Sacrifist, the legendary hardcore death metal band that destroyed, plundered, screamed and headbanged their way into our souls and onto our stages! Guitar gods, vocal beast, and drumming demon, some of the most influential musicians on the scene, the founding members of Sacrifist; Sammy F Simegi, Paul Verster (mentioned in part 1), Michael Kiefer and André Liebenberg. These guys were one of the longest running South African metal bands to date, with arguably the highest merch and albums sold in SA, but where they truly blew minds was on stage. They’re political and anger fuelled lyrical content and punching messages turned heads all over.
Started in 1993, they were rocking out, playing gigs and recorded an album without a label titled “The Tides will Turn” releasing a few years later. In 1997 they joined Metamorphosis and Jaded Jane on the “Agony and Ecstasy” tour, sponsored by Jack Daniels and Old Kimberly. “In a blur of hotels and motels, highways and byways, aspirin and a truckload of bourbon”, through the country, growing rapidly, said Sammy, one of the founding members, guitar player and composer. “The goal would be to not search for gigs anymore, for them to contact us and that’s where the headlining starts and such.”The same year Sacrifist joined Agro on the “Death before disco” tour, leaving a streak of amazing memories and chaos wherever they went. In December of 1997, they headlined “The Summer Blast SA tour” backed by Nuclear Records.
In 1999 they released their second full album titled “Liquid Seasons” and Andre Liebenberg persisted to target the mainstream audience and in 2002 Sammy F. Simegi, Michael Kiefer and Paul Verster reincarnated its original sound and heaviness with Shaun Moseley joining on the bass.
2004 sadly saw Paul Verster leaving the band to attend to business. Byron Meyers took over on lead guitar and it was in 2004 that Sacrifist entered the studio once again to record their most brutal, mind bending, heart racing album yet: “The Well of Sacrifice”. After Dwayne Coetzee was brought in on vocals, creating a unique sound that the SA metal scene devoured and loved! Til this day you will see people wearing merch and talking about the legendary Sacrifist.
2005 saw Sacrifist gigging from Pretoria to Durban to Nelspruit. Their powerful angry chaotic yet melodic metal had a massive reaction causing them to regain their original fan base and gathering an increasing number of new fans, not only locally but across the globe. The live shows had an ever-increasing amount of energy and are an experience on its own to watch. The songs online have had over thousands of downloads: “and Sacrifist is finally taking back the original metal glory.”
In 2005 Sacrifist signed a distribution deal with Alter Ego Records.
“The DestrucTour” was planned for early 2006 seeing Sacrifist and Mind Assault with many other companions rip across the country.
“2008 saw the release of “Surrealist Plague” and became one of Subterania Music’s best South African sellers ever. The band again toured, notably with Mind Assault.”
Today Sacrifist is seen as one of the biggest and most successful metal bands in SA history and is fortunate enough to be part of the headline bands at all major metal festivals across the country, clearly, definitely worthy of being called one of the blazing myths and legends of South African metal.
The one message that Sammy would want everyone to at least read once: “Support the local scene, treat musicians and bands like the business they are, gear is expensive and every cent the bands make, goes straight back into the band and people need to understand this. It’s expensive, even to the average metal fan, yet we still pulled through. We went through to watch metal shows whenever we could afford it.”
I asked him for some words of wisdom to rising bands: “Every band should go overseas, seeing it on videos is nothing compared to experiencing it, it is absolutely astounding, that’s how you make it. The average lifespan of bands in SA is about 2 years and it’s sad really.”
So, come on people! Bands, fans and everyone in between! Support the local scene! Give credit where credit is due. Let’s fuel the fire that is SA metal. – Henco