22-year-old metal phenom Luís Kalil showcases his reverse tapping technique in electrifying new single, Reverse Strike

Luis Kalil
(Image credit: Luis Kalil/YouTube)

22-year-old Brazilian electric guitar sorcerer Luís Kalil has debuted Reverse Strike – a new four-minute lead line masterclass for which he’s called upon Megadeth drummer, Dirk Verbeuren, and an entire symphony of six-string techniques.

Wholly befitting the track’s title, Reverse Strike is underpinned by its dazzling reverse two-hand tapping sequences – executed by reaching the right hand over the left hand – which are bolstered by Kalil’s sporadic Whammy pedal dives and scintillating ’board-spanning slides.

The tapping technique, which is on display immediately in the high-octane intro, sees the metal maestro navigate the fingerboard of his ESP Horizon model with the grace of a pianist, with a vocal-esque melody exploration preceding the Whammy-charged breakdown hook.

For the guitar solo, Kalil doubles down on the spellbinding reverse tapping motif for an extended fretboard throwdown, which also blends regular tapping, face-melting scale shreds and anthemic harmonized bends.

Of his approach to the tapping technique, Kalil recalled, “During the process of writing my first album, Insight, I was really into practicing four finger tapping licks with my right hand. But I quickly realized that would be very hard to balance up the control I have with both hands, since I had been pressing the frets with my left hand for five years already.

“Then,” he added, “I realized that when us guitar players use the tapping technique, all the fast licks are played on the lower notes, with our left hand, and just tapping the higher ones.”

Such a realization subsequently encouraged him to invert his hands, and set him on his way to becoming a reverse tapping master. 

Kalil’s chemistry with Verbeuren on Reverse Strike is palpable, too, with the pair’s energetic rhythmic interplay culminating in the form of a riotous pound-a-thon that pairs together a flurry of gain-laden notes and a catalog of bruising beats.

“Me and Dirk go way back,” Kalil said of his involvement. “He was the very first well-known musician that I worked with in LA, back when I moved here in 2017. Back then, he was part of my EP Boulevard, and we kept in touch during all these years. 

“Saying he is one of the best metal drummers in the world is just obvious,” he continued. “When I invited him for this track, he said yes and we ended up tracking drums and shooting the music video on the same day.”

Luis Kalil and Dirk Verbeuren

(Image credit: Press)

Despite the track’s release, Kalil revealed plans for a new album have not yet been formulated. Instead, he will continue to release singles, having found them “a more attractive way to keep my instrumental music going”.

Kalil’s debut album Insight – which he wrote when he was just 14 years old – came out in 2015, and was followed by Sunset Daredevil a year later. Kalil has dropped a string of singles and EPs since, starting with 2017’s Boulevard.

Kalil’s career so far has been nothing short of spectacular. At the age of just 13, he signed with ESP, EMG and Laney. Now, his resume boasts an Ernie Ball endorsement and stints playing with Steve Vai, Corey Taylor, Kenny Aronoff and Stone Sour.

Head over to Luís Kalil’s YouTube channel to check out his latest output.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.