Sick Riffs: Charlie Griffiths teaches you the thunderous verse riff of Harbinger's Healer/Deceiver – with tab!

Sick Riffs #126: For your daily serving of tech-metal, look no further than Harbinger's debut album Compelled to Suffer. The 2019 release sees the UK-born quintet deliver 13 tracks of pure, unadulterated brutality, interspersed with tasteful injections of melody throughout.

Steering the ship in terms of instrumental melody are guitarists Charlie Griffiths and Ben Sutherland. They navigate the record's diverse array of metal subgenres with ease, deploying a shedload of savage guitar riffs in the process.

Griffiths joins us in today's episode of Sick Riffs to take you through the verse riff of Healer/Deceiver, the album's ferocious second track. You'll have to tune down – or up! – to drop C for this one, and you'll be working with the A harmonic minor scale.

Best of all, he's kindly tabbed the riff out in full – see below.

(Image credit: Harbinger)

Griffiths plays a Carillion Custom Polaris 6 electric guitar through an Axe-Fx II amp modeler and a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio interface.

“It’s certainly been an interesting year for me and the band,” Griffiths says. “We managed to get in a UK tour with our friends Nekrogoblikon and For I Am King back in January, so we’re grateful to have played some awesome live shows before all the lockdowns hit. 

“Following all the lockdowns the rest of our shows this year have been cancelled. We’re keeping things going behind the scenes though as we’ve been writing and demoing our next releases and have a new vocalist (unannounced) that we’re prepping and writing with. 

“Personally it was a little stressful when lockdown hit in March as I had to move all of my guitar lessons to online on Zoom and the fear of losing some students and income was real. Luckily the majority of my students have stuck with me and have enjoyed exploring online lessons with me. It’s certainly had a positive impact on my business and it’s great to know how versatile it is.”

Support Harbinger

Sick Riffs is a Guitar World video series designed to help guitarists affected by the coronavirus. Self-isolating players around the world have each filmed a lesson where they teach you one of their own guitar riffs, up close and personal. If you dig the lesson, we encourage you to buy music and merch from the artist or stream their music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.