Riff Of The Week: 1989 Edition


All these riffs turn 30 this year, which one is playing at your party?

Before we hop into some hypercolour & rollerblades to hit the arcade, let’s take a look at the results from last week’s  S L O W  Edition. Seems we had a tie between the two snooziest entries, so as per tradition I’m awarding victory that absolute monster from the new False album.

This week our theme was 1989
Let’s see what you sent in…

Bitch Magnet – “Joyless Street” (Riff @ 1:40)

“Joyless Street” is electric and short and sweet and every time this riff busts out to end it I have to deliberately not crash my car. Hard to believe it was written in ’89 when it’s so emblematic of everything that made ’90s indie rock great. Remember when guitars were interesting and tricky chords could zap you? Mars remembers.

Ian Riff
Faith No More – “Surprise Your Dead” (Riff @ 0:38)

This is the first heavy metal album I ever bought. This opened my 9 year old ears to stuff beyond hair metal. The opening riff is a real banger, but the second riff at :38 is the gem of this song. I bought this album due to the non stop play of the “epic” video on mtv. Probably the only time that payed off for me.

Positronic Brain
Faith No More – “Surprise! You’re Dead!” (Riff @ 0:07)

Suh-prise! It’s a Slayer riff that sounds really weird and off-kilter because of the 12/8 (aka “the blooz”) time signature on the drums. Jim Martin might be better known for championship pumpkin growing these days (seriously), but in 1989 he was a championship RIFF grower.

Overkill – ‘Elimination’ (Riff @ 0:00)

First thought upon seeing the theme was “right, what did Overkill release that year?”, and lo, it’s their best one. I probably shouldn’t have needed to look that up, but whatever. I randomly bought this and the debut when I first got into them and never regretted it.

Coroner – ‘Read My Scars’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Classic tech thrash from my country.

Sodom – ‘Ausgebombt’ (Riff @ ~0:06)

Political tyranny exercised by morbid despots
Bombardment of fire wasn’t win but loss
Corpses buried under ruins and debris
No more war the solution all the nations need

Probably still one of the catchiest riffs in thrash.

Enemy Of The Sun
Bolt Thrower – ‘Eternal War’ (Riff @ 0:00)

It is kind of a low hanging fruit considering I already won RotW with a riff from this very album, but fuck it. Gav and Barry from BT are two of the best riffmeisters of all time and I wouldn’t be surprised if at one point Bolt Thrower joins Maiden and Sabbath in RotW Retirement, since their riffs are so fucking badass they pretty much smash the competition.

Kosher Troll
Sepultura – ‘Inner Self’ (Riff @ 0:48)

Should be mandatory.

Iron Goddess of Mercy
Gorilla Biscuits – “Start Today” (Riff @ 0:07)

Why get cute and submit something other than my favourite song on my favourite hardcore record of all time? It. never. gets. old.

Overkill – ‘Elimianation’ (Riff @ 0:00)

A! Lemon nation! A lemon nation!

Heavy Chettle
Judge – ‘Where It Went’ (Riff @ 18:54)

This is awesome. That’s what I thought in, yes, 1992, when I heard it first and just now again when choosing the Riff and everytime I listened to it in between, too. Gotta count for something. Also you can vote for the second most famous Mike Judge here, huh huh.

Bolt Thrower – ‘World Eater’ (Riff @ 0:17)

This is it. The only riff Bolt Thrower ever wrote. It grooves. It chugs. There’s even some “UGH”s. Its pretty much the only death metal song you need. You may as well just throw your entire music collection in the garbage and delete your Bandcamp account because this is the only piece of music you need to lead a happy and fruitful life. Anyone who tells you there’s a better and/or different Bolt Thrower riff is dumb and wrong.

Xentrix – ‘Back In The Real World’ (Riff @ 0:13)

Lots of big names this week. Some notable ones missing too (Morbid Angel, Pestilence, Testament, Atheist, Carcass, Repulsion, + a million more). Fuck it, have some underappreciated UK thrash.

[yop_poll id=”255″]

Next week’s theme is Pedals
Send in riffs with cool sounds
Anyone can enter
Submission details below

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