Slash thinks this is the heaviest riff of all time: "Not one band that I can think of has a riff that is as heavy"

(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Best of 2022: Throughout his illustrious career, Slash has been the architect of some of the most well-known guitar riffs and solos of all time. As such – and as one of the most accomplished electric guitar players of the modern era – it’s fair to say the rock icon is something of an authority figure on the subject of the “riff."

That being said, Slash recently sat down with Matt Pinfield of 955KLOS to discuss his new album with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, and took the opportunity to reveal what he thinks is the heaviest guitar riff of them all.

When asked about his favorite Black Sabbath record, Slash responded (transcribed via Ultimate Guitar), “The first Sabbath record [their 1970 self-titled debut] just had the biggest impact on me.

“Because, when you think about it,” he continued, “in the landscape of all the other music that was happening at the time, there's this one dark record that comes out that really created what you would consider dark heavy metal and created the path for everything that was to follow. And so yeah, that record is especially poignant.”

However, Slash’s affections weren’t wholly reserved for Black Sabbath, and he went on to reveal his affinity for 1973’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, the title track of which, according to the GNR man, contains a riff that's yet to be eclipsed on the heavy scale.

“But, you know, I also love the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath record,” Slash added. “I mean, really all those records. But the first one and the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath record probably had the biggest impact on me.

“And the title track, that breakdown towards the end of the song. There's just nothing that's ever come out that's heavier than that. Not one band that I can think of has a riff that is as heavy as Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.”

The riff of which Slash speaks, in all its bruising, sludgy glory, can be heard in the video above from the 3:20 mark.

In other news, Slash recently revealed that he has over 400 guitars in his personal collection, though considers his Appetite for Destruction-era ‘59 Les Paul copy – built by late guitar builder Kris Derrig – his number one instrument.

And, to celebrate the recent release of his latest solo record, 4, Slash partnered with Gibson for a Translucent Cherry-finished Album Edition Gibson Les Paul Standard.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.