My Top 10 Lord Of The Riffs (Part 1)

I love a good riff. I’d choose a big riff over someone playing a complex solo at 100mph just because some people get off on wanking in public. These guys aren’t necessary pioneering guitarists or the best players in the world, but they certainly know their way around a well crafted riff.

10) Cancer Bats – First on my list is the oh so impressive sludgy hardcorers, Cancer Bats. Guitarist Scott Middleton certainly knows how to pinch his guitar, bringing the squeals in all the right places. A perfect mix of aggression, speed and teamwork with the beasty sounds of one of my favourite bassist, Jaye R. Schwarzer,to make a punchy duo. These two are capable of bringing their instantly recognisable sound to fans of metal and hardcore alike.

9) Every Time I Die – Chaotic. Rowdy. Noisy. Just a few words I’d use to describe the riffs of these guys. Every Time I Die bring their southern metal tinge to the world of hardcore and punk. Often opening with the duelling guitar sounds of Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley the pair have created some of the most raucous riffs in the business as well as the occasional gritty solo. This band certainly hammers home their ability to merge riffs between guitars, bass and drums to create an explosion of sound.

8) Ghost B.C – It is unsure whether the Satanic band Ghost B.C have used the power of the devil to create their riffs, but I’m sure he would be proud of what they have produced. Not as heavy as you would think judging from the bands very black metal imagery, guitarists Alpha and Omega have more in common with neo-classical metal and hard rock. The bands heavy focus on creating eerily dark sounding music with the switching between clean and distorted tones to perfectly embody the occult within each riff.

7) Sylosis – Ah Sylosis, this is what happens when you use a band as the breeding ground for thrash, death, heavy and any other form of metal. It is incredibly hard to pin these guys down but that’s what makes Josh Middleton riffage so impressive. One minute they’ll be thrashing out like Slayer then bam a death metal lick throws you off course, add in some Trivium style breakdowns and you have some huge sounding riffs.

6) Tool – Get your math books out, you’ll going to need them. Using the most off time signatures, prog metal band Tool deliver some of the most intricate and confusing riffs but they are certainly awe inspiring. Utilising the awesome groove of bass player Justin Chancellor to take the lead and drive many songs such as Schism and The Pot allowing guitarist Adam Jones to go wild. This creates a diverse sound within the riffs as there is no set rule book to follow meaning they can experiment to their hearts content.


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