HARROW — Call of the Unborn (review)

HARROW — Call of the Unborn album cover Album · 1996 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Call of the Unborn" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Dutch power metal act Harrow. The album was released through A 2 Z in 1996. Harrow formed as far back as 1982 and released the "Fearful Awakening" demo in 1991 and the "The Rising Phoenix" EP in 1993, before releasing their debut full-length studio album "The Pylon of Insanity" in 1994. There has been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Johnny Fraterman has been replaced by Freddy Meyer.

"The Pylon of Insanity (1994)" featured a darker and much heavier sound than the more melodic and less heavy early releases by the band. That trend is continued on "Call of the Unborn" which is predominantly also a very dark and heavy power metal release with progressive metal and thrash metal leanings. "Call of the Unborn" is a relaltively varied album though, and it also features a couple of power ballad type tracks, and Harrow are actually a bit hard to label. They tread a fine line between the raw and heavy (semi-thrashy at times) and the more melodic and at times even progressive. The combination of genre elements works well for Harrow and the material is generally both well written and effective. You can bang your head to the heavy riffs and rhythms, but you can also sing along or marvel at the technical skills of the band.

Lead vocalist Frank van Gerwen has a strong voice and a passionate delivery. He mostly sings raw (yet still melodic) on this album, but he can hit the higher notes when that is needed. The original version of album features 12 tracks and full playing time of 70:18 minutes, so it´s a very long album. It´s not really an issue here though as the quality is high throughout. The Japanese version of the album features two bonus tracks (a cover of "Road Racing" by Riot and a cover of "Back on My Feet" by Vanderberg). "Call of the Unborn" is upon conclusion a high quality power metal album and it is fully on par with "The Pylon of Insanity (1994)" if not a notch up in quality from that album. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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