Michael Harris (guitarist)

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Michael Harris
Michael Harris.jpg
Background information
Origin Dayton, Ohio, United States
Genres Progressive, neoclassical, Heavy metal, Jazz, Fusion
Occupations Musician, educator
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1986–present
Labels Lion Music, InsideOut Music, Imminent Music Force, Roadrunner Records, Massacre Records, Leviathan Records
Website michaelharrisguitar.com

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.

Arch Rival[edit]

Harris formed the band 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.

Solo work[edit]

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.

Additional projects[edit]

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.


Solo Albums[edit]

  • 1991 Defense Mechanizms
  • 1992 Live! Wild and Truly Diminished!! (split album with David T. Chastain)
  • 1996 Ego Decimation Profile
  • 1999 Distorted Views
  • 2001 Sketches from the Thought Chamber
  • 2003 Words Collide
  • 2003 Hurricane X
  • 2006 Orchestrate
  • 2010 Tranz-Fused

Albums with Leather[edit]

  • 1989 Shock Waves

Albums with Arch Rival[edit]

  • 1986 God Bless America (EP)
  • 1989 There Is No Escape (EP)
  • 1991 In the Face of Danger
  • 1993 Wake Up Your Mind
  • 1997 Third Degree Burns
  • 2008 Arch Rival (EP)
  • 2009 In the Face of Danger (re-release CD+DVD)

Albums with Surgeon[edit]

  • 1996 Encyclopedia of the Insane

Albums with Zanister[edit]

  • 1999 Symphonica Millennia
  • 2001 Fear No Man

Albums with Vitalij Kuprij[edit]

  • 2004 Forward and Beyond
  • 2005 Revenge
  • 2007 Glacial Inferno

Albums with Thought Chamber[edit]

Albums with Darkology[edit]

  • 2009 Altered Reflections
  • 2014 Fated to Burn


External links[edit]