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Diagonal - Arc CD (album) cover

ARC

Diagonal

 

Eclectic Prog

3.66 | 56 ratings

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patrickq
Prog Reviewer
2 stars From the acid-psych of the title song to the Simon-and-Garfunkel vibe of "Stars Below," Arc is an intriguing mix of late-1960s styles. 

I particularly appreciate the sunshine-y vocal arrangements, for instance, on "Celestia" and "Warning Flare." The first half of the latter is essentially a repeated two-chord sequence which is varied for the second half. The whole affair sounds like the Association teaming up with Procol Harum.

There are more recent influences as well; three minutes into its 4:30 runtime, "The Spectrum Explodes" becomes positively Yes-like. And on the overlong "9-Green," the lead vocalist sounds more than a little like Wang-Chung frontman Jack Hues imitating Talking-Heads frontman David Byrne. Plus, I hear an echo of King Crimson in the song's ending motif.

But influences alone a good album don't maketh. On Arc, Diagonal seems to take stabs at a series of compositional styles, but rarely has the quality material necessary to make such an eclectic mix work. For example, in addition to 1960s pop, the band tries out some prog-electronic ideas. The longest song here, "Citadel," is a slice of psychedelia set to a somewhat slow, repetitive pattern. It's pensive, and it's grown on me a bit. But the rhythmless, seven-plus-minute expanse of "The Vital" is just boring, especially so late in the running order, after the mostly unexciting songs which precede it.

To those interested in late 2010s "eclectic prog," I'd suggest Mad Fellaz III (Mad Fellaz, 2019), Le Bateleur (Alco Frisbass, 2018), or Decalogue of Darkness (Daal, 2018).

patrickq | 2/5 |

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