The Weekly Riff: “The Swarm” by Unearth Guitarist Buz McGrath

Lucky you: it’s your chance to learn some Unearth riffage before the band’s new album is even released. Become the envy of your friends, the rival of your enemies, and the tag team partner of your enemies’ neighbors.


The riff in question belongs to “The Swarm,” the first single from Unearth’s forthcoming LP Watchers of Rule, which will be unearthed on October 28th. Regardless of if you loved this song from the get-go, or you had to swarm up to it, either way you can’t deny that it’s all kinds of badass. Unless you’re the type of person that likes being wrong, but you don’t look like that type.

Is it just me, or are long melodic passages like these somehow always more impressive when you watch them slowed down? It allows you to appreciate every note choice chained together. Besides, we’ve all encountered the phenomenon of how a finger pattern that’s on autopilot from muscle memory can suddenly evacuate from your brain when you attempt to show it off at one third of the speed. Want more melodic note jumping insanity? Then pick up Watchers of Rule for yourself by preordering it off of iTunes.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • This is probably still in their weird drop B tuning right?

    • Standard B tuning on a 7 string. They don’t tune wierd, they play 7 strings.

      • Yeah but starting with the 2011 album they tuned the 6 highest strings up a full step. Buz confirmed it on his Facebook later

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