Raphael Olmos – Make Riff, Not War EP
Release Date: 06/05/2021
Running Time: 15:48
Review by Victor Augusto
Do you remember the first review I did for Ever Metal, when I became part of this beautiful team in 2019? No? It was a review of “The Beloved Bones: Hell” from the Brazilian band Dark Avenger, but wait…this album was released two years before I did the review. Why did I decide to do it? Considering that being part of Ever Metal was (and still is) the best thing that has happened to me in this world of reviews/interviews, I decided to make a tribute. It was a tribute for my dear friend Mario Linhares, who passed away in 2017. It is not just a tribute to a great musician; it was a tribute to a great friend who shared the same passion in music to me. Our friendship came from this passion.
During these four years reviewing and interviewing, I have made friends. Some of them became close friends, others not so much. However, the good ones really make all the work and passion for the music worthwhile, and Raphael Olmos is one of these examples. If you don’t know him, search for “Kamala” here, on Ever Metal, and you will find amazing material about the band. He is the founder member of this important Brazilian Thrash Metal band and we started to talk with each other after a review of the band’s EP in 2017. We became friends because I think we have some values in common. We are here for music. It is our passion and we work for it. No arrogance or competition, just mutual support to spread the word of Heavy Metal.
To talk about Raphael and his first solo release, I must mention everything he has conquered with Kamala. 18 years on the road, 5 studio albums, 1 EP, and 6 European tours that resulted in a live album, “Live In France”. Good, isn’t it? In addition, and more amazingly, the band has done this without any label to support them. As result, they have become well known in Europe as well as in Brazil, after almost two decades.
Of course, the pandemic that we have all been living through for over a year has hit all the band’s plans for now, including the new Kalama album, which is already completed. However, the good news is that Raphael decided to show off all of his musical creativity, whilst the band wait for the right moment to release the new offering. As a consequence, we can hear the instrumental EP “Make Riff, Not War”.
What is new on this EP? Well, it is 100% instrumental and Raphael recorded all instruments. Even the drums, despite them being programmed, sound great and that has helped a lot with the result. Musically, we can hear Raphael’s trademark Thrash style, but with the addition of melody, harmonics and well-structured elements on guitars.
The first song ‘Dealing With Pain’ starts slowly with several harmonies and ‘Jacaré’ keeps the sonority growing as the heaviness increases. It is Interesting how the drums and bass have a nice funky cadence that fits with the strong riffs and great solos. I feel the inspiration of guitarists such as Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, but with a good balance between virtuosity and the strong sonority that we are more used to hearing in heavy genres. It suddenly finishes, as swiftly as an alligator attack (Jacaré means alligator in Portuguese).
‘A Fake Leader In A Real Chaos’ is even faster and carries a chaotic sonority that the song title suggests. Again, Raphael shows good soloing alongside all riffs that have a more Death Metal feel. I liked the fast double kicks and amazing drum fills for this one. ‘Riffle’ follows a similar structure as well but offers more space for interesting bass lines. This song has riffs with a strong guitar pick, solos still have good structure and technique, but this time they are faster with more wah wah and whammy pedals, which is more connected to Kamala’s sonority. The closing song ‘Hope’ is a combination of the four previous tracks mixing harmonies and heaviness.
Music is our weapon and the Riff is a shotgun! In my recent video interview with Raphael, he explained that this is the analogy behind the track ‘Riffle’. Actually, that analogy, pretty much represents the whole EP. This release is the result of all the hard work from someone who lives and breathes music and guitars. A person who delivers music every day, even those days without concerts. Congrats, Raphael for everything you have achieved. It is this work ethic that has seen him endorsed by international brands (Solar, Evertune, Bogren Digital and Skull Strings).
Overall, “Make Riff, Not War” is the perfect example of what a band/musician should do to continue spreading their music. It is an honour to see a good, professional musician in my country, Brazil. We have plenty of good musicians, but few that are professional or hardworking.
‘Riffle’ (Official Video)
Link to my interview with Raphael Olmos talking about “Make Riff, Not War”
01. Dealing With Pain
03. A Fake Leader In A Real Chaos
Raphael Olmos – Guitars, Bass and Drum Programming
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