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John Harv's Twisted Mind - Into the Asylum Award winner

John Harv's Twisted Mind
Into the Asylum
by Quinten Serna at 02 December 2019, 7:22 PM

Coming from his work in, STORMZONE, John Harv has just managed his solo debut entitled “Into The Asylum” under the band name of JOHN HARV’S TWISTED MIND, an allusion and joke to his twisted and askance vision of reality.

The album in essence opens up with the eponymous, “Into The Asylum,” an atmospheric introduction followed by a Power Metal buildup segueing the way for the killer vocals which blare in completely altering the soundscape in the process. There’s a large shift in tone—though not style—as the next track, “She’ll Get You,” begins immediately following the uplifting medley of its predecessor and presenting itself on the waves of the bizarre. “Wolf At Your Door” has a melodious start which wraps upon itself turning to a torrent of speed and noise as the entire tone shifts to a more relaxed and classic progression—within the walls of the song the guitars are just as much a singer as John Harv is, having the opined voice of a virtuosic guitarist behind the strings. I believe that there exists certain topics and groupings that we as a species—more importantly as a culture—never truly grow out of, and by this instance I’m referring exclusively to dinosaurs as the conceptualization as a whole of unfathomably large creatures the size of land masses remains as interesting in adulthood as it does to the eyes of a five year old; writing a song about the king of non-avian dinosaurs who ruled for a few million years before the K-T Extinction is a bold statement and one of my favorite testaments about dinosaurs in general—“Tyrannosaur” has about itself a large build up before the lead fades out and we’re left with an epoch about one of the deadliest predators to stock the planet we walk upon. “Touch The Flame” completely changes the pacing of the album, which works as favor to the soundscape as it comes in at the halfway point of the track listing. A song of reflection it brings to mind the imagery of transcendence.

The album has the featured talents of a number of different session musicians who seamlessly make up the entire construct that is “Into The Asylum” with every subtle variance coming from playing style rather than audible tone or volume shifts. The guitars are crunchy, a bit on the lighter edge, and effortlessly performed with mastery. The bass has such a classic feel in its reach, near that is straight up lept out of the 80s and straight into the record. The drums are tight and in the pocket, no hurdles, jumps, or accidental ghosts anywhere within the record. The vocals are the centerpiece and key defining attribute of the record, full of expression and want they sound out in deference long after the music has finished.

The quality of the build is unmet and a marvel in itself, to those who are partial to anything with a classic feel or are themselves pure to Power Metal will find heavy fondness for “Into The Asylum.” The thrills and chills of the record continue long after “Beware In Time” has finished, the mark of something greater than the sum of its parts.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Into The Asylum
2. She’ll Get You
3. Wolf At Your Door
4. Coming Home
5. Hammerfall
6. Tyrannosaur
7. Touch The Flame
8. Heart Of Fire
9. Blood And Tears
10. Apocalypto
11. Beating Of A Heart
12. Titanic – Steel Meets Ice
13. King Of Hearts And Minds
14. Beware In Time (Acoustic)
John “Harv” Harbinson—Vocals
Peter Rondo Mackin—Bass
Graham McNulty—Bass
Davy Bates—Drums
Ryan Hood—Drums
Julian Watson—Drums
Andrew Baxter—Guitars & Bass
Keith Harris—Guitars
Steve Moore—Guitars
Shaun Nelson—Guitars, Bass, Drums, Keyboards
David Shields—Guitars
Frankie McClay—Piano & Keyboards
Stephen Prosser—Keyboards
Record Label: Metalapolis Records


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