by Baby Barnes
If you’re into Death Metal, a South African band that comes highly recommended on my list – arguably the best – hailing at the number one spot is The Fallen Prophets.
Founded in 2011 and officially launched in 2014, crime, horror, serial killers and “good fucking groove” is what makes this 4-piece so skull crushing and deadly. The Fallen Prophets have ‘undertaken an oath with death itself, belting out notions of malcontent, catastrophe, decay and relentless fury that together fester on the pillars of Death Metal.’
Two line-up changes carved this death trap into the final vicious four: Pieter Pieterse (vocals & guitar), Francois van der Merwe (backing vocals & guitar), Wian Bester (bass) and Cole Grainger (on drums.)
Easily identifiable trademarks of this band is the relentless drumming (almost mimicking a machine gun), impressive timing signatures; two vocalists harmonizing each other with extreme highs and lows from the very depths of hell; an ass-whipping bass tone; intense (often melodic) riffage and of course, their bodies covered in blood.
A live aspect I admire most is how the two guitarists – whilst hurling out hellish riffs – windmill and spew old school death vocals at the same time, perfectly in sync just like their idols and kings of extreme death metal, Dying Fetus. Now that these two bands will finally play at the same international festival, it really brings a sense of pride & joy knowing that I was right about these guys! It’s the kind of brutal death that gives you goosebumps and it’s not because the riffs are “pretty.”
I am fortunate having watched this band grow from strength to strength, from seeing their very first local (pub) gig to performing with them (as guest vocalist) up until now, where they lurk in hibernation preparing for the biggest show of their lives… Bulking up from year to year, three things remained the same: Their passion for groove, commitment to old school technicality and sheer dedication to brutal death metal.
I represent them with two of their T-Shirts and am a very proud owner of their first full-length album, Slaughtered At The Altar (released in March 2016) and their EP, Death Conquers Life (released in July 2017.) I have witnessed most of their live performances and some of their bigger shows at the South African Wacken Battle in 2016; as opening act for Greek gods Rotting Christ in 2016 and this year’s Metal4Africa Summerfest. Nothing brings me more satisfaction than knowing The Fallen Prophets will be waving the South African flag at this year’s Rockstadt Extreme Fest in Romania. Following the announcement, it is my opinion that comments such as “well deserved” is absolutely true, but almost a bloody understatement.
Guitarist Francois would probably look at me in disbelief, but it is my heart & soul’s treasure, forever loving one of their oldest tracks, Obligated To Die – now referred to in an inside joke as “Obligated to Braai” – which refers to the South African tradition of having a ‘barbeque!’
These prophets produce soul soothing sounds for fans of (not limited to): Hypocrisy, Bloodbath, Deicide, Behemoth, Cannibal Corpse, Dyscarnate, Dying Fetus and Blood Red Throne.
The Fallen Prophets has undoubtedly seen some of the trials and tribulations which the underground brings, especially in a conservative country like South Africa, but their fire never faded and sure as hell never will.
Covered in Blood, Guts & Gore:
Obligated To Die:
“Slaughtered At The Altar” Album:
“Death Conquers Life” EP: