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Koen Herfst - 2016 - "Back to Balance"

(63:06, Not To Do Records)


TRACK LIST:                             

1. Here I Am 4:33
2. Erase or Rewind 4:31
3. The Kramer 4:18
4. I Donít Need to Tell You 5:46
5. Total Hate 3:41
6. Back to Balance 3:50
7. Begone 5:19
8. 1916 2:22
9. Social Junkie 4:32
10. Ghetto Concerto 3:38
11. Now Is the Time 4:26
12. Siamese Support 3:45
13. Never Been So Wrong 6:39
14. Attitude of an Astronaut 5:48


Koen Herfst - drums, vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Mats Leven - vocals
Daniel de Jongh - vocals
Valerio Recenti - vocals
Marcela Bovio - vocals
Tai Stamph - vocals
Rodney Blaze - vocals
Claudia Soumeru - vocals
Ward Palmen - vocals
Eva Kathryn - vocals
Marcel Singor - guitars
Marvin Vriesde - guitars
Eef van Riet - guitars
Daan Janzing - guitars
Eller van Buuren - guitars
Mendel Bij de Leij - guitars
Remko van der Spek - guitars
Leif de Leeuw - guitars
Wim den Herder - guitars
Michiel Eilbracht - bass
Joost van der Graaf - bass
Johan van Stratum - bass
Robin Zielhorst - bass
Joost van den Broek - keyboards
Coen Janssen - keyboards
Judith van der Klip - violin

Prolusion. Dutch composer and musician Koen HERFST has been an active musicians for a couple of decades by now, with the drum kit being his instrument of choice. Perhaps best known in metal circles, his career so far have seen him have a go at multiple and often rather different genres of music. "Back to Balance" is his solo debut, and was released through his own label Not To Do Records in 2015.

Analysis. Herfst is a versatile musician, and this album pretty much showcase his abilities in a few different varieties of metal first and foremost. As the number of contributing artists may indicate, this solo album isn't what one might describe as a cohesive production as such either, but rather an album of left turns where the common denominator appears to be "and now for something completely different". An eclectic album in many ways, and one that due to that aspect also will appeal towards an eclectic audience, towards people that see variety as a great thing, at least as long as thid variety does take place inside a metal general context and framework. Hence we are treated to pounding examples of alternative metal, some with more of a grunge orientation, others veering off towards nu metal territories, other with more of an electronic metal or industrial feel to them. Spoken word creations closer to rap metal have their place here too, as does the token instrumental with more of a jazzrock general orientation. This latter aspect of this album presumably the most interesting for the readers of this website, alongside a small handful of progressive metal based escapades. As this album ebbs and flows in terms of style variations, it also does so in terms of how interesting the songs are in their own right. Some are tight, driving and intense in a glorious manner, others feel more forced and eerie, but none of the songs comes across as weak in any way as such. It is more likely a case of some creations having more of a limited reach, cuts to be treasured by the few rather than the many. Herfst contributions as a drummer are just about always interesting in their own right of course, he gets to showcase a lot of his abilities on this CD and I rather guess this is a least some of the rationale behind this production, even if perhaps not the most important one.

Conclusion. Albums that provides the listeners with an eclectic variety of material will, in my experience at least, always have a defined and narrow reach as far as regular music fans are concerned. Solo albums by instrumentalists tends to draw in a special segment however, fellow instrumentalists using the same main instrument, and I wouldn't be all that surprised if this has been the case for this CD as well. The above sentences also specifying what I deem to be a key audience for this production.

Progmessor: January 21st, 2018
The Rating Room

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