Ravaya - Rifftard - (9/10)
Published on July 16, 2019
Those titles… This guy sure has a knack for inventing words!
George Tzavars “Ravaya” is the guitarist of Greek progressive band Need and “Rifftard” is his first solo release. It’s a fun and tasty instrumental guitar focused EP with drums, bass, piano, organ and effects surrounding his creative guitarising. This is good quality prog without any massive ego display and just enough inspiration to deliver 5 densely creative tracks. So let’s get cracking.
The songs are rich in inventive progressive patterns but have no shortage of catchy grooves and really playful leads, and this already shows from the first track! I love how multiple lead melodies are harmonized together into sweet playful ideas, nicely completing each other. Ravaya’s style goes from classic rock soloing to more technical stuff and even some very welcome bluesy influences. One particular aspect I love are his not too processed very expressive guitar tones. It’s all backed up by solid groovy guitar and bass riffs, and a very convincing drum section. I like that while the lead guitars are the main focus, the surrounding music has not been left to chance. The piano parts also play a huge role in this and sometimes add a darker dimension to the songs (see Tidiodaitu).
This all builds up to a friendly and very satisfying listen easily worth 20 minutes of your time. I also love the variety of the record with every song bringing its own print. The opener “Heartinos” and “Tidiodaitu” introduce the smart yet cheerful style of music but then the surprises start. “Barcelona in the Rain” takes the ballad role and creates a great nostalgic vibe only for the EP to go heavier on “Sobstar” but with more of a classic rock vibe and cool prominent organs.
I’ve known Ravaya’s band “Need” for nearly a year and have loved them since day one. However what this EP does best is spotlighting the potential of a single musician and allowing him a creative freedom that you don’t get when you have to take turns with another 4 people. That makes it one of the more creative instrumental releases that I heard in a while. Rifftard is now available on Bandcamp and Ikaros Records. Be sure to check it out if you fancy a solid instrumental release!