Music Dorkery



Yesterday I attempted to clarify the meaning of the phrase “elephants marching riff” by pointing out some reader suggestions that, even if they were cool riffs, did not meet the definition for this particular trope. Today, I am going to highlight some of the reader-suggested riffs that I actually think do meet that definition.

Now, these aren’t ALL the riffs that you guys suggested… I’ve cherry picked some in the interest of time. (For example, a lot of you suggested various riffs by Chimaira and Gojira. Since I already pointed out that both of those bands are really good at writing elephants marching riffs, I’m not going to include any additional examples from those bands here.) So don’t have a conniption if your riff didn’t make the list.

And so…

Cannibal Corpse, “Hammer Smashed Face” (starting at 2:50) — Killer choice by Goro923. This is actually one of my faves…

Suffocation, “Suspended In Tribulation— kmfcm suggested this one, and it’s an excellent call. I can’t find the studio version on YouTube, but in the below live clip, the riff starts around the 5:13 mark:

Candlemass, “Witches” (starting around 5:09) — Ten points for Nathan for suggesting this one:

Morbid Angel, “Where The Slime Live — Great suggestion by Cameron Davis (and a few other people, but I think he was the first). It should shock no one that Morbid Angel do this kind of thing well, given that they are easily on of Gojira’s biggest influences.

Becoming the Archetype, “Evil Unseen” (starting at 2:40) — Nice one, Tim… this one is great because it basically evolves from one killer elephants marching riff into another killer elephants marching riff:

National Sunday Law, “To Hell With You— Good recommendation from Bubbles:

The Burning, “Eight Legged Omen — An excellent pick by Mathias Dødsgøgler Junge.

Thomas Pacey suggested the opening of Lamb of God’s “Terror and Hubris” from New American Gospel, but I think that one’s almost too complicated — I mean, there’s actually multiple guitar parts (not just doubling, but multiple parts), whereas I like to imagine my elephants marching in near-perfect unison. To that end, when looking for a good LOG elephants marching riff, I much prefer the end of “Black Label” (around 3:25) from that same album:

Thanks for playing along, gang! This has been fun. Maybe we’ll play again some times.

And by the way, if you have your own favorite metallic tropes you’d like to discuss, by all means, feel free to make suggestions…


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