Matt Heafy teaches the ins and outs of Trivium’s fiercest riffs in the latest episode of Gibson’s Riff Lords
Today (May 6), Matt Heafy of Trivium posted Rashomonthe highly anticipated debut album from his black-metal side project, Ibaraki.
While Ibaraki has probably gotten a lot of Heafy’s attention lately, the great electric guitarist still found time recently to sit down with Gibson for an episode of the company show. Lords of the Rif YouTube series.
The new episode – which you can watch below – features Heafy teaching viewers the ins and outs of Trivium’s most devilish riffs and offering some helpful general advice along the way.
Wielding the six-string version of his signature Epiphone Les Paul Custom, Heafy first dives into the title track of the band’s 2003 debut album. Ember in Inferno. At that time, Heafy notes, Trivium was a trio, so he sought to marry rhythm and melody in his guitar parts.
With this mix of lead and rhythm guitar styles in mind, Heafy also highlights his use of vibrato in the riff. “Vibrato is an incredibly useful thing to have, especially in leads,” Heafy says, “but having it in rhythm is also important.”
Next, Heafy tackles the intricate rhythmic inner workings of the machine gun as Suffocating view – from 2005 Ascending – before proceeding to Incineration: The Shattered Worldfrom 2013 Vengeance Falls.
IncinerationThe ferocious riff contains more vibrato tremors, as well as a host of high-speed hammer-ons and pull-offs. These accents, Heafy explains, are crucial to his power, a point he does quite effectively by killing his guitar’s volume entirely and playing it without amplification.
Heafy then swaps his signature six-string Epiphone for his signature seven-string Epi, and teaches Into the mouth of hell we walkfrom 2008 Shogun. During the tutorial, Heafy reveals that after he broke his little finger in high school, he healed in a way that helps him with some of the gnarliest stretches in this riff (and those in other riffs of course).
Elsewhere in the video, the Trivium guitarist gives viewers an up-close look at intense passages from Traitor (2017 sin and punishment), the title track of the 2020s What dead men say and, finally, the title track from the band’s most recent effort, 2021 At the Court of the Dragon.
Heafy says guitarists can “thrive” after learning these riffs and incorporating some of their many technical elements into their own playing. We’re certainly inclined to agree.
To retrieve a copy of Ibaraki Rashomonvisit the project website.