Riffs, like all musical artefacts, are objective things. That's why, when it came to picking the year's best, we asked you guys to vote for a winner - and the result might surprise you. Here, without further ado, we present the year's nine best riffs - as chosen by you...
The Black Keys - Turn Blue
It's been another stand-out year for the duo from Akron, Ohio.
Turn Blue has proved to be one of their most diverse and critically divisive records yet, but that's not stopped it from hitting the number one spot in multiple countries.
Machine Head - Beneath The Silt
The first album to feature new bassist Jared MacEachern, Bloodstone & Diamonds, certainly doesn't lack bottom-end.
The record sees Flynn and co in experimental mode, but Beneath The Silt's monstrous opening riff is vintage headbanger material.
Rival Sons - Electric Man
Scott Holiday has always had an ear for an astonishing riff, it's what first attracted us to the band back in 2011, but he's outdone himself on 2014's Great Western Valkyrie.
Electric Man combines all the things we love about his playing - the killer guitar line, fuzz tones and outrageous crunch.
Jack White - Lazaretto
Has any player developed a more recognisable style and riff catalogue since the turn of millenium?
Lazaretto sees the blues-loving guitarist draw on some psych and funk influences to craft another outrageously simple, but incredibly infectious ear-worm.
Steel Panther - Gloryhole
We're not sure that anyone expected Steel Panther to last four minutes, much less four albums and wind-up headlining Wembley Arena.
More fool the doubters, because they're still making us laugh and still pounding out whirling hair metal riffs, of which Gloryhole is a fine example.
Royal Blood - Little Monster
In 2014, Brighton's Royal Blood were the band that pried rock music from the tired grasp of ageing monoliths and put it back in the hands of the youth.
They've only got one album under their belt, but Mike Kerr has an intimidating bag of riffs and Little Monster is the, err, biggest...
Mastodon - The Motherload
The video might have got them in hot water with certain sectors of the press - does aping objectification equal objectification? Probably - but that aside Mastodon's The Motherload sits up there with their finest creations.
You guys obviously agree, because you've voted it into the top three with some margin.
Slash - Withered Delilah
Slash's third solo record (or second with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators, depending on your view point), World On Fire, once again steam-rolled its way into the hearts and radios of rockers everywhere.
Withered Delilah featured the classic Slash tropes and jammed them into a bouncing descending riff that's as much fun to listen to as it is to play.
Slipknot - The Negative One
The return of Iowa's finest following the passing of founding member Paul Gray was always going to be a raw one and .5: The Gray Chapter certainly lived up to that promise.
It's absolutely encapsulated in the The Negative One's riff onslaught. From the dizzying, demonic opener to the powerful chorus slides, it's Slipknot and their thrilling best.