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Top 25 Guitar Riffs That Make You NEED To Headbang: 5-1

We have arrived. The final five riffs that make you NEED to headbang. It’s been one helluva week getting to this point and I’m sure that many of you are dying to know which songs I’ve picked as the elite amongst the elite. If you’re not already too sore to move your head some more, head on inside for the ultimate dose of guitar riff punishment.

Make sure to check out 25-21, 20-16, 15-11, and 10-6.

Meshuggah – “Bleed”
Album: Obzen
Start of the riff: Pretty much the whole damn song

Yesterday saw Opeth‘s “The Funeral Portrait” as the first song where pretty much every riff was worthy of mentioning. This track is the second. Pure chaos and savagery dominates this track making it an absolutely terrifying experience.

Bloodbath – “Iesous”
Album: The Fathomless Mastery
Start of the riff: 1:01

Perhaps the most vile, evil track in this entire list, this song sees the second appearance of Mikael Akerfeldt. Another song that builds up to a furious riff, the first minute of this song is nothing short of frenzied madness. When it all comes together a minute in, it’s so vicious that it sounds like razor sharp teeth gnashing away at your soul.

Soilwork – “Stabbing The Drama”
Album: Stabbing The Drama
Start of the riff: 0:50

This song might have the most epic of build ups on this list. And when that guitar riff comes in, it’s a wave of sonic destruction washing down upon you.

In Flames – “Only For The Weak”
Album: Clayman
Start of the riff: 0:21

The beginning of this song is, at the very least, a toe-tapper. But when that up-beat guitar riff comes in, it’s so unexpected and groovy. It’s impossible for me to hear the song and not lose my sh*t when that moment comes in.

And the number one guitar riff that makes you NEED to headbang:

Gojira – “The Heaviest Matter Of The Universe”
Album: From Mars To Sirius
Start of the riff: 0:51

Everything leading up to this riff is off-kilter. Just when you think you’ve got the beat down, the band throws you in for a loop. Then, everything comes together in blisteringly fast drums and sustained, dissonant chords right before the most intense, headbang-worthy riff bursts forth. Guitarist/vocalist Joe Duplantier’s hoarse “GO!” is an invitation for pure, mindless, wild pandemonium. Reign supreme Gojira, reign supreme.

And that ends Bloody-Disgusting’s Top 25 Guitar Riffs That Make You NEED To Headbang! I have to give thanks to Adam Dodd for the amazing banner. Also, he recommended that THIS be the ultimate headbang song. I disagreed.

If you think a riff should’ve made the list and wasn’t on there, share it in the comments below!

Got any thoughts/questions/concerns for Jonathan Barkan? Shoot him a message on Twitter or on Bloody-Disgusting!



  • TheWayOfRuin

    Pleasantly surprised to see Gojira’s ‘Heaviest Matter Of The Universe’ as number one. That’s the song that made me a huge fan of that band. Once I go through the song, I realize it makes sense that it’s number one. That riff is heavy, yet groovy, and doesn’t let up til the end of the song.

    Now, if Gojira would just replan that Dethklok tour….They need to come to Seattle!

  • waituntildark

    After looking through the entire list, I gotta say that I am impressed with the variety of your choices. Encased in Ice is a song I’ve always dug and never thought would be on any list. Virus Jones is a sick tune from a band I’ve never heard before, and the inclusion of Pantera was make or break. Nice job.

  • waituntildark

    Also, the inclusion of Opeth and Tesseract was pleasantly unexpected.

  • Archgoat

    I don’t quite agree with a lot of these choices. Too much metal core for my taste, I think our metal tastes just differ.

    Bloodbath, I think there are better songs but they have several headbang worthy tracks. I would of picked headed for decapitation.

    No Morbid Angel – dominate, Entombed and no Celtic Frost.

    Some of these, even though I don’t care for the band, are good choices.

  • FatGod

    Much different tastes dude. I can’t stand half the bands on this list. The only song of the 25 you listed that ever makes me headbang is “Raining Blood” (would have been number 1 or 2 if I were to make a list)

    3 bands on this list are great, but I’d say you picked their more popular songs as opposed to their most “headbangable”. Pantera (I’d go “Slaughtered or Fu*&ing Hostile), Metallica (Either “Four Horsemen” or their “Am I Evil” cover) and Dream Theater (their heaviest song is without a doubt “Pull Me Under”)

    As for stuff that makes you NEED to headbang Dehumanized – Kingdom of Cruelty, Devourment – Babykiller, Cannibal Corpse -She Was Asking For It, Deicide – Sacrificial Suicide.

    One most people wouldn’t think of, but you could never listen to this and not headbang Primus – Jerry was a Racecar Driver.

    Just my long-winded opinion (I think I end most posts that way)

    • Kyle Candelario

      FatGod, have you ever heard “The Dark Eternal Night” by Dream Theater? IMO their heaviest song yet.

      • FatGod

        Just checking it out for the first time now.
        Pretty good. Very Technical. Slightly heavier than Pull Me Under, but not quite as good of a “Headbanging Anthem” (especially with all the Prog-Rock “Zappa meets Rush” style sections in the middle)

        Definitely a fun/impressive tune though.

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  • mav07

    I probably would have put about 6 or 7 of Metallica’s rifts on this list, but that wouldn’t be “hip” now would it.

  • mav07

    and where the Hell is Megadeath?

  • viking1983

    good choice of bands but seriously bad pick for the in flames song, cloud connected is the best song of theirs to headbang to

  • JonOfTheShred

    Holy hell Batman, what a horrible horrible list this has turned out to be. I wasn’t able to log in when it was new, but had to find it in the archives just to chime in and say, horrible list.

    Go listen to this:
    Savatage – Can You Hear Me Now
    at 2:39 seconds.

    That ONE riff is more epic than EVERY RIFF on this list combined. I feel like this list was extremely rushed – the only thing with thought put into it was the concept of the list, then you just threw random songs you liked into it instead of actually finding suitable riffs. I mean…”Walk” by Pantera? That’s easily their shittiest song.

  • JonOfTheShred

    Shit, they should hire me to write music articles alongside y’all as well, especially considering I compose horror music and would have put effort into my list. And to think, you guys dissed on ORCumentary as well, the joke flying over your heads, and then released THIS list? Sheesh

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