Saturday, October 20, 2018

10 best rock/metal riffs of all times

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are talking about one of the most subjective topics ever: the 10 best riffs of all times.
The criteria are not only obviously my tastes, but their impact in the world of rock and heavy metal, how much they contributed to make electric guitar popular in the history of music, and we will also try to break down a bit what makes them so memorable

10) Ozzy Osbourne: Crazy Train. This riff embodies the soul of '80s hard rock: it's fast, very melodic and happy, but at the same time heavy and catchy. It represents perfectly a time of guitar heroes (like Rhandy Rhoads, who wrote it), excesses and incredible live performances, and makes a very solid base in which Ozzy created his iconic vocal line. Still today it's extremely fun to play and countless bands copied its style.

9) Nirvana: Smells like Teen Spirit. This riff instead brought the grunge movement to mainstream.
It's very simple and has a certain hard rock vibe, but it's an incredible shopping window for the Nirvana music proposal, which is very personal with all its imperfections and the dark vibe. This is one of the songs that contributed the most in changing the tastes of the young audience from the '80s rock.

8) Rammstein: Mein Teil. This German band is another of those bands (like many on this list) with such a strong personality that it's hard to define in a specific genre, it literally brought to light a certain type of metal mixed with EDM (choice extremely courageous), and this riff is so groovy and well structured that is really hard not to nod your head while listening to it.

7) Iron Maiden: The Number of the Beast. Few bands contributed in making popular guitar music like Iron Maiden. The band offers a beautiful hard rock/classic metal by almost 40 years with incredible success, awesome choruses and solos, and they are one of the few bands with 3 guitar players. This song has one of the most memorable riffs ever written in metal.

6) Guns n'Roses: Welcome to the Jungle. Guns n'Roses took  the'70s hard rock lesson of Aerosmith and modernized it in the '80s, with a short first stint made only of 3 albums (if we don't consider the cover one) that had such a strong impact to make it one of the biggest rock bands of all times. This is the opener of their first album, Appetite for Destruction, and the riff is so catchy and the chorus is so effective, that it still sound fresh and actual today. A timeless classic.

5) Rage Against the Machine: Killing in the name. A band that took the sound of the '70 (especially the low gain, single-string riffs of Led Zeppelin) and mixed it with rap, an incredibly groovy rhythm section and lyrics infused with social protest.
This band became a cult in the '90s and still today their influence can be heard in contemporary music.

4) Korn: Freak on a Leash. Korn (together with very few other contemporary bands) redefined the heavy music from the end of the '90s to the beginning of the 2000: the minor, decadent atmospheres of grunge were slowly fading away, leaving place to the same type of young rage, but seen from a different point of view. The guitar tone is huge and with extremely low tunings, the vocals flirt with rap music, and the drum beat is funky and groovy. Their style brought new life to heavy music.

3) Metallica: Enter Sandman. Metallica is the biggest metal bands of all times, and is a band that not only invented thrash metal, but kept on changing skin through its long career exploring several genres, from doom (Devil's Dance) to country (Low man's Lyric). Enter Sandman is the opener of their self titled album, an album which had incredible commercial success but that had let down the most hardcore fans due to their opening to a more radio-friendly type of metal. Nevertheless Enter Sandman is still today one of the most iconic metal riffs ever written, and helped the band breaking the boundaries of the metal community.

2) Deep Purple: Smoke on the water. Smoke on the water starts with a riff that still today is studied by guitarists all over the world in their first lessons, because it's so known (even from those who doesn't know the band) that it's basically a standard. Its chord progression on the beat of the drum defined a whole generation, and helped Deep Purple becoming one of the most successful rock bands of all times.

1) Ac Dc: Highway to Hell. This song takes the first spot because Ac Dc is not only a band. It's an archetype. It's the archetype of '70s hard rock in its purest form, simple, straightforward, melodic, groovy, bluesy and timeless. The band in its 50 years of career never really evolved from its roots and also this contributed in creating their trademark, nevertheless it's undeniable that today Ac Dc songs aged much better than most of the other rock songs, because somehow this formula and this sound still sounds actual.

Do you agree with our list?
Let us know what do you think!

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