Here are the 10 most metal My Chemical Romance riffs!

Guitarist Ray Toro grew up on heavy metal, vocalist Gerard Way has cited Iron Maiden as a key influence, guitarist Frank Iero is literally in a black metal band, and bassist Mikey Way…well, admittedly, Mikey’s primary influences seem to live outside the metal scope.

Toro’s metal background and Iero’s roots in punk and hardcore create a fusion of stunning, heavy guitarwork that underscores each song to create the unique My Chem sound that has made them one of the biggest rock bands of our generation.

Using metrics such as technicality, speed, key, distortion, chugginess and evilness, we created a list of the band’s heaviest riffs.

Massive thanks to guitarist and MCR superfan Jack Thundercliffe for your help isolating these parts!

  • “The Foundations Of Decay”

    A mere week after Ibaraki released “Rōnin” featuring screams by none other than Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance dropped “The Foundations Of Decay,” their first new song in more than a decade. With Way’s hellish vocals still in our heads, we were greeted with this song containing not only some of the harshest vocals in the My Chem catalog, but also a straight-up down-tempo breakdown.

  • “This Is How I Disappear”

    Pretend we’re not talking about My Chemical Romance and listen to Ray Toro’s isolated guitar tracks from this song. Be honest with yourself: That’s a metal song, right? The bridge (2:48 - 3:20) is particularly gnarly, and perhaps one of the heaviest moments in MCR’s catalog.

  • “Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us”

    The introductory lead riff for this song is heavy enough on its own, but when paired with the rhythm progressions of the second (at the 0:28 mark), it starts to sound downright sinister. The music video, which is based on a lower-iceberg-tier Japanese horror movie Audition makes it all the more brutal.

  • “Hang ‘Em High”

    Everyone knows the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho that features the iconic string sound we’ve naturally come to associate with stabbing. In “Hang ‘Em High,” there is a frantic moment where an already metal guitar riff morphs to recreate that sound (0:48), and it feels dangerous as fuck.

  • “Thank You For The Venom”

    On the Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge track listing “Thank You For The Venom” immediately follows a quiet, solemn “Interlude,” making this vicious opening riff even more of a slap in the face when it kicks in. Need a new tone for your morning alarm?

    Consider this. I would be remiss to not point you to this song’s solo (2:12).

  • “Vampires Will Never Hurt You”

    While already bad-ass enough in its original heart-staking, church-burning form, “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” took on a more metal tone over the years in the live setting. In particular, this thick, chugging moment post-chorus.

  • “Our Lady Of Sorrows”

    It makes sense that one of MCR’s most biting anthems is fast and dirty, driven by riffs that meld punk and metal flawlessly. Try not to headbang when the chorus hits.

  • “Bury Me In Black”

    It’s a shame a fully produced version of this song was never released. However, the raw grit of the demo makes this track’s intense opening riff even more abrasive.

  • “Boy Division”

    This song as an entirety absolutely rips, but one of the best parts hits around the two-minute mark with a beefy riff played under Gerard singing an absolutely unhinged string of “la”s.

  • “Mama”

    The last thing one might expect from a song that has an intro refrain inspired by polka and features vocals by Liza Minnelli is a nasty-ass breakdown, but that’s exactly what MCR deliver (at 2:56) in “Mama.”

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