A type of fast drum beat characteristic of extreme heavy metal styles such as black metal
, death metal
and grindcore. Blastbeat is comprised at minimum of the bass drum and the snare drum, altough normally these two are accompanied by a cymbal such as hi-hat, ride, splash or crash.
Blastbeat originated in the '80s by hardcore and proto-grindcore bands which were seeking ways to bring the speed and harshness of their music to a new level. Popularized by grindcore bands such as Napalm Death and Carcass, the blastbeat eventually became an essential, if not the most important and distinctive feature of extreme music.
The blastbeat is normally consisted of a double bass roll of 32nd notes, on top of which the drummer hits the snare rapidly on every downstroke (every other hit). The drummer usually also hits the cymbal the same time as the snare drum. This results in a very aggressive and fast drum beat, as the tempos in which the blastbeat is played usually range from 200 bpm upwards.
The blastbeat is a cornerstone in modern extreme music, as its brutality provides an apt setting for the grim and gruesome soundscapes of death and black metal.
Kevin Talley's blastbeats are played with a near inhuman speed and precision.