Riff Of The Week: Texas Edition
Before we get busier than a stump-tailed bull in fly season with our Texan riffs, we’ve gotta announce the victor of last week’s contest. The theme was sixth songs from an album and true-blue battla Ted Nu-Djent took home the prize on his 400th birthday with a pick from Vhöl‘s track “Arising”, congrats…y’all owe him a schooey down the pub now.
May as well pour up a frothy for yourselves as well because today we’ve got some riffs that’er hotter than a billy goat in a pepper patch and you’ll be needing to wet yer whistle to stop it gettin’ dry’er than a popcorn fart (*closes dubious “Texan phrases” window*). After the recent rippers from Iron Reagan (album giveaway) and Power Trip (TovH Radio Interview), I’ve been on a little bit of a crossover kick and was prepared to drop in an Iron Age riff if need be, but need didn’t be. In fact, some say need never was. Although, these could simply be malicious lies told by want, who often masquerades as need. Whatever the case, what you need to do is listen to the Texan riffs below, and then you’ll need to vote for which one you want to win. So without further ado, time fer y’all ta GETCHA GOTDAYUM PULL…
Pantera – “Over And Out”
So it’s May 1988, the hot summer nights of Texas(s) are almost underway, and Pantera have just dropped another red hot platter of Van Halen/Judas Priest metal magic with their new helium-voiced wailer, Phillip Anselmo. Things are heavier than usual in spots, but “Over and Out” has the fucking money shot. After a swingin’ gee-tar solo from Diamond Darrell himself, sounding for all the world like Joe Satriani, 3:42 features the best goddamn Megadeth riff not written by Dave Mustaine, followed by a Slayerish variation of the same riff accompanied by a FUCKING THRASHY BLAST BEAT ON AN ALBUM THAT ALSO HAS A SONG CALLED “PUSSY TIGHT TONIGHT,” and then a dead stop so you can hear your own jaw hit the floor.
Butthole Surfers – “Goofy’s Concern”
“Where’d you get it?”
“Doggy dropped it.”
Main riff starting at around 0.14 is the perfect riff to get amped for a big night on the piss. Also, Butthole Surfers should get more love. Cheers
Power Trip – “Nightmare Logic”
Averse Sefira – “Vomitorium Angelis”
There’s a lot of good music from the Great State of Texas. The best of it definitely makes me want to passionately fondle my bag of testosterone. Wo Fat and Absu were my first thoughts for Texas-based riffs this week, and I even had a moment where I considered being a total prick and submitting the spectacular coke-fueled bluesy licks of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Rude Mood” (SRV should be off limits this week; any proper gentlemanly riffman would agree). Alas, Texas is a big state (2-3x larger than the state of Alaska, true story), and its denizens create a lot of good tunes. One of the best metal bands from Texas was Averse Sefira. They are known more for ruthless blasting assaults and off-kilter black metal riffs from hell, but the main riff in the track “Vomitorium Angelis” is a flag-waving, chest-thumpingly triumphant tremolo worthy of its home state. Start at 5:25.
Absu – “Four Crossed Wands (Spell 181)”
When I think of Texas, the first thing that comes to mind is grim and frostbitten. It’s logical then, that some of the the best black/thrash metal about ancient Celtic mythology I’ve ever laid ears on has come from that state. Witness the riff at 1:55. Frenetic and insistent, the way this riff twists and slides hits me in a way that makes it stand out in a track full of top-tier riffage. Ahw hells yes!
Boss The Rossover
Eternal Champion – “The Armor Of Ire”
Howdy y’all! Alright, so let’s be honest here. This here bein Texas week and all, there really is no loser. Just one riff that happens to be better than all the rest. And lemme tell you sumthin, I have just the pick fer you! Now I’m gonna lay this right out for ya and declare Eternal Champion as The Lone Star Sates’ bestest Heavy Metal band. Not a cotton pickin band comes right near close, cept maybe that POWER TRIP, and boy do I love POWER TRIP! That being said, last year’s The Armor of Ire is quite possibly THE best debut album from the past, oh I dunno, decade or so. Yeah, i said it1 It is that darn tootin good, I tell ya! Now, picking one gotdang riff off of this here record has put me in quite the pickle. Do I choose the mighty album opener? The epic “Last King of Pictdom”? I tell yee what, I just about keeled over and died thinking bout this. On the verge of it all though, I gotsta go with the last proper song on the album “Sing a Last Song of Valdese.” That opening riff bucks harder than any bronco I’ve ever met and kicks harder than any mule I’ve fought but I’ll be damned if it ain’t smoother than a fine Shiner brew on a hot August night! Now, I’m doin you a favor here and including the whole album in this dadgum embed so hit that play button cuz yer in for a treat. For you impatient city-slicker types, the riff starts around the 25:02 mark and will put you flat on yer ass!
For next week I thought we could do riffs from songs that feature animals in the title, but as
I’d like to milk a bunch of themes from that idea that seems too easy, we’re going to split it down into deeper taxonomic groupings instead. So after getting all rapturous at the raptorous cover art for Engulfed’s debut album this week, we’re going to start with BIRDS. The title of the song you choose your riff from must include a bird name or an overt avian reference of some kind. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday. Include a YouTube link to the song, your screen-name, a blurb and a time-stamp of the riff.