KoenA solo album by Dew Scented’s drummer Koen Herfst – a solo album by a Metal Drummer! Yes indeed – Prepare yourselves readers for a review full of Flams and Paradiddles (or indeed standard Diddles!). We can analyse Rim Shots, Splashes and Tom resonances, oh yes we can…maybe also talk about holding your stick with the French Grip or polishing your Cymbal’s Bell without giggling – Oh the FUN we could have!

But then all that is quickly scuppered by the fact that this is a collection of actual songs, co-written by Herfst with the assistance of some of the cream of Dutch Metal musicians (and further afield too), contributing their talents for the good of the material that some of them have also co-written. Not an album of endless drum solos then…hmm…probably for the best if I’m honest.

Musically there’s plenty to interest fans of Koen’s band Dew Scented (as you might expect), and the Modern Metal feel of many of the tracks dips into everything from Hatesphere or The Haunted, through to Shadows Fall and God Forbid. Most vocal tracks are actually clean sung though, and among the contributors Mats Leven does a great job (as you would expect) on ‘Erase Or Rewind’, and duets with Stream Of Passion’s Marcela Bovio on ‘I Don’t Need To Tell You’, giving the track a large essence of Therion. Daniel De Jongh of Textures flexes his lungs admirably on ‘Here I Am’, and Valerio Recenti (My Propane) does an equally good job on ‘Attitude Of An Astronaut’ and ‘Begone’. These are all more than decent tracks in their own right, but sometimes personal taste can’t be ignored and I’m afraid the Hip-hop crossover of ‘Total Hate’ and the overly Metalcore feel of ‘Social Junkie’ just aren’t my thing at all.

But let’s not forget that this is a drummer’s solo album, and there are plenty of instrumentals where his considerable talent is even more in evidence, punctuating guest performances by the likes of Marcel Singor, Leif de Leeuw, Mendel Bij de Leij (Aborted) and Wim den Herder amongst others. It probably goes without saying that the drumming throughout is awesome…but it should be said anyway…so I have – and really, that’s the point isn’t it? In a way there are probably two main reasons to listen to this album – if you are a fan of Dew Scented and if you are a fan of great drumming…or both. And if you are either (or both), you won’t be disappointed. The songs in a way are secondary, the guests are an added bonus. This is one man’s vision of how his solo album should sound – he just happens to be a drummer, and a bloody good one too! He just employed a few stringers and singers to make it more appealing – job done.

(7/10 Andy Barker)