I'd like to start with the somewhat boring question that however is quite relevant to our readers who aren't familiar with Diocletian. Could you tell us how the band was formed and can you also tell something about your name Diocletian as not everyone might know where it comes from?
Diocletian was formed in 2004 CE, I returned to playing the deathaxe again after 11 years or so of not playing any metal. A couple of riffs used on our songs from the demo tape were written around 1993... especially the opening riff of 'Annihilation Ritual', that stuck with me for years as it was my intent back then around 93 to form a band inspired by Bathory's 'The Return...' and acts like Repulsion and Blasphemy as well. Unfortunately for me I could not find maniacs interested then so I focused on other endeavours. In 2005 CE my old band mate and another ex-member had three songs to record and the rest is history. Diocletian is the name of a Roman Emperor best remembered for his great persecution of Christians.
Your style could be described as what a lot of people call War Metal, but I'm not too fond of a categorization like that. I think it's just extreme metal and as far as I'm concerned you can hear influences of bands like Bestial Warlust from Australia, Sarcofago from Brazil or Conqueror from Canada, to name a few. How would you describe your music and what bands inspire(d) you to come up with this type of music?
I don't have a problem with such labels, war metal, death metal etc. as long as people understand that our metal is played without compromise. I was never much into Bestial Warlust and I've been playing death metal since 1989, I'm not necessarily influenced as inspired by the likes of Conqueror or Blasphemy, Beherit or early Bathory, not forgetting the likes of Repulsion, Doom, early Napalm Death, Bolt Thrower and the Cro Mags also. I'm an 80's extreme metal head and it's 80's cult metal that is my flag of hate. The banner we hail to.
You just released the album 'War Of All Against All' through Ireland's Invictus Productions. The second album on Invictus after 2009's 'Doom Cult'. Once again it sounds raw as fuck. I guess you don't record in a modern way? Can you elaborate a bit on the way you record?
Indeed, well the recording process is relatively similar each time we commence these rituals. We always record our bands live, our doom cult hates the thought of playing and recording to click tracks or artificially trying to improve a sound by clever production techniques, what you hear on our recording is how we actually sound, no triggers on the drums, no fucking shit modern amps with modules to digitally replicate your hero's tone. We set up our gear like we rehearse, the mics are set up, we usually play and record a maximum of 3 takes then again most songs are only played once or twice in the recording as we are well prepared before hand. 'War Of All Against All' was recorded on an analogue tape recording machine then mixed and mastered on pro-tools. Also our live rituals take on a new meaning of intensity when people realise that there is nothing false about our sound, we rehearse or record or play shows with the same intent of total death. Show No Mercy...
How would you say you have progressed compared to your previous outputs? The new album is somewhat easier to get into, isn't it?
Is it? I don't think we have progressed as you put it, what we may have done is accentuate elements of Diocletian's metal assault that was perhaps more subtle in our previous rituals, there is alot more obvious references to old bands on this album, from early Slayer through to Beherit... It may not sound like it for a lot of younger maniacs today but I wanted a late 80's death metal vibe, when our music was still very much underground and dangerous to the ears hahaha....
I guess you fit in really well on a label like Invictus, who also did a great job on the vinyl version of 'Doom Cult'. How do you feel being signed to them and will there be a vinyl of 'War Of All Against All' as well?
Darragh from Invictus runs a good reliable label, honest and easy to deal with, we have our ups and downs like any relationship but being able to trust a label that won't rip you off is important in this day and age. The LP version of 'Doom Cult' is an impressive slab of cult wax for sure, sounds harsh as fuck, let's not forget Patrick from Iron Bonehead was 50/50 partnership on this release and worked hard to make sure everything went according to plan, I believe they will partner up again with Tim from Parastic Recs(USA) to release 'War Of All Against All' in both Europe and America. (That's great to hear-PB)
You just did a trek through Europe with Witchrist leading you to Germany, Finland and Ireland amongst others. Looking back what do you think about the shows, any particular stand-out show?
It's been a big year for us, we have played more shows this year in other countries than all the shows we have played at home since we started live rituals hahaha. We started the year playing in Australia and Thailand as well as the European assault. Bangkok was awesome for the crowd of metal maniacs who worship underground cults, total respect to the Siam Old Goats. I think Black Mass Ritual (In Finland-PB) was great as well, more so being able to see some great bands for the first time, Sadistic Intent and Necros Christos...
You'll be doing some shows in the US as well later this year, but will you return to Europe any time soon as you only did a handful of gigs here?
Yeah, I'm looking forward to this tour with Black Witchery and Blasphemophagher, finishing up in San Antonio at the Rites of Darkness fest. I doubt we will return to Europe anytime soon if at all, I have work and family commitments as well as other endeavours I want to focus more on, Diocletian's time is coming to an end so if you didn't make the effort to see us when you had the chance then too fucking bad...
Right, that's all from my side. Anything you'd like to add?
Thanks you for the interview.