Riff ov the Week: Bass Edition


Look, I’ve been putting off this bass edition thing for so long in order to avoid both the Meghan Trainor jokes and the inevitability of subjecting you to all to another instance of Jack Bauer saying his second favorite and second most annoying phrase (dat bass). But then a very special someone (it’s Link) asked for a bass edition, and I was powerless to resist. I’m sorry. My will has been overpowered by sweet, Venezuelan benevolence.

Last week, the mighty Scrimm took home the win by a moderately-sized landslide with “This Mortal Coil”.


Next week:

  • Someone suggested that we do album openers. I like it. Next week, we’re taking riffs that kick off the beginning of an album.
  • Send your album openers to toiletovhellriff@gmail.com.
  • Include your name, a link, the time of the riff, and a blurb thing.
  • If you have an idea for a theme, let me know. We’ll probably do it.



Zeke or Isaac or whatever the fuck his name is unwittingly stole my idea and I’m too lazy to pick another band. Go vote for him!


Zeke… or Isaac; whatever

Bass?? Necromantia????? 0:43.



You all can keep your fretless Beyond Masturbation bass. I’ll take simple, catchy and badass any day. One second in.



As a bassist and a douchey snob, I’m generally against playing with a pick. However, this opening bass riff in Steven Wilson’s “Luminol” is too groovy not to love. And honestly, I think it needs that pick contact noise to drive it home. A vote for Steven Wilson is a vote for freedom.



Simple, effective, and instantly recognizable. The perfect bass riff.


Leif Bearikson

Perhaps the most menacing bass riff in the history of low end. Out of the gates you know Jared Warren is fucking bringing it.


Nordling Rites ov Karhu

462-years ago I first took up bass and have never let go. In the process I’ve become a Serdce-level bassist and perhaps therefore bass-weedlies are the only kind I can appreciate. But srs, fuck weedlies. I hate craphats who couldn’t play their way out of a paperbag and just noodle. IF I WANTED NOODLE, I’D HAVE ORDERED CHINESE! So here’s a sick ham I jam all day erryday. Definitely a great ham. From 0:15 onwards.


Dr. Derelict 

This album is an all around masterpiece. The bass really drives the whole opening song so it should be listened to in toto, but 4:37 is where things really get going. And they keep going until the very end.


Formerly Known As Oli Sykes

It was between Primus and Faith No More, but as much as Les Claypool is the best bass player ever and all (and it wouldn’t surprise me if most of the riffs are Primus riffs), my favourite band ever wins out. The build up to the riff starts at 2:11, but the riff doesn’t start properly until 2:28, and it is INSANELY awesome. If you don’t like Faith No More, shame on you, but if you do, then you already know how tasty this bass riff.


Ron Deuce

You cannot have this competition without Dan Lilker. The man’s been laying down bass lines since the early 80’s.  The question is, what bass riff do you chose? Since grindcore is my go to genre and Brutal Truth is an all time great band, I’m going with something I’ve been hooked on since I first heard it. “Stench of Prophet” features Lilker’s signature distorted bass tone to start off the 2nd track off  the Extreme Conditions Demand Extreme Responses album. The opening of the song starts with the bass riff coupled with the drums. In typical grindcore fashion, they come in like gangbusters, don’t hang around too long and leave you wanting to hit the replay button again and again.



First thing that came to mind. Sure there are other bass riffs, but there’s only one N.I.B, except for that Primus cover in which the audio has been pulled from YouTube.



From the very beginning of Scream of the Butterfly, Acid Bath’s bassist; Audie Pitre (R.I.P.) lays down a driving, yet melodic bassline that morphs throughout the song, but never loses its unnerving quality or its place as the bedrock of this haunting, sludgy ballad. [Sorry Ellipsis, but your video isn’t available in the US. In fact, there are no videos of this song on youtube in the US. So, to paraphrase Papa Joe, I have to insert this “bootleg-ass” live recording instead. Sorry.]


This bass riff doesn’t simply start the song, it defines it.



Joe Lester and Danny Walker are the best rhythm section in modern metal. My evidence? The 9/4 opening groove of Any Port is sexy, groovy, smoother than Santana, and just makes you wanna go ‘sploring the seven seas riding on the back of a magical dolphin. Make the right choice, Toileteers; this Riff ov the Week, vote fretless – vote Joe Lester.



I’m not a Job For A Cowboy fan by any stretch of the imagination, but this serpentine bass riff will slither it’s way right into your earholes and make itself at home in that warm, damp, gelatinous organ that you call your brain. The bass riff begins at the start and continues to wriggle like a landed eel throughout. I’m not going to mention the bass tone. Everyone mentions the bass tone. Stop mentioning the bass tone.



Starts at 1:03, ultra melodic, slightly technical, that’s about it.


Jack Bauer

The second I saw that this week was a bass riff I already knew that I was gonna choose Beyond Creation. The intro this song is sooooo good. Obligatory dat bass.


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