Riff Playbooks

Riff Playbooks: Acrid Canon


The "Riff Playbooks" column is designed to make you a better player. By gleaning some insight into the technique, composition, and execution of these fine riffs by fine SH artists, you are bound to make headway in your own playing. We cordially invite you to steal a page from our books in order to expand your own diabolical playbook of musical wizardry (not literally though, the books are expensive to create).

Tobi Morelli


Posted — February 9, 2022

Archspire are arguably the most extreme Death Metal band out there. When it comes to speed & technicality, we’re hard pressed to think of a band that goes as far as they do across the board. Each member is pushing themselves to unthinkable levels of musicianship - or punishment, depending on what you consider to be the merits / cost-benefit of shredding this hard and this evilly. Either way these fellas are impressive, and that’s not up for debate. And though “Bleed The Future” is surely a marathon of demonic proportions, there are glimpses of respite throughout in which the members remind us that they’re not just shredding for the sake of shredding, but crafting an experience that ebbs and flows within its orchestration. This solo, from the song Acrid Cannon, by guitarist Tobi Morelli is a great example of that restraint that peaks through throughout the onslaught of this record. There are some lighting fast sections to be sure, and a multitude of techniques implemented, but this solo is anchored in its melody, and prioritizes that over anything. Whether they’re slowing down to let a melody shine, to set you up for the impact of another of their high velocity passages, or simply to give themselves a well deserved rest, one thing is clear: Archspire are in control of their dynamics, and they use them to masterful effect. Check out the solo below, and grab the free tabs here! Once learning this has you equal parts defeated & determined, check out the rest of the “Bleed The Future” book right here, we hope that you can see past the pain and into the glorious reaches of speed and technicality that Archspire have to offer. 

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