Top 10 Metal Sub Genres with the Best Riffs

you can share you favorite riffs from these subgenres as some good riffs are less known.

The Top Ten

1 Thrash Metal Thrash Metal Thrash Metal is a Heavy Metal subgenre developed during the early 1980s and an early precursor of Extreme Metal. Thrash Metal features a faster and more aggressive guitar work than Traditional Metal with shredding and double-bass drums and can range from melodic singing to loud shouts. more.

Thrash metal riffs are good. But excessive uses of low E and A strings kinda annoy me. - zxm

Zxm observation is kinda correct but honestly low E and A strings don't annoy me. Another thing in thrash annoys me - overuse of snare drum (especially that simple monotonous hardcore punk beat). - Metal_Treasure

2 Heavy Metal Heavy Metal Heavy Metal music is a sub-genre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s-70s, featuring more distorted and heavier instrumental work and darker lyrical themes. Heavy Metal broke into mainstream success with bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica. more.

Classic/traditional metal riffs - Iron Miaden, Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Primal Fear. - Metal_Treasure

3 Technical Thrash Metal

Annihilator and Coroner riffs are awesome - still thrash but more intricate.
Annihilator even have songs almost entirely composed of riffs: Schizos (Are Never Alone) Parts I & II, Phantasmagoria.
Cool Coroner riffs - Absorbed, Masked Jackal. - Metal_Treasure

4 Melodic Death Metal Melodic Death Metal

Bands like Amon Amarth, Children Of Bodom and Arch Enemy have great riffs.
My favorite riffs from this subgenre are: Amon Amarth - The Pursuit of Vikings, Tattered Banners and Bloody Flags. - Metal_Treasure

5 Groove Metal

I mean some Pantera riffs.
I am not much into the riffs by the other groove metal bands to be honest because they replaced metal riffs with punk/core riffs or versions of heavy psychedelic riffs. - Metal_Treasure

6 Power Metal

Fast and melodic riffs that aren't very heavy but they are very technical. There are some differences between the bands but overall, power metal riffs are very good. - Metal_Treasure

Yes, power metal riffs are very good. More complex, more chords progression. - zxm

7 Death Metal

This is the ordinalry, old school death metal (it isn't technical, brutal or progressive) - its riffs are usually thrashy and most of the metal fans like thrash riffs. - Metal_Treasure

8 Progressive Metal

Progressive metal should be on top 3 in my opinion. Better technique, more notes, more strings played. Ultimately more chord progression. - zxm

Zxm is right - prog metal riffs are complex.
I have only one problem with prog metal in general, and riffs in particular - with rare exceptions, prog metal doesn't get my blood pumping but I insist on this. I know this is a very subjective perception and it's an individual preference. - Metal_Treasure

9 Black Metal
10 Symphonic Metal Symphonic Metal

Symphonic metal riffs are kinda complex. I think its more power metal riff structure based, but I noticed, symphonic metal riffs are very good. - zxm

The Contenders

11 Progressive Power Metal

I like Theocracy riffs. Some Blind Guardian songs are also progressive power metal. - Metal_Treasure

12 Stoner/Doom Metal

To put it straight: there is no better feeling than getting high off of shrooms, LSD, weed, whatever, and then being pummeled into submission by a wall of fuzz-laden Marshall 4x12 cabs all hammering out a slow, ominous, addictively bluesy ass shattering Stoner riff. Stoner and Doom breaks the riff down into it’s thunderous, repetitive core elements, delivering an oddly pleasing, somehow soothing attack on the senses. The bottomline is that if you are looking for the true essence of the riff, look no further than the overly loud, in-your-face, bluesy, non-apologetic sonic pounding of Stoner.

Bands I would suggest checking out are the legendary Sleep, Kyuss and Mastadon.

Elephant Tree, a relatively new band on the ever growing Stoner/Doom scene, is high on my list of recommendations. With lyrics depicting a non-defined, yet always present impending doom hanging over your head, pounding and hammering drums and one of the most killer guitar tones I’ve ever heard ...more

13 Nu Metal Nu Metal
14 Gothic Metal Gothic Metal
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Top Ten Metal Sub Genres Top 10 Metal Sub Genres with the Best Drumming Fastest Heavy Metal Sub-Genres Top 10 Metal Sub Genres with the Best Solos Top Ten Metal Sub-Genres that Usually Have Male Vocals

List Stats

14 listings
2 years, 276 days old

Top Remixes

1. Heavy Metal
2. Progressive Metal
3. Power Metal
1. Thrash Metal
2. Technical Thrash Metal
3. Heavy Metal
1. Groove Metal
2. Thrash Metal
3. Technical Thrash Metal


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.