Herfst was founded by guitarist Bram in 1999, influenced by everything from Iron Maiden to Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Septic Flesh, Carcass, At The Gates and Nevermore. However, the band faced numerous line-up changes over the years, thus failing to become one of the biggest extreme metal bands in Belgium. With 'Towards Haunted Shores', produced by Dan Swanö, Herfst finally hope to reach that top spot, something they actually deserve if you ask me.
Just listen to the songs on this e.p., they're intense pieces of blackened art, loyal to the tradition but ever looking forward. Opener 'She Dwells In The Mores' immediately smashes the solid sound in the listener's face with sheer brutality. It's a complex song, continuously changing in speed and incorporating brilliant riffs, solos and harmonies. So are the other tracks, with 'The Thing in the Deep' being a frightening piece of controlled chaos.
'Three Spells' shows a bit more of the melodic side of Herfst, which surprisingly makes it the best suited for a decent headbanging session. And since I'm doing a song-by-song overview, let's not forget to mention the absolute highlights, title track 'Towards Haunted Shores'. This closer combines all-of-the-above into a massive piece of blackened death metal, or 'necromantic metal' as Herfst describe themselves. There's also a bonus track: the awesome atmospheric black metal song 'Code Noir' (originally released on 'An Oath in Darkness' in 2012).
So in all, 'Towards Haunted Shores' is an excellent e.p. which could definitely please every fan of brutal yet melodic and atmospheric extreme metal. I know for a fact that Herfst can maintain the same quality on stage, I witnessed it before. If they can remain this steady line-up, I can definitely see a bright future for these guys. Yet, if they don't, it wouldn't even matter. Herfst can't help it, they have to make music. It's in their blood, which always crawls where it can't walk, remember?