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Raphael Olmos - Make Riff, Not War Award winner

Raphael Olmos
Make Riff, Not War
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 28 May 2021, 8:38 AM

There’s an extreme feature that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to everyone: the mix of bad emotions. Depression, despair, anger, loneliness, and many more are the feelings that tormenting people throughout the world, especially on countries drowned into the endarkenment of Denialism, as Brazil (a proof that fanatic religious people must be out of political matters). But some worked to make a positive thing into such hard times, as Raphael Olmos, the guitarist/vocalist of KAMALA (from São Paulo, Brazil), who used this energies to create “Make Riff, Not War”, his first solo effort.

In this instrumental EP, many feelings and ideas are expressed by his personal guitar playing. It’s a blend between a hard and modern way of playing, but with many influences from classic Metal genres and something taken from non-Rock genres can be heard. So it sounds aggressive and abrasive in some parts, melodic and tender on others, but everything sound actual, full of energy and particular. It’s not a sin to label such work as Modern Fusion. Ricardo Biancarelli (of Estúdio Fuzza) took care of the recordings, mixing and mastering of the songs of this EP. And to create something that could allow the modern approach to be present, but always in a way that Raphael could express his ideas clearly. Yes, it’s really very good. And the art cover, a pic of Raphael, is expressing all torment that Brazilian people is passing thanks to the conservative president of the country (an idiot elected by idiots that prefer to see people dying gasping for air than to see a LGBT+ kiss on TV screen, speaking frankly).

A musical exorcism of emotions, the songs of “Make Riff, Not War” express on their labels the internal struggle of many on this time. “Dealing With Pain” is an intro with a deep and introspective ambience, with a clear melodic appeal. A strong South American Groove with an abrasive approach is heard on the riffs of “Jacaré” (it’s a reptile that can be said as Brazilian alligator, and the title is another joke, because the Brazilian ‘mad-sident’ told that those who took the COVID-19 vaccine couldn’t blame him if would be turned into a ‘jacaré’. Well, what could you expect from a mindless idiot who still defends the use of Cloroquine to prevent COVID-19?), and “A Fake Leader in a Real Chaos” (where contrasts between an aggressive energy and very good melodies, and even some Progressive touches can be heard). “Riffle” is aggressive and nasty, but filled with very good arrangements, and “Hope” keeps the aggressive insight, but with a positive feeling coming from its harmonies (may hope for a better future, because next year, this ass-sucker president will be fired, and his followers will be sent back to the shit from where they came from).

As final words, it must be said that “Make Riff, Not War” is not only a very good release (and hope it will not be the only one), but can teach one how to deal with the emotions in these difficult days. Oh, you can hear the EP on the following platforms:

Spotify: http://


Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

5 Star Rating

1. Dealing With Pain
2. Jacaré
3. A Fake Leader in a Real Chaos
4. Riffle
5. Hope
Raphael Olmos - Guitars, Bass, Programmed Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 28 January 2023

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