A ton of riffs came out in 2014. If you didn’t waste your time listening to riffless electronic dance trash, you might have known that. Many were worthy, but only one to the number of people in the world with subjective opinions can be the best riff(s) of the year. We’re highlighting some of them here in the first ever TovH Riff ov the Year. This could be the most headbangingest post in the history of 2014, so don’t miss it. Or do. Your loss, butthole.

But first – last week’s results. ROTW monopolizer Howard fucking Dean almost won AGAIN, but thankfully my main man Zeke or Isaac or whatever swooped in and saved the day with Judas Priest’s “Painkiller.” Shine on, Zeke, dethroner of tyranny.

In related news, the end of the year is upon us and I still haven’t won one of these. Thanks a lot, guys. You ingrates.

Before we riff out, let’s get this out of the way:

  • No rules next week. Just hit me with a killer riff.
  • It is by design that this is called “Riff ov the Week” and not “This Whole Song Is Good ov the Week.” Please include the time of a specific riff or please die.
  • Send it to toiletovhell@gmail.com.
  • If you have a good idea for a theme, tell me in the comments.
  • I value your existence.



I’ve listened to this riff a stupid number of times this year, and it’s still every bit as arousing as when it first romanced my earholes. It is the strong wind beneath my burning wings; the legendary steed beneath my buttz. Noble Beast is Power, and this riff is the ultimate proof.


Howard Dean

I’ve already submitted a pair of tasty 2014 riffs during normal RotW competition (from Dead Congregation’s “Serpentskin” and Bolzer’s “Steppes”), but for the sake of parity and fun, I will choose another as my riff of the year. Do you know what awesome bands like Drowned do right? They weave huge, menacing doom riffs into their death metal. Enter “Black Projection,” a whopper of a track tucked into the middle of 2014’s amazing Idola Specus (#5 on HD’s end of the year list). The song barrels forward on blasts and machine gun tremolo before suddenly hitting the brakes. At 2:02, the riff of the year drags its ghoulish, worm-infested self out of the crawlspace. Enjoy.


George Lynch

There are untold riffs in Conquering Dystopia’s selftitled record, but this one destroys them all! Although the riff starts at 1:24, I would encourage you to listen to the entire song. The unfortunate part of the riff series is that it is often difficult to put yourself into the mind/mood of the riff submitter and thus fully appreciate their riff. Some riffs do not need a thorough introduction, but, I would suggest listening to the build up for this one. “But GL, I have the attention span of a sk8ter boi and only appreciate trve lolbuttz/derpmetal.” Boo hoo. I do not care.



Can I nominate an entire song? [NO. FUCK. – Masterlord]


Janitor Jim

I’m picking a very odd choice for Riff ov the Year. The band Chicago may not be considered metal, but they are pretty damn good. This song has some damn good riffs and even better lyrics. [DIE. – Masterlord]



Relics of Sulphur Salvation is an album that I come back to repeatedly this year. Combining the amazing chainsaw tone with eerie screams from the void, this is truly a phenomenal album. “The Salt in My Hands” is my favorite from the album. The riff hits hard, evoking every ounce of headbang and putrescent filth present in all. From the most pathetic of lifelovers, to the most hardened void walker, this riff devastates all things good and evil.



The Flight of Sleipnir’s V. is an album I haven’t heard anyone harping about this year, that’s why I’m choosing this riff from “Beacon in Black Horizon.” This spacey primordial soup of a riff is a slow-burner, best enjoyed in a smoke-laden haze of your own.


Brock Samson

Since I nominated a Triptykon riff for Whiff of the Year, I decided to defend my inclusion of them in my top ten with my Riff of the Year. The slow build at that starts the song is the perfect mood setter to hit you right in the feels, but the best part stars at 0:55.


Satan ov Hell

Beautifully melodic, drowned out sometimes, but at just the right times, the main riff from Sargeist’s “In Charnel Dreams”, from the 2014 GRIM TRVE FROSTBITTEN offering Feeding the Crawling Shadows. The power ov Satan Ov Hell compels you!


Jack Bauer

I’m giving my riff of the year to the main riff in Primordium’s “Incursion.” As far as I’m concerned, nothing else even comes close to how awesome this monstrous riff is.


Johnny Crunch

Around 5:30, you’ll need some socks or a tissue.



Of all the riffs that I haven’t been able to get out of my head this year, the one that starts at 3:25 in Crowbar’s “Walk with Knowledge Wisely” takes the cake for staying with my brain cells the longest. Congrats, Riffmaster Kirk, for another great album.

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