Riff Of The Week: Debut Edition
¹ Debut | noun | de·but | (French)
Definition: The butt.
Last week we had a blowout. Boss The Ross sent me a riff with less than 1 hour to spare and I was kind enough to stay up half-an-hour later than I was originally going to in order to alter the competition and add his entry. For my benevolence I was awarded with a crushing defeat at the hands of Matt Pike and his sweaty fucking left nipple.
I’m now mid-way through writing a manifesto to my fellow scale-covered cohort detailing the ways in which we can potentially accentuate his severe paranoid delusions about Annunaki lizard overlords in a form of reptilian retribution. Step one involves a series of strategically coordinated angery react attacks distributed across various social media platforms. Step 2 will see an avalanche of anti-Pike defamatory memes (like the one below) uploaded to all High On Fire related pages. Step 3 will involve collecting the shed skins of all reptiles and depositing them outside all venues and hotels along future High On Fire tour dates, amplifying the paranoia in his conspiracy addled mind irrecoverably. I love Sleep and High On Fire but this time Pike’s gone too damn far.
This week our theme is riffs from debut albums/EPs/demos, and throughout the week we received some quality riffs across a 35 year time-span. Now it’s up to you to choose whose riff riffs the riffiest riff.
It’s easy to cry “poser!” at Lamb of God, but they were the band I credit with getting me into heavier shit than classic Maiden/Sabbath/Metallica/etc..
The Obsessed – “Tombstone Highway“
The Obsessed laid it all out on the table from their very onset. The opening track from their debut (non-demo) LP kicks off with this slow rolling airy riff that mimics it’s title; evoking a sense of cruising through the desert air with nothing to lose. Although it’s certainly not “extreme” by today’s standards; The Obsessed’s sound, and more particularly Wino’s songwriting and personality, bridged a lot of different underground genres. This song is highly original and wrought with emotion, both musically and lyrically. Enjoy. (Riff @ 0:18, 3:01)
The riff that starts around 1 minute into this song and rears its ugly head multiple times afterwards, is one of the best riffs of 2016 and one of my favorites overall. It’s also from their first full length so it qualifies. Its a riff that is mesmerizing and at the same time menacing. Bask in it, let it fill your soul and corrupt you.
Howls Of Ebb – “Martian Terrors, Limbonic Steps“
Destrage – “Urban Being“
While recently lamenting 2016’s disappointing A Means To No End by Destrage (sorry ‘Moose), I returned to their earlier works for some consolation. I was listening to their debut album (which funnily enough came out in 2007) when the bands closing and title track came on. From the opening riff I was reminded of some heavy arse nifty riffage (0.00) which was a nice reminder of what this band are capable of it also returns once more at about 1.12. I may one day gain appreciation for AMTNE but in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy this. Please clap.
Shroud Of Satan – “Din Of Celestial Birds“
This was an easy pick for me. You see I’ve been traveling lately, listening to no music at all, and upon my return this was the first record that I spun. Shroud of Satan contains two members from Shores of Ladon (one of my all time favorite BM bands) that have switched vocal duties and riffing style to manifest a more aggressive but catchy black vision. “Din of Celestial Birds” is the opening track off their first EP, Litany to the Moon and it vacillates between sections of straight forward blasting and even more straight forward head-banging riffing excellence. Riff @ 3:00.
Darkest Hour – “For The Soul Of The Saviour“
Darkest Hour holds a special place in my heart for the first band I really enjoyed with extreme vocals. I was a musically ignorant freshman in high school when my buddy introduced me to their album Deliver Us, which grabbed me with it’s haunting melodies and proceeded to shake me uncontrollably when the thrash kicked in. I was hooked. My buddy pointed me towards their thrashier early albums when the vocals were no longer an obstacle for me, and I was enthralled when I heard the first song right out of the gate at 0:00 on their first full-length album Mark of the Judas. Each of the three times I’ve seen this band live, they’ve played this song, and each time I could not stop my otherwise reserved self from joining the pit and running around like hell. Turn it up!
Hyperion – “Moral Evasion“
@1:38 I meant to use this for the riff ov the year competition, but hey, it still works. Hyperion’s debut album Seraphical Euphony was taken in fairly quickly last year but seemed to disappear after the slew of great albums fell in the second half of it. Well I’m here to remind you posers that the riffs are still solid melodic cuts, and for example in this truly life changing poll ™, is this guitarmony after that silly nerd symphonic stuff (probably best to disregard that symphonic and melodic black metal put this on youtube). You get some nice ten seconds of foreplay when the one guitar is hopping along through the riff and then wham, second guitar comes in (maybe the bass does too but who cares), drums come alive and shit goes off. I dig this riff a lot, the perfect head banging tempo, the heavy emphasis on the guitars and I’m trying hard to not regret not picking a Manowar riff.
Spectral Apparition – “Corpselight, Illuminate Me“
I hadn’t originally planned to submit a riff but I’ve been listening to this debut EP from a few months ago a heap lately and think you should too. Just the right amount of murk to get that sepulchral atmosphere but clear enough for it to remain memorable. This riff writhes and morphs throughout the song, perhaps reaching its most malignant manifestation around 1:57. Listen from the start and you’ll get the gist.
Next week we’re going to be doing something a little different, the theme is OPENING SOLOS.
You know those tracks that are shredding your face off with leads from the get-go? Yep, those ones.
To keep it somewhat fair, the solo has to start within the first 5 seconds of the song.
If you’re not hearing the sounds of someone masturbating a mosquito on the high-strings before 0:05, it doesn’t qualify.
Send your submission, screen-name, and description to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday.