Welcome to episode V of my Metal Riffs series. This metal guitar lesson is especially exciting because I’m using a riff from a song off my first studio album, Apocalyptic Dreams.
The song is called The Epicist, and the specific riff has an 80’s thrash metal feel to it. There’s a lot of alternate picking with palm-muted notes.
Thrash Metal Rhythms
When I say thrash metal, I’m going back to the founders of thrash metal. This consists of Metallica’s Kill’em All album, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer (and several other thrash metal bands from that era). But this particular riff is somewhere between thrash metal and darker hard rock.
The riff may not seem as heavy because it’s in the key on A. So this takes a lot of bottom end away from the riff. However, it sounds more thrashy and gives the song a different type of character.
Metal Riffs V Guitar Lesson
I start out by hitting the power chord once; the open A string and 2nd fret of the D string. Then I take off with the alternate picking. I’m also palm muting those notes while picking. This gives you that chugging sound.
The notes after the alter alternate picking is where it starts to get interesting. I’m playing power chords but these are a little higher than what we normally hear. It’s an F and G power chord. To me, these notes have a Queensryche feel to them (older Queensryche, of course). And I’ve always been drawn to that sound, so I wanted to integrate it into one of my songs.
Also, you’ll notice we’re not just playing power chords. There’s some movement. This is a point I make in most every guitar lesson video. Especially with metal riffs. Don’t just play straight power chords. Move those fingers around a bit!
The Epicist – Apocalyptic Dreams
The Epicist is the last track on my first studio album Apocalyptic Dreams. It sort of stands out from the rest of the album. These higher chords I threw in give it a unique feel and sound.
You can check it out on iTunes here:
I was going for kind of a Dokken meets Queensryche feel with The Epicist. Those two bands were somewhere between the heavier metal (like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer) and the hair bands of 80s (Whitesnake, Poison, Warrant, etc). Dokken did the whole makeup thing but they’re music had more of an edge. I was really into Queensryche because they’re music was just amazing, and they had more of a Gothic feel to them. And they had created a genre of it’s own during that era.
Metal & Beer: Sierra Nevada Band Camp IPA
For my Metal & Beer part of the video, I’m drinking Band Camp IPA from Sierra Nevada. I’m fairly certain this is the first Golden IPA I’ve ever had.
Band Camp IPA has a lighter and more mild taste than the typical IPA beer. It kind of reminds me of a hot summer day hanging out by the beach, or in my case, my pool. It’s not my favorite beer; I’m not quite sure how I feel about golden IPAs. But as with most brews, it was worth trying.
Keep it Metal,
* If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s Metal Riffs IV: Aggressive Rhythms