AMIT RIFF – Riffeel

AMIT RIFF - Riffeel
  • 9.5/10
    AMIT RIFF - Riffeel - 9.5/10


Release date: July 1, 2008

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It is rare these days to find a new and obscure artist/musician who has an incredible sound to go along with his style of play and musical ability. One clearly hears the command he has over his instrument (in this case the guitar) in every track on the album. What is almost unbelievable is the fact that this is the debut album for Amit Riff and it took him ten years to write and collect material for it. It is basically a story of his life, the events and struggles he lived through-a transfer of emotions put to music. Now that Riffeel is finally released, Amit is pleased beyond belief. His hope and aim is that others will recognize his work and with word of mouth and the many other avenues out there to promote, he will begin to get noticed and his career can finally take off. After listening to Riffeel several times already and still wanting more, it is a very safe bet that his Independent status will be a short lived one.

Amit’s music is Rock Instrumental with Blues and Jazz motifs. Amit was born in Paris and began studying piano at age six. He then moved to Israel at age eleven and when he turned thirteen decided to make a change by switching to guitar. Looking back now, what a smart decision that turned out to be! Today he plays diverse styles of music ranging from Rock to Blues to Jazz to Fusion, with various artists in Israel. Going down the list, his influences are: Clapton, Page, Hendrix, Beck, Di Meola, Morse, SRV, Satch, Vai, Petrucci, Blackmore, Knopfler, et al.

A couple of things will be said about a song or two, but for the most part this will not be your typical review where each song is examined where something is written about it then. There really isn’t any need for it. Each track on this debut release is incredible, having a different but phenomenal sound to it. You just can’t get enough and the ten tracks are over before you know it-and not because the album is short in length. The ten tracks come in at almost 43 minutes. Eliminating the quick “Intro” that is only 1:06 minutes, the remaining nine tracks contain 42 minutes of additional music to please your palate.

What Amit does with the first and second track is really cool and clever at the same time. “Intro” as you can tell is the opener, albeit short, it sounds like it is recorded from a live performance and the way it leads into the second track almost gives “Self-A-Steam” a live ambience. Even though the entire album is recorded by Amit in his home studio, there is a certain aura to this album that gives most songs a live sensation, or feeling, even though it was studio recorded/produced all the way. Not to sound disparaging, the album is just one continuous and relentless wall of sound with no let-up in sight. In case that scares anyone (why should it really if you love guitar), that’s not entirely true, there is let-up once the album ends.

For Blues lovers the track “Down Blues” is absolutely killer with a correctly proportioned amount of Rock mixed in-just enough to turn it up a notch but not enough to make one forget it is a Blues tune. While it is evident that Amit’s forte is the electric guitar, he plays an impeccable acoustic that is used as the foundation to “Raawife” and layers on top of the acoustic work an incredible and continuous electric solo making it possibly the pièce de résistance of the album. Not only in this track is it more evident that Amit’s (electric) guitar work as a whole, but more importantly his solos are well thought out and done to the point where his sound isn’t overpowering or even done in excess taking anything away from the message he is trying to convey in his music. “Being Alone” is another tune where Amit decides to record his electric guitar over his acoustic and in the process lays down one of the most gorgeous sounding tracks on the album. The solos come at you from all over but they are choreographed in a way as to mesmerize the listener by the sheer beauty of them all.

While it is Amit Riff who is mainly responsible for the writing, mixing, producing and all guitar/keyboard work associated with the making of Riffeel, he did have some help in a couple of areas. The bass duties were handled by Guy Tuval and the drum arrangements by Yaron Landesberg, Nadav Bandersky, and even Amit on occasion. It should be interesting to see how good Amit’s next project will be considering how his debut turned out. The deciding factor will undoubtedly be the number of years it will take to turn out his follow-up (and sophomore album). Since Riffeel did take ten years which is quite a bit above the norm, hopefully Amit changes his thought process on the next one and comes up with a different way of producing the final product. There is nothing standing in the way of this new and awesomely talented musician. Here’s wishing him nothing but the best so that he can continue to give us music aficionados nothing but great music.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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