10 Best Hard Rock Guitar Riffs From The 2000s

Velvet Revolver's Slither for the top spot??

Velvet revolver slither
RCA Records

The 2000s was an interesting time for rock music. As the '90s drew to an end it was clear Britpop was over. Grunge had had its moment and metal and rap were becoming strange allies. The scene was waiting for something new to happen. Enter the era of pop-punk, nu metal and the indie revival.

This was the time when white dudes in backwards caps were channeling the intensity of Rage Against The Machine but singing about scoring babes. Across the pond British rockers were just as well known for their drug taking as they were for their romantic take on indie music.

Luckily there were plenty of acts waiting in the wings to carry the torch of hard rock through the decade.

Across the sprawling and loosely defined sub genres of rock were scattered a number of talented and innovative guitar players who gave us some classic hard rock guitar work.

From seasoned veterans to fresh faced newbies, these are the riffs that kept rock alive.

10. Last Resort - Papa Roach (2000)

The power of this riff was only matched by the intensity of Jacoby Shaddix lyrics. It says a lot about a generation that one of their most defining songs was a track about suicide. The lyrics were inspired by a friend of the band who had found himself in such a low place that he contemplated the saddest of solutions.

The lyrics aside, it was the frantic and alluring melody of the guitar part that helped force this song into the musical zeitgeist. It could have had a different sound entirely, however.

Bass player Tobin Esperance wrote the original melody as a slow melancholic piano number, but when the rest of the band heard it they felt it deserved the distorted guitar treatment. And thus, the track was born.

This was nu metal at its best. It was near impossible not to get swept up in the aggressive energy this riff had and paired with with gravitas of the songs subject matter it led to one of the most memorable songs of the decade.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.