It seems that one-man projects are "in" at the moment, with DIADEM consisting of Anthony Prechtl, who has done absolutely everything around "Darkness Surrounds", which has reached me after he had posted in our forum.
Musically DIADEM are Melodic Black Metal and ok, the sound is a bit dry, but hey, it is a demo that this guy has done all by himself, so no criticism for that! And even though he has chosen a pretty much populated genre of Metal, I must say that this has potential, definitely! And despite the use of keyboards this is not Gothic Black or anything like that, but still has enough heaviness in it.
Alright, let's dive right in… First off DIADEM use a drum machine. Quite obvious, but not even remotely as annoying as with, for example, KILLING SEASON. Overall Prechtl manages to make the compositions pretty varied, forging together hefty, blasting passages and calmer, more atmospheric parts with very good melodies and altogether a hoarse, raspy voice, which fits the songs very well indeed. The remarkable thing about this is that he balances these two elements in a way that the songs get the best possible effect from them, for there is no disjointed placing of parts, but a smooth flow from section to section.
To pick out single songs is not all that easy as they all have their moments and interesting arrangements, with "On The Inside" or "Silence Of God" being the maybe best song off this six tracker, which, of course, still has room for improvement, but already shows a remarkable knack for catchy and varied songs, which makes me hope for more of the likes in the (hopefully) near future! (Online June 9, 2003)