Riff Of The Week: 2009 Edition


People don’t believe all this shit came out a decade ago, but it really do be like that.

Last week our theme was Purple. Death gods Mithras were pleased with their inclusion and swept away the comp with a big 38% of the votes. Not much else to say really, pretty decisive win. Have a look –

This week I asked for riffs from 2009. Here’s what you sent in…

Howard Deanzig
Katharsis – “So Nail the Hearts” (Death @ 5:16)

Oh man, this riff. I think most claims of “evil” sounding metal music are lame and egregious. Most of the “evil” metal out there sounds fucking stupid and about as evil as my left nut (and my left nut is a lover, not a fighter). Left hand path my ass, you pansy motherfuckers. But Katharsis was definitely different. They were one of the good guys. I’m not really a super elitist who thinks anything recorded after 1994 is false. I actually think the peak of black metal was 2006-2010. Well, Katharsis was the zenith of that elevated period. With VVorld VVithout End and Fourth Reich, Katharsis dragged the genre to the mortuary, beat it to death with a candelabra, and stuffed it in an unadorned pine box. Game over. This is it, folks. Those two albums are the best it ever gets. This riff still raises goosebumps. Fuck, these guys were good. Fun fact: This was the very first riff a young(er) Howard Dean(zig) ever submitted to RotW way back in August 2014. Byah!!

Killswitch Engage – ‘Save Me’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Scoff all you will, but I really liked Howard’s time with KSE. And the self-titled album in 2009 was pretty much killer track after killer track, even if it some Liquid-Metal-friendly tunes. Catchy main riff begins at 0:00.

Glorior Belli – “There Is but One Light” (Riff @ 0:00)

This is not just a great song, it is, in my opinion one of the best black metal pieces ever composed. This riff has no small part in that fact. Vote for the Goat. There is but one choice.

Jimmy McNulty
Warbringer – ‘Jackal’ (Riff @ 0:01)

WARBRINGER ROCKS!!! I was really into the revival of thrash in and around the time of this album’s release. It’s probably their best record, full of great riffs, solos, and wicked drumming.

Rob M
Slugathor – ‘The Smoke’ (Riff @ 1:32)

I know this probably won’t win, but honestly Slugathor has got to be the best death metal band that no one ever talks about. The entire album is a complete monster, but the first time I heard this riff, I just put this song on repeat for like the next hour

Heavy Chettle
Om – ‘Meditation Is The Practice Of Death’ (Riff @ 23:45)

Wowser! 2009! Coalesce, Converge, Krallice, Sunn 0))), WITTR to alphabetically point out some of my favourites of that year. (The Liturgy one is p ok, too, tbh fam.) And then the two bands whose releases will probably produce this week’s winner: Ulcerate and The Chasm. I have a debt to clear though (from the „O“-week) and, in all humility, I submit this bass-(what else)-riff by Sleeping giant of giants Al Cisneros’ OM. This is the coda to “Meditation Is The Practice Of Death” where the bass riff (y’know, the one riff Al plays) kicks in for the last 90 secs and is suddenly joined by a flute like it ain’t no thing. It’s brutal how not brutal it is.
I know the competition is fierce, the opponents mighty, but if you are a devotee of the Church of Low Ends, if you supplicate at the shrine of the leafen transubwoofiation, you know what the right riff to choose is.

Iron Goddess of Mercy
Iron Age – “Sleeping Eye of the Watcher” (Riff @ 1:02)

2009 was quite the year for me. I finished my undergrad degree(s), lived in a laundry room for five months, and began my two-year stint as a bartender/mixologist. I listened to Mastodon’s Crack the Skye and Pontiak’s Maker more than this record (or anything else, for that matter), but this riff – the track’s backbone – is indisputable. Make no mistake: I will mosh your brains out to this riff every. single. time. (Also, stick around for [or fast forward to] the Metallica stomp at 5:02 and then for the wheels to totally fuckin’ fall off at 5:34.)

Napalm Death – ‘Diktat’ (Riff @ 0:00)

Gnarly stuff, love that period of ND discography – Smear Campaign, The Code is Red.

The Chasm – ‘Entering A Superior Dimension’ (Riff @ 0:59)

You fools. You dummies. You absolute fucking imbeciles. Hahahahahah.

[yop_poll id=”99″]
Next week’s theme is Sludge.
n.b. that’s not Slugdge.
Anyone can enter.
Submission details below.
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