In the nanoSMASH song I link to below, my band plays the same riff throughout the verse. The most significant change is that my drum beat emphasizes 1 and 3 on the snare, and then it switches to the traditional back beat. The switch over coincides with a tremendous uptick in the song’s energy.
We allow the same riff to rock the whole verse and not dull the listeners ear by changing the drum beat. Emphasizing one and three in a beat seems to me more of a feature of classical music and sometimes heavy metal. It really does throw a change up into the song. Were I varying the beat but still only playing a back beat I wouldn’t achieve this kind of separation between phases of the verse.
Another cool feature of this song is accomplished by Reed’s vocals. For example in the verse where the vocalist discusses his perceptions being warped, maybe the 2nd verse, he staggers his lyric line out about as far as it will go. He goes over the bar line, so to speak. Instead of resolving his rhythmic line on 1 at the intuitive measure, he keeps it going so it resolves much later, keeping the tension high and exciting.