Riff ov the Week: 5 / 2 / 2015


That’s my new dog. This has no relevance to Riff ov the Week. I’m just excited. 

Last weekRon Deuce took home the nonexistent trophy for the most absurdly specific ROTW ever with classic Suffocation. It wasn’t even close. The competition was trounced. Trounced, I say! Well done, Ronnie boy. Have a beer on me. You’ll still have to pay for it because I just spent all my money on dog things. I meant you can sit on my lap while you drink it, if you wish.


Next week:

  • Someone suggested this – and I like it. It’s weird that we haven’t done this yet. Next week, we will only be taking tremolo-picked riffs. If you don’t know what tremolo-picking is, listen to more black metal. Or use Google/Wikipedia – “Alternate picking is a guitar playing technique that employs strictly alternating downward and upward picking strokes in a continuous run, and is the most common method of plectrum playing. If this technique is performed on a single note at a high speed, then it may also be referred to as tremolo picking.”
  • Send your tremolo riffs to toiletovhellriff@gmail.com. Include your Disqus handle, a link, the time of the riff, and an explanation.
  • If you have an idea for a theme, let me know, yo.
  • Let’s get to the riffin’!



The hefty, stomping riffs on “Mouth of Madness” might seem a wee bit out of place on Tsjuder’s Desert Northern Hell, but shit, I don’t know that I’d want to live without them. When the perfectly-utilized, Tom G. Warrior-inspired “hugh!” kicks the first riff into gear, I sometimes wonder how wrong it might be that I’m so sexually aroused by a passage of music.



I heard you like riffz. There’s a riff here at 1:33. It’s a good riff. Vote for this riff, please.



Doom/death metal played in a sunny major key with woodwinds playing the leads? Yes please. The ultimate iteration of the riff with what I believe is an alto sax on lead starts at 4:45, leading into the most bonkers woodwind solo you’re likely to hear in a metal song. (For a view into how the riff is first presented and developed, see 3:16, where a few dryer bars of guitar are eventually accented by synth vibes or synth steel drums or some amalgam of the two(???).


Formerly Known as Oli Sykes

Despite my liking for it, Metalcore rarely has masterful riffage. But when it does, oh my god it is tasty. Riff starts at the very beginning, definitely give it a chance. It’s techy without coming across as wanky.



I can imagine that The Safety Fire may not being the most liked band in this neck of the woods, but the riff at 3:39 is an absolute joy to both listen to and play. Look past your inner brütal self and indulge in something fun and stupid.



This riff is my offering to the overlords ov the latrine this week.


Iron Lawnmower

Riff starts at about 1:20 kicks ass until there is no more ass to kick.


Hotdog Clifford

I was a little late to the party with this album but I just bought it today on Bandcamp and this riff really caught my ear. It starts at about 2:46 but goes full blast at 3:08 and continues to the end.


Howard Dean

There’s been a lot of Terlet love for the almighty High on Fire, and for good reason. Matt Pike is like everyone’s awesome/crazy uncle – but he also happens to be one of the best heavy metal riff writers in history. This riff in “10,000 Years” is High on Fire’s greatest riff, and one of the heaviest fucking riffs ever forged. I chose the version of the song from the s/t EP because it is heavier and meaner than the album version. I want this riff played at my execution. Starts at 5:49.



It behooves you to listen to the whole song, but the riff initially pops off at the 0:40 mark after a nice little roomy intro, then continues to fly in and out through the entirety of the track. This leads to a nasty variation of the noted riff that occurs around 1:15. Each lick slaughters the listener’s control of their neck, sending the poor bastard into a frenzy of whirling. The simplicity; the grime; the blvkkness; the void. All of this compiles into a scrunched blend of violent, tremolo fury. As a great man once spoke, windmill your fucking cocks.


Jack Bauer

This is a riff that my just be my favorite riff of all time. If I don’t headbang when this song comes on… well, you know what? That has never happened. Iron Reagan know how to craft tasty-as-fuck riffs, and this song is no exception. It starts pretty much immediately. BLAST IT.



Riff starts at 2:21.



In honor of Max’s great article, I present…. a badass riff from that Illud Anus album.  1:43-2:15.


Nordling Rites ov Karhu

It’s Vektor for Krevessakes. Dat riff at 2:40 is taste-y.


Ron Deuce

When you’ve got a good riff, don’t just play that shit once. Play it often and beat people over the head with it. The Drip trades off between blast beats and the riff that starts at 0:18 on “Lash In, Lash Out”. Even though it’s a simple, it’s played with a ton of energy and makes a cracka wanna start punchin’ holes in the sheetrock.

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