Reviewed: September 1998
Released: 1998, Independent
Chances are many of you have not heard of Harrow despite the fact that they have been together since 1985!! However don’t feel guilty, we never heard of them either. That’s why we felt a short Q-n-A with vocalist Frank Van Gerwen was needed to enlighten us.
Just who are Harrow anyway? “Harrow was founded in 1985 by guitarist Harry Wijering. Recently we finished recording a new CD for which you have the initial mix.” This CD has not been released domestically yet. According to Frank “the band is negotiating with several companies to get the CD released.”
Frank also cleared up this – what’s with Harrow (the band) versus Harrow Productions?? “Harry, the band’s founder, owns and operates HARROW PRODUCTIONS, a recording studio in Holland. Harrow (the band) records their stuff there along with other bands that Harry produces.”
So just where have you been these past years, who have you been playing with? “Harrow have played/toured with the likes of Killers (Paul Di’anno), Creep, Extreme Noise Terror, WC Noise, Running Wild, Rage, Gamma Ray, Iced Earth, Grave Digger and Fates Warning.” Quite an impressive line-up!!
Well enough of the history lesson…let’s get onto the CD. Simply put Harrow are a power metal / traditional metal band. There’s nothing Korny about this CD! Fans of bands like Iced Earth and Unleashed Power will lap this up. I suspect that the pathetic mainstream metal promoters in North America won’t touch this even though there is an audience for this style of metal. Harrow’s strength lies in their musicianship. You can immediately tell these guys have been playing for quite some time, no amateur stuff here!
The riffing is at times as brutal as Machine Head with double kicks that are as good as any I’ve heard. Most of the songs don’t stay as intense all the way through but are very varied with moody clean parts and abrasiveness. This is mirrored in the vocals as Frank is at home with clear high pitched singing as with more guttural sounds. All the while Harrow manages to sound progressive and doesn’t lapse into noise. The fact that this band has become so great over the past 13 years and yet has remained unheard of in North America is a crime!
May 2000 update: In sad news the band have packed it in….
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