Riff Of The Week: Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace Edition
This week’s competition brought to you by Echoes® – “Talk To The Future, Today!”.
Last week we embraced our primitive urges and clubbed each other senseless with riffs that turn us into cavemen. Somehow, some fucking how, our resident cavedork Gorak didn’t win. Sure, when he hastily submitted a Leviathan riff within a few hours of the announcement I questioned his chances but the poor dude got beat out by basically every other entry! In the end, the ElusiveSamsquanch took home the trophy with a riff from what is undeniably one of Cannibal Corpse’s top 150 tracks. Well done everyone, we were spared of having to open the sealed envelope containing the competition’s contingency plan should Roots ever win. Way too close for comfort though, the top drawer in the TovH office was open, the cubicle filled with staffers nervously eyeing its contents – the lavatorial letter opener ov hell.
This week we asked for SSSSPPAAAAAAAAAAAACCCEEEEEE themed riffs and we got some quality selections. While space has been a staple theme in metal for quite a while now, it has certainly seen an increasing amount of the limelight in recent years. No complaints here, as I feel the topic offers a near infinite source of conceptual inspiration. Kinda odd it should be so compelling though really, as space, like the soul of an edgy internet nihilist, is cold, dead, and mostly empty. Well I say empty, but what we assume to be void seems more and more likely to be comprised of dark matter. So maybe more analogous to paleocons than nihilists? Although, the apparent emptiness of space is echoed within all of us, right down to the cellular level, regardless of what ideology you ascribe to. See, if you could remove the empty space inside the atoms that comprise your body, the remaining matter would be smaller than a grain of sand. Apply this process to the entire human race, and 7 billion people would occupy the same volume of space as a single sugar cube. Perhaps most interestingly though, is that if you add that exact same amount of space back in between all the atomic nuclei and their surrounding electron clouds, we’d occupy the exact same amount of space as before. Except we’d all be dead. Crazy, huh? Thanks for ((not?) being) nothing, space. Don’t forget to use the PROMO CODE SUMP after voting to get a 13% discount when you protect yourself from unnecessary insurance with today’s sponsors at Superfluous Insurance – “Superfluous Insurance: Don’t Get Caught Without It!”.
Dephosphorus – “Astrocyte Portal”
Space riffs that put you into cold nothingness or a trippy haze abound, but space parties more often than you might think. This riff shall have you a-boppin’ and a a-bouncin’ for a change. Starts at 0:08 and goes on for a while, so why not keep that booty in motion and stick around for the drum fill at 0:24.
Bear Mace – “Death Of A Constellation”
Have you heard this fucking album yet? This is Bear Mace, and they have a bear right on their album cover to prove that they’re not fucking around. The opening riff (0:00) of this song/album slams you like a mother Kodiak when she finds you feeding Fruit Roll-Ups to her cubs, while a lead guitar does little rockstar fills in between, including one at 0:12 that reminds me of Hercules in the old 60s cartoon shooting his bow and arrow, just in slow motion. All while Lord Devourer belches out lyrics about “celestial genocide.” Highly recommended!
Terminus – “Fortress Titan”
From 2015’s criminally underrated “The Reaper’s Spiral,” here’s a little diddy about a crazy space attack on a moonbase at Titan. I mean it’s basically one long series of righteous power riffs, starting with a solid gallop right at 0:00 as the fleet reigns plasma fire down on the enemy. The solo puts you right there around orbit of Saturn, then a nice slow crunchy chug at 2:32 before crushing you with ever-increasing riffage starting at 3:35. Hail!
Darkspace – “Dark 3.13”
Is there a better metal band around that’s capable of transporting you into space than one that actually has the word “space” in its very own band name? Didn’t think so…
Darkspace, like Wroth’s other brain child Paysage D’hiver, is quite the unique project. One that could be aptly described as “the soundtrack right before you enter Event Horizon’s hellscape through one of those mysterious wormholes”.
Now I realize the band is categorized as “ambient black metal”, but their sound is not without its inclusion of a few crushing grooves. Case in point: around the 10:24 mark the bands pulls out a completely epic riff that will have you screaming “liberate tute me ex inferis” by the time it’s over. Go!
Virus – “Dripping Into Orbit”
I was going to wash the dishes yesterday. I was going to clean up all the empty beer bottles. I was going to empty the cat’s shitbox. I was going to take a shower. I was going to clip my toenails. I was going to scrub away that brown ring of fury that has been making the toilet an unpleasant thing to look at/sit on. I did none of these things. Instead I listened to this riff (0:14.) and walked around pretending to be an automaton all day. An automaton with a messy apartment and unsightly toenails.
Execration – “Cosmic Mausoleum”
After one of my favourite album introductions of recent years which sees the band progress from the confines of the heliosphere to beyond the Oort cloud, Execration hit some interstellar turbulence at 3:50 and ride it on out into the black celestial crypt.
Next week, we’re going to be celebrating the fancy new site design. In contrast to the primal riff edition from last week, we’re going to be looking for FANCY RIFFS. Impress us by sending your fanciest riffs to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your screen-name, a time-stamp of the riff, and short description of why you chose it. You only have until Friday so get cracking.
(Header image = Crescent Tethys and Saturn, via)