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Heavyocity Damage Guitars & Damage Rock Grooves

Kontakt Instruments By Dave Stewart
Published December 2023


Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 5/5 Stars

It makes sense that Heavyocity, devotees of dangerous, destructive, distorted brain‑crushing timbres, would one day turn their attention to heavy guitar. Damage Guitars (9.57GB installed) is a collection of 468 tempo‑sync’ed guitar riffs and effects, 192 matching bass riffs and a total of 528 guitar and bass riff bits and transitions (short performance effects). In addition to this vast assembly of riffage are 14 playable guitars and textures, mainly of the clean variety.

The samples were performed by Heavyocity’s Neil Goldberg, who in a former life played with the metal band Annihilator. Mr Goldberg’s guitars (he has rather a lot) include a PRS Wood Library, a Djent‑friendly eight‑string Ernie Ball Majesty, a Jackson Custom Shop drop‑A and an array of vintage Gibson and Fender models. These were recorded through a multitude of boost and distortion pedals and a variety of classic amps and cabinets, resulting in a set of textures which comprise aggressive heavy rock, sparkling clean tones and cinematic ambient washes.

Damage Guitars’ double‑tracked riffs are presented in the drop‑tuning keys of D, A and F#, which you can pitch‑shift to other keys by using the patches’ keyswitches. Played in a 85 to 110 bpm tempo range, many of the heavy guitar riffs have a matching unison bass line, so all you need now is a drummer (more on which later).

Taking inspiration from metal, retro fuzz tones, Rage Against The Machine, Guns N’ Roses and Slipknot, the heavy riffs consist of furiously powerful, rhythmic, low‑pitched patterns which avoid histrionic solo licks and shredding — instead, there are some excellent hair‑raising slides, squeals, scrapes and bends, and palm‑muted chunks and ‘riff bits’ you can use to construct custom patterns.

In contrast to this heavy barrage are clean, open‑sounding, chorused and reverberant guitar riffs, which feature (for example) simple, sparse arpeggios based on a low pedal note, understated melodic phrases and chordal accents punctuated by repeated short eighth notes. ‘Blooms’ use long delays, reverbs and modulation to create distant, gently swelling soundscapes, while clean FX and Ambient patches set up a hypnotic atmospheric backdrop.

If you fancy playing your own riffs, I can recommend the beautifully clean and floating ‘Tele Dreams’ and the rocktastic, brutally majestic ‘Distorted Clouds’. These playable guitars have their own interface with a three‑channel mixer for dry, echo and ambient signals, while the riffs’ interface focuses on sound design with a host of built‑in transformative effects. All in all, a superb, creatively inspiring guitar library.

It gets better: this monster collection has an affordable percussive counterpart called Damage Rock Grooves. Based on Heavyocity’s Damage drum kit, it includes a set of drum grooves designed to accompany the above‑mentioned heavy guitar riffs and bass lines — an instant, perfectly rehearsed rock trio for your next song or movie cue.

Damage Guitars $249, Damage Rock Grooves $49.

Damage Guitars $249, Damage Rock Grooves $49.