MSD & Friends’ Riff ov the Week (11/1/14)



Last week Howard Dean shut us all out with his mightiest of byah of all. For once, all was right in the world. Dissection was the correct choice, and I’ve never been so proud of 32% of you. Hugs (ov fucking steel void death) all around.

Look, I have to go find a pair of white pants and kick them around in the dirt / punch myself in the nose so I can be Andrew W.K. for Halloween, so I’m gonna get right to the riffs, but first:

  • Joe had a challenging idea for next week. Here’s the rule: YOUR RIFF CANNOT BE A GUITAR RIFF. Put your thinking pants on, dildos.
  • Got any good ideas for a theme? Tell me in the comments.
  • Send your riffs to
  • Bang your heads and die!


Masterlord SteelDragon

Here’s my favorite from one of the best death metal albums of the year, Domains‘ Sinister Ceremonies. It’s from a song called “Raped by Darkness,” and there’s really no need to explain further than that. If this riff doesn’t make your blood boil, there’s probably nothing wrong with you and I’m just unstable. Start it at 4:15!


Joe Thrashnkill

Let Propagandhi tell you a tale of a refugee haunted by genocide and the memories of his family. Just as ”Night Letters” climaxes with righteous rage, the band kicks in a stone cold groove. Starting ~3:12.


Leif Bearikson

I’m still reeling from seeing Neurosis live, and it’s almost entirely because this riff shattered my existence. 3:18.



Necrophagist will first and foremost be known as the band that didn’t release another album, and secondly as the band with much weedles, and many deedles. While a frillion and a half tech bands, armed to the teeth with Pro Tools, flooded the market in the years following 2004’s Epitaph, few managed to combine flashiness and memorable songwriting the way Necrophagist did. Their sensibilities are on full display with “Stabwound,” a monster track that opens with one of my favorite riffs out there. The rest of the song grows logically out of what it set up, and it friggin’ rules. Every time my band plays, I sound check the vocal mic by belting out a healthy “STAAAAAAAABWOOOOOOUND.”



Early this week “Dawn of the Angry” came on my iPod and now I can’t get the beginning riff out of my goddamn head. This riff is beyond catchy and menacing! Glorious hair windmills are required while listening to this. If you don’t have hair, windmill your cock.



Nile is an important band to me personally for kickstarting my interest in death metal. Their masterwork, 2002’s In Their Darkened Shrines is full of awesome riffs, but I picked the sweet dual guitar harmony that comes in at 6:08right after the horn section, that then segues into one of the best guitar solos they’ve ever written. Unas is rising.



Melvins have been one of my favourite bands for a long long time. King Buzzo is a man who knows how to make excellent riffs. “The Bit” starts with a nice sitar intro that leads to an amazing riff.


Satan Ov Hell

Satan Ov Hell commands you to bring the surf.


Steve Smithwick

Soilwork‘s Peter Wichers routinely produced great riffs, but one of his very best is this here opening to “Millionflame!” The first 25 seconds, pure MeloDeath goodness… and the whole rest of the song crushes as well. Wichers may no longer be part of the Soilwork crew, but his contributions were critical to their rise to the top of the MeloDeath genre.


Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

Carnalation is here to devastate you. Carnalation is here to make a popsicle out of your intestines and lick it good. “Omega Hour’s” first riff is a killer and you ought to listen to it for the sake of context. But it’s at 0:16 where the band takes off the spiked rubber gloves. You’re welcome, and remember to close the door after you. Oh and pick up the pieces of your face from my floor, I hate litter.


Cybernetic Organism

Because why not.


Randall Thor

If you’re not already familiar with the riff at 4:20, you aren’t allowed to call yourself a death metal fan.


The intro riff is a fucking beast but the riff at 4:37 is mind-blowing. If I could play this riff even half as well as Joe Haley, it would be the only riff I would ever play.

Jack Bauer

If that intro riff doesn’t make you want to headbang then I’m truly sorry because it is an amazing riff and you should headbang to it.


George Lynch

There is not much about Vildhjarta that I do not like… crushing riffs? Growls? Check and check. I don’t get wrapped up in the whole “djent”-hate that occurs on the internets – but these guys are my favorite. Although a psuedo-lolbuttz chorus is present (it better than their 2012 clean singing efforts), the riffs are fucking killer.


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