Best Guitar Solo: DEATH vs. THE ABSENCE


Today in RIFF or RAFF, we’re looking for the sweetest solo of all. Two contestants have come forward with guitar solos from Death and The Absence. It’s time to pit them against each other and see which solo rips hardest. One solo will riff. One solo will raff. LET’S GET IT ON.

LAST WEEK we were looking for the “darkest” riff of all (i.e. Riffs from songs with the word “Dark” in the title). Lacertilian and I came armed with our very best. Unfortunately, the lamestream media put a hit out on me at the last minute and my final vote tally suffered. Damn you, media!!!!

NEXT WEEK I wanna hear the best riff to ever come from the country of Greece. We’re gonna have an ode to a Grecian riff and the winner will get a prize of my choosing. To submit:

-Write 100-500 words about why your riff rules

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

-Email me at

THIS WEEK we’re gonna widdly. We’re gonna diddly. We’re gonna divebomb. We’re gonna sweep. We’re gonna hit some dang pinch harmonics and we’re gonna shred the gnar because it’s all about sweet guitar solos. Let’s do this.

This solo starts at about 2:00 and is 3 fire emoji’s or something of equal value. You could also say the entire song basically exists only because this solo was written and Chuck was like “fuck better throw some of the riffs around these sweet twiddlies and widdlies” (probably not an actual quote). If this song was a sandwich, the main song portion is the alright but boring bread, it’s the solo you came for and this sandwich does not disappoint. What makes this solo pop is the three major parts because solos with multiple sections are solos done right. The first part is a slow ascending part leading into widdly-diddly stuff, then the second part comes in with Gene Hoglan’s sustained double bass more tweedly and diddly than widdly, the final portion comes in with a focus on the very highest registers of the guitar, which just caps off the previous minute and 11 seconds of fantastic guitar. Then it goes back to the bread part of this song which is still in the form of a sandwich metaphor. So get a sandwich and crank this. –EsusMoose

For certain categories, there are bands that stand out as obvious choices. When it comes to solos, I usually have a hard time to beyond The Absence, especially their “Riders of Plague” album. I could link the entire album and throw a dart at a timeline and find a solo fulfilling all the requirements to count as a great solo. Joes list consists of dive-bombs, widdly-diddlies, sweeps and SKREEEEE’s. Check all of all them of because The Absence pass with flying colours. The solo of choice this time is the main one from the song The Murder. It starts building up at 2:52 before kicking in at about 3:30 with the widdly-diddlies into a technical mesh of musical goodness. –Vegglampe

The time has come. You must choose.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 19-11-2016 09:00:00
end_date 25-11-2016 00:00:00
Poll Results:
Who riffs?
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  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    Sorry Vegglampe, you just lost to a bunch of people that won’t even listen to your solo choice.

    • KyleJMcBride

      Not only did I listen to both, I listened to The Absence first. I may even vote for it. Then again, I have almost no ear for Death Metal at all.

    • Fucking LOL

    • EsusMoose

      I feel kinda bad I expected others to submit solos from equally well-regarded guitarists. To note I was also considering Leprous’s Forced Entry solo, or Interval’s Slight of Hand solo, but didn’t want a repeat of my first failure at these

      • Zeke

        I was considering submitting something from morbid angel. That might have been a more interesting race… if the voting button was functioning

    • Damn straight. No offense meant to Herr Lampe, but it’s fucking Death.

      • Dumpster Lung ᴰᵃᵐᵃᵍᵉ_ᴵⁿᶜ⁸⁹

        And it’s possibly my favorite Death song of all time (although that’s a really tough call).

    • Nobody respects the underdog around here. In all seriousness, neither solo sounds better than the other to me. They both rule.

    • I voted Veggelamp. That album slays

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Good man

    • Low hangin fruit man. It’s not bad fruit, it’s just impossible to compete with the classics. Which is why Iron Maiden used to be banned from Riff ov the Week.

    • Ted Nü-Djent ™

      I never vote for low hanging fruit

      • Señor Jefe El Rosa

        Good man

  • Señor Jefe El Rosa

    There is no poll to vote

    • EsusMoose

      Meaning I can’t lose!

    • KyleJMcBride

      Ah, I thought it was just me.

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Both are seriously good solos, nice choices. I’d link to my favorite but can’t seem to find it on the youtubes.

    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Tell us what it is, I must know

  • atchdav

    Both solos are good but my vote goes to Chuck.

  • Rob M

    So, are we not doing the poll this week because Death cant possibly lose and you dont want to embarrass Vegglampe?

  • High on Vallenfyre

    I’m ok with there being no poll, both solos were top notch.
    Morning everyone!

  • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

    How can I vote if the button isn’t there? It’s not showing up on my phone.

  • Abradolf Lincler

    >You must choose
    >Tries to choose
    >Cant choose

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    My favourite solo is the one in every Revenge song.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm
  • W.

    Sorry for the delay, folks. Poll is in.

  • AeonsOvChaos

    There is no pool to vote but I choose Death and I choose darkness all the times too:

  • Stanley

    Rarer than hen’s teeth – a masterful Black Metal solo. Shredding and ripping commences at 3:23.

  • CT-12

    Both of these solos rule, here’s another one if you’re still jonesing (5:09).

  • CT-12

    Also, another incredibly low-hanging fruit (I love how fucking rock n’ roll this solo is). 3:32

    • AeonsOvChaos
      • Max

        Flawless? I dunno; I think the songs could generally have been a BIT shorter, and the guitars are probably about a decibel or two (at most) too loud in the mix.

        But other than that? Flawless.

    • xengineofdeathx

      Since we’re talking about solos that rock Dicks off

  • GoatForest

    The dueling solos on Shining’s Maniska O Maniska were fucking incredible, as well.

  • EsusMoose

    This solo and song has been in my head a lot lately cause they ended their show with it when I saw them last month and the song is great. @5:30

    • Max

      Who did the cover art? Errol Otis?

      • Abradolf Lincler

        Ihsahn’s turtleneck

      • EsusMoose

        Jeff Jordan, the guy who did a decent amount of the Mars Volta covers

    • This song is in my top 10 songs of all time. I love it. Everything about it.

      • EsusMoose

        Same, has basically every element of Leprous in a 10 minute epic

  • KyleJMcBride

    Whoa, if I’m gonna try and sell any of my Metallica shit, it’s gonna be this. I have this in VG condition. This alone could get me enough to score a Gibson SG.

  • KyleJMcBride
    • Señor Jefe El Rosa

      Nice, I hope you can sell it!

  • Kevin Nash’s Jackknife

    Well I’m off to my wrestling event. I’ll make sure to meet Jim Duggan or Kevin Nash.

    • KyleJMcBride

      Pics!! What company is putting this on? I want to read about it.

  • Count_Breznak
  • xengineofdeathx

    Death no matter what. Chuck is the Lord of the solo.

  • Óðinn

    Dark is not the opposite of light, it’s The Absence of light.

  • Individual Thought Patterns is my favorite Death record, but EsusMoose had just one choice and he didn’t picked it. He must sent Overactive Imagination and he didn’t.

    He suffer.

    I vote Vegglampe.

  • tigeraid

    The Absence is one of my few really favourite melodic death bands. And I think I gotta vote for that one.

  • Patrick L. Bertlein

    I always forget about this band, first album was a solid release.