ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante has praised Lars Ulrich's musicianship, saying that he "loves" the way the METALLICA drummer "would think in a song."
Benante made his comment as part of a Revolver magazine feature on his five favorite drummers.
In addition to namechecking Neil Peart (RUSH),Alex Van Halen (VAN HALEN),Jerry Gaskill (KING'S X) and Ringo Starr (THE BEATLES),Benante said: "Some of these 'Big Four' drummers have a place here, too, 'cause we all were coming up together in this whole movement, this whole thrash movement — me, Lars and Dave [Lombardo, SLAYER]. And I think the three drummers always had something that was different from the other. I love the way Lars would think in a song and I love the way Dave's aggression in the song propelled the song. So I'd have to say those two."
In a 2017 interview with Songfacts, Benante was asked which song by the other "Big Four" bands has the "sickest drumming." He responded: "I like this one thing that Lars does in the [METALLICA] song 'Battery', where it's after the lead section, and it just has this double-bass thing. I just always liked that part. And there's a song on SLAYER's 'Hell Awaits' record, 'Praise Of Death' — there's a fill towards the end of the song that's pretty sick."
Back in 2016, Ulrich, who has gotten a lot of flak over the years from people who accused him of being a poor drummer, told the "Talk Is Jericho" podcast that he went through a period in the mid-1980s "that probably culminated in the 'Justice' album where I felt sort of compelled to try to show ability."
According to Lars, part of the reason for him feeling insecure about his abilities was the increased competition from some of his peers.
"Listen, when you've got Dave Lombardo and Charlie Benante breathing down your back, it was, like, 'Okay, I've gotta…' I tried to step it up a little bit and tried to do my own thing and do all this crazy shit," he said. "I was trying really hard to push the drums kind of into the foreground. And then, after like a year or two of that, I was, like, 'Okay. Seriously? Just do your thing. Chill out. Support the riffs. Do what's best for the song.' So since around I guess the late '80s — so I guess it's been, like, 25 years now — the only thing that's really interested me is just doing the best thing for the song."