Diabolic Dialogue
CoC chats with Pete from Diaboli
by: Steve Hoeltzel
One of the cooler black metal debuts of 1996 was Diaboli's _Mesmerized by Darkness_, a take-no-prisoners, blast-and-pummel metal detonation. Completely free of all the arty embellishments which have become tired black metal cliches, this album just hammers the listener with undiluted dread and aggression. Described by Unisound Records as a "back to the roots" release, it's definitely true to the no-bullshit ethic of the 80s - plenty of cold Scandinavian extremity, zero display of sensitivity. I recently wrote to Pete, Diaboli's sole member, hoping to learn a bit more about the band.

CoC: Why did you decide to go "back to the roots" of black metal on _Mesmerized by Darkness_?

Pete: I don't know about going back to the roots. The music has always been in this style, so...

CoC: What are four or five albums that have had the greatest influence on the Diaboli style and sound? What else inspires you?

P: That's a hard one. One album I have to name which influenced me a lot when I heard it is Slayer's _Reign in Blood_. But speaking of black metal albums, there are many - Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost albums, and a lot more. I think it's impossible to name just a few. And besides the 80s bands, some of the 90s bands have also influenced me - for example, Darkthrone. I can't deny that.

CoC: The album has a fairly raw sound to it (which I like!!). If you had the opportunity to record an album with a polished, big-budget production, would you take it?

P: Well, I think the first album almost sounds like a big-budget recording (!), but I don't know. I'm sure that if I had the opportunity, then I'd record a few songs and listen to how it sounds. It the sound was too clean, then no.

CoC: Why do you choose to operate as a one-man black metal project? Has there ever been a time when Diaboli involved other musicians besides yourself? If so, what happened to them?

P: When the band was formed in summer 1992 and we released the first demo, _Descent into Hell_, in November 1992, there were five members in the band. But when we released _Demo II_ in June 1994, there was only me and a vocalist left. Then our egos got too big and we were not getting along very well, so I parted ways with the vocalist, and Diaboli became a one-man band.

CoC: Were you involved in any other bands prior to forming Diaboli?

P: Yes. I played some not-so-interesting music.

CoC: Black metal is extremely fashionable in the underground metal scene right now, and it seems that there are new black metal bands forming every day. What do you think of black metal's sudden popularity?

P: That's really stupid, because there are bands who just put corpse paint on and can't make quality music, and suddenly they are selling thousands of records. But on the other hand, they are also spreading the anti-Christian message more and more, which is good.

CoC: Do you take an active part in any black metal "scene" in your area, or do you keep to yourself?

P: Here where I live, there is no black metal scene. But outside of this town, I meet a few people from the other Finnish black metal bands once or twice a year - not very often.

CoC: In your opinion, what are the best and the worst things about today's extreme metal underground?

P: Best = good bands. Worst = shit bands. [Hard to argue with that. -- Steve]

CoC: Many black metal musicians that I speak to say that black metal is more than just a musical style - it is a way of life. Is black metal a way of life for you? If so, what are the distinctive features of this way of life?

P: Yes, I think black metal is much more than just a musical style. It is elite music, above all other music, and it is a lifestyle.

CoC: When you are not making music, what kinds of music do you listen to?

P: I mostly listen to elite Scandinavian black metal, but because I play it too, I also listen to other kinds of bands - otherwise, I'd get bored and uninspired. But what kinds of bands those are, you really don't want to know!

CoC: What are your plans for the future? Will the world be hearing from Diaboli again?

P: I have quite a lot of new material recorded already, so wait for the second album to be released in 1997.

CoC: Any parting words for readers and fans?

P: I'd like to take this opportunity to advertise that the first album, _Mesmerized by Darkness_, is also available directly from me. The CD costs $20 (which includes postage everywhere). Write to: Diaboli, Box 54, 33961 Pirkkala, Finland.

(article submitted 1/2/1997)


ALBUMS
11/20/2000 A McKay 6 Diaboli - Anthems of Sorrow
3/10/1998 S Hoeltzel 7 Diaboli - Towards Damnation
7/17/1996 S Hoeltzel 8 Diaboli - Mesmerized by Darkness
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