THE BEST RIFF IN GREECE: Gauntlet vs. Primeval Mass


Today in RIFF or RAFF, we’re traveling the exotic shores of Greece in search of the best damned riff we can find. The combatants came prepared with slick riffs from Gauntlet and Primeval Mass. One riff will riff, the other will raff. Let’s do this.

LAST WEEK, was all about widdly-diddly guitar solos. Vegglampe put a hurting on poor EsusMoose by choosing a solo from an, ahem, conventionally wise band. Sorry Moose, your submission was great! Vegglampe’s prize is a gift from his Bandcamp wishlist.

we’re finally finished with November, and by extension “Movember”. That means you should all shave your terrible mustaches, including Kyle from Incantation. This is a really roundabout way of saying SEND ME THE BEST INCANTATION RIFF. Winner gets a prize of my choosing. To submit:

-Write 100-500 words about why you your riff rules

-Include a link to stream your selection, the timestamp for your riff, and your screen name

-Email me at

THIS WEEK, we’ve sailed across the Mediterranean to the Ionian Sea. The air warm and salty, as we explore the ancient lands of Greece in search of the riffs of myth and legend. You listen to both, then you determine who riffs… and who raffs. Let’s get it on!

Ah, Riff or Raff, my olde friend. It has been some time since my last entry but upon being made known of this week’s theme, I knew what had to be done. Today I fulfill my duty to bring the good people of the bowl the choicest cuts of true metal with a mighty swing of Grecian STEEL! Gauntlet hail from the ancient city of Athens and bring forth the truest form of pure, poser-slaying, heavy metal. Their 2013 Break the Chains demo is a 4 song banger, chock full of riffs and glory. Therefore, “Hearts of Metal” is a true shining point for the band. The simple and straightforward intro segment really sets the fist-pounding mood of the song which then segues into a marvelous mid-paced chug during which the vocalist Michalis declares Gauntlet’s adoration for metal with his unique howl. At this point in the song, the perfect opportunity arises for the melodic noodling that really drives their metal sword home. But it is the riff after the solo section that I wish to pay tribute to this day. At 2:30 the band brings their momentum to its peak with a glory-filled show of triumphant, ascending riffage. If your head isn’t banging, LEAVE THE HALL! This riff brings the band’s Manilla Road influence to a concise boiling point until the molten metal overflows as even more soloing follows. Gauntlet continues this pace for the duration of “Hearts of Metal”, ending on a high and mighty final chord of pure metal. HAIL! –Boss The Ross

Resisting the overwhelming urge to submit a riff from the title tracks of either Graves of the Archangels or Onyx, I’ve decided to dig a bit deeper and give some pretty well deserved attention to an interesting one-man band from Athens. Back in January, Orth, the dude behind Primeval Mass, released a ripping album of shredding black metal. Picking out just a single riff from this beast proved to be the difficult part, so being the defeatist that I am assuming I was going to be up against some well-known adversary I selected randomly carefully.

After a cacophonous intro which seems to hybridise black and speed metal, combining several of the song’s ideas with furious intent, the layers are stripped back around the 0:40 second mark. This allows for a good-old fashioned build-up riff backed solely by some bass stabs and hi-hat taps with the occasional tom roll; the guitars here will take you straight back to a hallowed pit of patch-covered denim soaked in an undeniably hazardous amount of sweat and beer. Hit play and raise your horns/hackles/Hellenic ancestors. –Lacertilian

Now you must choose.

[yop_poll id=”220″]

Did you dig this? Take a second to support Toilet ov Hell on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!