Get this crazy baby off my head!


Michael Harris

Michael Harris - Tranz-Fused - 2010 - Lion

Michael Harris is a talented guitar player and composer that has been involved with such projects as the Darkology series, Thought Chamber as well as his own solo projects that he has been releasing since 1991. Consider Lion Music a leader in the genre of world Instrumental/Shred musicians as they scoop up some talented players to release some interesting music when it comes to instrumental. Is a challenge when it comes to listening to instrumental music for me as I look for melodies and different rhythm changes that can hold a song together or brake it. I don’t and I emphasize I don’t like a “just shredding” for the hell of it record any guitar player can do that, but creating beautiful transgressions on the guitar is a real challenge for any touted axeman. Mr Harris certainly has some noticeable skill when it comes to composing as you can tell on the intricate track “Wizard of Odd” when he willfully changes rhythm and the end result is an amusing piece of music as all the elements flow together for a nice tune. The heavier burner in “Seizure Salad” is something to behold as the fast moving leading riffs take over here all the meanwhile paying careful detail to the strings in which he strikes with wizardry precision. Transfusion is a common theme here as Harris is able to break his way out of a stable rhythm and never keeps the lead on a certain stale riff, the songs are meticulously injected with funk, fusion, hard rock and just plain fun. We keep the ball rolling with another instrumental wonder in “Nitrous Oxide Strut” who along with great drum work here provides another instrumentally challenged and stimulating listening experience. Michael Harris has ran the tables and delivered an interesting guitar project here which ranks along some of the best instrumentals in the genre all year. The range of moods and sounds can be described as a giant wall of funkiness, weird, beautifully composed and played from top to bottom in a state that seriously showcases Michael’s amazing guitar skills. You think this is deserving of some attention? Yea I think so. Go check it out!!! - Written by & © Denys: Ratings Denys 8/10 © http://myglobalmind.com/2010/10/17/michael-harris-tranz-fused/

Guitarist extraordinaire Michael Harris returns with “Tranz-Fused”. Leaving behind the neo-classical orchestrated waters of the excellent “orchestrate” Michael has decided its time to delve into another musical style adding another string to his already chock full bow! As the title may hint “Tranz-Fused” sees Harris step into the world of fusion, yet this is not your dull, sit back and relax soft fusion, this is full on fusion rock and pretty darn cool it is too. Joining Michael for the album is a stellar supporting cast of bassists Adam Nitti, David Harbour, James Martin and Bunny Brunel. Drums come from Mike Haid and Marco Minnemann and Bernard Wright delivers a keyboard solo on “Seizure Salad”. The music has a very live vibe with minimal overdubs and this really helps yield a great moment in time feel to the music. Melodies have always been high on the Harris radar and the new album is no exception, so whilst Michael can truly blaze when he wants to there is always a strong melodic framework in place to keep the most hardened critic happy. Highlights come in the guise of opener “Rocket Surgery”, the aforementioned “Seizure Salad” which has a 70’s Rush feel in places, the smooth character of the delightfully titled “Nitrous Oxide Strut” and the lush melodies of closer “Ocean Blues” with its almost quasi Hendrix/Frank Marino/Uli Jon Roth vibe. Another fine album from a guitarist who must rank one of the worlds most overlooked by the general public – take a chance and check it out. Rating – 88% © http://virtuosityone.com/2010/11/08/michael-harris-tranz-fused-review/

One track into this album and I'm already stunned. I guess my personal collection of instrumental guitar albums is reasonably comprehensive but "Tranz-Fused" is one of those gems that really got my adrenaline flowing. Lion Music described this music as 'Fusion'.....sure enough it seamlessly interweaves a variety of genres such as Neo-Classical Metal and Jazz. At this point in the review, the acute reader will have guessed that the technical level of "Tranz-Fused" is considered by this reviewer as top-notch. And indeed it's not just Michael that shines - one of the strong points of the album is that it is blessed with a stellar line-up. For example at one point in the album I kept telling myself that the bassist was as good as the bass player of CAB (Dennis Chambers/Brian Auger/Bunny Brunel). I then glanced at the press-sheet to discover that I was in fact listening to Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Gloria Estefan, .....)! The rest of the band includes drummers Mike Haid and Marco Minneman (George Bellas, Necrophagist, Terry Bozzio,.....) and bass players Adam Nitti, David Harbour and James Martin. As for Michael Harris his guitar techniques range from neo-classical legatos to Joe Pass-style string picking to the emotional cool Jazz / Bluesy melodies of 'Blue Shift'. His background is in Metal, though, and I think this fact is omnipresent throughout the album. Besides playing in a handful of obscure Metal bands, in the past Mr Harris had also collaborated with David Chastain, Vitalij Kuprij and Ted Leonard of Prog Metal band Enchant. Jazz, Metal, Blues, Funk......any way you slice it, "Tranz-Fused" is the real deal. Reviewed by & © Chris Galea Rating 95/100 © http://www.powerofmetal.dk/reviews10/michael_harris_review.htm

Michael Harris’ “Tranz-Fused” has received some stick for the lack of originality on this album. However there are many albums where fantastic musicianship often hugely compensates for the weakness or lack of originality in composition. Michael is a very underrated guitarist and this album is a great balance of jazz-fusion and progressive metal instrumental. He is assisted by great jazz and fusion players including bassist Bunny Brunel (Chick Corea), drummers Mike Haid and Marco Minnemann, and keyboardist Bernard Wright. Check this blog for more info on Michael Harris [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 145 Mb]


1. Rocket Surgery 4:44
2. Wizard of Odd 7:09
3. Seizure Salad 7:37
4. Blue Shift 3:28
5. Left of Right 7:04
6. Nitrous Oxide Strut 6:26
7. Professor Grunklesplat’s Math Assignment 5:30
8. Pathos 6:03
9. Prosthetic Brain 5:09
10. Ocean Blues 4:37

All tracks composed by Michael Harris


Michael Harris - Guitar, Guitar Synth, Keyboards
Bernard Wright - Keyboards on Track 3
Adam Nitti, Bunny Brunel, David Harbour, James Martin - Bass
Marco Minnemann, 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.

1 comment:

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