MSD & Friends’ Riff of the Week (9/27/24)


Congratu-fucking-lations to Leif Bearikson for winning last week. Apparently my Youtube video was not working or something like that.

That’s right. You didn’t deserve to win.


And your mustache is stupid and crooked and polar bears don’t even have mustaches traditionally.

Before we determine our next Riffwizard, let me take this opportunity to clue you all in on some upcoming changes to Riff of the Week. It’s been a blast seeing the community unite in unflinching devotion to The Almighty Riff and share their favorite manifestations of It with the toilet each week. My ears thank you and my neck begs futilely for mercy. Here’s the deal:

1. I’m getting so many submissions that I can’t always include them all. Starting next week, I’m cutting it down to 15 riffs. Don’t worry, your riff will be featured eventually. It just might take a week or two to show up.

2. To make things easier on me, let’s submit all riffs to Be sure to include your Disqus handle.

3. Vote for me more or I’m shutting this whole fucking thing down.

4. We’re going to start spicing things up by implementing some themes every so often. Here’s Joe’s idea for next week. And I quote, “the siqqest movie sample + opening blast.” You’d better start thinking now if you want to beat the grindslaves.

That’s all. Without further ado, let’s get all riffed up. This week is KILLER.


Masterlord SteelDragon

Alright, I’m really getting sick of losing to these dorks week after week so I’m bringing out the big guns — Candlemass. The transition from “Gothic Stone” to “The Well of Souls” is riff legend. If you’re not using one hand to hold high your invisible wizard orb and the other hand to vote for this riff, I don’t even know what to say to you. Other than “What the fuck dude?” I’d say that. 0:47.


Joe Thrashnkill

The riff that opens “Children of the Cross” is ignorant rage incarnate. I WILL try to fight you to this riff.



I’m stealing a page from Christian’s book and selecting a Jute Gyte riff this week. The song is called “Endless Moths Swarming,” and the riff around the two-minute mark sounds just like that. Prepare to have your flesh peeled from your bones.


Howard Dean

A recent discussion about a potential “Riff of the Year” post got me thinking about the biggest, baddest, most rad and unfuckwithable riff from 2013. This is it. Bölzer. “Entranced by the Wolfshook.” The main riff in this monster of a track is pure metal mastery (riff comes in at 0:08 seconds for those of you with ADHD). Holy fuck. As catchy as chlamydia and as serious as genocide. This riff will eat you alive and stick in your gray matter for weeks. The shamanic Swiss duo knows how to write great metal riffs. This riff and that tone are the end result of what one dedicated man can create with a 10-string guitar, a fuckload of pedals, and the dark energy of the universe. The best riff of 2013. “Sermon of the crooked cross. The pulpits rock with death.”


Edward Meehan

Gridlink‘s Longhena is a lock for my Best Albums of 2014, so I’ll spare you the cutesy description on this go ’round. Wait for it. Watch for it. Prepare your pens, notebooks, and laptops for screen capture. Riff at 0:49.


Pagliacci is Kvlt

Earlier this week, my 7 year old son (not to be confused with our friend Strapping Young Lad!’s Seven Year Old Son) asked my wife and I “what is the meaning of life?” followed by “who created God?” I seized on the opportunity and said “hey, you know that band you like, The Ocean? They have a song that asks that some question, ‘who made God?'” And there you have it, my Riff of the Week is the opening riff to “The Origin of God” by The Ocean. A riff so nice, they made two songs out of it, but I find this song to be slightly superior to it’s precursor “The Origin of Species.” I think it’s the plaintive final verses and the blues-y sax outro that really make this song shine.


Jimmy McNulty

I never thought I’d be praising a band that shamelessly rips off Meshuggah (the main riff could have easily been on 2002’s Nothing), but here we are… this is what separates a band from the hundreds of “djent” startups. In-between aping Meshuggah is a fresh spin on the genre: the keyboards, the melodic vocals, the excellent bridge; they make it their own. So come here for the Meshuggah, and stay for all the extra ingredients sprinkled throughout!


Simon Phoenix

All these newfangled thrash bands want to have the perfect start off riff in their songs to get the circle pit going. Well, The Chasm, who are definitely not thrash but rather one of my top three death metal bands of all time, may have owned the majority of thrash with my riff of the week. At 1:29 (a little later in this live video) is an epic riff on a near perfect record chock full of them, everything leading up to it is the epitome of “building tension”. And then ten seconds later the song explodes like the barrel of the shotgun I just used to kill some hapless cops. If anyone ever asks me why the Chasm are awesome, I play them this song. And that riff is the catalyst that turns it from great to “my pants are moist.”


Flushgod Apocalypse

Just give this a listen because this entire fucking song riffs.


Jack Bauer

Aside from being fucking amazing, this is what hooked me on Gojira in the first place.






This album is so good I could submit a different riff from it every week until the whole thing has been posted. Opening the first song of the record we have a two headed beast: one that licks you with its tasty, syncopated groove and another one that crushes you with its teeth, alternating along with the vocal deliveries of none other than Wino and Scott Kelly.


Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

Doom metal can be very boring if everything is not exactly right, but when someone manages to do it right, it’s the best. The riff in The Funeral Orchestra‘s “Feeding the Abyss” is a prime example of great doom metal. By no means do I expect everyone to love it and, given a closer look, there’s not much to love. Not a whole lot going on. It’s a very bare riff. But something keeps pulling me back in to the cavernous depths time and time again. Sometimes I think about this kind of riff and, suddenly, they don’t seem good anymore. But then I turn this on and stop thinking silly things.



The opening riff to the ultimate speed metal song: Annihilator‘s “Wicked Mystic.” Provided you’re partial to the more musically-studied fraternity of thrash (meaning – the Megadeth tradition as opposed to the Slayer one), I defy ANYBODY to put on their headphones, press play, hear this riff, and not finish listening to the song.



Back when I was just a wee lad in high school, this album came out and converted me to the dark side for good. The whole album is just riff after riff, but one of my favorite moments comes in at 1:38 in “Pestilence.” Never had I heard the use of female operatic vocals and a sweet diseased groove used together. This shit makes me want to go trick-or-treating in an Ebola-ridden village. LONG LIVE THE KEENE MACHINE BYAH!



If the riff around 1:56 doesn’t make you want to beat everything in your immediate environment into submission, I don’t know what will.


Do the right thing.

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