Whenever you talk about metal, it always comes back to Metallica. From the loose groove of Lars Ulrich's drumming to the rapid pace of nearly every single song, these thrash titans have made an entire career out of exploring every single facet of heavy music that they can. However, if you had to distill the strength of Metallica into a single entity, it would have to be their guitar riffs.
Ever since the group's inception in the Bay Area during the '80s, James Hetfield was a practical riff factory, with every single song being a showcase of his technique. Sometimes they would sound bright, sometimes they would be twisted, and yet all of them fell right into place whenever it was paired with the rest of the band. Across every single album, there have plenty of good riffs sprinkled throughout.
Even though Hetfield gets brought up as the heart of the band, some of these riffs only got enhanced due to the others' contributions, whether it be Kirk Hammett or even Lars (yes, Lars) delivering his almighty wisdom to the equation.
There have been plenty of badass riffs from the thrash genre over the years, but these are the riffs that have enough punch to be an entire wrecking ball.