Get this crazy baby off my head!


Michael Harris

Michael Harris - Hurricane X - 2003 - Leviathan Records

Guitar virtuoso and head of Leviathan Records, David T. Chastain decided to take on the enjoyable task of creating a guitar masters series with his impressive lineup of talent at the label. David took the same bass and drum tracks and allowed these different guitarists to do a little improvisational guitar over them. While David knew that each would play differently, he found it very interesting to see the approaches taken by each player on each song. Some going straying from heir normal style altogether. Michael Harris is one of the guitarist in this guitar masters series. His skill and talent as a guitarist is nothing less than amazing. I've had the opportunity to listen to Michael on other occasions, and have to say that I'm very impressed with the way this album turned out. Michael takes his style to a new level, and seems to effortlessly throw himself into these songs. I noticed right away that there's a lot more emotion on many of these songs than what I was use to hearing from Michael. I love the approach he took on 'Prisoner Of Time'. I felt almost every note in this song, and remains one of my favorites. The tone alone on this track is killer. If you have ever wondered what true guitar virtuosity really is, then this is an album that you need to check out. Though I have yet to hear the entire series I can tell you the guitar masters series is worth checking out, because all of the guitarists at Leviathan Records are simply amazing. Stop by Leviathan Records website and see for yourself. The Rundown: - Lyrics/Songwriting:***** :Production Quality:***** :Musicianship:***** :Originality:*** :Over All:***** - by & © Michael Allison http://MusicDish.com/tgm

Leviathan Records is currently releasing the fifth solo record by guitar virtuoso Michael Harris. "Hurricane X" finds the Ohio native moving effortlessly through a myriad of spine tingling improvisational instrumental monsters. Converging a steady stream of influences from Steve Morse to Uli Jon Roth the disc radiates with unique charm and overwhelming dexterity. Coming to us by way of the Diginet Music Guitar Master Series where the bass and drum tracks are recorded in advance, "Hurricane X" allowed the guitarist to add his own improvisation of the top of the rhythm tracks. After serving duty in two successful bands Arch Rival and Zanister as well as his steady climbing solo career, Harris proves he is more than up for the challenge. 'Prisoner Of Time' is the first to leap off the disc with a wonderful sense of melody and dynamics. Running just under 8 minutes the track nails Harris' earliest influences from his father's Jazz texture to his mother's classical training. The same Jazz influence rises again in the gorgeous title track, 'Hurricane X' and the captivating 'Hot Nights'. Equaling engaging is the full-throttle metallic approach of 'Chasing Rainbows' and the blistering 'Armed And Ready'. 'Destination', 'Day of Doom' and 'Mind Games' sit somewhere in the wake to congested melody and symphonic overkill yet retain Harris' commitment to reach beyond traditional boundaries. © Todd Smith, The Cutting Edge

Local guitar virtuoso Michael Harris has been crafting quite a reputation for himself on a global scale these past few years, with jaw-dropping instrumental records that most could only dream about being able to pull off. This new collection again pairs Harris with label boss and long-time collaborator David T. Chastain, this time on bass guitar. Chastain and drummer Mike Haid recorded the basic tracks and Harris provided the leads and melodies. As part of Leviathan's Guitar Masters series, these same base tracks are to be recorded by several guitarists under the label's wing, each adding their own interpretation to them. Harris' is far from his usual mind-blowing neo-classical style, but no less brilliant. This time, the guitarist explores his passionate side with a set of blues-based, Gary Moore-esque leads that are as emotive as they are beautiful to hear. Highlight tracks include the woefully dark "Prisoner Of Time," the Iommi-flavored "Day Of Doom" and the more up-tempo boogie of "Hot Nights." Harris explores the gamut of emotions throughout Hurricane X, and this is one ride you don’t want to miss. This disc is a must for any serious musician to hear. © Kevin White, HARDER BEAT

Calling all guitarists, Hurricane X, originally released as Michael Harris' contribution to the 2002 Diginet Music Guitar Masters series, is being re-released through Leviathan Records. The Diginet Music Guitar Masters series has been going on since 2001. Leviathan head honcho and guitarist extraordinaire David Chastain recorded an album worth of bass tracks with backing from Mike Haid on drums, then distributed those tracks to a handful of guitarists. The guitarists then recorded an album worth of solos over the bass and drum tracks. (an album full of guitar solos - pure heaven!!). Michael Harris released three albums with his band Arch Rival before forming Zanister with David Chastain. Harris also has four other solo, instrumental albums to his credit. Michael fired up his guitar of choice (Hamer Scarab II) and attacked the eight tracks of Hurricane X. His improvisational skills are sharp and it shows on this release (he didn't do punches on any of the tracks). Michael plays with a lot of feeling, but at the same time knows when to add the right amount of speed and flair to his performance. © John Forgach, Slug Magazine

I've never been a big fan of instrumental albums. I always end up getting bored and wanting something with vocals. I do, of course, like the occasional instrumental, particularly the heavy metal kind, but people like Tony MacAlpine or Steve Vai just never did it for me. It always seemed to be just so much six-string masturbation. That said, I actually enjoyed Michael Harris' Hurricane X. Something about the raw guitar work and sharp soloing against a minimalist bass/drum backbeat (and occasional keyboard accent) really sucked me in. Using his Leviathan Records label as a vehicle to search out the world's supreme shred masters, David T. Chastain has once again brought us a scorching guitarist. According to the press release, "This CD was originally recorded as part of the acclaimed Diginet Music Guitar Masters series but all parties agreed that this CD needed to reach a much large audience and that could only be accomplished by a full fledge commercial release." The Guitar Masters Series features top notch guitarists "playing over the same bass and drum patterns but creating their own original recordings." This one is the Michael Harris version and his six-string work is heartfelt and absolutely ripping. It's both beautiful and scathing at the same time and kept me interested through the entire CD and I'm not even a musician! Perhaps the coolest thing about this series is that each guitarist lays his tracks down without the advantage of having heard what other guitarists have played. The CD insert includes a song-by-song explanation of Harris' experience laying down his guitar parts over each bass/drum track. For example, in talking about the album's first track, "Mind Games," Michael explains, "This was one of the toughest tracks to get a grip on, but using the 5th mode of the harmonic minor most of the time, I finally came up with a take that had enough cool ideas in it to be acceptable in my mind." Hey, I don't know about you, but I believe the guy. Harris also added a few keyboard parts, while David T. Chastain and Mike Haid played bass and drums, respectively. Whether it's slow blues guitar (Robin Trower/Stevie Ray Vaugh Style) or hard rock scorching, Harris' playing is captivating. This is good stuff, even if it's not something that I would blare out of my car stereo while cruising down the highway on a hot summer day. © Scott Alisoglu, Electric Basement

Michael Harris' fifth solo instrumental release, "Hurricane X", showcases Michael's amazing improvisational abilities and on the fly melodic genius. The son of two musicians, Michael Harris was born into a musical world in the Ohio heartland. Exposed to jazz influences by his father and classical music by his mother, Michael discovered the guitar at age 14. Along with many progressive guitarists and bands, Mike's earliest influences were Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, & Jimmy Page, and eventually Frank Marino, Steve Morse, Uli Jon Roth, and Michael Schenker. Michael got his first taste of musical success immediately following his high school graduation, with the formation, as what later became known as, ARCH RIVAL. The band went on to release two EPs and three full length CDs. The releases gained commercial and critical success in Europe and Japan. Following his move to Dallas, Texas, Michael joined up with long time friend, guitarist David T. Chastain and formed the metal monster ZANISTER. This band also took the overseas and US markets by storm with 2 heavy releases "Symphonica Millennia" and "Fear No Man." Michael has also continued to maintain a very successful solo career which is currently his primary focus. "Hurricane X" is Michael's most raw and free instrumental work to date. This release again shows Michael's amazing versatility and command of his instrument that few can match. This Cd was originally recorded as part of the acclaimed Diginet Music Guitar Masters series but all parties agreed that this Cd needed to reach a much larger audience and that could only be accomplished by a full fledge commercial release. The guitar series provided each guitarist with the same bass and drum tracks, played by Mike Haid and David T. Chastain respectively, and then each player added his own unique parts over the rhythm tracks. Michael had this to say about some of his favorite tracks; PRISONER OF TIME- This track was my quickest take. Sometimes the simplest tracks are the most inspiring, and I locked into this one immediately while just going for the "feel factor". ARMED AND READY- I took a lot of time with this one as to not repeat previous ideas, and ended up discovering a lot of new things. And I added the "choir" keyboards after the fact, as they seemed appropriate. DESTINATION- This was another enjoyable slow paced number that I tried a more subtle approach on by using volume swells with harmonics, open string runs, harmonic runs, hybrid picking, and ghost bends. MICHAEL HARRIS "HURRICANE X" four words that should once again prove to the world that this mighty player has few equals in the world of modern guitardom. © http://www.leviathanrecords.com/michaelharris.htm

Guitarist Michael Harris from Dayton Ohio, has been amazing audiences for over 25 years with his breathtaking axe-work. He is not a household name, but has performed and/or recorded with musicians that include Yngwie Malmsteen, Robert Fripp, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, and David Chastain among others. Mike's earliest influences include Ritchie Blackmore, Robin Trower, Jimmy Page, Frank Marino, Steve Morse, Uli Jon Roth, and Michael Schenker. During the 90s, Michael’s band, Arch Rival, obtained record deals in Europe and Japan for three albums, with all the compositions mainly credited to Michael. Since then, he has released several solo albums and has played on many more collaborative albums, including keyboard maestro, Vitalij Kuprij’s “Revenge” and “Glacial Inferno” albums. “Hurricane X” is less aggressive and more subdued than some of Michael Harris’ other albums but still manages to showcase his masterly guitar chops. There are many other guitar albums out there with more original compositions but inferior guitar. If you like engaging instrumental guitar with a jazz tinge and are not too bothered about listening to more innovative song structures, you will probably get a lot from this album. Listen to Michael’s “Defense Mechanizms” album on this blog and check out his great “Ego Decimation Profile” album which features the great Keith Carlock on drums [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 122 Mb]


1.Mind Games 6:35
2.Prisoner Of Time 7:24
3.Day Of Doom 6:17
4.Hurricane X 6:26
5.Chasing Rainbows 6:43
6.Armed And Ready 6:14
7.Hot Nights 7:33
8.Destination 6:14

All tracks composed by Michael Harris & David T. Chastain


Michael Harris - Guitar, Keyboards
David T. Chastain - Bass
Mike Haid - Drums


Michael Harris born in Dayton, Ohio is an American guitarist and composer. He is most noted for his work as founder and guitarist for rock band Arch Rival and for his primarily instrumental progressive guitar work. His later music is a fusion of progressive metal and a hint of classical music. He cites the influence of his father (a jazz musician) and mother (a classical musician) for his unique style. Harris formed the band Arch Rival in 1986 with Gary Rigmaiden (bass), Greg Martin (drums), and several other musicians. After hiring many vocalists unsuccessfully, the band found their niche in Michigan vocalist Steve Snyder. The group found a measure of commercial success, particularly in Europe and Japan via its first full-length album, 'In the Face of Danger' (1991). The band went on to release two more albums: 'Wake Up Your Mind' (1993) and 'Third Degree Burns' (1997), and a self titled EP in 2008. As Arch Rival's first album was released, Harris began to become more heavily involved in personal explorations of neoclassical and progressive metal instrumental work. These were primarily solo works, although sometimes backed with additional talent. His first solo album, 'Defense Mechanizms' (1991), was released to critical acclaim. Later albums include 'Ego Decimation Profile' (1996), 'Distorted Views' (1999), 'Sketches from the Thought Chamber' (2001), 'Words Collide' (2003) and 'Orchestrate' (2006). 'Orchestrate' is an exploration of a more purely neoclassical style than on previous albums. Progressive metal guitar heavyweight David T. Chastain partnered with Harris in 1992 to create a live guitar duo album, 'Live! Wild and Truly Diminished!!'. Harris formed a heavy metal band, Surgeon in 1995 to perform extreme heavy metal. Surgeon released its sole album, 'Encyclopedia of the Insane' (1996). The Michael Harris Tranz-Fusion evolved from The Michael Harris Project, and has officially been Michael's live band since 2001. Currently Harris continues to develop his neoclassical and progressive metal career in solo projects. Harris has also lent his guitar skills to Ukrainian keyboard virtuoso, Vitalij Kuprij. He performs on Kuprij's albums 'Forward and Beyond' (2004), 'Revenge' (2005) and 'Glacial Inferno' in 2007. Harris recently formed a new progressive group, Thought Chamber. The band's debut release 'Angular Perceptions' was released worldwide to critical acclaim on Inside Out Music in April 2007, followed up in 2013 with a concept record entitled "Psykerion". Michael also formed a new metal band, Darkology, whose debut disc, "Altered Reflections" was released on RAH Records on November 16, 2009. Their 2nd record, "Fated to Burn", is slated for an early 2014 release on Prime Eon Media.

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