Harris, Michael - Defense Mechanizms

Year of Release: 1999
Label: Heavencross Records
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:55:00

Comparing Michael Harris to the likes of Satriani or Vai is not entirely right, but at least you know what kind of music he makes: instrumental guitar rock. As it turns out, Defense Mechanizms is his debut album, originally recorded in 1990, but re-released with 3 bonustracks. So I find it hard to judge this album, as by present day music standards, this album sounds pretty outdated. Checking the small amount of information on the net I could find (check out the link below), it seems he has released 5 solo albums over the past years.

Keeping this in mind, you could say the album sounds as you would expect an instrumental guitar album from 14 years ago to sound. Nothing spectacular, but well played. No shredding solos or crunchy riffs, unfortunately, but in the early 90s that was not around so much as it is now (although I was not into prog and metal at that time). As many guitar players seem to draw their inspiration from classical composers, such as Mozart, it will not surprise you to find a rendition of Mozart's "25th Symphony" on the album. My honest opinion? Check out Savatage's version of the same part on their Dead Winter Dead album ... way better.

Frankly there is not much I want to say about this album. Late 80s / early 90s guitar rock. Maybe nice to fill your CD cabinet or complete your collection, if you are a fan. But I think it is more interesting and worthwhile to see what Mr. Harris is up to nowadays, as he can be heard on various Lion Music releases, such as the Jimi Hendrix Tribute or the new Vitalij Kuprij album. And he has formed a new band, which is supposed to be a prog power trio.

Similar artists: Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, George Bellas

Originally released 1991; also released by IMF Records (IMF 20001)

[This review originally appeared August 2004 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Defense Mechanizms (4:35) / Trans-Oribital Schizophrenia (4:54) / Mind Or Heart? (3:48) / Pychotic Biorhythms (4:45) / Classical Conditioning (1:32) / Eminent Domain (5:58) / Collision Course (3:54) / Tarantula (4:59) / Call To Arms (2:31) / Octavian: Heir To The Conqueror (4:36) / Wolfgang Lives! (4:11) / Through The Eyes Of Eternity (5:47)

Michael Harris - electric and acoustic guitars
Greg Martin - drums
Gary Rigmaiden - bass

Defense Mechanizms (1991/1999)
Ego Decimation Profile (1996)
Distorted Views (1999)
Sketches From The Thought Chamber (2001)
Hurricane X (2003)
Words Collide (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 28th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website: www.michaelharrisguitar.com
Hits: 1652
Language: english


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