RIFF OV THE WEEK: 11/29/14
It’s time for Riff ov the Week. Click through to hear me complain about last weeks results just because I didn’t win, crank this week’s riffage, and learn about what we’re doing next week.
Last week, your worthy contenders fought with might, but were ultimately crushed under the clichéd foot of the Paul McCartney of start/stop riffs: Decapitated’s “Spheres of Madness.” Congratulations to MoshOff and Lacertilian22, I GUESS. W. trailed only two votes behind with “Vacant Planets.”
My pick clearly didn’t get me anywhere close to the undisputed win I’ve been striving for since I started this goddamn series, but it did yield these, which I hold in even higher regard:
- For next Riff ov the Week, we’re not doing riffs at all. We’re taking some cues from last week’s Whiff o’ the Week and doing screams. Screams, growls, snarls, yelps, gurgles, wails, howls, roars, whatever. Pick one of your favorites, and send it in!
- Send your submission to email@example.com.
- If you have great ideas for a theme, let me know. I will also accept good ideas and decent ideas.
- Stop cutting your hair and stop showering.
Masterlord Steel Dragon
When the mind-ripping feedback and bubbling, black guitar slime harden into a semisolid groove, we get one of the few moments in Teitanblood’s souldestroying Death somewhat comparable to a traditional riff. Bang your head, scowl and stare off into nothing, touch yourself on the butt, I don’t care. Do whatever it is you do when you hear a killer riff, then vote for this without listening to the rest of the entries. Start it at around 9 minutes in.
I sang the praises of Baring Teeth’s new album earlier this week in a review, and now I’m going to unleash them in the Riff ov the Week. Don’t like it? Don’t care (please care, though). The first 38 or so seconds of the title track, “Ghost Chorus Among Old Ruins,” contain some nasty, nasty riffage that tumbles around in a whirlwind of dissonant fury while cleverly recalling the introductory riff from “Mountain,” an earlier track on the album. If the first couple minutes of this song doesn’t make you want to mosh with a barbed-wire fence that’s on fire, but somehow the fire is cold, and it’s also in a tornado, and also that tornado is in a volcano, we need to talk about your priorities in life.
The new album from one man DSBM project Infestus is in serious contention for my album of the year. Check out the multiple riffs layered on top of each other starting at 3:03, but I highly recommend checking out the song as a whole.
Exmortus’s cover of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is one giant fucking glorious riff of a song and you should worship it.
Since it’s release around a year ago this album has quickly become my go-to instrumental metal album. If you haven’t heard it, Tempel manage to combine elements of many metal styles to form an atmospheric metallic-beast, laden with black doom. While this riff forms part of the central motif for this track and returns throughout in various alterations, I chose it’s first appearance in the hope that you listen to the rest of the song. Riff @ 0:50.
The beginning of this song is exactly what I want out of a riff: simple, heavy, and it makes me want to punch people in the face. This riff is why downtuning is awesome.
Many a neophyte to black metal has asked “what’s so special about Burzum?” I admit, it’s a bitter initial taste. Varg’s howl, the intentional underproduction, and the monstrous ambient tracks—Burzum offers up a slew of unpalatable things to a newbie who just fell in love with the grandeur of Emperor or the accessible rocking riffs of Immortal. But why do people listen to Burzum? Is it just the infamy of the man making the tunes? Are these fans just delusional, psychopathic militiamen with a penchant for Nordic metal? Does the music actually have substance? Varg Vikernes—for all of his faults—knew how to write engaging, mesmerizing, and soulful metal chock full of emotion. The man could write a guitar riff, and his music conjured atmosphere in rolling, miasmic waves. Riff(s) start at 2:57.
The riff starts at 5:08. Flush the haters.
Link D. Leonhart V
Most of you can probably say that the new At the Gates album is a flushable record. But most of us who listened very closely can definitively state that “The Circular Ruins” is a massive wall of stone. It’s just a very compact and well composed song. The two main riffs circle around the base like a snake trying to suffocate his pray in a perfect dance. The bass, along with the drums, dictates the road, while the harmonized guitars cut and slice into the pounding rhythm with menace. The entire band serves well their purpose, and Tompa reminds us that we are just “Adams of dust in a parasitic Void” (quoting Mr. Jorge Luis Borges).