MSD and Friends’ Riff of the Week


“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s riffing, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for.”  — Socrates

Speaking of philosophizing, I have some advice for you. Stop riding motorcycles. Just don’t do it. You are all going to die. Yeah, I know — you know what you’re doing. You’ll be extra careful. Do me a favor next time you’re “cruising” down the freeway, will you? Look around you at all the cars driving 70+mph and only a few short feet from your frail, mortal form and ask yourself… “What are the chances that at least one of these people is a complete moron?” Here’s a hint: It’s 100 fucking percent. And they will kill you on accident. And no, that little polycarbonate plastic  helmet isn’t going to protect you from what is essentially a 5,000-lb. high-speed battering ram aimed directly at all of you.

Public service announcement over. Let’s get to these riffs!


Pining for the glory days of Helloween with Kai Hansen on the axe and Michael Kiske belting out the vocals? Unisonic can take you back. This one’s off their killer new album, Light of Dawn. For the sake of context, you should listen from the beginning, but the real fun starts at around 0:40. Relax, nerd; this is barely even power metal.


Lady SteelDragon:

1:38 is the catchiest riff/chorus on Sahg’s 2006 debut, which rules. It’s pretty much never not stuck in my head.”


Joe Thrashnkill:

“I’m throwing y’all a curveball this week and reaching from the dull wasteland of indie rock n’ roll. This track by Diarrhea Planet is a little slow starting out (the album itself is not half bad) but at 3:17 something magical happens: there’s an honest-to-god two-handed tapping riff. And it’s good! Dang!”



“This whole song is a mountain of snarling riffs and crushing violence. Relent to the ‘Onset of Destruction!'”


Howard Dean:

“The riff that starts at 4:31 — this is why Dead Congregation is better than [insert your favorite tech death band here].”


Occam’s Razor Ramon:

“The main riff in this song is like Mother Nature bursting forth and deciding the human race has no right to the Earth and then punching us all in our respective genitals until we are extinct”



“Thought I might mix it up a little with this one. An oldie, but the riff starts at the zero mark.”


Call the Slambulance:

“The main riff for this song is so simplistic, but so groovy, especially for a grindcore band. Joe talks about moshing like a dick; let’s all mosh like German dicks.”


Jack Bauer: 

“Just the entire intro. It sounds so fucking evil. My friend who doesn’t like metal says it creeps him out (pussy).


Pagliacci is Kvlt:

“1992. Popular metal (hair metal) was in its death throes, having been pummeled mercilessly by grunge. NWOBHM had pretty much run its course, having been pummeled by hair metal. Underground metal was well underground… or burning churches. Then came four short-haired dudes dressed like frat boys playing super tight start-stop post-hardcore. It changed my complete outlook on metal, and life. To this day, this riff still gets my blood flowing and my head banging  (riff starts at 0:28)”



“I am a fan of this album and song in particular because it could fit right in with the West Coast metal that was being produced at the same time as this heaviness. Vocal riff at 0:50 gives me the moshies.”


Cock of Steele:

“I’d say the whole song, but from 4:07-4:46 it’s serious eargasms for all, you can be as big a fan of extreme metal like me, and yet this song never gets old.”


Rho Stone:

“This is your new favorite riff. You’re welcome.”


Saint Alfonzo:

“If you’re going to chug, then God dammit, chug like you mean it. Right out of the gate, the opening riff exhibits what Decapitated do best: taking melodically vacant but rhythmically hypnotic guitar work and entrenching it in bombastic percussion, their most prominent example being “Spheres of Madness” from 2002’s Nihility. I suppose I’m cheating because this riff undergoes a couple of small tweaks before changing completely, but try telling me that over how loud I have it turned up. Only these guys could make something so seemingly basic so engaging and… catchy! Not a single flush was given.”

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