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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Harris, Michael - 2003 Words Collide
Harris, Michael - 2003 Words Collide

Michael Harris - guitars, bass, vocals
Brian Harris - drums

It's a typical story ain't it. Musical kid protege, two parents who have music in the blood, kid tinkers in the school orchestra, dabbles with trumpet and goodness knows what else.. then discovers (whammo!), the geetar!! From then on in, life changes forever, kid listens to Beck, Van Halen, Malmsteen, Vai, and we all live happily ever after. Familiar story? Forgive my humorous dabblings, but a similar situation has occurred with guitar whiz Michael Harris. The talented six-string bender from Ohio has 'nearly' replicated my story to a tee, and by the looks of things, he's released more CD's than I've had hot dinners! 2003 sees the release of his latest CD 'Words Collide', and it's his first attempt at a full vocal album, all of his previous solo efforts being instrumental. Joining him is brother Brian, another one of those 'drum monsters' who some will remember from the 2002 Firewind album 'Between Heaven And Hell' playing alongside Greek guitar god Gus G. Musically, there is a good contrast between all-out metal, and those subtle poignant pieces which underpin the lyrical themes going on within the songs. Despite the fact that there are absolutely no keyboards on the album, the sound is surprisingly full of depth (must be the reverb turned up to 10 huh?).

The Songs
The straight-out metal tracks certainly grabbed my attention first off. 'Wash My Soul Away', 'Into The Spiral Rain', and 'Incarcerated' in particular set the tone immediately. One cannot forget the epic 11 minutes of 'Battle Fatigue', which takes us through all sorts of twists and turns, that by the time you get to the end, fatigue is indeed an apt word. It is compelling listening though! For contrast, tracks like 'Myopia' and 'Mr Strange' provide the offset, both containing fast acoustic strumming and a myriad of vocal effects. To send it completely off the cliff, take a listen to 'Prosthetic Brain', where Michael takes a near-jass/fusion excursion, the likes of Jan Hammer would be suitably impressed I'm sure. Surely different, but pretty good nonetheless! Elsewhere, 'The Cozmic Desert' takes us on an eastern journey, with a variety of influences contained within the musical mix, while 'Mandy Slang' takes us into the night-world of jazz clubs, such is the similarity.

In Summary
For an hours worth of listening, there's plenty to digest, from deep lyrical observations, all styles of guitar-playing, and variation in tempo from an extremely talented guitarist. It might not get you at first listen, but stick with it (as I did), and it will grow arms and legs before you know it!

Track Listing:
01 Shockestra
02 Wash My Soul Away
03 Mask Of Deception
04 Myopia
05 Words Collide
06 Tears Roll Down
07 Mr Strange
08 Prosthetic Brain
09 Into The Spiral Rain
10 Mandy Slang
11 Incarcerated
12 The Cozmic Desert
13 Battle Fatigue
14 Coffee With Mozart (Bonus)

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