Greatest Metallica Riffs


The Top Ten

1 Master of Puppets

This song, fade to black, Through the never, sad but true, and Enter sandman are my favorite Metallica Songs. They are my favorite band. I love Metallica!

Ok, I agree this is the best, but where's Orion! It deserves to be in this list, it's an epic riff by Cliff Burton

I can listen to this over a thousand times and still not get bored of it.

I definitely loved Master of Puppets, but the main riff in Blackened and Battery are better in my opinion... and so is the darkness imprisoning me riff in One and the die by my hand riff in Creeping Death

2 One

The Song is a masterpiece

It’s so damn heavy! - Userguy44

My favourite by miles! But I am a romantic.

3 Fade to Black

Disposable Heroes by far has the best bass riffs ever, but Fade To Black has completely angelic riffs. I cannot stop listening to this song for those acoustic riffs.

The music really speaks to me, when I hear fade to black it strikes a chord deep inside of my soul, almost as if the song was written about me, as though "Metallica" wrote the song for me..

Although Master and Blackened are really fast and heavy, I'd have to say this one wins it for me. It's just so amazing!

This is definitely the best riff. Master is also great, but the last riff in Fade To Black is even better. - JDoesIt

V 4 Comments
4 For Whom the Bell Tolls

This is by far one of the most epic Metallica riffs. The riff as a really evil and heavy sound to it. and you can't beat the bass solo at the begginning.

This is the best riff ever, despite I don't think that this is my favourite song... Forever FTBT!

5 Battery

This gallopy heaviness overload just does it. Period

this song kicks ass they shred the guitar with some kick ass solo's this songs should at least be #2

6 Enter Sandman

Kirk wrote this riff. - Userguy44

Personally I think this riff is a bit overrated


7 Blackened

unstoppable is the only word that comes to my mind when I listen to this riff

The main riff in Blackened is my favorite riff of all time... by anyone!

Have to agree! πŸ‘ŒπŸ€˜πŸ’™ Its definitely one of my favorite Metallica songs...Especially played live and loud with the drums! ❀❀❀.

8 Creeping Death

Not the most difficult and technical riff, but the main riff is absolutely epic sounding. - Userguy44

Personally, I think that most of the best riffs ever done by Metallica (songs like The Four Horsemen, parts of Ride The Lightning, a lot of Call of Ktulu) were Dave Mustaine riffs. But Creeping Death easily takes the cake for being the best that he didn't write.

The main riff, and the Die riff are the best that James and Kirk have come up with. - Intelligenza

9 Damage, Inc.

The riff starts about half way and is very cool

Amazing riffs in this song

10 Ride the Lightning

Oh come on! This has one of Metallica's most epic intros as well as one of their best solos!

Amazing intro, amazing solo, amazing lyrics... amazing song. Before vote for master of puppets or enter sandman, listen all this amazing kick ass songs.

The Contenders

11 Wherever I May Roam

Badass main riff, can't stop headbanging!

12 Seek & Destroy

This should surely be #1 or at least Top 10. What the hell? - truckturner

Riff before solo is Awesome! Sometimes I regret that Dave Mustaine has been kicked out of Metallica...

13 Sad But True

So simple, but so powerful as well. Love it! - Userguy44

It surely belongs in the top 10 list.

This song has the best riff definitely. I mean, this is not the best song of Metallica, and others of the first stuff are better, but the heavy riff of SBT is absolutely fantstic and amazing, with an aggressive solo by Kirk Hammett!

Metallica had never used drop D tuning before, but they knocked it out of the park in one swing with the riff in this song.

14 ...And Justice for All

This song has several riffs, all of them are great. Yeah the intro riff is nice, but I think the variation of the main riff that plays immediately after the solo is the best, and it's one of my favorite guitar riffs ever, just because of how heavy it sounds.

One of the best riffs ever... Simply beautiful

15 Frantic
16 Fight Fire With Fire

The verse riff defines what thrash metal is: crushingly hard, blindingly fast and definitely unstoppable.

The beginning riff is just amazing!

17 Don't Tread On Me
18 Harvester of Sorrow

Aggression, power, unstoppable, invincible, incredible. 5 words that describe how I feel when I hear this song. The clean riff in the intro and the heavy version of that riff may be simple but very very very powerful and pure heavy metal! Probably my favorite 'Tallica song.

The riff is awesome. Just like this song. Criminally underrated song. - Metarock

The world's darkest heaviest riff.

19 Orion

What!? This songs has the best riffs ever! Too underrated :o

Badass riff!

At least top 5

20 To Live Is to Die

Cliff all the way rip hetfield is a god because the way his guitar is on this one I mean just listen to it

Some kind of monster in top 10, sorry I'm just laughing.
Seriously, to live is to die riffs are the last cliff's riffs so that just can be number 1 haha

21 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

Which one? - Userguy44

This iconic metallica song should be at least number 3!

22 Dyers Eve

Smh why is this so low down the list

The most bone crushing end riff known to man

23 The Frayed Ends of Sanity

That fast riff that starts at 4 minutes just blows my mind every time I listen to it! I LOVE IT!

The fast riff that starts at half of the song is BEAST!

24 The Call of Ktulu

Leading up to the solo is one of the greatest riffs of all time to be honest

25 Disposable Heroes

The middle riff at 183 bpm is so damn hard. I am really lucky I play lead and don't have to play that one over and over again.

This song kills your arm on guitar, but its fun to play

26 The Unforgiven II

Reload is really underrated man!
This song along with the rest of the album is pure genius stuff!

27 The Small Hours
28 Leper Messiah

The riff starts halfway, listen to it - danimey

The riff that starts around half way through the song is just incredible, their best in my opinion. Don't know why they don't play this song more live.

The main riff has an awesome groove

29 Some Kind of Monster

So simple but really heavy and fun to play -

30 Memory Remains
31 Hit the Lights
32 Jump In the Fire

Why is there so little Kill 'em All on this list? I mean half of those riffs were written by Dave Mustaine (who is a far better riff writer than james or kirk) and they all sound amazing

33 The Thing That Should Not Be
34 The Four Horsemen

One of the best riffs in Metallica's collection.
Yes, Dave Mustaine wrote the riff, but remember he was a part of Metallica at some point of time. Unfortunately for him, this song came out first so he had to increase the tempo for the Mechanix.

35 Through the Never

Really simple riff, but so effective! Maybe not the best, but I think it deserves to be in the top ten.

36 Ronnie

Very good

37 The Struggle Within

Have you heard the riff at 2:56-3:07?!

38 Carpe Diem Baby
39 The Outlaw Torn

The best.

40 Fuel
41 Thorn Within
42 2 X 4

My favorite off of Load. Extremely underrated

43 Until It Sleeps
44 King Nothing
45 Bleeding Me
46 Phantom Lord

It's a toss up between this one and Whiplash. This is real thrash! Nothing mainstream or commercial, just 4 guys with a passion for shredding creating some metal anthems.

The main riff in this song just screams Dave Mustaine, This riff is what got me into the song and really Kill Em All in general. Should be number one with no exceptions!

47 Trapped Under Ice

A very underrated Thrash Metal Classic

48 Whiplash
49 The Unforgiven III
50 The End of the Line
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List Stats

600 votes
58 listings
9 years, 146 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Creeping Death
2. Master of Puppets
3. Damage, Inc.
1. Wherever I May Roam
2. Enter Sandman
3. Fade to Black
1. One
2. Battery
3. Enter Sandman

View All 4

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