Drumming virtuoso Mike Portnoy says the 90s metal scene was poor – citing only Pantera, Sepultura and Machine Head as the most notable bands of the decade

Author Samuel Järvinen - 15.2.2022

Former Dream Theater drummer and current Sons Of Apollo drummer Mike Portnoy is known as a die-hard progfan and 80s metal fan.

Portnoy recently took part in an interview on the Sobre La Dosis podcast, where the drummer was asked a few questions. One of the questions was simply which decade was better for metal: the 80s or the 90s.

Portnoy had the 80’s to offer as an answer, because he felt that in the 90’s metal music was in a rather poor state. The drummer replied:

“Well, for metal, I would have to say the ’80s, ’cause the ’90s started to go downhill once grunge came around. The ’90s…really, the only thing going for metal, for me at least, in the ’90s, was PanteraSepultura and Machine Head. Those were the only new bands, really, doing metal. All of the other great metal bands from the ’90s all came around in the ’80s.”

“So for me, the ’80s, we got MetallicaAnthraxSlayerOverkillExodus, Megadeth — that was all the thrash scene. And then all the early ’80s stuff, you had Rainbow and AC/DC and Accept and Motörhead  and Sabbath and Priest and Maiden. So, I think the ’80s were definitely the stronger decade of the two.”