Diocletian – Gesundrian


The sheer power of war comes alive in the third full-length from New Zealand warriors Diocletian, Gesundrian. The name Diocletian comes from the Roman emperor of the same name who waged what came to be known as the Diocletianic Persecution, which was the final and most severe attack on Christians in the Roman Empire. This band carries on the tradition of hatred and violence from those ancient times in the ferocious Gesundrian.

Not unlike similar acts such as Angelcorpse, Diocletian crafts war metal band but delves into more chaotically melodic construction rather than remaining a cookie-cutter clone of the Canadian bands. Gesundrian thunders forth with a dirge-like riff that builds an intense ardency, like sadness warping into anger, and progresses into a violent and powerful stampede of riffs throughout the entirety of this album like hordes of horseback warriors in the midst of battle.

While not offering anything fundamentally new, Gesundrian maintains the warlike spirit of metal, musically, lyrically, and structurally. For those who crave the invigorating dangers of ancient times, this is a work for you. Sound the drums of war: Diocletian approaches.


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34 thoughts on “Diocletian – Gesundrian

  1. Hurting N-Syd3 (I threw my penis in the trash can) says:

    Overlong, repetitive and one dimensional. Maybe these “war” bands should listen to early Morbid Angel and Vader to learn how to segue into different rhythms or melodies (“grooves” even) to break the monotony of similar riffs and constant blasting. Also, amusing that Sepultura’s Roots is in the sidebar of similar/recommended videos.

    1. trystero says:

      Youtube Recommended videos are based on your viewing patterns in general lol. Very amusing!

      1. Nester says:

        But doesn’t it say if it’s recommended instead of related? I think it does.

        I got Sepultura’s Root in the sidebar also.


    The spirit of my ancestors shall reign supreme over the blood of a thousand Christian sheep!!

    1. Jim Nelson says:

      he has returned…

  3. BB says:

    Agreed with Hurting N-Syd 3. Sinister Ceremonies, the debut of the Spanish Domains has been mentioned on some other blogs lately. I’ve been listening to it for some time now, and I think it’s excellent: not too long, not repetitive and not one-dimensional. It would be interesting to read how it holds up to DMU scrutiny.

  4. N. says:

    I am not very much into the war metal (except for Axis of Advance though that was something different) but I would say song presented is rather enjoyable.

  5. EDS says:

    The song presented here is all form and no substance. It relies on a nice production and an “attitude” popular with the scensters these days. Scene kids will eat this up. As Hurting N-Syd said, early MA and Vader or Blasphemy and Beherit would be better options. Kudos though for the killer cover art. I see a lot of bands today are at least having an artist do a painting or they are “acquiring” a historical art piece. Be gone stupid digi cover art!

  6. Nito says:

    While skimming through a GQ magazine (issue with actor Channing Tatum on the cover), I found an article on different “nerd” types. I was taken aback when I saw an illustration with a man skimming through a box full of “Saudi black metal” vinyls.

    Then I think back about how I keep hearing about this “bestial/war” metal that sounds like a gross oversimplification of an idea and how it’s so popular. You have an entire subculture of people buying “yellow splatter” vinyls and Profanatica t-shirts, I’ve noticed, has become more of a status symbol within this clique than a reflection of someones taste. It’s also the typical “underground fan” of today. Similarly, Lady Gaga and Chris Brown posing with jackets littered with Amebix, Doom, D.R.I., and C.O.C. patches.

    Has it been going downhill further since Liturgy and I’ve just noticed? (I’m referring to the hipster element going beyond Pitchfork, Vice or similar outlets) What could be made of all this?

    1. EDS says:

      “Has it been going downhill further since Liturgy and I’ve just noticed? (I’m referring to the hipster element going beyond Pitchfork, Vice or similar outlets) What could be made of all this?”

      All hipster/poseur subcultures centered around a music genre rise and fall as the genres change. It’s something akin to “the flavor of the month”. Currently I would say the “flavor” is this bestial war/black/death metal thing. The type of mentalities that latch onto these movements are usually leftists wanting to be individuals and stand out from the crowd. They want to seem edgy and this site has covered such a topic many times before. Perhaps you are familiar, or perhaps not. In any case….




      Has it gone downhill since Liturgy? That depends, as I believe we have two differant hipster subcultures riding differant waves. We currently have the Starbucks loving shoegaze hippies that think of Deafheaven as true black metal, and they are getting worse every passing day. The lovers of the bestial black/death/wear metal thing are just starting to get their foot in the door as a collective subculture. There are some really unoriginal bands rising out of this scene to meet the rabid demand. Diocletion is one of them.

      1. Nito says:

        I would say the “bestial/war” (seems like simplified black or death riffs in grindcore song structures) has already made it to the mainstream. It makes me a bit disgusted because it’s a parody of death metal, almost how the mainstream perceives most metal: (loud and dumb) music for music’s sake with “FUCK YOU MOM!” styled anti-christian lyrics for readily apparent angst. It seems too easy to order random upside down crosses and humanoid goat with minigun shirts to play the part for an instant social group.

        The fact that the GQ article I mentioned seem to mention this type of individual among the video gamer, the vinyl collector, IPad App know-it-all, etc. as a “nerd type” just makes it seem more like a commerce driven thing than anything else. An excuse for drinking and partying with morons on the weekends. Nothing more to gain from it. The fans of these bands could just as well listen to Machine Head or Lamb of God for similar “background noise for alcoholics” effect.

        Is it possible neo-death/black (war metal) could become this decades nu-“metal” and indie/gaze nu-black are just becoming this decades disco/alt-rock/glam? With the VON pseudo-reunion getting attention and Deafheaven’s music being used to market the last IPAD in a commercial, I fear this is already the case.

        I’m still scratching my head over how the mediocre and unoriginal Archgoat has exploded in popularity in recent years…

        1. EDS says:

          “Is it possible neo-death/black (war metal) could become this decades nu-”metal” and indie/gaze nu-black are just becoming this decades disco/alt-rock/glam? With the VON pseudo-reunion getting attention and Deafheaven’s music being used to market the last IPAD in a commercial, I fear this is already the case.”

          Absolutely. I was about to enunciate this sentiment in my original reply to you but stopped short of doing so. Why? Mostly because I couldn’t bear to say that modern war/death/black (as well as revivalist old school death metal) could become the new nu-metal of the current generation and that shoegaze/indie/black metal would become similar to alt rock in the 90’s. I don’t care that shoegaze/indie black metal is tainted as that genre was never anything similar to metal to begin with, however to see the blackened/death metal that Blasphemy, Beherit and VON made in the early 90’s being defiled, is an insult to the legacy of metal as an art form.

          1. Good observations. My only addition:

            Black metal has become a media archetype like punk. That is, it’s a way for characters or individuals to express themselves through an accessory.

            On TV in the 1980s, a dangerous character might have had a Crass or Exploited t-shirt.

            On video in the 2010s, that same character may have a VON tshirt.

            The Deafheaven et al are intellectual darlings per Liturgy and some others. They are the latest fascinating object for the intelligentsia to consider and will be used for the ends of that group (as usual, to justify its position). By intelligentsia, I’m not referring to the academics, but the self-described intellectuals in coastal cities.

            1. EDS says:

              Having lived in one of those coastal cities, I can say without a doubt you are spot on.

  7. Craig says:


  8. trystero says:

    I’ve never figured out exactly what is wrong with Australia and New Zealand when it comes to metal? Pretty much everything from those isles is mediocre (Astriaal) or outright terrible (Alchemist). Two bands that come to mind that put out at least one really good release are Spear of Longinus and Disembowelment. That band Urgrund that got a DLA review was okay too, but it got kind of rock’n’roll in parts.

    I’m curious about what’s missing in AU/NZ, but I’m more curious about what I am missing from there. Anyone know any good metal bands from this part of the world? Any subgenre, old school to NWOBHM to modern.

    1. trystero says:

      Note: Do not mention Destroyer 666 >.>

      1. Rotten Ralph says:

        Well, recently we’ve had Heresiarch. But also Sinistrous Diabolus which is a doom band that reeks of atmosphere. I think it might have been overlooked here. Review: https://www.deathmetal.org/news/sinistrous-diabolous-total-doom-desecration/

    2. Deaf Today says:

      Yes, it seems to me the Aussies have a different approach to metal too – seems inherently mad somehow, maybe explains the tons of depending-only-on-aggression blackened speed/thrash type stuff that comes out of there. I do like some bands from there. That Disembowelment album is really good and here are a few more bands/albums you might like to check out if you haven’t. Even if not always top-tier they do have spirit.

      Sadistik Exekution – The Magus
      Nazxul – Totem
      Armoured Angel’s earlier work
      Bezerker – Lost (that’s how the band name is spelt)
      Misery – A Necessary Evil
      Slaughter Lord
      Reverend Kriss Hades – The Wind of Orion
      Hobbs’ Angel of Death’s first
      Mortal Sin’s first

      1. Deaf Today says:

        Oh I do like some D666 though. Not a fan of Corpse Molestation, I guess?

        1. trystero says:

          That’s one way to put it, same goes for Sadistik Exekution, Slaughter Lord, Bezerker and Nazxul. Hobbs’ Angel of Death though, that’s pretty cool. The rest I’ll check out, thanks both of you.

    3. I’ve never figured out exactly what is wrong with Australia and New Zealand when it comes to metal?

      Most of it seems too “punk” in outlook, e.g. no attention on the finer details of making the parts fit together by anything but energy. Perhaps too much of a bar-based listening culture.

      1. Phalangite says:

        Perhaps too functional a society for metal to develop? Not enough cultural/spiritual decline?
        I mean even the Scandinavians that seem to have all their problems solved, grew depressed because of modern life and because they live in a land where the sun doesn’t shine. At the same time, the beauty of the nature in that land was an inspiration for good metal.

        1. trystero says:

          That sounds… too complicated and abstract to be the reason. The problem seems to be much more fundamental; that the metal that does exist isn’t very musical. That’s why no matter what it gets right it stays mediocre. Even a notable exception, Disembowelment, had long stretches of disorienting blasting in their songs. For other bands, like the ones Deaf Today mentioned, they get almost everything right except riffs and their forward movement (i.e. songs…), so it’s interesting sounding sonic space with variation that comes and goes without any real accomplishment.

          Then again, getting riffs wrong is something most metal bands do. Sometimes I think tremolo picking sort of ruined the basic blues/proto-heavy metal idea of the riff that turned into the phrase based music we enjoy. People misunderstood, and losing the idea of stitching together riffs meant tremolo picking turned into the chord strumming rock bands use, only at a quicker pace. That’s pretty much what all hipster black metal and most “war” metal is.

          1. This is what makes me think it’s related to how the audience consumes the product.

        2. Avatar of Roger Waters Unabashedly Homosexual Tendencies says:

          This is completely ridiculous. All you’re hearing is the Australian cultural stamp on the metal brand.

        3. 1349 says:

          Perhaps too functional a society for metal to develop? Not enough cultural/spiritual decline?

          Same thought…

      2. trystero says:

        Hmm, that sounds credible, but thinking about St. Vitus: It’s music that belongs in a dive played by people who belong in a dive but even in its plodding, minimal form its got that basic “parts go together” idea down. In fact their songs are almost a distillation of it.

  9. Nester says:

    Vulcano’s Bloody Vengance is the first “war metal” album I think. It’s rarely mentioned among the classics of this style but it definitely should be. Most of what later came is redundant at best, shit at worst. I’d count less than 10 worthy releases of this kind.

    If you could erase all war/bestial albums/eps/demo’s from existence, but keep ten, what would those ten be? Respond to this comment with your answer.

    1. trystero says:

      Ten copies of Conqueror’s War Cult Supremacy (purely for historical reasons).

  10. Nester says:


    The whole album is excellent. The last song on the album sounds like the kind of stuff Root would make a few years later.

  11. Avatar of Roger Waters Unabashedly Homosexual Tendencies says:

    In addition to what’s been named, Vomitor, Watchtower and Stargazer belong on the list of notable mentions of Australian metal.

    1. trystero says:

      Stargazer is decent, but Watchtower isnt from Australia is it (Texas afaik)? Unless there’s some other Watchtower I dont know about. Anyway, Watchtower is pretty good stuff.

      1. Nester says:

        There’s a Watchtower from Australia.

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