MSD & Friends’ Riff ov the Week (10/18/14)


h/t to Joe for this work of art.

By the end of last Saturday, Pagliacci Is Kvlt and his Deafhaven pick were dripping with 13 (!) votes worth of poser ejaculate. Many of you fought well. Take a look:


18% of you suck. In order to curb my disappointment and postpone my truly inevitable suicide, I’m going to assume that you all did this just to spite me. You rascals!

This week is just a basic Riff ov the Week, so grease up those neck hinges and get ready to fling some of that hair around. To all the baldies and shorthairs with actual jobs: You can join in your own special, pose-heavy way. Also, can I borrow a few bucks? I need to buy a lawn mower. My yard is a primeval forest.

Listen up:

  • Next week I want more riffs. Here’s the catch: YOUR RIFF MUST BE FROM 1995.
  • Send them to me via Include your name. First 15 are in.


Masterlord SteelDragon:

One of the nastiest riffs ever, from one of the most influential death metal albums ever written. This is the sound of heavy machinery achieving sentience and purging the planet of every last cell. Fuck all life.



Metal is no stranger to catharsis, but few songs every truly reach transcendence. One such track is the achingly gorgeous “Glory” by So Hideous. Opening with a triumphant invitation into the sublime with beautiful orchestration and majestic composition, the song invites you to cast off the shackle of pain, sorrow, and guilt, and at the 4:10 mark, you are invited by the delicate strains into a full anabasis of the soul. Guided solely by the steadfast rhythm of the drums, as if beckoned by the heartbeat of the divine, you rise to ever loftier grandeurs until the riff returns at 5:10 like the twitch upon the thread from Brideshead Revisited, beckoning you into the gentle but firm embrace of the arms of manifold glory. Leave your burdens behind as you voyage into splendor.



There’s been some on-and-off talk of Between the Buried and Me ’round these parts, and how some of you have owned up to the fact that you aren’t cool enough to appreciate them (I’m pretty sure that’s how it went). Well I’m busting out a Between the Buried and Me riff, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. “Swim to the Moon” is a massive, multifaceted monster of a song, and I’m never not amazed at the development throughout this song. People talk about their songs being noodly and directionless, but with Swim to the Moon there is a distinct sense of motion and reaction, and the riff/lead line that kicks in at 12:56 sounds like a perfect arrival point that all started back at the very first section. Not to mention it perfectly encapsulates the vibe of our protagonist as he battles crashing wave after crashing wave in his impossible quest to swim to the moon.


Lady SteelDragon

This one is better — 8:37.


Randall Thor

At 0:49, one of the most glorious speed/power metal riffs of all time unfolds in a glorious waterfall of flowing notes. Bang that head, you know it’s time.


Cybernetic Organism

While the sickly, rainy-autumnal-day-lost-in-the-woods riff starts at around 29 seconds, the bleak gray noise at the beginning helps to set the tone for a downtrodden, muck-soaked auditory trudge through the crumbling abandoned house that you’ve been eyeing for months, the one you swore you saw someone standing in that one evening around dusk, the one everyone told you not to go near… but here you are anyway, and there’s no turning back now.


Cock of Steele

Ok, I admit I have a bit of an obsession with Razor, but it’s only because every song off of this album is one gimongous riff storm. Basically the riff starts off at 0:18, followed by an evil/deadly/fuckawesome banshee howl (a running trait throughout the album). So if you’re ever in need of a nice and good fix of unrestrained brutal thrash/speed metal. Welp, have at thee!



Building nicely with needling guitar, fuzzy bass and disturbed cries the song… um… well it erupts like a volcano, as the title implies. This Aaron Turner lead supergroup/side project tease the heavy at 2:42 and again at 4:48 before spewing every ounce of the remaining liquid hot magma (read in Dr. Evil voice) at 6:32.



My nomination is the closing riff from the title track of Obituary’s The End Complete album. The riff starts at 2:40, after the fast section, and carries on to the end of the song. The repetitiveness helps you pay attention to Donald Tardy’s interesting drum variations, but the riff itself does vary toward the end of the song with some nice stop-start action that would have blindsided the pit denizens bangin’ along.


Deputy Dipshit

In my opinion, a modern day Do not go gentle in to that good night mixed with hatred and scorn, “Unsilent Death” is one massive, angry, and hurt power-violent riff whose sole purpose in life is to chew your face off and wallow in the bath salts. Try not to head bang or tap your foot to this one, I fuckin’ dare you.


George Lynch

One of the reasons I am drawn to Gojira‘s music is their ability to to compose simple yet emotionally moving riffs. When it comes to riffs, “The Art of Dying” is a lunch box waiting to be opened. Although it’s a sin to chop the song into “riff sections,” I must do just that. The first is 1:10 to 2:15, the second 4:02 to 5:42, and lastly 5:55 to 8:45. The best of these sections is the second. For this riff section, the band unleashes an otherworldly wall of sound while Joe Duplantier bellows “I won’t bring no material in the after life, take no possessions, I would rather travel light.” Words to live, lifelovers! I can go on and on about the riffs, but I will let you make your own judgements.


Edward Meehan

Lumbar‘s The First and Last Days of Unwelcome was released last year, and while I saw a couple of positive reviews about it, it largely escaped the heavy metal zeitgeist. Too bad. It’s underrated, compact but powerful. Lumbar’s album tells the story about a man’s battle with multiple sclerosis, and what better way to do that than with down tuned, sometimes punk inflected riffs? Check this one out at 3:42 of “Day Six.”


Howard Dean



Pagliacci Is Kvlt

I didn’t put any deep thought into this submission this week. It’s October, and this is a song about October. The Northern Ontario Black Metal Preservation Society was a side project of David Gold and Aaron Palmer of Woods of Ypres. They released a two song, vinyl only EP which featured artwork by Fursy Tessier (Amesoeurs, Les Discrets). Reportedly they planned on doing more EPs periodically, but unfortunately we lost David Gold in December of 2011 due to a car accident. This song, “Northern October,” has a number of tasty riffs, but the one that really makes me want to take my shirt off, slap on some corpse paint, and run around the woods making metal faces and poses is the one that starts at 0:28.


Simon Phoenix

Humph. While I don’t hate Deafhaven as much as the rest of you wieners, it boils my blood that it was chosen as the winner of last week’s poll. So I’m bringing out the big guns. The riff starts at 3:12, and lasts THE WHOLE REST OF THE SONG. That’s right, these guys wrote the book on riffs. Edgy59’s droning voice only makes the shit even heavier. You hear that, lifelovers?  That’s the sound of your puny skull imploding on itself. Simon says despair.


This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 17-10-2014 22:40:24
end_date 19-10-2014 08:59:59
Poll Results:
Your new Rifflord is...
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  • Joey Jo-Jo Junior Shabadoo

    Howard Dean gets my vote this week. Om is godlike

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks for the support! Your generosity does not go unnoticed. I will send you a wheel of craft-made Vermont cheddar cheese. Dean in ’16!

  • Death

    It’s between W and Stockhausen for me.

    • Stockhausen

      You have broken my heart, Mr. Burgundy. You have broken my heart.

      • Death

        Does it help if I say that it was a tight competition? I had to toss a coin. The odds weren’t with you, friendo.

        • Stockhausen

          I’m gonna slash Lady Luck’s tires.

          • Death

    • W.

      Thanks, buddy!

      • Death

        No, thank you for showing a new band to me.

        • W.

          The album was re-released by a major label this year, I think.

  • JWG
    Works for Riff, Solo, and “Heavy Meta” tune of the week.

  • Death

    Had I not been an idiot, I would have remembered to send this to the competition.

    • aw guy… you ain’t no idiot! (good song btw!)

      • Death

        It’s one guy doing everything in this band.

    • Guacamole Jim

      Mmmmmmm…. tasty. I love this album.

  • Stockhausen

    Thanks for the inevitable wave of votes everyone!

    • you got mine. that song on the 5.1 surround DVD, whilst *ahem* enhanced. rocket.

      • Stockhausen

        High five man. Hehe. High. Hehehehehe.


  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    Howard Dean. Om End of discussion.

    • Howard Dean

      Thanks my friendly Finn! To show my gratitude, I will send you a patriotic package of fireworks, handguns, Kentucky bourbon, and scratch tickets from the Indian reservation!

      • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu


  • Mr.CustodialArts

    As RAD as MOST of these selections are…I just don’t understand how you CAN’T go with OBITUARY…I just don’t. The RIFF majesty of that GORGUTS record is an OBJECTIVE TRUTH, cut the shit!

  • Howard Dean


    Morbid/offensive jokes aside, that’s a great riff. But I had to go with my brother in steel arms Randall Thor because BYAH! Riffs motherfucker! May we touch swords and slay all pretenders to the crown of metal. Poser butts will grow sore from the fury! Oh. Ah. From the vicious butt kicking, of course.


    • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

      howard, you have a lot of pull around here, you have to let duggan back in , he is pretty down, took it hard.

      • Howard Dean

        Conan, it’s been a crazy week, with lots of confrontation. I can’t say what the future holds for JJD. I know he was having a hard time on here. I think we just need to chill, let everything settle, and go from there.

        • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

          I was barely on TOH last week so i don’t fully know the circumstances either.

  • DeadButtDreaming

    I choose death.

  • I listened to every song posted but I still voted with bias. Unsilent Death is too good.

    • Mr.CustodialArts

      Nothing unleashes unbridled anger more than sobriety!

    • Yep, got my vote as well.

    • Edward Meehan

      I also cast my vote for Nails.

    • Elite Extremophile

      It’s almost unfair to use.

    • Stockhausen

      I don’t believe that you listened to all of Swim to the Moon. You would on the wings of an eagle right now, and there’s definitely no service up there.

  • Goddamnit how am i supposed to choose between nails, gojira and BTBAM?!!?!?!

  • Art of dying may just be the best intro ever.

    • Hmm, second to threshold of perception actually.

  • Unfortuantely I sent mine in too late, but this is what it would have been: 44 seconds in, omg.

    • Further Down the Metal Hole

      That album art is delicious.

      • ikr!

      • if only the music was…

        • Death

          WHAT U SAY?

          • weedily deedily

          • Death

            This is the first time I am disappointed with you, Justin.

          • Jöhnny Crünch™


          • Death

            It’s a joke dude.

          • Jöhnny Crünch™

            * OK

          • we are not friends for the rest of the day!

          • that beats the interrogation room! although i only need one more punch on my card…

          • NO you are still going to the interrogation room. Babymetal will be interrogating you.

          • JWG

            That seems more like the directions for creating a Vince Neilstein clone.

          • Jöhnny Crünch™

            I copped the interrogation room for my non-fussedness of Artificial Brain

          • Scrimm

            Best technical death band ever, though I like the album before this better.

          • Jöhnny Crünch™

            Sometimes it pays to read all the replies before commenting

        • I.. I may have to downvote you jimmy….

        • Jöhnny Crünch™

          Yeah, too weedily deedily for my tastes

    • Link D. LeonhⒶrt V.

      what a cover art!!!! :O (sick tune, for sure!)

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    So hideous was…so utterly beautiful. WOW.

    Also, I’ve been absent lately as I’ve had too much stuff going on, but I’ve finally read all the posts I missed and can now check them again on the day they’re published.

    • W.

      It really is a gorgeous track.

    • never be gone that long again. it scares people! we’ve already lost Cap’n Calamari to… who knows what

      • Edward Meehan

        Ah, the Cap’n. That dude rocked.

        • W.

          I miss him.

        • no joke. and before that he was We’re Woes (with some crazy subscript attached). he was like… a poet or something.

      • I Imagine he’s in davy jones locker somewhere.

  • @george_lynch:disqus if i was a dishonest man, i’d vote for yours with another of my Disqus profiles. alas, yours is #2 to @Stockhausen:disqus’s pick. Swim to the Moon is perfection.

  • This is a stacked week! Everyone will be embracing the whiplash tomorrow.. or whipflush, respectively.

  • W.

    GL, I can’t vote against you, my Gojira wiener cousin.

  • Edward Meehan

    Unrelated to this week’s Riff of the Week, Inter Arma’s press people compared their new album The Cavern to Sleep’s Dopesmoker on the Bandcamp promo, so ballsy.

    • I haven’t heard anything by inter arma, something tells me I should

      • Edward Meehan

        Check out either The Cavern or Sky Burial, they are very different but both solid. Sky Burial is pretty punishing for what that is worth.

      • Virgil the Ghost Poet

        Yes you should.

  • Rebecca Blvck

    Today is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards. I don’t want this weekend to end!

    • I’m not sure how your follow-up singles didn’t take off.

      • Rebecca Blvck

        Because my fans aren’t blvck enough!

      • Edward Meehan

        … that Youtube video has 39.5 million views?

        • Mr.CustodialArts

          You clicked on it? Hey, if you’re gonna click on fucking garbage, MAKE IT THE MOJO GARBAGE-RIFF OF THE WEEK 1:30 WORD UP:

          • It’s everything bad about the 90s in one tidy package.

          • MoshOff

            Are you implying the 90s, the most culturally relevant decade to ever happen according to every cool person born after 1995, had bad things??
            FOR SHAME PAPA JOE

          • Those damn kids.
            …God, I’m not even old yet. The next 50 or so years (give or take) are gonna be rough.

          • MoshOff

            Lol 50. Ask Ebola and get back to me.

          • Cock ov Steele

            But like, heavy riffs brah.

          • Cock ov Steele

            Damnit Randall Thor has my steel. Howard Dean’s pick was close though, OM is rifftastic.

          • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

            razor – more canadian greatness – got my vote – this would be a great tour -slaughter, razor & exciter.

          • Cock ov Steele

            That whole album is some sort of perfectly meshed,m angry monstrous riff factory. It’s like pure violence in its sonic form.

      • Death

        She released another song?

        • that new Manes album is pretty good.

          • Death

            Bad joke!

          • Hey Death, have you heard the new Nadja album from this year? It seems like something you might like.

          • Death

            Nadja rings a bell, but didn’t know that they had an album this year. Checking it out. Thanks mate.

          • Lemme know what ya think. It reminds me of somewhere between Earth’s newest and maybe Horseback, but with more melody. I dig it, maybe you will too.

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            Did you like the new Horseback CD? I love it.

          • Piedmont Apocrypha? Hell yeah. I like that with each album he goes for an almost completely different sound. This one definitely sounded the most complete and put-together. I love all his other stuff but this one feels so much more focused, where the others could kind of meander at times.

          • Virgil the Ghost Poet

            Relapse is expectingto release a new Horseback full length in 2015!

          • Guest


          • Stockhausen

            I do like the new Manes album.

          • Death

            Me too, friendo.

      • KJM
  • KJM

    It would appear I’m the only one who voted with the Italian clown so far this week.

  • MoshOff

    If you think djent riffs are angular you have not OBSCURAded. That is all.

  • Simon Phoenix

    I voted for Masterlord, cause Gorguts.

    Also that Liege Lord is a headbang worthy song. That robot on the cover would be useful for reducing San Angeles to ruins.

  • Cock ov Steele

    1995 riff? done.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    holy crap..what a bunch of great riffs…too hard to choose just one

    here is a tribute…
    (watch/listen to all 3)

    • KJM

      Meatballs, total classic.

      • David Vincent’s Spandex Shirt

        “Important announcement – Some hunters have been seen in the woods near Piney Ridge trail and the fish and game commission has raised the legal kill limit on campers to three. So, if you’re hiking today, please wear something bright and keep low.”

  • KJM
    • Jöhnny Crünch™

      2 of the best tracks of this album are instrumentals. I gotta admit, I was kinda disappointed when Titan didn’t turn out to be the intro to the most epic song ever.

  • D. Lee

    Totally beat me to that Mirrors riff. Hands down my favorite BTBAM moment, easily

    • Guacamole Jim

      My favourite BTBAM moment is the opening moments of All Bodies on Alaska. It was the first disk of theirs I picked up, and hearing that opening twiddle into the heaviness just holds so much memory for me. #lifeloving

  • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING

    sumin’ different but hard rockin’ riff. i know death will love it !

  • CONANtheMotherFuckin’KING
    • W.

      I think his vocals still sound great.

  • The Satan Ov Hell

    Acid Bath lost because you were nerds.

  • crazytaco_12

    Razor destroys, Cock ov Steele is the man

  • PrincePoopyPanties

    I am tired of the hatred here, so I’m gonna get some sophisticated stuff here! Poopy boobies!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    A national cyber discussion on ebola—bringing america into true dialogue

    cops,metalheads,hot chicks,tv stars,videogame designers—and lovers

    fuck those 911 inside job motherfuckers!!

    save humanity for all time!!
    play both together at the same time–100% vol

    • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        THE END OF THE WAR—-superstone in egypt

        play this vid–along with the crystal ship –(100% vol on both)
        sunrise of all humans—-new pyramids–gardens—emancipated pharaohs–eternal—ending of polarized false pre world family perception