Riff Of The Week: 1999 Edition


[*awkwardly waves indechipherable Fred Durst hand signals*]

Last week I thought things would get all pretty for a change, but of course that was a very wrong assumption. McNulty came thru with a massive Abyssal cut and easily swallowed the entire comp.

This week it’s all about the he said she said riff shit. It’s n1n9t99n-niney-nine baby.

Kyuss – ‘Thumb’ (Riff @ 0:18)

*Takes puff.* This is the melody that’s been stuck in my head lately. *Exhales.*

Darkane – ‘Convicted’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Soilwork, In Flames, Dark Tranquility: flush ’em all. For me Darkane was the real MVP in melodic death metal. Mixing thrash with speed metal (and a little melody) was a winning combination. Bang your head to this tasty riffage.

Immortal- ‘Withstand the Fall of Time’ (Riff @ 6:16)

There’s so many got dang blackened mighty raven riffs in this song, but my favorite is the one at 6:16. My brain’s reward and pleasure centers can’t withstand the change of time signature, so I get a grim and frostbitten chill every time I hear it. If this doesn’t make you want to go LARP in the woods and get your Call of the Wintermoon on with your buddies, Fvneral Plagve and Winter Misanthropia*, then you’re probably cooler than I am.

*Black metal names generated here: http://rumandmonkey.com/widgets/toys/namegen/7787

Clean Sanchez
Broken Hope – “Wolf Among Sheep” (Riff @ 0:00)

This is such a tasty track, just listen for yourself. Everyone is on point in this banger.
R.I.P. Joe Ptacek!

Positronic Brain
In Flames – ‘Embody the Invisible’ (Riff @ 0:00)

I bet I won’t be the only one to submit this, but here’s why I’m choosing it anyway. I began my decade-long tenure as a fundamentalist born-again Christian in 1999. My friends were all getting into death metal, which naturally I condemned as evil and satanic, including In Flames. Ten years and two useless Bob Jones University degrees later when I lost my religion, I rediscovered metal, and let me tell you, even C-grade shit (e.g. Ripper-era Priest) sounded great, let alone classics like this. Imagine the drop of my jaw after hearing this song’s mile-long pick scrape followed by one of those quintessentially awesome IF riffs – melodic chord progression, catchy lead, harmony of said lead.

Sodom – ‘Code Red’ (Riff @ 2:15)

It’s good to be reminded that there was some good shit hidden behind the Kid Rock back then. The main riff kicks ass, but the real neck-snapping comes in at 2:15.

Testament – ‘D.N.R.’ (Riff @ 0:25)

Great way to open an album, this song never fails to kick my ass. And how could it not, with James Murphy, Steve DiGorgio and Dave Lombardo all being involved in addition to Chuck Billy and Eric Peterson? The Gathering is arguably the album that kickstarted the thrash revival of the 2000’s and without a doubt one of Testament’s best.

Gamma Ray – ‘Wigns of Destiny’ (Riff @ 0:09)

Ahh 1999. I was 13 and expanding my musical vocabulary thanks to “BEER GOOD, NAPSTER BAD”. What to post for this contest: something obscure but well-regarded like Fantômas’ self-titled or the extremely popular RATM’s Battle of Los Angeles? Maybe. DT’s SFAM has a shit-ton of riffs. Yeah, right, I’ll never be able to post on ToH again. How about Primus’ Antipop to show that Riff of the Week can be on a bass or Bal Sagoth’s Power Cosmic for keyboards? No.

We’re going to Germany, home of the G.O.A.T. RIFFMACHINE that is Kai Hansen’s Gamma Ray.There is magic all over this album, and this song isn’t even my favourite on the album, but “Wings of Destiny” is just a banger. As far as cheese goes, this is a delicacy.

Heavy Chettle
Converge – ‘My Great Devastator’ (Riff @ 0:04)

Rise, congregation, we’re singing the great psalm from the Book of Poachers. Open your hymnals at Convergus:99. Let’s praise the spirit of HE, MY (AND OUR ALL) GREAT DEVASTATOR, and bask in the buildup starting at 0:04 that is verily, and noise-rockily riffing-and-chugging-in-tongues and leading up in four or five movements, most of which could have been rightly chosen as well, to the nigh-transcendental, explosive-hospitalism-inducing payoff of this hymn’s last minute that is the invocation of the monstrous, mountain-flattening deity itself.

Howard Deanzig
Taake – “Vid I” (Riff @ 0:00)

This is probably the greatest opening riff in black metal history. This is the first riff in the first track on their first album. This shit still gives me chills every time I hear it.

Opeth – “Serenity Painted Death” (Riff @ 2:12)

I could have sworn this album came out later than 1999, but Wikipedia tells me I am wrong — so I must be wrong. (Blame High Life?) A lot of you youngins seem to feel that Blackwater Park was the beginning of Opeth’s ascent or, gasp, their “peak”. This riff is not the only evidence that you are stupid, but it will suffice for now. (Apologies for plucking the low-hanging O-fruit but none of the other shite I was jamming in ’99 had “riffs”.)

Arch Enemy – ‘Silverwing’ (Riff @ 1:11)

I had this one ready for the melody issue last week, but forgot to send it. Just so happens it was released in 1999, when Arch Enemy were still good.

Sodom – ‘Liquidation’ (Riff @ 0:04)

Straightforward – just like Sodom. Or a trench club to the cranium.

Noothgrush – ‘Oil Removed’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Oil removed.
Human failure.

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