell Layup: Maple 
  • Mounting Hardware: Uni-lock mounting system  


  • Excellent for recording 
  • The classic satin amburst is a beautiful finish 
  • Ideal for intermediate players 
  • Smooth midrange tone


  • The Pearl tom mounts are a bit more difficult to adjust than other mounts

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6. Pearl Export EXX725 5pc Drum Set Smokey Chrome w/Hardware

Pearl Export EXX725 5pc Drum Set Smokey Chrome w/Hardware

The Pearl Export EXX725 is one of the most sold drum sets on the market, and for good reason. This kit has achieved unmatched performance and reliability for its price range. 

The most notable feature is that it combines poplar wood with plies of mahogany for deeper resonance, stronger volume, and excellent tonal clarity, making it ideal for metal drummers. It’s specifically great for a beginner-level drum set. 

Included is the sturdy and durable 830 Series hardware, which sets itself apart from the competition. The Uni-lock system and tom arms are easy to adjust and hold perfectly in place. 



  • Series: Export 
  • Brand: Pearl 
  • Bass Drum Size: 22x18  
  • Shell Layup: Poplar Mahogany 
  • Mounting Hardware: Tom arms included 


  • Beautiful poplar mahogany shells 
  • Exceptional value for money
  • Proven track record 
  • Easy to tune  


  • There is no option for an undrilled bass drum

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What To Look For in a Metal Drum Set 

With the diverse metal scene, finding a great drum set that suits your playing style may be difficult. There are many factors to consider when choosing a metal-worthy drum set. You’ll need to look for factors that affect the versatility, volume, fast response, and aggressiveness that metal drums need. 

Bass Drum Size 

The most popular bass drum sizes you should consider for metal playing are 20” and 22”. These are the industry standards for bass drums. 

Smaller sizes (under 20”), won’t offer enough impact or a low enough tone to fit the sound and vibe of metal kick drums.

A 24” bass drum would work, but you may have a more difficult time playing since it’s a larger drum and the air is moving slower. However, if you want an even bigger sound for playing in large arenas or at festivals, a 24” may be a good option. 

Shell Material 

The secret behind the dense drum sounds of heavy metal drum kits lies in the materials it’s constructed from, specifically the shells. Metal drums should be punchy and intense, meaning drum shells that generate strong punch are the way to go. 

Drum Heads 

Additionally, your choice of drum heads will significantly impact the tone of your drum set. You’ll want your drums to sound tight without unnecessary overtones and ringing issues when playing metal music. Typically 2-ply heads will get you closer to the sound you want right out of the gate. Not to mention, 2-ply heads are more durable and you are going to want that. This isn’t to say that you aren’t able to use 1-ply heads for metal; however, they’ll end up needing to be replaced more often.

Want the Best Drum Set for Metal? Shop DCP!

Each drum set from our list will perfectly fit into any metal setting. Pair your new kit with a high-quality set of double pedals and or some new crash cymbals, and you’ll be ready to blast-beat your way to the next breakdown.

Find all of the metal drum sets listed above right here at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We offer a wide selection of metal drum sets of different sizes, materials, and brands. You’ll find everything you need in your price range.

10 days ago