What would metal riffs sound like without distortion?

Many of metal’s most iconic riffs have been given a helping hand from the guitarist’s best friend, the distortion pedal.

But what would they sound like without any technical tinkering?

One masked Dutch metal fan, Vaalvla – who looks uncannily like Billy The Puppet from the Saw films – has taken a handful of classic guitar lines and simply played them through his amp, free of distortion. No pretty acoustic arrangements here.

Watch the video below and see the likes of Metallica, Slayer, Slipknot and Pantera robbed of their sonic majesty, then ask yourself this: can you imagine a world free of crunching riffs? No, it can’t be done.

Vaalvla also records his own music, too – with distortion. Check it out here.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.