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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: Koen Herfst - Back To Balance


Koen Herfst has been playing drums for 18 years, and is probably best known in the mainstream media by his work with legendary Dutch deejay Armin van Buren, although you will probably recognize him from his work with I CHAOS, Dew-Scented, Epica and After Forever.

Vocals: Mats Levén (Krux, Therion, Yngwie Malmsteen), Daniël de Jongh (Textures), Valerio Recenti (My Propane), Marcela Bovio (Stream of Passion), Tai Stamph (Splendid), Rodney Blaze (ex- Xenobia), Claudia Soumeru (Bagga Bownz), Ward Palmen (Gunz N’ Rozes) and Eva Kathryn (US solo artist).

Guitars: Marcel Singor, Marvin Vriesde (Dew-Scented), Eef van Riet (ex-My Favorite Scar), Daan Janzing (ex-My Favorite Scar), Eller van Buuren (Bagga Bownz), Mendel Bij de Leij (Aborted), Remko van der Spek (ex- Orphanage, ex- Cilice), Leif de Leeuw and Wim den Herder.

Bass: Michiel Eilbracht (Bagga Bownz), Joost van der Graaf (I CHAOS, Dew-Scented), Johan van Stratum (Stream Of Passion) and Robin Zielhorst (Exivious, ex- Cynic).

Keys: Joost van den Broek (ex-After Forever, The Gentle Storm), Coen Janssen (Epica). Violin: Judith van der Klip (ex-Blaudzun)

This debut album can mostly be described as a radio-friendly progressive rock/metal album with various influences from the guest musicians.

The songs are pretty varied, and seem to be mostly a showcase of Koen's diversity as a drummer.

Fans of Dream Theater will feel right at home with this album, athough the song "Total Hate" has some RUN DMC influences, and the title track is straight on prog.

I like how he also uses some chiptune influences in his songs, which is something you rarely see in modern metal.

And while I'm rarely a fan of female vocals (sorry ladies) he does put some interesting twists on the female fronted formula, and I find myself pleasantly surprised.

Also interesting to note is his use of poly-rhythms and alternate time signatures.

It shows that the album is being written by a drummer, since the instrument really stands out, but he does leave the other instruments some room to breathe.

The use of synthesizers in his music is also interesting, and shows me that I need to listen to more prog.

Overall, it's not really my cup of tea, but I would recommend giving it a go if you like prog!

Tracklist:
01 Here I Am
02 Erase Or Rewind
03 The Kramer
04 I Don’t Need To Tell You
05 Total Hate
06 Back To Balance
07 Begone
08 1916
09 Social Junkie
10 Ghetto Cornetto
11 Now Is The Time
12 Siamese Support
13 Never Been So Wrong
14 Attitude Of An Astronaut

Written by Gijs de Wolff

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