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10 BEST Drum Heads for Metal – 2023 Updated List and Review!

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Every genre/style of music has its unique requirements in different aspects like instrumentation, gears, techniques, etc. What is best for a style like jazz or blues might not be the best for a style like heavy metal or punk. 

Just like we said, these unique requirements for each genre might be in different aspects of music, including gears and musical instruments/accessories. Regardless of genre/style, the drumset will always remain a very fundamental musical instrument in all ramifications. 

Being the major driver of the rhythm section, in many styles of music, you almost cannot do with the drums. One of these genres that the drumset is considerably vital is heavy metal music. 

Being one of the most commercially successful subgenres of rock music, heavy metal is characteristically intense, eccentric, virtuosic, and very powerful. Traditionally, heavy metal (or “metal”) drumming is characterized by unequivocally intense drum rhythms.

This very intense rhythm interlocks with a very dense and thumping bass sound to create a synergized guitar-and-drum sound. In metal music, the essence of drumming is to create a loud, steady beat for the band with a combination of speed, energy, and precision.

This characteristic puts a special demand on metal drumming in the aspects of gears and accompanying drum accessories. On that note, drum accessories (drum heads, in this case) that might work perfectly for other genres like pop might not work for metal. 

With metal music, you need drum heads that will withstand the unique requirements of heavy metal drumming. These drum heads have to be tough enough to withstand some heavy and very energetic drumming without breaking down midway. 

Aside from withstanding some tough beatings, they also have to be loud enough to cut through a typical heavy metal mix which is always quite dense. Tonally, they have to meet up with the uniqueness of heavy metal in the aspect of tone.

They also need to be articulate enough as typical heavy metal drumming involves some very fast passages and lines. Metal drum heads should be durable as they would obviously be put through some very stressful and rigorous playing situations. 

A typical metal drummer uses one or two bass drums (22”-24”), about two or three rack toms (10”-13”), one or a couple floor toms (14”-18”), and one snare drum (14”). In this article, we will bring to you 10 amazing drum heads that are just perfect for metal music.

10 BEST Drum Heads for Metal

  1. The Evans EC2s
  2. The Evans onyx 
  3. The Evans UV2
  4. Aquarian Performance 2 
  5. Aquarian Super 2
  6. Attack ToneRidge 2
  7. Remo Pinstripe 
  8. Remo Powerstroke 77
  9. Evans EC Reverse Dot
  10. Evans ST Dry

Review of 10 Best Drum Heads for Metal

The Evans EC2s


2-ply, 7-mil + 7-mil

Sound shaping technology 

Coated batter drumhead  

Evans EC2s drum heads are suitable for heavy styles of drumming and they are best recommended for drummers that need articulate drumheads and also play hard. 

This drum head can withstand hard beatings due to its thickness. And will also stay in tune for a long duration. 

With the help of specific sound-shaping technology, Evans enhanced the EC2s to produce low ends with reduced high overtones. 

These Evans EC2s are solid drum heads with a difference and look quite amazing when you put them on the toms. You get a punchy sound when you apply some muffling to the toms—a warm punchy sound. 

The EC2s by Evans are very durable; you don’t have to worry about tear or wear during a live gig or studio session. Watch more about the Evans EC2s:

More punchyNot very versatile 
Very durable Expensive 
Less muffling
Amazing sound
Capacity to make up for attack 
Great design and look 

The Evans onyx 

Evans Drum Heads – Onyx Tom Drumhead, 14 Inch
  • COATED TOM HEAD: This tom head is frost coated with a unique translucent coating to deliver additional warmth, focus, and depth.
  • TWO PLIES: Evans Onyx heads are made with two 7.5mil plies, coated for enhanced durability.
  • POWERFUL ATTACK: Onyx tom batters deliver increased low-end response and powerful attack, with a matte black aesthetic.
  • LEVEL 360 TECHNOLOGY: All Evans drumheads feature Level 360 Technology to provide ease of tuning, extended pitch range, and optimum quality of sound.


2ply, 7.5mil + 7.5mil

Micro clear 

Matte black coating

A 5-offset microphone port 

The Evans onyx drum head produces short, attacking, and dark sounds when played. Suitable for metal music. They are produced with two layers. 2ply with a total of 14mil film making them strong and durable. 

Evans onyx drum heads are easy to tune and also will provide a perfect balance between sustain and punch. It also comes with the level 360 system which allows it to be firmly positioned when you put it on the drums. 

This black-looking drum head by Evans has a frost coating which produces an increased low-end response and attack. Watch more about the Evans onyx here:

Great design Comes like toms head 
Easy to tuneNo plain, only black colour
Strong soundThe sound may not suit everyone  
Controlled harmonics
Stable tuning
Better response 

The Evans UV2

Evans Drum Heads – UV2 Coated Tom Drumhead, 16 Inch
  • COATED TOM HEAD: This tom batter features Evans patented UV-cured coating for superior protection made to withstand even the heaviest hitters.
  • TWO PLIES: Evans UV2 drumheads are made with two plies of 7mil film.
  • PROMINENT ATTACK: UV2 heads have a prominent attack, shorter sustain, medium brightness, and highly enhanced durability.
  • LEVEL 360 TECHNOLOGY: All Evans drumheads feature Level 360 Technology to provide ease of tuning, extended pitch range, and optimum quality of sound.


2ply, 7-mil + 7-mil

Extra strong coating 

The UV2 designed by Evans is not just great for metal but can be used for a variety of music styles. Earning it an all-round drum head. The extra strong coating of the UV2 reduces the fear of the drum head chipping away during live gigs or studio sessions. 

If you are a big hitter who is tired of constantly replacing your drum head then the UV2 is for you. Evans UV2 will give you that thunderous sound that will fit into musical styles like metal. 

The nice texture of the UV2 also allows you to play with brushes also, not just sticks alone. The inability for it to chip away or flake also implies you will be able to play with a brush for a longer duration 

The sound you get from this UV2 drum head is a rounded tone that is neither too bright nor dark. The more reason the Evans UV2 is suitable for all genres of music is due to the well-balanced sound with the warmth that it gives. 

They are solid, strong, and long-lasting. Available for snare, toms, and in all sizes. Watch more about the Evans UV2 here:

Easy to tuneLess attack sound 
High responsiveness 
Very versatile 
Very durable
Greatly adaptable 

Aquarian Performance 2 

Aquarian Performance 2


2-ply, 7-mil + 7-mil

Outer control ring

Aquarian vacuum 

Aquarian Performance 2 clear drums head produces a fat and punchy sound suitable for metal music. 

Its durability is due to its thickness and its strong attack is enhanced by the control ring and sealed edges which shortens sustained sound. 

Performance 2 combines the two plies with an outer control ring that the edge is sealed to produce incredibly low ends with reduced overtones. 

The Aquarian Performance 2 clear is also a controlled drum head. Tune up higher for tone and character. Tune low for attack and short deep tones. 

Best recommended for live gigs as it is loud and can be controlled. A great choice for a drummer that loves to hit hard. The bright attack of the Aquarian performance 2 clear can travel around loud environments perfectly. 

Watch more about the Aquarian Performance 2:

Easy to tuneNot for quiet drumming 
Suitable for loud drumming
Amazing drum head
Great for any music style

Aquarian Super 2


2-ply, 7-mil + 5-mil

Mellow and warm

Coated batter head 

The Aquarian Super 2 coated is a thinner drum head that is highly responsive and produces a long-lasting sound great for metal music. 

Unlike the other drum head with two plies that are 7 mil film, the Aquarian Super 2 is made of two plies but one 7 mil film and the other 5 mil film. 

However, Aquarian Super 2 coated still adds the focus that 2-ply drum heads are known for while also keeping durability. 

This drum head produces a smooth attack and balanced sound that is suitable for both live gigs and studio sessions. Whether with the sticks or brush, you will get a sustained sound, fat low ends with reduced overtones. 

If you are a heavy hitter or a professional drummer playing metal music then the Aquarian Super 2 is for you. Watch more about the Aquarian Super 2:

Very VersatileVery pricy
Highly responsiveLimited tuning capacity
Easy to tune
Thin drum heads
Sustained sound
Balanced sound
Great resonation 

Attack ToneRidge 2


2ply, 7-mil + 7-mil

Dynaflex film

A unique split level

Dark punchy tone

Attack Tone Ridge 2 is designed with attack dynaflex film for extra thickness. It is popularly used by heavy hitters in rock and metal music. Apart from being 2ply of 7-mil film, it features a unique split-level design that is found on the outer portion of the drum head. 

The unique split-level design guarantees durability and reduces overtones. This gives you a dark and punchy drum head that will not chip away due to hard beatings. 

Attack Tones Ridge 2 are very popular drum heads.  Apart from metal music, it is also used for other musical styles such as soul, pop, gospel, and country. Tone Ridge 2 was initially known as Deadhead when it was first debuted by Attack Drumhead. 

The Tone Ridge 2 still maintains some of its unique features such as the 2ply and the dampening ring that results in a dampening effect. Watch more about the attack ToneRidge 2:

Easy to tuneThe sound may not be suitable for everyone 
Attacks dynaflex polyester 
Distinct value 

Remo Pinstripe 


2-ply, 7-mil + 7-mil film

Control ring 

Dampening effect

Remo Pinstripe drum heads produce a focused sound with no ringing. You have the precise and fundamental notes that are played emphasized. Remo Pinstripe is Another great drum head suitable for metal music. It will give you a warm attack with an enhanced low end.

This focus is generated easily because the unwanted overtones are reduced by the control ring. The control ring causes a dampening effect on the drum head through the edges, thereby reducing overtones. 

This sound is great for toms and drums that are hard to tune. Remo Pinstripe Clear has a brighter attack that will be heard even in a loud environment. 

They can also handle hard beatings without chipping away. It also produces a big rimshot, allowing the snare to come through in high-volume situations. 

Watch more about Remo Pinstripe here:

Easy to tuneNot highly responsive to brushes 
Great tones
Control rings for attack
Focused sound
Less sustained sound
Very durable 

Remo Powerstroke 77


2-ply, 7-mil + 7-mil

Dampening ring

Power dot on top

Coated surface 

Remo Powerstroke 77 are the much sought-after drum heads for metal music. They produce balanced tones and overtones. Remo Powerstroke 77 is highly responsive to the stick and will give you a sound that is pleasing to the ear. 

The lower clear film and the familiar upper film are a plus to the brush. They add extra warmth while also being ideal. Remo makes specific drum heads and the Powerstroke 77 drum heads are designed for the kick and the snare. 

The smack in the centre is 5 mils thick and in the optimum position for resilience. It is capable of withstanding the hardest beating. There is also a thin and narrow band of 7 mils mylar that is inside the entire perimeter of the head. 

This narrow band reduces any overtones and subtly calms any leftover ringing around the Powerstroke 77. The Remo Powerstroke77 is one of the best drum heads you will find in the market for metal music. 

Watch more about the Remo Powerstroke 77:

Easy to tuneThe sound may not be suitable for all 
Highly responsive
Very versatile 
Very durable

Evans EC Reverse Dot

Evans EC Reverse Dot


2-ply, 7-mil + 10-mil

SST frequency control

Power dot underneath 

Frosted surface 

The Evans EC Reverse Dot is a 17-mil drum head that is very durable and also features a sound-shaping technology for frequency control. It is highly recommended for metal music. 

This drum head is not your regular standard 2-ply 14-mil film head and super thick 2-ply 20-mil film head. Evans EC Reverse Dot is a drum head with a difference. The 3-mil film dots assure more durability. 

The SST feature controls the frequency on the head. A very popular technology design by Evans drum head. SST which means sound shaping technology helps produce loud low ends while reducing overtones. 

However, the Reverse Dot keeps some tonal resonance for rimshots. But you get a dry sound while playing the centre. The retained resonance is due to the lack of the control ring which helps dampen sounds. You can fix it if you are not satisfied with the resonance. 

The sound from this Evans Reverse Dot is great for bright metal music. Also recommended for drummers who hit hard. 

Watch more about the Evans EC Reverse Dot here

Easy to tuneNo dampening effect
Fat punchy sound
Very loud
Controlled heads
Very durable

Evans ST Dry

Evans ST Dry


2-ply, 7.5-mil + 7.5mil

Dry vents

Coated Surface 

Evans ST Dry is a thick and straightforward drum head that is suitable for metal music. It is a 2-ply 15-mil film drum head with durability and a variety of tone options. Also, it is thicker than the standard 2-ply. 

Evans ST Dry allows you a wide tuning range and offers you an interesting vent feature for the snare. These vent holes are also as popular as sound-shaping technology. Vent holes tame excess ringing and give room for clarity. 

It is not a dampening effect regardless, on naturally dry drums, the vent holes may be all a drummer may need. Evans ST dry works well with metal music, irrespective of the drums it will be put on or how it will be tuned. 

Apart from metal music, this drum head can also be used for other genres of music such as rock and pop. The thickness earns this drum head the head that can perform overall and still do a good job. 

Watch more about the Evans ST Dry here:

Easy to tuneSpecific sound, not suitable for everyone 
Aggressive rimshot
Balance response
Controlled head
Dry sound
Vent holes 

Things to Consider When Shopping for Metal Drum Heads 

When it comes to considering and choosing from a lot of options, it normally would fall to personal preference. The best consideration for X might be completely different from what Y is considering. 

It is important we realize that there is no best option, and spending time searching for the “best drum head” may take a lifetime and quite some resources. 

However, if you are shopping for metal drum heads you must consider sounds that will be suitable to the style. 

Do you need a bright, warm, dry, or wet sound? This will depend on your choice if you are doing a bright metal or heavy metal. 

Bright means a higher pitch, and warm is referred to as a darker pitch. Dry sounds mean less sustain while wet sounds mean delay and more ringing after being struck. 

Also, consider the durability of the drum head. You may want to get 2 or 3 plies as they come with tougher skins. A 1-ply drum head has a brighter sound than the 2 and 3 plies film. However, the durability is compromised. 

Metal styles often require heavy hits and tough beatings, you need drum heads that will not chip away during a live gig. 

Lastly, how you tune this drum head is everything. The tuning pattern can make all other factors listed here to be considered irrelevant. 

Tuning is an art and may take years to master. However, consistency is also key. You may want to watch some videos or read about it. 

One Ply vs Double-Ply

A ply consists of several thin layers of wood that are laminated together. They are cut from tree trunks in thin slices. 

One ply also referred to as a single ply will sound quite differently from a double ply also known as two ply. However, the outstanding difference that is spotted is the thickness. One-ply is just a layer while double-ply features two layers making it thicker than one-ply. 

Double-ply is durable and robust. Great for the part of the drums that are often used the most like the snare and kick. Regardless, there is no limitation as to which part of the drums you can put 2ply. They can be used on any drum head. 

Single-ply produces a bright sound with overtones suitable for musical styles such as Jazz and pop. Double-ply produces a bright and warm sound with reduced overtones suitable for musical styles such as metal and rock. 

The best option between single-ply and double-ply will be based on personal preference. 

Coated vs Clear

The coat is a thin lining on the drum head that transforms the overall sound. It works as a dampening effect. 

Coated drum heads will produce a warmer tone with barely any overtones. Coated is the go-to for the snare. They are very popular. 

Clear drum heads give you a brighter sound with more sustain, and attack than the coated heads. Clear drum heads are the most recommended for live gigs and loud environment music. 

Clear drums are also the best for metal music. They give you that bright sound suitable for metal music. 

What is a Drum Head Made of?

Drum heads are made from Mylar or Polyester. The most popular material is polyethene terephthalate polyester. This form of polyester is naturally strong and can resist heat, moisture, and sunlight. 

Polyester is Made from chemical compounds and derived from petroleum substances. Until the late 1950s, drum heads were made of animal membranes. Now they are made of plastic. Either polyester or Mylar.


When it comes to how drummers play metal music, hitting hard is not just an option but normalcy. You may need to consider any of these drum heads if you are a Metal god or metal drummer. 

These are the best-recommended drum heads for metal music that are durable and will produce the kind of sound suitable for not just metal drumming but metal music. 

Ranging from a variety of popular brands and companies, they are manufactured in different colours, sizes, and specs. 

Your choice may be dependent on whether you will be using it for live gigs or studio sessions. Bear in mind that some of these drum heads may not serve both purposes. 

Some of these drum heads may lose their attack in a loud environment, therefore requiring mics. 

Nonetheless, none of these drum heads will chip away or flake due to hard beatings. They will also stay in tune for a longer duration. 

Remember, for metal music, you need drum heads that will be able to withstand a tough beating, and also loud enough to cut through a typical heavy mix which is quite dense.