What rock and metal fan doesn't love a good RIFF? You know the kind we're talking about: those slow-burning, groove-friendly chunks of guitar playing that move entire mountains and can be played a seeming eternity without ever feeling stale.

Riff-writing is a case of "you've either got it or you don't." You can't force a riff; it just has to come naturally, letting the feel of things take control and steer the ship. Of course, Black Sabbath represent the most obvious example of what we're looking for with this list as they put the riff before everything, launching heavy metal, doom and stoner rock simultaneously.

It's truly an intangible quality to guitar playing where the reaction is immediate. A powerful riff speaks to you on a subconscious level where you can't help but beam an ear-to-ear grin, nodding along with the momentum, hoping at the end of each measure that the band will continue to milk the bit for everything it has before moving on to the next passage.

Now, scroll through the gallery at the top of the page and prepare to kneel before the Top 10 Rock + Metal Riff Lords!

20 Greatest Metal Riffs of All Time

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