ARTIST: SacriFist
RELEASE DATE: 12 March 2016
COUNTRY: South Africa
CITY: Johannesburg
GENRE: Melodic Death Metal
Vocals – Dwayne 
Guitar – Sammy
Guitar – Wayne
Drums – Michael
Bass – Shaun


Okay… Let me start off by saying: What in the name of holy hell just happened to me? And ‘Please Sir’s can I have some more’? Have you ever been hit in the face with a military tank gun and said thank you afterwards? I did, and not only did I say thank you, but I got up to take another hit afterwards, and another and another.

The thing about this album is that every track makes you completely and totally prepared to take up arms and fight. You don’t know who you’re meant to battle and you don’t care. You’re ready. If the intro entitled ‘Enter Pandemonium’ didn’t give away the war theme that seems to tie this album together, then move along, son you ain’t prepared for this. Starting off with an overture accompanied by what could only be the distant sounds of firearms and muffled commands over speaker, then bursts into an orchestral movement of Dimmu proportions, only to bring us back to the sombre sound of ‘Tapps’ by The Hit Crew (Often performed at American Military funerals), telling the story of war and its inevitable outcome for so many.

Without hint or warning, track two storms into a full-fledged attack of the senses and so it continues with absolutely no mercy. Usually when I listen to a band, I focus on vocals first. And while Dwayne has a vocal ability that could slice the listeners lungs open and the sense to really use his screaming and growling range to its utmost effectiveness, producing that tone that one could only describe as demon summoning from the deepest pits of hell. I must say I was pulled by the sheer power of the production on the drums. Hoping to whatever mighty power there might be that this sound can be perfectly recreated for a live performance. And this is where my worry came in, but we’ll get to that later. Effects aside, Michael is a drummer who knows exactly how to tie in with what your heart rate should be doing at that particular time, which is exploding.

To accompany this already captivating pair, guitarists Sammy and Wayne deliver a dance of melodic riffs and perfectly orchestrated lead shredding, all the while Shaun on bass makes for an absolute and full sound and together they give opportunity for the listener to try out every style of headbanging in the book to every tempo presented. Brace your necks though, fellas, lest your head jump clean off your shoulders.

To be fair I have only one concern about this album, and now we get back to be previous worries. The production of it is so good and the different elements so elaborate that I’m left wondering if this can be recreated live to its entirety. I find myself sceptical where this is concerned. But I have no doubt that they will however put on one hell of a show and I for one cannot wait to see just how epic it is.

But look here, SacriFist has been around for a very long time. This is over twenty years of perfecting their sound. I’m really not here to tell you how brilliant these men are at their individual crafts. I’m here to tell you that their new album ‘Tyranny’ has the high production quality that we’ve grown to expect from Johannesburg. That it punches you in the throat. That the tracks being placed in such an order that it makes you feel like you’re storming the beaches at Normandy. What I mean by that is that somehow they’ve been able to tap into the human condition and what one would expect from being thrown into such a situation. You have your highly energetic tracks which to me symbolize the adrenaline that one would experience from being at the forefront ‘Fractured Reality’ and name track ‘Tyranny’ are perfect examples of this. There are the downright filthy violent tracks like my personal favourite ‘Random Violence’, ‘Abandoned’ and ‘Scarecrow’ which put you right in kill-mode, but then you also find these softer melancholy moments like ‘Death and Exile’ which if I just had to explain I’d say they are the last thoughts of a dying man – Thoughts of love. And then it finishes off with another orchestral orgasm. God bless whoever took creative control of the project. The writing and composition that went into it left no room for error. This album is sheer beauty, relentless violence and thought-provoking sentiments wrapped up just for you.


Reviewed by: Niki van den Heever (more from Niki)

Shots fired By: Sammy SF (more from Sammy)

Date: 11 March 2016

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