December 16 is the birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven, the German composer and pianist whom many consider to be the first “rock star,” as he elevated music—which in the 1700s was more akin to servitude—to a bonafide art form worthy of respect, admiration, and, you know, money.

What does Beethoven have to do with drums? We’re glad you asked. Many  drummers (including recent #WCWs Sam Landa and Laura Hernandez Coral) have noted the many connections between widely divergent genres of music, such as classical and metal.

Both classical and metal take the extremes of emotion and distill them into energetic and at times dissonant musical grandeur. Both amplify the dark, twisted poetry of being alive. Both provoke strong feelings—the explosive audience response of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony required police intervention when it was originally performed. So in honor of Beethoven’s birthday, enjoy these metal versions of some of the composer’s masterpieces.

Above is “Für Elise,” by Orion’s Reign, with Noel Kardaris on drums.


Pergamum’s metal/classical mix, with Jason Alexander on drums:


“Ode to Joy,” Heavenly, with Max Pilo on drums:

(Forgive this cheesy album cover picture, readers.)

“Moonlight Sonata,” The Human Abstract, drums by Bret Powell:

Prog metal at its finest. Wait for the 3:14 minute mark to hit.

Read previous Sunday Sounds here.