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In my pursuit of other modern bands who play something close to the same level of aggression as the mighty REVENGE, I have stumbled upon Diocletian from New Zealand. My initial impressions of Doom Cult were twofold- this is awesome and I can't believe this came out last year without me knowing about it! I would definitely compare these guys to Revenge insofar as they seem to favor and utilize a lot of the same musical aesthetic (esp. atonal riffs and tons of blastbeats). The similarity here was only a jumping off point for me because I find that if I limit my evaluation of this band solely to a comparison with Revenge, Revenge comes out on top in terms of being a heavier band. Diocletian's drummer CAN and does play a lot of parts on pace with Read, but doesn't maintain the same velocity that defines Revenge's sound. However, that doesn't at all mean this album doesn't kick serious ass and that I thoroughly enjoy it. The Diocletian drummer earns his merits on this album in the multitude of ferocious beats that come out, making Doom Cult an especially dynamic album. On top of this, two layers of down-tuned guitars and a punishing bass tone make Doom Cult a seriously heavy album that I can see myself listening to for a long time. This is not something I can say about most active bands.
"Deathstrike Overkill" and"Death Tyrant," "The Ironfist" and "Antichrist Hammerfist." The double use of the words death and fist on the tracklisting was something I noticed immediately. I was only able to find lyrics for one of the tracks on this album, which I enjoyed for its blunt eloquence. From what I've read and seen in the double use of the words death and fist, I assume Diocletian has at least a few songs about social darwinism. I've found that bands who deal with this theme are usually full of strong personalities and, as musicians, have a lot of power onstage. I would love to see this band come to the US! On another note, the one guitarist in this band has biceps the size of my head and I would absolutely not try to fight him under any circumstance.
Standout tracks for me are the second track, the Ironfist, which has an awesome back-beat part a la Blasphemy, an unexpected breakdown, and an even more unexpected falsetto vocal part. Awesome! The diversity on these tracks is one of my favorite parts, along with the good mix. Deathstrike Overkill is another standout, very chaotic. There are really great riffs all around on this album. Diocletian does an exceptional job setting you up with a part then completely throwing you, off-guard, into something else while maintaining a cohesive flow.
Bullet vomited has a nasty double kicker part about 40 seconds in but then a thrash beat comes out of nowhere and completely changes the pace.
Ultimately I'm very pleased with this album and pretty into this band after 4 thorough listen-thrus. While they may not necessarily be pioneers in the sense that they were the first ones to create the elements of their sound, they obviously draw from many bands and do an exceptional job of blending different elements in unique, punishing arrangements. I would give this a 90% because for me there isn't really anything about this album I didn't like and I found myself wanting to listen to it over multiple times. I can't wait to see how this band is going to evolve and am looking forward to following it!