Gauteng, South Africa’s Agro was formed in 1992 and issued a CD three years later that was called From Within. Rhythm guitarist David Kietzmann would die because of a car accident within a couple of years. The band added a keyboardist a few years after formation in order to have a neoclassical sound. Keyboardist Nick was born in Bulgaria. Phillip du Toit left for the UK in 1999.
The band’s big break came when the group played at the Wacken Open Air in 2000. The band was signed to Germany’s Armageddon Music for 2006 thus giving the South Africans distribution outside its country. The band and label had connected through another Armageddon Music band, Reckless Tide. Daniel Lambinon left the group during the recording of Ritual 6.
AGRO - RITUAL 6 - ARMAGEDDON
Ritual 6 is the sixth album of this band, which hails from South Africa. It is also the first one most people would hear because Agro (bad connotations) has been hiding down in South Africa until now. The medicine man on the cover should be a hint that the band is not exactly what one would call conventional. The music is a mix of thrash, heavy and progressive metal. The song Willowmore even sounds like Samael. Agro is not about copying what others have done before it. The independent approach is reflected through song titles like Tr333, Whizzdel, C7511 and B.D.F.P. The group’s heavier riffs are overshadowed by the ore technical and progressive touches, but the growls of singer Cliff Crabb maintain the aggressive edge. - Anna Tergel