The Six Sweetest Riffs Of 2012
|ACT / Jimmy Katz|
4. Vijay Iyer - "Accelerando"
Fully aware that this is going to come off like one of those "look what we did here" things, putting a jazz pianist on a list dominated by distorted guitars. I've nerded out about this track enough this year, but it still needs to be said that "Accelerando" is straight-up heavy. The fact that it shouldn't be heavy makes it even heavier, and serves as a reminder of how un-heavy things that are supposed to be heavy usually are. Heavy.
3. The Lion's Daughter - "Heavenless, Far From Earth"
Local or not, The Lion's Daughter made one of the best metal records of 2012 with Shame On Us All. Like its brother band Fister, The Lion's Daughter is usually associated with the sludgy side of the genre, but "Heavenless, Far From Earth" might be the trio's thrashiest track to date. The specific riff that lands on this list drops at the 24 second mark. It's a classic thrash riff, sort of like early Metallica if: a. Lars Ulrich played with an ounce of Erik Ramsier's passion/talent/balls, and b. people were as good at making metal records in the early 1980s as Brian Scheffer from Firebrand Recording is right now.
Courtesy of Epitaph Records
2. Converge - "Aimless Arrow"
The press release for Converge's All We Love We Leave Behind mentioned that the album was recorded by the band playing in the same room with no sound replacing or drum editing after the fact; that this was even a talking point says something about the modern shape of metal and hardcore records. This rawness is immediate on All We Love's standout opening track "Aimless Arrow." Kurt Ballou slips trigonometric guitar lines in between his anvil-heavy chords, and singer Jacob Bannon's straining but not screaming delivery recalls Fugazi's Guy Picciotto. "Aimless Arrow" is all danger. No moment feels particularly safe, but Converge's expertise keeps the song from feeling like falling apart is an option. When the intro riff is recapped at 1:37 with some breathing room, its true sweetness is exposed.