Formed in: 1992
Releases: Six full length albums (CDs) – From Within, Eyes, The Tree, Fourthcoming, Gouda Than Hell, Ritual 6
Tours: Various South African Club Tours, South African Tour with Mortification, Germany Tour with Sucking Leech (Ger) and INCH (Ger) in 2000, Botswana Tour with Metal Orizon (Botswana) and Rhutz (Botswana), South African Club Tour with Nocturnal Rites
Festivals: Wacken Open Air 2000 (Germany), Woodstock (Pretoria & Port Elizabeth), Co-Headliners at Oppi Koppi, Co-Headliners at Witchfest Festival, Headliners at Rock Against HIV (Botswana), Headliners at MotherFudd Festival 2004/5 (South Africa), Headlining the Rock Against Drugs, Headliners at the Helloween Blue Moon Metal Festival in South Africa 2004/5, plus many local Charity events.
Concerts: AGRO played over 500 shows in their career. They have played concerts with bands like: NOCTURNAL RITES Guitarist (Fredrick Mannberg), SEETHER (Saron Gas), MORTIFICATION, Groinchurn, Metal-Morphosis, Retribution Denied, Misericord, Tyburn, Jo Day, Sacrafist, Shadowlord, Sacraphyx, Titus, Metal Orizon, and many more.
Sales: AGRO has sold roughly 10.000 albums in South Africa alone, with many mail orders from around the world. (due to NOT having any distribution anywhere else in the world)
Videos: Three video clips were produced. “Lean on me” off their first Album – FROM WITHIN. “The Price” off their 4th Album – FORTHCOMING, “The Riddle” from their fun Album – GOUDA THAN HELL. There is also concert and new studio footage which will soon be edited for a video for their latest album “Ritual 6”.
TV / Radio: Appearances on South African National TV and Pay TV, Botswana Pay TV, AGRO have also played on live South African Television as well as a 1 hr live Radio broadcast concert with a studio audience on 5fm, Other Radio Stations such as TUKS FM, RSG and other community stations also give AGRO airplay.
2. Carpe Diem
3. 10 x Over
4. Time Heals Old Wounds
9. The Crimson Sea
11. A Place Of Healing
Cliff Crabb – Vocals
Shane Pennicott – Guitars
Nick Vassilev – Keyboards
Robert Riebler – Bass
Grant Merricks - Drums
1992 saw the birth of SOUTH AFRICAN metal band AGRO.
Of the original line-up 3 members remain.
Originally a 5 piece outfit, the band expanded to include a keyboard player.
This has added a new dimension to their already powerful lineup.
Musical style: Originally a Thrash Metal band the band has matured to a unique technical and Melodic Thrash Metal band whose roots remain engrained in traditional Heavy Metal.
Rock Hard Magazine describes them as Neo-Classical Thrash Metal.
Lyrics: Their lyrics give a voice to the criminal aspects of the society in which they live and yet they manage to balance it out with lighter hedonistic songs.
On stage: On stage the band comes to life as their talents and personalities come to the fore. They are renouned for their showmanship and professionalism on and off stage.
They are natural entertainers in the true sense.
AGRO exploded on to the South African underground music scene with the Independent release of their first album „From Within“ in 1995. The song „Lean On Me“ reached number 7 on local radio station 5FM’s International Modern Rock Chart. A music video of this song was also released and aired on South African TV networks.
The Album „Eyes“ was launched to over 800 people in 1997 and it is believed to be the biggest CD launch to have taken place at that time in Johannesburg South Africa according to radio DJ Phil Wright (5fm). The song „Reason For War“ again reached number 7 on the International Rock Chart.
At the end of 1999 saw the release of „The Tree“ and was the finest heavy metal album to be released within South African borders at that time. It has received top reviews from around the world.
Ie Rock Hard Magazine in Germany who honored it with an 8 out of 10 rating.
The song „Life“ reached number 12 on the Romanian Rock Charts as well as number 7 again on the South African Rock Charts.
It was time to try get themselves known around the world, and a small Germany Club Tour followed.
Undoubtedly the highlight of their career was the appearance at WACKEN OPEN AIR in 2000 where they, as guests of WOA (to try and establish some new contacts), were attending and got the news that they could take IMMOLATION‘s time slot on Saturday as they had cancelled on short notice. The concert was a great success for them after having already mingled with fans who then supported them as they took to the ‚Black Metal Stage‘.
They also received an astounding review of the show from popular websites such as „BRIGHT EYES“ in Germany.
Unfortunately due to financial constraints they were unable to follow up with another Germany Tour, but Cliff and Shane visited WOA every year since then to rub shoulders with influential people and notify our new found friends and fans about our progress.
After Germany AGRO was invited by Botswanaian Government Officials to play at their International AIDS Awareness Day concert „ROCK AGAINST HIV“ on December 1st 2000 and were invited back to play again in the years that followed.
In 2001 Agro followed up from „THE TREE“ with the release of „FORTHCOMING“ which also got great reviews in „BRIGHT EYES“ getting a rating of 8 out of 11 and where it was mentioned that in was time AGRO got recognition from a major label to help introduce them to the rest of the world.
…Appearing on the Album is none other than NOCTURNAL RITES front man Jonny Lindqvist who sings in the TWISTED SISTER cover version of „THE PRICE“.
2002 saw the release of their 10th anniversary fun album „GOUDA THAN HELL“. In which they cover songs from EUROPE to ANTHRAX with an AGRO twist. This is still receiving a lot of radio play on South African National and Community radio stations.
AGRO has had to face many challenges including the passing of their original Rythmn guitarist in 1997 and the departure of their original bassist in 1998 and more recently their Rythmn Guitarist who graciously bowed out of the band before the recording of „Ritual 6“.
Having overcome some of these and many other hurdles and having done and released everything independantly without the assistance of any labels, financial or otherwise…..
AGRO are still the forerunners of Heavy Metal in South Africa.