MSD & Friend’s RIFF OF THE WEEK 9/5/2014


Any of you remember this?

With how much of my childhood was wasted wisely spent playing this game, I ended up getting pretty sick of that lick. She knows how to materialize a guitar out of thin air, you’d think she could have learned to play more than one thing, or at least to windmill that stupid, exaggerated pony-tail. Had she tuned in to Riff of the Week, she might have learned another riff or two and wouldn’t have been stuck playing the same thing at the end of every boss fight like a dork. That’s not you guys. You’re here every week, adding to your poser-crushing armory of deadly riffs.

“Daybreak. The rising sun brings mercy to those who fear the night, but time is the greatest innovator. For there always is a new riff just as surely as the day will succumb to the night.” — The Undertaker

We’re doing something a little different this week. Listen to every one of these riffs and vote for your favorite at the end. Winner gets a signed lock of my hair.


Someone once placed their shaking hand upon my shoulder and somberly asked, “what’s the aural equivalent of a thousand burning cloven hooves dancing on your face until there are a thousand burning cloven hoofprints on your face?” Skip to 1:37.



Lady SteelDragon:

“Melodeath makes me sad. This riff does not.” Go to 1:23.



Joe Thrashnkill:

“Evil seems like such a slog sometimes. It’s can get dull being serious and grim and frostbitten all the time. The riff that comes in at 0:30 reminds me that being evil should be fun.”




“For those of you not in the know, prior to Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme was the guitarist in the quintessential desert rock band Kyuss. ‘Demon Cleaner’ is chock full of good riffs and tribal drums that slither and coil like a sidewinder tracking prey in Death Valley, but I’m electing the riff that kicks off at about 0:38 as my RotW. So fire up your generator, because we’re going to party.”



Christian Molenaar:

“The context of this riff is really what makes it so awesome. The song opens with some pretty standard grind/death metal drumming and unintelligible riffing (though the pull-offs around 0:41 are kind cool) before everything slows down into the most brain-dead sequence of mosh riffs of all time takes the whole thing to a new level.”



Leif Bearikson:

“I’m not typically one for violence (okay, maybe a lie) but then this riff comes on and I go all Seth Rogen at the end of Observe and Report on everyone.” 2:56




“The first riff in this song is nothing special, but when the snare goes to quarter notes in the verse, it’s exactly the sort of headbanging crusher you need to punch this week in the face. Look at that stupid expression on this week’s face. Punch it with Gortal!”



Howard Dean:

Bolzer. BOLZER. The riff that explodes at the beginning (and that returns periodically throughout the song) is yet another reason to believe the hype. Hail!”



Edward Meeehan:

Ornamental Headpiece is a black metal project featuring among other members A Pregnant Light’s Damien Master. Blacker and nastier than his “purple metal” project, this whole EP is chock full of riffs, but check out “Candle Holders,” the EP’s third track, this slow march is some catchy shit for black metal. Da da da da da dun dun dun da da da da da dun dun dun!” [FUN FACT: This was featured on our very first riff of the week. —MSD]



Guacamole Jim:

“The riff that comes in at 1:48, after an incredibly epic buildup, gets me every time. It’s immediately followed by an entire song of killer riffs, but that particular one stands out for me.”



Pagliacci is Kvlt:

“Here I go travelling in my WABAC Machine again. Stompbox is probably my absolute favorite band that should have gotten huge, but didn’t. Internal strife within the band apparently kept them from making another album after their major label debut Stress. This song is built on a simple riff that starts at 0:11 and provides the foundation under the verses of the song, which, like all of Stompbox’s songs, have absolutely nothing to do with their titles. If this song doesn’t make you want to jump up and down and act a fool, or possibly grow your beard out, you might want to check your pulse. You just might be dead. But if it does move you, by all means check out the rest of the album, it’s absolutely solid. Fun fact: Stompbox guitarist Jeff Turlik joined Blue Man Group in 1999 and has continued working with them in various capacities as a member, composer, music director, associate creative director, and live guitarist for their rock concert tours.”



Call the Slambulance:

“Before Katalepsy started being pussies and put out Autopsychosis, they made killer slam. This is kind of the middle ground for them; after the uber froggy vocals and before the lame ass riffs. Instead of just punching their guitars and making noises, you can tell that they actually WROTE this. Wunderbar! They are one of the first slam bands I heard and continue to make rounds in my headphones. Listen with me and bask in the jammage!”



Jack Bauer:

“That riff in the intro gets me beyond pumped. Great for powering through at the gym.”



Cock of Steele:

“I think this is on the road to becoming a classic Toxic Holocaust song, it’s just one entire riff machine. 0/5 Flushes, and 100/10 BYAAAAAAHS.”




“You can never go wrong wit da classics, and this shit right here is the stuff that made me love stoner metal.”



Johnny Crunch:

“This song is rifftastic from start to finish. This band is the soundtrack to the most awesome 80’s movie that was never made.”




“0:24. Stay away from anything you care about, it will probably be punched.”


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