RIFF OV THE WEEK: The Start/Stop Edition


A word of advice. If your doctor ever puts you on a strict clear liquid diet, you tell that white coat bastard to try again. Because there are only so many types of broth you can eat drink before you spew it back up, and JELL-O is fucking dismal to begin with. You never realize how good it feels to insert solid things into your mouth until you’re not allowed to do it for three days.

Last week, most of you apparently clicked on the wrong bubble by accident because Jack Bauer won with an Abysmal Dawn pick, despite the presence of The Great Old OnesKatharsisMayhemBroken HopePestilence, and some other bands that aren’t Abysmal Dawn.

I remind you that we vote for whiffs on Sunday.

Judging by the relatively small number of submissions we had this week, it would appear that picking start/stop riffs was too challenging a task for many of you. Apologies. We had most of you pegged as real life metalheads.



  • Next week is basic shit. Friends, bro-mans, cvntrymen, lend me your riffs.
  • Send them to toiletovhell@gmail.com.
  • We like to do themes. If you have good idea for a ROTW theme, make it known in the comments (or send an email to the aforementioned address).
  • Give up on your dreams and die.


Masterlord Steel Dragon

Look, I’m pretty meh on Grand Morbid Funeral, but I won’t pretend that 0:48 doesn’t build into one hell of a mean start/stop riff.


Lady Steel Dragon

This is the best one.


Joe Thrashnkill

Have I mentioned that I like Countdown to Extinction? The central riff in “Symphony of Destruction” is a perfect rock & roll riff. It’s driving yet simple enough for a child to learn. I think of it as the less racist sister-riff to “Walk”.



This song has a wealth of great riffs, but the start/stop bludgeoning that starts at 0:52 seconds and repeats later is one of the cleanest and best riffs of this type. “Vacant Planets” demonstrates Chuck’s perfect sense of song-writing and his ability to use something so simple so effectively.



MO: The opening riff from Spheres of Madness. I’d be surprised if I was the only one to think of it, but if for some reason I am, well, vote for me.

L22: No description necessary


George Lynch

The start/stop riff starts at 1:15. #stayweedleedeebrah


Poseur Disposeur

I think the constant cascade of dissonant black metal and grind could use a little boogie to pull some of the darker Toilet residents out of the VOID. This intro riff is one of the greatest start/stops of all time and is super rockin’ when played live.


Brock Samson

This is the only start/stop riff that I like that I could think off, probably because I have had one too many.  This song still rips, especially the specific riff at 1:47. Stay metal, stay buzzed.


Johnny Crunch

Cheesy as fuck. Enjoy. 1:34.


Pagliacci is Kvlt

Page Hamilton is a master of start/stop riffs, and “Unsung” has one of the best riffs (regardless of whether it is start/stop or not) of all time. But since I’ve submitted that in the past, I don’t want to repeat myself. If someone else submits it, you’ve got my vote! So instead I dug deeper into the Helmet catalog and picked “FBLA” from Strap It On. This song, starting at 0:10 takes the stop part of start/stop riffing to extremes. YouTube note: ignore the last 20 seconds, whoever posted the video repeated the song



Oftentimes the simplest riffs are the heaviest, and Nevermore’s “The River Dragon Has Come” is a perfect example of this. The massive open spaces between the simple triplet and syncopated riffs emphasize the venom of Dane’s vocals and Loomis’ leads in a way that couldn’t be replicated with a steady guitar line behind them. Starts at around 40 seconds.

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