Artist: Todd Sucherman
Title: “Methods & Mechanics”
Label: MVD Visual
Release Date: 10/21/2008
I wanted to start off my commentary about “Methods & Mechanics” by saying that while I think that drummer Todd Sucherman is a very lucky guy, it must also be said that any perceived luck is actually the end result of many, many years of hard and dedicated work. The musician has been at his craft for over thirty years now and for most of the world had come into his largest prominence when he first sat down onto the Styx drum throne to fill in for an ailing John Panozzo. Sadly, Panozzo would pass away soon after these gigs and this would lead to Sucherman becoming the bands new fulltime drummer. Having been a Styx fan for many years myself, I am happy to report that the role is in good hands and that Todd does Panozzo justice with his talents – he is not only a capable musician but he is also a very innovative and powerful Rock drummer. It must have been a blast for this guy to have been a fan of the band growing up and then eventually finding himself coming to their aid and then joining their ranks no matter how bad the reasons for this might have originally been. Sucherman is also an established Jazz and contemporary player and all of these elements are tied together as he delivers his first instructional video “Methods & Mechanics”. The video comes care of MVD Visual, and this double DVD set is a fantastic look inside the drummer’s brain because not only does Todd explain and demonstrate a number of the tricks of the trade that he follows and had used to better his own development as a player, but it also delves deeply into his personal musical philosophy and this allows the viewer to understand just where his head is at.
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Artist: Cryptopsy’s Flo Mounier
Title: “Extreme Metal Drumming 101”
Label: Independent Release
Release Date: 11/15/2005
Genre: Extreme Metal
The world of Extreme Metal does not have a better representative than Canada’s own Cryptopsy. The band that was formed in 1992 pushes the limits of what one thinks can be done in Heavy Metal music and once they’ve left you breathless and recovering they kick back in to let you have it once again. As with most powerful bands of this nature the key factor for success lies in the man (or woman) behind the drum kit. Cryptopsy is a leader in the field that they adventure in due to the complexity, creativity and absolute intensity that is drummer Flo Mounier. This double DVD set takes you along for the ride with Mounier and the band as he solos live at Cryptopsy shows, rehearses tracks in the studio and performs at clinics around the world. Broken into 2 areas of study the first DVD is the instructional end. Portioned up according to routines and tutorials, Flo explains them in order to help you better understand how he achieves the level of performance that he is able to do. While some of it might look easy at first be aware that this is an over the top demonstration on the pushing the bodily limits. Once you understand how better to approach them you will not only be a better player but also a smarter player as well. As a drummer I I felt that this was enjoyable and informative especially in seeing the “best practices” lined out for the viewer and student. Bad practice routines can lead to injury and given that Extreme Metal is the musical equivalent to the most brutal sporting activities. If you are not in shape and following processes you can and will get hurt. This was excellent to assist the understanding. Flo also performs on his full kit which is a monster collection of cymbals and drums. I like that he featured himself on the full kit rather than scaled down gear. Showing it all allows for you to see what he is talking about a little better.
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