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Diagonal Heavy Language (Black Sparkle) album cover
3.57 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 38% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Heavy Language (3:11)
2. Milankovitch Cycles (3:29)

Total Time 6:40

Line-up / Musicians

- David Wileman / guitars, percussion, synth, vocals
- Nicholas Whittaker / alto saxophone, clarinet, flute, recorder, synth, percussion, vocals
- Alex Crispin / pianos, organ, lead vocals, synths, percussion
- Daniel Pomlett / electric bass, guitars, percussion, vocals
- Nicholas Richards / guitars, EBow, synths, percussion, vocals
- Ross Hossack / synths, tapes, filters, percussion, vocals
- Luke Foster / drums, synths, string arrangements, vocals

Releases information

7" Rise Above Records (2008 UK)

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DIAGONAL Heavy Language (Black Sparkle) ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

DIAGONAL Heavy Language (Black Sparkle) reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
4 stars Heavy Language (Black Sparkle) is a debut release from the Brighton-based band Diagonal which I managed to come across on Spotify while searching for the band's self-titled studio album. Unfortunately the studio album was not there, but it definitely didn't stop me from getting just the right dosage of Diagonal!

This short release consists of two non-album composition, which together clock at a total of less than 7 minutes worth of material. It is quite surprising that the band managed to keep things relatively short here since this is really not the case with their full-length release, but I'll talk more about that in my next review. Heavy Language and Milankovitch Cycles depict completely opposite sides of the band's repertoire which is something that Diagonal prefers to mix together into all of their lengthier pieces.

Heavy Language is all about the crazy heavy rock arrangements which come out of nowhere and just gets things off to an excellent start. I will go as far as to say that this is actually my favorite track out of all the material that the band has released up until now. The arrangements are highly influenced by Jazz Rock/Fusion, even though there is a definite leaning towards Heavy Prog approach. Milankovitch Cycles, on the other hand, is all about the atmosphere! This is a very smooth piece that does tease of the things that Diagonal would display on their full length release but at a much shorter time span.

Overall, this is a great instrumental introduction to Diagonal that may not be entirely representable of the things to come, but I honestly wouldn't want it any other way!

***** star songs: Heavy Language (3:13)

**** star songs: Milankovitch Cycles (3:31)

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The two sides of this never-digitized 7" vinyl single were the debut recordings made by an exciting new English septet that appeared suddenly in 2008 and vanished just as quickly, four years and two subsequent albums later. In its brief lifespan the band would be acclaimed for playing a style of Progressive Rock that was both retro and original, recreating the sound of the early 1970s but without a hint of pastiche, and their initial outing captured that paradox with microcosmic fidelity.

Altogether the disc is less than seven minutes long, hardly enough to even qualify as a quick teaser. But they pack a lot of instrumental energy into that short time, arguably the best seven minutes of music the group ever played: urgent and assertive on Side One; mysterious and searching on Side Two.

The opener "Heavy Language" is an economic blast of Crimsonesque fusion, propelled across a furious skirmish between the riffing guitars, snarling saxophone, and some wonderfully grubby electric piano. The B-Side, "Milankovitch Cycles", is more hypnotically paced but no less thrilling, with a title to excite the nerds among us who study the effects of Earth's orbital eccentricities on global climate trends. The logic can't be faulted: egghead science and Progressive Rock have always been kissing cousins.

The record was released in a limited pressing of 1,000 copies (some sources claim only 500); long gone of course but still available if you know where to look, and have a working turntable. What once was a promise of things to come is now a valuable reminder of what we might have missed.

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