If we were to sit down and hash out who should be crowned the best drummer in grind – perhaps through some sort of tournament system – a cagey bettor may place a wager on Danny Walker to walk away with it all, counting on partisans for both Dave Witte and Bryan Fajardo to cancel each other out.
The guy’s been everywhere; Walker’s probably the best drummer working whose name you may not know despite anchoring Intronaut, Exhumed, Phobia (granted, on the disappointing albums) and even getting an invite to play with Jesu. Most recently you’ll find him backstopping Murder Construct.
You don’t get that many high profile phone numbers in your Rolodex by being a slouch at what you do. And Walker, who is a master of the timely fill and screw tight blast, honed his chops in California’s hardcore/grind/thrash with a glaze of black metal frostiness amalgamators Uphill Battle (nee Crawlspace) where ringleader Adi Tejada’s twisted riffing provided a platform for his drum workouts on songs like “The Stench is Spreading” and “Ripped off Face.”
Uphill Battle – Ripped Off Face
Like contemporaries Burnt by the Sun, Uphill Battle specialized in metallicized hardcore sans sappy choruses, focusing instead on short rabbit punches of jacked up noise. While second album Wreck of Nerves would get a little too thrashy for my tastes, their eponymous debut is a nice little time capsule of a great drummer’s entrée to the scene. Now please do him the courtesy of remembering his name.