Riff Of The Week: Fire Edition
Brought to you by Memory® – “Don’t leave home without it!”
Before we burn this porcelain polling booth down in a blaze of charcoaled ceramic and flaming feces, let’s take a look at last week’s results from our USSR Riff Of The Week. Just before I could claim the whole competition as being null and void due to an OBVIOUS bug in the electronic voting system, one of you bastards had to give my entry a bloody pity vote and prove that the poll option was indeed working. However, as the Russian entries from Pseudogod and t.A.T.u dominated the competition over the ex-USSR states, I can safely assume that there was some kind of red state-backed rigging bullshit going down. Once I find out which one of you pricks runs that suss-af ‘Tex Rillerson’ account with the Crimean ISP login details, I’m going to permanently block your pipeline, if you know what I mean.
This week’s theme was FIRE and you sent us some flaming hot riffs. Except for one of these, I do not care for that band at all. You’ll have to guess which. In the interests of impartiality, I’m just going to have to trust that you fine denizens of the dunny don’t fuck this up. Guess I’m an optimist now? Don’t forget to use the PROMO CODE BUNG after voting to reduce the beeping volume of your white-goods and electronic kitchen appliances by up to 8%.
Vader – “Reborn in Flames” (Riff @ 3:15)
Listen to this riff. Listen to it! This shit is Satanic Hellfire as fuck. Can you smell the sinners burning? If so, call an ambulance: you may be having a stroke. Why are you still reading this? Listen to the riff!
Metallica – “Fight Fire With Fire” (Riff @ 0:41)
Look, I’m a simple man. Someone tells me to provide them riffs from song about fire, I give them this. Or something else idk, there’s a lot of songs about fire. Few riffs however are as memorable as the beast of a main riff in this song, which can first be heard at 0:41.
Death Penalty – “She Is A Witch” (Riff @ 4:07)
Everyone knows that back in the old days when religious beliefs took priority over human rights (days the GOP wishes we could go back to), women guilty of crimes as vile as having a mole or knowing what plants can cure diseases would often be executed by either hanging or burning at the stake. This has always been a favorite subject of doom bands, and this band has Cathedral’s former riff daddy Gaz Jenning demonstrating that he hasn’t lost his touch. FUN FACT: Women executed in a pyre rarely died from burning; most died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the fumes before the fire ever reaching them.
Mr. Bungle – “My Ass Is On Fire” (Riff @ 0:10)
I like how this riff switches betweeen being heavy as all fuck and sounding like it could be in a really good funk song. I also like it when the horns appear with it the first time. That’s the only reason this riff is being singled out specifically, this song is full of dank riffs (0:29, 0:52, 1:09, 1:25, 1:42 (basically that entire chorus, I was torn between that and the one I chose), 3:54, 5:04, so many siqq riffs). What can I say, Trey Spruance is a really underrated guitarist who can do so many styles extremely well.
Nine Inch Nails – “Burn” (Riff @ 2:28)
Now, it might be to dismiss submitting a riff by the almighty angst lord Trent Reznor as far too UNTRVE a choice for the high standards set by this particular riff o’ the week smackdown. After all, this is for metal riffs in honor of FIRE, the symbol of both utter destruction and surviving the elements since the dawn of humanity’s first fuckin’ steps on this planet. However, this particular Nine Inch Nails fan favorite (recorded especially for that old family-friendly classic Natural Born Killers) is surprisingly heavy once you get past the first 2 and a half minutes of anxiously tight drum and synthloop action, letting loose with a twisty neck-breaker of a riff that’s just groovy enough to have made Dimebag blush.
The Sword – “Fire Lances Of The Ancient Hyperzephyrians” (Riff @ 0:30)
Maaaaaan, I had a really cool Skeletonwitch jam all picked out, and then with my phone set to random in my car this morning I stumbled on THIS, and I mean, how can you not go with The Sword in a riff competition? Main riff throughout starts at 0:30. What more is there to say?
Morbid Saint – “Burned at the Stake” (Riff @ 0:03)
My riff (0:03 and continuing into the verse) wins because:
1) It’s so underground that the only studio version I could find on YouTube is some dude cranking an original ’89 cassette copy.
2) It’s one of those riffs that goes “chuggachuggachugga” on one side while the drums bass and guitar go “DUNH! DUNH! DUNNANUH!” on the other side but then they all play everything together and it sounds awesome.
3) Burned steak is the best steak IMO.
Symphony X – “Set the World on Fire” (Riff @ 0:32)
This seemed like a fitting theme for the week, seeing as a large portion of my province is either currently on fire, or was recently on fire.
This song has a plethora of fine riffs; I quite enjoy the intro, the main verse riff is just mean, and the outro is especially tasty. But the one that keeps me coming back and always gets stuck in my head is introduced to us at 0:32. Now this is just the appetizer version, and we get the full meal deal at 3:11. It’s just got so much attitude, and does a nice job of messing with the timing without just sounding weird for weird’s sake. It’s one of those riffs that makes me want to grab my guitar and rip along, because it’s just so addicting. What else can I say but 🔥
Bathory – “Baptised In Fire And Ice” (Riff @ 1:35)
This nasty little bridge riff hits twice in the track–the first at 1:35 and again at 3:40–and my fuck is it ever a ‘banger. Hammerheart is a masterpiece, of course, and it is tracks like this one, Shores in Flames, and One Rode to Asa Bay that make it legendary. Your mileage may vary on his viking-era work, but there is no denying that Quorthon was the GOAT.”
Wasteland Riders – “Fire” (Riff @ 0:00)
Intro riff that re occurs throughout the song riffs hard. Line one up, throw down a shot of whiskey and chug a beer and press that fucking play button and let the good times roll.
Urn – “All Will End In Fire” (Riff @ 1:45)
Finnish blackened thrash courtesy of Urn. Their latest album The Burning (released a week or so ago) is definitely their most mature record to date. Not just because the cover doesn’t feature an anthropomorphic cartoon Hell-Goat pissing on the pope this time around, the music also has a more serious tone. That does not mean it isn’t fun as shit. While the fist-pumping verse riff is quality, it’s classic two-hit combo of simple power-chord stabs and the repeating pre-chorus lead-motif that come in @ 1:45 (just before the blazing solo) that burn their way into your brain.
Next week we’re going to be getting TECHNICAL. Send your favourite tech riffs to email@example.com by Friday. Make sure you include your screen-name, a time-stamp of when the riff starts, and a short description.