Riff Of The Week: Fancy Edition


Brought to you this week by Money© – “You’re worth it!“.

Last week we sailed the interstellar winds deep into the endless void of space, eventually discovering that Darkspace have laid claim to 28.4% of the perpetual nothingness. This proved to be just enough to assert dominion over the competition and become the senate take home the trophy. Now go ahead and attach a Planck-sized flag to the nearest decaying muon and enjoy a celebratory drink in your 2.1969811 ×10−6s of fame, you subatomic shit svapers.

To coincide with the new fancy-as-fuck Toilet ov Hell site redesign we decided to celebrate by asking for your fanciest riffs for this week’s contest. We only received a few riff submissions, which clearly means the webpage’s dazzling new appearance mesmerised the vast majority of you for the duration of this week, rendering you unable to send email. The lack of participation certainly has nothing to do with the utterly compelling and sapiently chosen theme suggestion. That’s definitely not possible. Fuck you. No I’m not. You’re the one who’s mad. Yeah? Well…you started this. I didn’t even want to do this in the first place. Ok, I did. Whatever. Do you always have to be right? Shut up. There’s no time for this, we’ve got riffs to vote on. Alright, I’m getting to that bit. I know. Well now there’s no time for that is there? For fuck’s sake. Enough. Alright, I’ll skip ahead… uhhh….go call your local luthier, tell them to bust out their most nacreous oyster shell motifs and sticky tape them over your generic shark-tooth inlays, it’s time to get all ornate ‘n shit. Make sure you enter the PROMO CODE SCALP after voting to get 5% less dandruff in your next sourdough baguette from the local bakery of your choice.

Positronic Brain

Black Crown Initiate – “Withering Waves” (@0:14)

If we’re defining “fancy” as elaborate or extravagant as opposed to, say, snazzy or classy (the new blog design is, of course, the latter), the riff starting at 0:14 is giggity-goddamn fucking fancy. The guitars are doing shit that I couldn’t play as a guitar solo if I tried, and they’re doing it AS THE MAIN RIFF like it’s no big deal, and even harmonizing at times, all while the bass player taps out weird shit with both hands on his 19-string megabass. The guitar tabs are so full of string-skipping ascending hammer-ons that they look like platforms or clouds that Mario would jump up and up and up on to get some super secret power-up like the racoon suit or some shit.


Titaan – “Kadingir” (@2:50)

Q: Must we always wear fancy pants while raging to fancy riffs?
A: Always. Al-the-fuck-ways.
Riff: 2:50


The Devin Townsend Project – “Ki” (@4:16)

Devin Townsend has way too much going on in his head.  From the crushing brutality of Strapping Young Lad, to the pop rock of some of his solo work, to the space country of Casualties of Cool, to the zany Ziltoid series, this man knows no musical boundaries. It should come as no surprise, then, that he lays down some of the fanciest riffage you’ll ever lay ears on to close out the title track from his Ki album.  What makes this riff exemplary is the development and layering. What starts as clean arpeggiated guitar work at 4:16 slowly builds with the addition of background choral elements, heavy guitar, driving drums, and culminates with Devin’s soaring operatic vocals as the harsh vocals slowly gain volume to the climax at 7:18.  If that doesn’t make you want to sip some champagne, I don’t know what will!

Jack Bauer

Blood Incantation – “This Whole Fucking Album” (@0:00)

This whole fucking album.


Thy Darkened Shade – “Revival Through Arcane Skins” (@1:49)

Forced to make a last minute change to my last minute choice as it turns out the track isn’t officially out yet. Thankfully Thy Darkened Shade have fancy riffs aplenty. The riff variation that begins around 1:49 is just an example of the way these Hellenic heathens are able to manipulate song structures in such a way that it feels like the fretboard itself has manifested into a trio of combating serpents, each taking their time atop the writhing mass to strike at the listener. And as we all know, there’s nothing more fancy than a slithering legless reptile.

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After the sudden death of Chris Cornell this week I thought we could focus on a sub-genre we don’t often cover here in the Toilet ov Hell, so we’re asking you to send in good GRUNGE riffs (Apparently they exist? Prove it!). The only stipulation I’m making is that you can’t submit a riff from a song that was released as a single. Send your entries to toiletovhellriff@gmail.com including a screen-name, a time-stamp of the riff, and a short description by Friday. 

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