DVD REVIEW: GENE HOGLAN – “The Atomic Clock: The Clock Strikes 2”
Gene Hoglan is no stranger to the world of metal. It can be argued that he’s one of the godfathers of extreme metal drumming and while there are others who can match his speed, none match his special groove. As a drummer, I have an inclination towards interesting grooves and Gene is not in short supply of them.
He’s out with an instructional DVD called ‘The Clock Strikes 2’ filled with a wealth of tips, tricks, techniques, sermons and playthroughs that make its run time pretty short and leaves you begging for more. There are interviews with other musicians talking about their experiences with Hoglan. They include his Testament bandmates Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick and Eric Peterson along with Anthrax‘s Scott Ian and Frank Bello and others.
This DVD is almost a treasure chest of stories about how Gene writes, approaches certain rhythmic ideas and his delivery is so friendly and entertaining, it almost feels like it is not an instructional DVD. The content is well organized and the attention to detail is almost as minute as the accuracy with which he plays. He mentions some notable names and little anecdotes that connect the dots.
The importance emphasized on playing and practicing to a click track is the number one take away from this 90-minute feature, but the theory is highlighted as well. Most drummers lose focus and control while sustained beats. Gene’s sermon on staying calm and composed even while playing chaotic beats and high tempos is absolute gold. Economy of motion is another thing that is brought to attention, curling of toes, using wrists and fingers more than flying arms.
There is just so much good information in this DVD that divulging anything further would take away the charm of finding out for yourself. I can only tell you that it looks and sounds absolute fun. I mean, this is just solid playing with very well paced instructional break down of really complicated grooves and delivered in such a calm and joking way that you almost feel it’s doable. Once you get on the kit though, your body snaps back into reality.
All in all, this is one DVD that will sit well on your shelf, and has massive replay value. It not only gives you some insight into how professional extreme metal drummers play but also illuminates the hard-work and effort they’ve put in to hone their craft and how important it is to be sincere with it. This is a must have for any music fan.
As a long time fan of Death, the most adored section of this DVD was the playthrough of “The Philosopher”. I wondered for years who those triplets were rendered and here I was watching open jawed, Gene playing it like it was nothing, absolutely effortless and then he breaks it down.
I liked the way how Gene points out that all types of music has something to offer, and that is the message that everyone should get, before dismissing a particular genre. If you have not already bought this DVD, trust me, you should!