Dutch drummer Koen Herfst has caused me to rethink reviewing music. His debut album “Back to Balance” could have been amazing. It starts out amazing. The third track “The Kramer” is an amazing prog metal instrumental. I was excited! By the fourth track, “I Don’t Need to Tell You,” I had liked his Facebook page and was ready to sing the praises of this album. Then track 5 hit.
Rap. I FUCKING HATE RAP! The “song” called “Total Hate” is aptly named since I totally hate it. The music is dumbed the fuck down as well. Even though the next track was good, the damage was done. Things you can’t unhear. “Begone” was iffy. The verse vocal was like Tommy Victor of Prong rapping. Not good. The track “1916” is a math-metal dream though. It’s a shame this wasn’t an all-instrumental album!
After that, there’s the insipid lyrics for both “Social Junkie” and “Now is the Time.” One is yet another annoying commentary on social media. The other is a musician telling himself to go for it and be famous. I don’t give a shit about either and the music on each is lackluster. “Never Been So Wrong” is also aptly named. More rap-like vocals and spoken word. By the time the last track “Attitude of an Astronaut” comes, I am actually glad it’s over and I have unliked Herfst’s Facebook page.
Basically this album is half excellent and half terrible. I don’t think I have ever hit a wall in an album as hard as this one. It starts SO WELL and was so refreshing. I suppose if anyone reading this actually LIKES rap, you are all set. For me, it actually made me question why I put myself through doing reviews. I always have such high hopes for albums and to have one start so well and then blow up in my face, well it’s really disappointing.
Koen Herfst is a drummer so the drumming is always up front on the album and top notch. Too many guests maybe cause even more of an uneven feel. Needless to say, the album could have been really great but instead it shoots itself in the foot a few times. Not really sure how to rate this one, so I’ll just say it’s half great and half shit.
1. Here I Am
2. Erase or Rewind
3. The Kramer
4. I Don’t Need to Tell You
5. Total Hate (AVOID THIS SONG!)
6. Back to Balance
9. Social Junkie
10. Ghetto Cornetto
11. Now is the Time
12. Siamese Support
13. Never Been So Wrong
14. Attitude of an Astronaut