What's the most bone crushing riff?

Sermo Lupi

SS.org Regular
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
894
Reaction score
725
Location
UK
I change my mind on this all the time but it has to be Meshuggah.

It isn't just the riffs but the atmospherics. Meshuggah are miles ahead of so many other bands in that department. It's hard to pick just one song or even one album...if I had to choose, I'll go with Catch 33.

Part of what makes that album so heavy is that it's effectively a 47-minute-long composition with all that atmospheric imagery and rhythmic force building toward several key sections. The transition from "Mind's Mirrors" to "In Death - Is Life" (starting 11:47 and transitioning at 16:17) is notable. Then there's a bunch of crushing riffs in "In Death - Is Death" followed by a long instrumental section at the end of the song that builds into that incredible crescendo that introduces "Shed".

The heaviest part of that album begins in "Personae non Gratae" around 37:30 and building to that legendary breakdown around 39:00, finishing with the meat of "Sum" around 41:00.

I'd also list like half a dozen Symphony X songs, but using Michael Romeo in a riff contest just feels like cheating :lol: The end to "Set the World on Fire" would be an example of one his crushing riffs with some good buildup to it.

 

Lan

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jul 8, 2021
Messages
49
Reaction score
78
Location
Canada
Blink 182 will forever remind me of summers as an awkward teenager, there's nothing more bone crushing than that.

For heavy riffs, I'll put forward some DOWN



What I really like about the opening riff, is that it is really accessible. You can pretty much start headbanging as soon as it starts. The drums kick in at 0:07 to reinforce the structure around it.

The beginning of the second bar of the intro riff always feels slightly rushed, which keeps it from feeling too formulaic. After the intro you get just great, straightforward palm muted riffing which keeps it heavy, but taking a backseat to the (awesome) vocals.

I've found the most effective riffs in a live setting are the ones that just cut through everything with their simplicity, and allow you to lock into the song right away, while still throwing in elements that make it feel slightly unpredictable. 2c
 

wheresthefbomb

SS.org Regular
Joined
Jul 30, 2013
Messages
2,465
Reaction score
3,573
Location
Fairbanks, AK
I've always been partial to Hate Ashbury III as their definitive "did something just collide with the god damn Earth" riff when it kicks in


I really need to dig deeper into their back catalog. All the albums before Hippie Killer I tend to listen to as long single tracks, hard to find the "gems" amidst so much plodding drone. Not that I'm complaining. Bongripper rules mightily, they can do no wrong and SWD is the perfect stoner metal album.

I do really like the Sex Tape/Snuff Film EP. Never have I heard a more literal interpretation of "chainsaw guitars."
 

MAJ Meadows SF

on a tone quest
Joined
Jan 26, 2011
Messages
2,642
Reaction score
660
Location
your front yard, staring into your window
Definitely some bangers in here, pretty much everything. I get the differences in interpretation for “bone crushing”. It’s usually brutal death metal for me, but even stuff like Mastadon’s “March of the Fire Ants” is heavy as all get out (that whole record is still their pinnacle for me). But some additions I didn’t see:

3:07 in... this riff will kill you if seen live:


We all know the drums are too loud but still at 0:30:


Like Meshuggah, TAS has too many to count. 0:42:


And speaking of Meshuggah and “bone crushing”, one of my favs:
 

Tree

-________-
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
935
Location
Chicago, IL
The intro riff to this fucking destroys:



When my old band played with them around the release of this album Huber was legitimately smashing his fist into the ground on the snare downbeats. It was so loud you could still make it out over the rest of the band. That's literally bone crushing :lol:
 
Last edited:

Tree

-________-
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
2,511
Reaction score
935
Location
Chicago, IL
Not my dumb ass forgetting "malice" by through the eyes of the dead. That whole album, really.
Piggybacking off of this^

The breakdown at 2:00



It's so simple, but fuck me if that doesn't get me wanting to act like a caveman buffoon.
 


Top