This album is an absolute gem. Stuck somewhere between the Prog ramblings of DREAM THEATER, the precision technicality of QUEENSRYCHE, the guitar inspiration of Satriani and when the occasion requires it some very fine Heavy Metal riffing Michael Harris offers, on his first release, a tantalising and very professional debut (Sorry to have to interject here, but he's got a bunch of albums out already! - Alex).
Fusing Metal, Hard Rock, Classical interludes and some funky Jazz inspired passages "Worlds Collide" is a more than apt title. For indeed many different musical worlds do collide throughout the album. The title track alone revels in a hard-hitting Metal riff, strong melodic chorus and fused with a jazzed up Satriani middle passage. A strange cocktail but instantly likeable. Tracks like the heady "Wash My Soul Away" and "Mask Of Deception" and "Tears Roll Down" ooze quality and showmanship. Sometimes Progressive at other times raising the ante into some very fine Heavy Metal.
Harris is obviously an intuitive guitar player and song writer but he lets both sit comfortably with the other and none is allowed to steal the limelight and push the other overboard. And not content to write, produce and play all instruments bar the drums Harris's voice is reminiscent of DREAM THEATER's James La Brie and GREAT WHITE's Jack Russell this is none more obvious in the acoustic ramblings of "Myopia" and "Mandy Slang" whilst the catchy "Mr Strange" is a potentially huge hit single.
"Worlds Collide" is a professional and polished release that is really worth the effort. (Online December 30, 2003)