ANYTHING GOES RIFF: Wormrot vs. Virvum


Today in RIFF or RAFF, it’s an anything goes free-for-all! The combatants came prepared with heavy hitters from Wormrot and Virvum. One riff will riff, the other will raff. Let’s do this.

LAST WEEK, Link’s Obsequiae submission bodied Karhu’s Nocternity pick in the battle for Castle Riff Supremacy. Good work, Link! Your prize is a gift from your Bandcamp wishlist.


NEXT WEEK, we will be fully entrenched in the hellish darkness of Daylight Saving’s Time. To commiserate, send me your best DARK RIFF. I wanna see your best riff from a band or song title with “Dark” in the name. Winner gets a Bandcamp gift. To submit:

-Write 100-500 words about why you your riff rules

-Include a link to stream your selection, the timestamp for your riff, and your screen name

-Email me at

THIS WEEK is an anything goes free-for-all! I asked you to send me a dope riff and two of you delivered. Listen up and choose the best riff.

(Timestamp: 2:00) Two words that this riff brings to mind: “catharsis” and “collapse.” By the time you’ve gotten this far you’ve made it through 16 gloriously hellish tracks, and Wormrot’s periodic alterations in pace have kept your interest and your energy high- then here, when you’ve been slowly building tension through two minutes of mid-paced headbangability, does it kick into high gear? You’d think it would, but nope. It drops down to a crawl, as if you trip and in slow motion fall face first into a gutter full of broken glass. That they’re working through a major third-perfect fourth-root-minor second progression keeps things a little off balance, as if upon picking yourself up from said gutter you find yourself concussed and weaving drunkenly through the streets in search of aid, lost and despairing as you now are. While it lasts only 30-40 seconds, it’s 30-40 seconds of slowly being dragged down, crushed by the weight, knowing that for all your efforts all that awaits is another collapse when the riff repeats. It’s a fitting paradox: the listener’s fulfillment achieved through the conjuration of abject misery. Likewise, it doesn’t resolve. You’ve been bludgeoned, beaten half to death by massive, droning chords, and then it ends without working its way back to the root. You’re left hanging, exhausted, dejected, somehow thoroughly satisfied; for all your efforts to crawl forth from your insignificant, cosmically putrid existence, this riff shall return to hammer you back into the ground, until you submit to the rot and to the worms. –Vladimir Poutine

I have a fondness for bands like Virvum that reside in a space that is ostensibly extreme metal but have a great ear for melody alongside the blast beats, tremolo riffs and death growls. Bands like Mithras, Fallujah, Inanimate Existence and Decrepit Birth (who COINCIDENTALLY all have records out this year) were joys to discover, and I’m happy to add newcomers Virvum to that list.

I’m going to lay it out up front for you here: Virvum’s Illuminance is one of my favorite records this year, and the closing track basically sums up everything I like about the record. The arpeggios are expressive rather than being all flash for the purpose of demonstrating skill, the guitar solos are instantly memorable instead of a pointless exercise in sweeping fast but in a higher key, and they know how to drop big, gorgeous, soaring melodies at the right time.
The riff in question this time comes hot off the heels of a sweeeeet solo at 0:27 (start there for full effect) and bursts through the stratosphere at 0:41, continuing gloriously unabated until it segues into a lower-key, dreamier tremolo picked version of itself at 1:02 for 30 seconds until the rest of the song kicks in. I am in all likelihood never ever going to go into space, but if I did, I can only imagine it would feel like this, blasting off in a colony ship destined for other galaxies and worlds unknown lit by distant stars and looming nebulae. This riff in particular I feel exemplifies the adventurous spirit of both the record and our desire to venture out from our home world and soar among the stars, come whatever may.

Basically if you plan on getting Mass Effect: Andromeda in March, here’s your soundtrack. Enjoy. And vote for me so Joe has to buy me stuff. (also a H/T to our friends Spear and Jack Bauer for bringing it to the Toilet’s attention) –Gurp

Now you must choose:

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 04-11-2016 09:06:13
end_date 01-12-2016 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Who riffed?


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  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    What makes a riff “dark?”

  • Abradolf Lincler

    Hopefully next week is Dark Funeral vs Darkthrone

    . . . . goddamnit dont tell me to submit one

    • Howard Dean

      If it’s a match up like that I will flush the whole dang ToH down the proverbial Toilet ov Hell due to a lack of creativity.

      • I’d say the probability of a Darkthrone riff getting submitted is near 100%.

        • Howard Dean

          Submitted? Definitely 100% certain. Selected for inclusion? Maybe more like 50%. I’m betting on more of a Dark Angel vs. Iron Maiden “Fear of the Dark” battle.

          • That’s a fair point. What would not be fair would be submitting “Fear of the Dark.” That fruit is hanging way too low.

          • Abradolf Lincler

            I wonder if the no maiden rule still applies

          • Eliza

            I wonder too.

          • It probably does, it explicitly only gets lifted on certain occasions.

          • Eliza

            Yeah, who could possibly think of submitting something this obvious?

          • Al Bundy
      • Abradolf Lincler

        *picks a Dark Fortress riff to spite HD

      • tertius_decimus

        Cosigned using thick black marker.

    • Eliza

      Actually, this theme gave me an idea that is neither Dark Funeral nor Darkthrone.

      • Abradolf Lincler

        we cant all be awesome as Eliza

        • Eliza

          Tbh, in a way, the song is what you’d expect from me.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      You should submit one.

    • Óðinn

      What about….The Darkness vs. the dankness: Stoner Metal against the annoying twats in that Glam Rock band?

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    What about if the album has dark in the name?

    • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

      Good question.

  • JWEG

    If nobody submits The Darkness for a lark, I will be sad. Not that we’d ever know given that only two of the field make it through.

    If we had been able to also include ‘dark’ from the lyrics and not just the title, there would be (a) tons more metal choices but (b) only one obvious true answer:

  • JWEG

    Here’s my real answer. I’m just way too lazy today (between heavy workweeks) to write all the words required to actually submit it.

    Brought to you by loophole abuse (album title used as part of track name):

    • God I love Nile.

      • Enough to declare it to the world with media that’s not easy to get rid of???

        • Maybe.

          That was/is a bit of a risk, as since they’re still active there’s a slight chance they could go super lame in the future.

          • I say do it. You only YOLO once, as the kids say!

          • Fucking kids better get off our lawns. We’re 20-something/30-something going on 80.

          • more beer

            Too bad these kids now don’t really know how to live!

          • Abradolf Lincler

            i really doubt this. Sanders & Co have a pretty solid record

          • As do I, and I’m really grateful for that. Nile going nu-metal or something would be the tragedy of tragedies.

          • Sir Crawfish The Based

            A pretty solid record of bad albums

          • Abradolf Lincler

            Theres my favorite curmudgeon!

          • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

            I sincerely think Nile will remain awesome. Might they stagnate or something along those lines? That I could see, where they do something kind of “lame,” but mostly in a relative sense to the rest of their legacy. I can’t imagine them doing something just downright awful.

            Hell, even the album I hear people shit on the most (At the Gate of Sethu) is badass. Even with the weird production, it’s really fucking cool. Love that one.

      • more beer

        Nile is unfuckwithable!

    • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

      You are actually going to submit this one though, just not today (yesterday, I guess)? You’ve got all week, right?

      ‘Cause this riff needs to be submitted. I was torn between two different songs to submit, but this post just knocked one of my options out completely by owning it (Darkness in Paradise, by Candlemass). Still love that song, but this riff does everything that one does, but darker and actually even doomier haha.

  • AeonsOvChaos

    Waiting for the next week, two killer songs in the meantime: with a final touch of pure darkness, the art of the riff, I mean Darkthrone:

    • Abradolf Lincler


      • AeonsOvChaos

        Good call, plus, It’s good that we speak the same “language”.

        • Abradolf Lincler


          • more beer

            No habla!

  • Freedom Jew
  • more beer

    Vlad crushed Gurp!

  • Óðinn
    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Speak to Me (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Breathe (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – On The Run (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Time (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – The Great Gig In The Sky (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Money (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Us And Them (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Any Colour You Like (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Brain Damage (FLAC)
    Flac Music

    Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon – Eclipse (FLAC)

  • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

    Gave Wormrot the vote, if only because that riff on its own has a lot of impact. Virvum is also great, but I think you just kind of need to hear the whole song, and the riffs themselves aren’t as immediately resonant with me unless there’s a little more context.

  • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

    Can we submit multiple things? Like if I have 2 very different bands and I’d be happy with either one making the cut? (Or more honestly, I’m just too damn indecisive to pick one.)