Pete Sandoval is an extreme metal drummer. Born in Santa Ana, El Salvador, he is known for his accomplishments in the world of extreme metal drumming. His first significant stint as a drummer was for the grindcore band Terrorizer, formed in mid-1980s, where he began to demonstrate some of his talent. Heavily influenced by the grindcore music around him, Sandoval quickly developed his abilities as a drummer with little formal training or musical education.
In 1988, Sandoval was invited to join the death metal band Morbid Angel. Concurrently, the original lineup of Terrorizer was dissolved after the departures of Sandoval and guitarist Jesse Pintado (who subsequently joined Napalm Death).
Some cite Sandoval as the drummer most responsible for introducing rhythmically precise blast beats (i.e. definitive 2-note patterns of alternating bass drum / snare drum hits with cymbal-based ride patterns) into common use. While variations of blast beats had been around for decades, Sandoval built upon the idea with his own approach and quickly championed the concept's use in the music of Morbid Angel.
Sandoval is also among the first extreme metal drummers. Terms coined for him have included "Pete the Feet" and "The Commando".
Interestingly, Sandoval had never used two bass drums before joining Morbid Angel. He had to practice frequently in order to get his feet up to speed, and recorded the Altars of Madness record within only a couple of months of joining Morbid Angel. According to Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth, the band would occasionally walk in on Sandoval passed out on the floor in a pool of sweat. After being woken up, he would immediately say, "Time to get back to work! After mastering double-bass usage in Morbid Angel, Sandoval also implemented them in Terrorizer's World Downfall album when the band briefly re-united to record it.
According to Azagthoth, Sandoval's Morbid Angel bandmates once played a prank on him by making him listen to an automated drum machine which they claimed was an actual drummer who could play faster than him. Sandoval believed them, went on to practice, and eventually managed to play faster than the drum machine, to the amazement of his bandmates who thought it impossible.