RIFF OV THE WEEK: Christian’s Pedal Point Edition


It’s Riff ov the Week, Christian Molenaar style. Jump on in here and jam a number of interpretations of what he has dubbed “The Riff” — a true heavy metal classic. 

But first, let’s discuss last weekHoward Dean won again and is hereby disqualified from entering Riff of the Week competitions or any of its variants. It’s like a fucking grizzly bear in a cockfight for fuck’s sake.


Honorable mention to one Jimmy McNulty, whose Megadeth was only one vote behind HD’s Demoltion Hammer, making him the least worthless and loserly of all us worthless losers. The rest of us sucked. Better luck this week.

Which brings me to this week. Christian Molenaar selected the theme here. I’ll copy-paste it for those just tuning in:

“Next week’s theme is a special kind of riff: one that has stood the test of time, one that every great metal band has played in some form at one point or another. We’re talking about The Riff. If you’re in a so-called “metal” band and you don’t have a song containing some semblance of this riff you are a poser and will never make it anywhere but deep down the Toilet ov Hell and straight past the Sewer ov Obskurity. This is the riff that opens “2 Minutes to Midnight,” Riot’sSwords & Tequila” (great combination), Accept’sFlash Rockin’ Man,” Madam X’sDirty Girls” and TNT’sDeadly Metal” (go ahead and submit those if you can’t be bothered to find one yourself, hack). The Riff is generally based around a pedal point on the open A string of a guitar in standard tuning with brittle, treble-y 80s distortion. It’s also the foundation of a thousand forgotten mid-80s glam, hair metal and AOR hits. Everyone from Judas Priest to Motley Crue to Saxon to Anthrax has played some variation of this riff. Give us your best.”

Now, it’s clear to me that some of you failed — ranging from somewhat to miserably — in selecting the right kind of riff. Rather than not include them, I’ve resolved to post them and allow you to incur the wrath of Christian Molenaar for befouling his sacred theme. I wash my hands of you all. Let’s get started.



  • Next week is special. VERY SPECIAL. Riff ov the Week will be replaced with Riff ov the Year. So spend some time digging up the nastiest riff you heard in 2014, and submit it. Think long and hard about this; there will be scrutiny (but not too long, because this is going to fill up fast).
  • Once you’ve decided, send it to toiletovhell@gmail.com.
  • If you have an idea for a themed ROTW, just let us know.



“Clarity is filling my mind; I am refined!”



This riff may be a slightly deviation from the category, but I was given Christian’s infernal blessing for it. So screw it. Vader rules butts, and this opening riff is the best.


Christian Molenaar

For what is hands-down the heaviest permutation of this infamous riff, look no further than the inimitable duo of Broadrick and Green on 1994’s Selfless. Like Circle’s entire career, “Anything is Mine” is based around subtly altering and repeating this riff into oblivion.


Zeke… or Isaac; whatever

“Painkiller” came in second place a couple of weeks ago; and I see no reason why it shouldn’t win this week.  That’s because it doesn’t just have one of “the riffs,” but it has two.  The opening riff rips also, but I’m submitting the riff that starts at 1:22.  They squeal basically every note that isn’t the A peddle tone, and it just sounds sick.


Satan ov Hell

I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MUSIC THEORY, I AM A TERRIBLE PERSON. I think “Hellion” and the opening riff to “Electric Eye” is what you mean though.



Deal with it metalheads, Lady Gaga is here to stay [Christian note: “Ed is a poser hvkk and only submitted this song because I told him to].



THE RIFF as performed by Vivian Campbell, Ronnie James Dio, Jimmy Bain and Vinny Appice.



This week, my submission is the live version of “Genocide” from Judas Priest’s Unleashed in the East. A slight variation on the “trebly, A string pedal point riff” first appears at :42 and lasts for pretty much the whole fuckin’ song.


Howard Dean

A classic “the riff” moment. It’s Mercyful Fate, motherfuckers!


Janitor Jim

Among the people who have ripped off the beginning riff from “2 Minutes to Midnight” I think Raven did it best.


George Lynch

Don’t get me wrong, Def Leppard can suck my left testicle, twice. They are the epitome of sell-out/poser/lifelover/middle-aged-women-who-love-“heavy metal”. FLUSH. BUT, even though dreadfully true Def Leppard did at one time release one of the greatest LP’s ever: High ‘N’ Dry. Not heard of it? Somehow Steve Clark and Pete Willis made two utterly terrible Gibson guitars (has anyone ever heard a “heavy” Gibson guitar tone [prepare for rustling!]?) sound out-of-this-world. Though, it pales in comparison to Van Halen’s Unchained of the same year. Regardless, this weeks ROTW is the opening track “Let It Go”. The riff starts at 0:00 and goes until 0:31. The E string is only used 4 times. All hail the mighty A string!


Something that spams the A string like its going out of style? Check. This song, despite not being as polished as some of their later works, as well as having the d-bag of a second vocalist, still riffs very hard.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 14-12-2014 20:22:33
end_date 21-12-2015 09:00:00
Poll Results:
Who's the riff was the riff?
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  • Gurrp

    I will vote for Painkiller until Painkiller wins something. Poser fvkks.

  • I made a promise to myself long ago that I would take my own life if I was ever forced to choose between RJD and Gaga. Nice knowing you guys.

    • Edward #negrod4eva

      The fix was in but I still picked up a vote already – you guys don’t know how much this means to me! Hahaha

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        Don’t brag. I have zero votes. 🙁

        • Edward #negrod4eva


        • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

          I love that Raven song, if that makes you feel any better 🙂

      • you know it got MY vote

        • Edward #negrod4eva

          I just finished your MM review – excellent stuff. I probably won’t check out the tracks but the review made me chuckle and smirk multiple times haha

          • negative, i must share one of the acoustic bonus tracks for everyone to endure…
            (thanks for the compliment!)

    • KJM

      Choosing between a God Of Metal and a poser shouldn’t be difficult at all.

      • JWG

        Yes, but which is which?

        (I kid, obviously)

  • Metaphysical Anus

    Aw yis Godflesh! +1 for mentioning Circle.

  • Judas Priest much?

    • You say that like it’s a bad thing.

      • It’s not lol, just funny how they are like half of the riffs this week

    • Coolstorybro

      Sorry, but they cleaned all the “fucking around on the A string” meat off the bone

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    Doesn’t this mean it doesn’t matter who we vote? It’s the same riff.

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      Can’t bring myself to vote misspelled Painkiller

  • Hubert, Goat ov Doom and Void

    I’m having to much fun playing Euro Truck Simulator so I’m not going to do a breakdown this week. Vader is the only band I now on this list so it wins congrats W you’re cool.

    • W.’s Sentient Phone

      W. thanks you for your patronage, goat.

    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      Wait… you… don’t know Judas Priest? …or Mercyful Fate? …or even Mutha-Fuckin’ DIO!?!! O_o

      • Hubert, Goat ov Doom and Void

        I ‘grew up’ with 21st century metal, Mastodon, Opeth, Lamb of God, Devildriver. So I’m not familiar with any metal before the 90’s. I’m planning on diving into that realm sometime though.

        • old_man_doom

          I’ll throw my two cents in: at the very least, Priest and Dio are prerequisites. Being someone who also “grew up” mainly with 21st century bands, I can see how easy it would be to pass over the classics. But hear me out: learn our history, read into our past, warrior. You will be rewarded greatly.

        • pïgchop™

          Check out all the early – mid 1980’s bands such as Metallica-Kill em all. Exodus. Death. Kreator. DRI. Megadeth. Destruction. Sepultura. VoiVod -War and Pain. Testament. Hirax. Crumbsuckers. Aggression. Whiplash. Sacrifice. Nuclear Assault. Suicidal Tendencies. Annihilator, Slayer. Razor. Death Angel. Celtic Frost. Sacred Reich. Metal Church. Possessed.

          There are tons more good bands from back then…do yourself a favor and dig deep. Rage n’ thrash!!!!!

          • more beer

            You sir have good taste!

          • (jeff waters hacked your account and tossed Annihilator in there)

        • Janitor Jim Dvggan

          I grew up in the era of nu metal and screamo as well. I still love those genres but I also love the classic rock and the classic metal bands.

  • Æ (Justin Nowlin)

    One of my favorite riffs is the opening riff to “You’ve Seen the Butcher” by the Deftones. Freaking fantastic riff

    • you’ve just reminded me to listen to Diamond Eyes. thank you, Slipknot person.
      i really do love the Deftones’ latest three albums.

      • Æ (Justin Nowlin)

        I am a huge Deftones fan. I listen to them frequently and plan on getting a deftones tattoos. Very solid fan

  • UGH. Dio, Priest (x3!! Best RotW yet), Mercyful Fate, GAGA…I’m gonna join the Masterlord in blowing my brains out.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan

      I chose Def Leppard because of how much I love them. I love being a lifelover.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    I picked GL because Def Leppard rules.

    • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

      Powerslave = 1984
      Fire Down Under = 1981

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I’m proud of my poserdom. I wear it like a badge of honor.

      • KJM

        Yeah, I noticed that…

    • Metaphysical Anus

      Def Leppard sucks though

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        You can’t ruin my mood today. I’m too happy.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          You can’t blame a man for trying.

      • old_man_doom

          Was thinking about doing this.

          • old_man_doom

            I may be the only one, but fuck it: I think this movie is funny as hell.

          • BLVKKBEVRD’S 1000-YVRD STVRE

            David Spade might be a tool but the movie’s got some funny parts, for sure.

          • It’s the only good thing David Spade’s ever done. He’s driven his schtick into the ground for at least decades now.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          He’s right.

        • KJM

          Kid Rock saying another band sucks? Pot, meet kettle.

  • KJM

    Mosh Off because DIO motherfucker.

    • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

      Hard to argue with this argument.

      m/ DIO m/

    • Æ (Justin Nowlin)

      DIO is the only person who could make singing about Rainbows metal. That makes him metal as fuck

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I agree. No one else can write metal songs about rainbows as well as him.

      • I can’t name any bands that sing about rainbows. You’d figure power metal would be all over that one!

  • KJM

    I feel the same way about Def Leppard, but ‘Billy’s Got A Gun’ kicks ass.

    • CT-12

      The early shit of there’s is fucking great

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        I agree.

  • KJM

    Ooh he said something nasty about gaga he must be a neckbeard loser yadadadadadadada


      You know, I’m kinda getting tired of everyone giving the neckbeards crap. You know they have an illness, right!? Show some sympathy, people.

  • I’m voting for Blackbeard today. Dio and Iron Savior were a close second.

  • Scrimm

    Mercyful Fate for the win!. Jesus I am hungover.

  • Howard Dean






    • Metaphysical Anus

      You’ll have to 1v1 me for my meat!

      • Edward #negrod4eva

        Huh. The implications of that statement are far-reaching.

        • Metaphysical Anus

          The meat can mean whatever you want bae

    • Gurrp

      You seem to have a talent for getting people to vote for you. You should, like, run for president or something.

      • Howard Dean

        I’m working on it! Not only are we going to New Hampshire, Gurp, we’re going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico, and we’re going to California and Texas and New York…. And we’re going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan, and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House!


        • Gurrp

          It gets me every time.

        • Scrimm

          There goes my drink all over my screen again.

        • more beer

          Such a classic!

        • Don’t forget Finland!

    • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

      I praise you for your glory!

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

    I gotta vote for GODFLESH. The other entries are (mostly) true metal classics, but to me seem too obvious. Think harder people!! Judas Priest has 3 entries!! I love old-school Priest, but come-on!! Christian Molenaar wins my vote this week. DAT BASS!!

    • Howard Dean





      • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple

        GODFLESH aren’t corporate shills unless zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… says so!!

      • CT-12

        Would’ve totally voted for Mercyful Fate, but I don’t vote for bands/songs that are insanely popular within metal. Easily one of the best riffs/songs ever created though.

        • Howard Dean


          AGENDA 21

      • This anti-Godfleshyness is definitely not Yeeeeeeea worthy, Supreme Brother Of Jimmy Dean and his mighty sausages. More like:


        Nyeah, Squidward!

    • Zeke… Or isaac; whatever

      I was thinking of submitting the riff in this song that starts at 3:40, but I decided it was too far off from the category (even though I think I can make a legitimate argument for it being on point)


      • Howard Dean

        Ihsahn’s eye shadow and the “creepy pedophile uncle” faces he makes kinda ruin this video for me.

        • zeke… or isaac; whatever

          he can also be a bit of a cheeseball at times (I’m thinking shirtless marshmallow body with spiked shoulder pads). but I can cut the guy some slack since he basically wrote the best metal album ever when he was like 17-18…. and then again when he was like 21-22.

      • Coolstorybro

        …on…pedal point??? I’ll just show myself out

        • zeke… or isaac; whatever

          well played sir!

    • The new Godflesh is thicker than a diamond anvil. It’s the stuff boulders in a black hole are made of!

  • Nordling Rites Ov Karhu

    The infamous “C” takes this home

  • Matt Pike’s Sweaty Left Nipple
    • Gurrp

      A video from Beneath the Remains-era Sepultura? Whooooooooooaaaaaahhhh.


        They used to be soooo good. #age

  • Stockhausen

    I would like to express extreme approval of the photo/my cat.

  • CT-12

    If I were to have submitted this week… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc7klZ5_oPQ


    I’ll give my vote to Masterpants

    • You, sir, are a cavalier.


        Its hard being an innovator nowadays.

  • Renan Ribeiro

    Destroy the Orcs with lyrics

    • Max

      Well, I’ve seen beatniks get destroyed with poetry before, so it’s not that implausible. Think of it as a form of spell-casting.

  • I admire this Howard Dean. He conquered the Toilet and The Void much like I conquered American cinema!

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    those kind of riffs–where they ride the “a” string—and riff out off of the d and g string—where you put em on the same fret—cool ass different kind of “power” chords—kind of higher pitched–but slightly meaner in attitude–if you do em right

    a cool thing in life—–and it is nice that there are tons of other people out there—who know exactly this kind of thing–

  • Tyree

    You have my vote Dubya.

  • dance master 2112

      wut just happened

      • Metaphysical Anus

        He danced

        • Did he leave his friends behind? Because they don’t dance, and if they don’t dance, then they’re no friends of his.

  • Huggy Bear OH YEAH
  • JWG

    I will never NOT vote for a 3IOB riff given the opportunity, even if DIO.

    • Janitor Jim Dvggan

      I will always vote for Raven, Dio or Def Leppard when the opportunity arises.


      no condoms.

      • Metaphysical Anus

        Welcome to parenthood.


          JWG and I would make an attractive baby.

          • Metaphysical Anus

            It would be… interesting.

          • M Shadows!

            Hai bae bae!

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Painkiller all the way!

  • Lacertilian

    Mercyful Fate.
    Sorry Priest-centric community.

  • …Ellipsis…

    Masterlord = Void embraced
    W. = Video not available
    Christian Molenaar = Nice groove, but repetitive
    Zeke… or Isaac; whatever = Priest! Painkiller! Winner!
    Statan ov Hell = Damn! More Priest!
    Edward = No
    MoshOff = Dio! Winner! But Priest… Damn!
    Coolstorybro = Priest! Again!
    Howard Dean = The King! Curse of the Pharaohs! Winner! But Priest and Dio…
    Janitor Jim = Maiden! Winner! Oh wait, it’s not Maiden…
    George Lynch = Def Leppard! Losers!
    BLACKBEARD = Lyrics: Destroyer of Orcs

    WINNER = Zeke’s Painkiller

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    Here’s my Idea Ov The Week. I thought about spending next year going to as many classic rock concerts that goes to New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts or New Jersey with friends as I can So far I have found a concert in Springfield that has Blue Oyster Cult and Kansas in May, a concert in Hartford with Blood, Sweat and Tears and Jefferson Starship in July, another Blue Oyster Cult show in July, and two Jefferson Starship shows in my area on the 20th and 22nd of March.

    • So essentially hitting up a ton of state fairs and BBQ fests?

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        Oddly enough, Jefferson Starship is playing BB King’s of which I shall go to, Blue Oyster Cult is playing Mass Mutual Center with Kansas and Blood, Sweat and Tears is playing a convention center in Hartford with Jefferson Starship.

    • OldMetalHead

      I saw BOC at Memorial Hall in Kansas City in ’93 with Wishbone Ash, Uriah Heap, and Nazareth. BOC was the only one of the bands that brought their own mixing equipment instead of using the one the venue had, so they sounded much better. Great show!

      • Janitor Jim Dvggan

        Were Wishbone Ash and Uriah Heep good? I was thinking of seeing Uriah Heep down in NYC in February.

        • OldMetalHead

          I can’t remember Wishbone Ash’s set (I had to look up who the fourth band was ;). Uriah Heep sounded pretty good, better than Nazareth if I recall.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I wouldn’t see Nazareth currently now that Dan McCafferty has retired from the band. I would see Wishbone Ash or Uriah Heep though.

          • OldMetalHead

            Agreed. It would be like going to see Journey without Steve Perry.

          • Janitor Jim Dvggan

            I love Journey quite a bit but I’d only see them if they reunited with Steve Perry.

          • i’m okay with any of Journey’s three vocalists

  • Miguel Serra

    I raise a drink to Satan Ov Hell! lml

  • FeelTheDarkness

    I seriously could not choose. So much goodness. You are all winners in my book.

  • Janitor Jim Dvggan

    You’ll all be horrified by my Riff Ov The Year if they even decide to include it. It’s a riff so unmetal that it can only be called anti-metal.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    here is one—-about a chick getting depressed—cuz she cant make out with all the dudes in kiss at once
    all 3 at once – full vol



  • Stan Laurel

    Greetings Toilet Dwellers. I’m in fuckin’ Burma. They have fuckin’ internet.

    Military Regime or not, nothing comes between me and ROTW.

    Blackbeard gets my vote!

  • Fiinally, after about 12 tall cups of wine, I announce my Album Of The Year!


    And yes, it’s a playlist.

  • Coolstorybro

    How did everyone forget the Nuge???

  • Good pick @disqus_4E0xQtrX2p:disqus, #LoveTheLady

  • OldMetalHead

    Lotsa love for Judas Priest this week!