Playing grandiose black metal in the vein of Dimmu Borgir and Septic Flesh, Diabolus Incarnate from Johannesburg, South Africa appeared on my radar earlier this year. The infectious tremelo picked riffs, hyperblast drums and bombastic orchestral elements immediately grabbed my attention. Often attempted but never fully-realised, symphonic black metal is a genre that has never really taken off in the country even though one-man projects seem to manifest all over the place. Unfortunately, they often fade back into the darkness far too quickly.
I managed to chat to Diabolus Incarnate main-man Dieter about the band, the genre and the circumstances around the band’s appearance on the lineup for Finland’s Steelfest. Short and to the point, it is obvious that there are big things to come from Diabolus Incarnate in the future!
M4A: Many black metal bands have a philosophy or ethos that encapsulates their music. Is there anything like that behind Diabolus Incarnate and can you elaborate on what drives the music?
Yes, its called life, that’s the ethos… What drives the music is passion: Creating music on a large scale, that makes your skin crawl makes you want to bang your head. It basically makes you feel. That is the drive.
M4A: Black metal is a genre that has never had massive representation in South Africa, why do you think this is? What are your opinions on the current state of modern black metal worldwide? Do you feel it has lost its way or that it is still a unified musical movement?
Black metal is an art to play and acquired taste; not everyone can play it correctly (I’m not saying that I play it correct myself) but the few bands that represent black metal in this country do it well though.
I’m indifferent about the current state of the genre, I think its all great! They are all making music that they like and respect to them for that. Whatever. I don’t think black metal has lost its way, its just grown into many more interesting aspects. All metal is a unified movement in itself. We are all outcasts and freaks in my opinion. Haha!
Diablous Incarnate is modern in my opinion, but not only limited to black metal. I have many influences, from traditional black metal to death metal to classical. I do Whatever inspires me really.
M4A: Please tell us more about Steelfest – it seems like a black metal fan’s (un)holy grail. How did Diablous Incarnate get on the bill and who are you looking forward to sharing the stage with the most?
Originally I signed a contract with a European booking agent who sent our press pack to various summer festivals in Europe, and got a reply from two fests and I had to choose and I chose Steelfest.
Unfortunately due to unforeseen financial circumstances I had to cancel going to Steelfest. Still though, if I got the opportunity it would be rad to share the stage with Mayhem and Belphegor.
M4A: Can you describe the writing process for the band?
The writing process is mainly based on how I feel… and red wine. Whatever riffs pop into my head, any classical piece that moved me, things that happen everyday, looking at my life changing, looking at my family growing. Basically all of that funnels into a guitar.
M4A: Do you see black metal growing much larger in South Africa, or would it be preferable for it to stay a niche genre?
There are a few promising bands here, but it would be great if we had a few more, so I’m hoping it will get bigger. But obviously it has to be done in the “correct” way.
Check out Diabolus Incarnate on Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/diabolusincarnate
Stream “Infernal Flames” by Diabolus Incarnate below: