MSD & Friends’ Riff ov the Week: The Non-Guitar Edition (11/8/14)


My wife can’t stand Yanni.

She says it’s not so much the music as it is the fact that the guy tucks sweaters into his pants. Nevertheless, Joe decided that he’d be a good posterboy for this week’s selection of non-guitar-centric riffs, and I agree wholeheartedly. Plus, just look how happy he looks up there. He’s honored as shit about this, his greatest accomplishment.

Oh right. We need talk about last week. Here’s the lowdown. Tyree obliterated you all with Morbid Angel. It wasn’t even close. Everyone join me in reciting The Brosary — say ten “hail beers” in honor of Tyree’s victory. Appease your Riff God.


Business as usual:

  • Next week is all normal and stuff.
  • Send your riffs to Do it quick!
  • Got a great idea for a themed RotW? Let me know in the comments.


Masterlord SteelDragon

Remember that one time that one blog said that Eluveitie was the best band in any type of folk metal? Well, they were wrong/laughably stupid as usual and it’s actually Moonsorrow. While it’s true that in recent years the term epic has been claimed by BDubs bros around the world to describe their waitresses’ breast size and/or their CoD kills, I maintain that Moonsorrow is truly worthy of the adjective. Your proof is at around 2:08.



“In a Gadda Da Vida” is one of the first really long songs I heard, and the entire 17 minute length is stuffed with psychedelic and hypnotic weirdness, constructed around one main cyclical guitar riff. However, from about 6:30 to 9:11, we are witness to an awesome drum jam that constitutes my choice for Riff of the Week. The drum and keys section from 9:11 to 11:00 isn’t too shabby either.



My mother always told me that a good drum riff is hard to find (never those exact words or anything close, but basically that). Luckily for us, Decapitated gives us a refreshing, albeit slightly puzzling drum riff in “Day 69.” I’m tempted to think that a guitar part originally went over this solo drum section, but was ultimately cut. Vitek’s insane technicality is put on hold in favor of a simpler, spacious pattern that acts as a riff and a breather before the plunge into the monstrous recap. That, flushers, is a drum riff, regardless of the original intention. It starts at about 2:17.


Elite Extremophile

We all knew that “Schism” would be on here. While I’m going to be long decayed before they finish that new album, at least we still have this riff.


Brock Samson

Brock Samson here. This is my first time contributing to the toilet and I have come swinging for the fences. The organ riff from “House of the Rising Sun” starting at 1:40 simply cannot be beaten so you all might as well as bow down already. Seriously though, was there anything more metal than this song in 1964? I will answer for you — NO!



Keyboard riff at 0:11. Kevin Moore’s tone on that album is second maybe only to Jon Lord. Also Jordan Rudess is a hack and I cannot understand why DT nerds jock him so hard.


Detective McNulty

Violin riff!  This was my first exposure to Agalloch (in Canada, after Heavy T.O. in 2013, drunk and stoned). I was like “lolwut” then “Into the Painted Grey” came next and spun my mind. My friends and I call this “the babbling brook song,” but we all love it because it sets the tone and means the next track is going to rocket us into the void!



I need to thank Belgium for giving us one of my favourite bands ever. Univers Zero were a part of the Rock in Opposition movement, which is known for making challenging prog rock. Univers Zero remained completely acoustic in their early years, but added electronic instruments later. In my opinion Heresie, their second album, is their magnum opus. “Jack the Ripper” is found on that album. I know that the song is too long for some of you, but at least listen to the first 6 minutes.


Nordling Rites ov Karhu

Solstafir released what may be heralded as THE autumn album earlier this year and it just so happened to include an infectious little banjo part into Otta’s title song. It begins at 6:30.



Why don’t you just sit back, and I will tell you the tale of a little piece of shit robot that nearly made me hate video games. Not really. But seriously fuck the Cut Man (from Mega Man of course). That damned rolling cutter move nearly flash boiled my blood and I would not be here to share this little number from the spastic super-nerds known as Horse the Band. Listen for the sweet synth riffage beginning at 3:10.


Zeke… or Isaac. Whatever.

I never entered a riff of the week before, but when I saw this week’s theme, I wanted to make sure the ungodly Necromantia got represented… until I thought about it a little more and realized the most badass part of the most badass album ever recorded centers around a keyboard line. The riff starts on guitar a bit earlier, but it peaks when Ihsahn’s demon keyboards kick in at 2:08. Crank it up and descend!


Call the Slambulance

These fellas are mutual friends, and as to why I didn’t think to submit them for the Best Unsigned Band competition beats me. They fucking slay! There’s a little bit of something for everybody in this genre mashing folk metal outfit, throwing some thrash and absolutely necessary power metal into the mix. The party-tastic keyboard riffage that comes in at the 0:18 mark (and prevails throughout) is a monster and invokes thoughts of Norsemen getting shit-hammer wasted after stabbing a bunch of people in the dick. Dance with me and rejoice, fellow Flushcateers!



I’m thinking outside the box on this one, guys. No banjos or mandolins. In 2011, Prurient broke from his decade plus career of releasing ear destroying noise albums to put out Bermuda Drain, highly accessible by his standards. The central “riff” in this song is really just a melody which begins almost immediately (0:02) and repeats for the entire track. If this doesn’t get you moving, you are a corpse already.



“Rainbow in the Dark.” Dio. If you didn’t immediately think of this keyboard riff (so much cheez, so much goodness), you don’t deserve life.


Cock ov Steele

King Diamond may be cancelled but I still got the funk to brighten my evening. This whole song is really just bass and drums (with some vocals and horns tossed in) but seriously, that riff just rumbles throughout the entire song. And is a must-jam for any bassist.



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