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Diagonal The Second Mechanism album cover
3.93 | 122 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Voyage/Paralysis (6:12)
2. These Yellow Sands (7:59)
3. Mitochondria (9:41)
4. Hulks (10:46)
5. Capsizing (9:10)

Total time 43:38


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Luke Foster / drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals
- Ross Hossack / synthesisers, harmonium, backing vocals
- Nicholas Richards / electric bass, mellotron, synthesiser, backing vocals
- Nicholas Whittaker / alto saxophone, clarinet, lead and backing vocals
- David Wileman / electric guitars, backing vocals

- Alex Crispin / synthesisers, backing vocals
- Robbie Wilson / trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals

Releases information

Release date: 9.11.2012
Label. Rise AboveU.S. release on Metal Blade / Rise Above 3984-15165-2

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Buy DIAGONAL The Second Mechanism Music

The Second MechanismThe Second Mechanism
Metal Blade 2012
Audio CD$8.94
$8.92 (used)
The Second Mechanism by Diagonal (2012-11-19)The Second Mechanism by Diagonal (2012-11-19)
Metal Blade
Audio CD$208.88

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DIAGONAL The Second Mechanism ratings distribution

(122 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

DIAGONAL The Second Mechanism reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by stefro
4 stars After shedding two members and allegedly scrapping almost an album's worth of new material, Brighton's Diagonal have finally returned. A full four years have passed since the group released their outstanding self- titled debut of 2008, an album informed by the epic art-rock dynamics of King Crimson, the fusion-toned force of Return To Forever, Van Graaf Generator's darkly-wrought heart and surely one of the contenders for this current century's great modern prog records. The fact that Diagonal's original seven-man line-up were all barely out of their teens made the achievement all the more spectacular. However, four years is a long time in rock. For a while it seemed like the youthful outfit would go the same way as so many of their prog-rock cohorts past-and-present by making a great album before subsequently and inexplicably disappearing into the big dark hole of rock 'n' roll obscurity, home to the likes of Arcadium, Grannie, Bakerloo, Maxophone, The Norman Haines Band and many, many others. Thankfully, though, Diagonal's unique sound has proved simply too impressive to squander. The recently-ended four-year hiatus has seen changes, both in personel and in the group's overall style, yet for the most the five-pieces difficult-second-album 'The Second Mechanism' proves a welcome return, even if it doesn't quite live up to the sky high expectations set by its predecessor. Here, we have a darker-sounding record, one with heavier beats, less Crimson-influenced exotica and an electronic edge that lends 'The Second Mechanism' a more immediate feel. The production, too, seems more streamlined, with the abrasive complexity that underpinned 'Diagonal' replaced by a fuzzy ambience that brings to mind such post-rock acts as Battles and Russian Circles. Opening track 'Voyage / Paralysis' is a prime example of this new approach, the warped beats and droning keyboards hitching a futuristic quality onto the group's richly-textured art-prog mixture. The album's key piece, however, proves to be its longest. Coming in at just over the ten-minute mark, the full-blown, psychedelic, heavy jazz-drone odyssey 'Hulks' proves to be the moment worth waiting four years for. This is Diagonal in full, glorious flow, weaving a dense tapestry of grilled guitars, skittering beats and dancing synthesizers into a brooding and cinematic multi-part epic. Occasionally, as found in closer 'Capsizing', 'The Second Mechanism' threatens to slip into murky proto-dance territory, yet the group's decision to polish and update their sound makes for mostly fascinating listening. Its not quite the spectacular experience that is 2008's 'Diagonal', yet it comes close. And at its very best this is a highly-mature and ever impressive statement from one of Britain's outstanding young prog groups. We excitedly await album number three. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team
4 stars A bit disappointing since I LOVED their debut. This one is not so classic, not so raw, and it's more syrupy and slow--not bad, just never as great or fresh or driving as the first one. Also, I rather liked the "dirty" production of the first album, this one is so clean and pristine (which is nice, I must admit, for the spacious, softer [more KARDA ESTRA/CAMEL-like] parts). Favorite songs: the ANEKDOTEN-like "These Yellow Sands" (7:59) (8/10), "Mitochondria" (9:41) (9/10), and "Hulks" (10:35) (8/10) (horns and fem b vox), and the eerily mood-capturing, CURE-ish "Capsizing" (9:10) (9/10).

An excellent prog album, just not up to the pace set forth by their first one. Still, recommended. (Just try to take it on its own terms--forget the dynamism of the first release.)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. DIAGONAL's debut blew a lot of people away including myself with that late sixties / early seventies style. There was plenty of space for the instruments to breathe and the sax / clarinet and mellotron were certainly welcomed sounds along with the other vintage instruments. Here we are four years later and with a bit different lineup as the bass player and organist have left making this a five piece band now. The organ is now gone but we still get mellotron it's just not as easy to hear as this band has completely changed it's style. The space to breathe that I mentioned about the debut is gone as we get a full and thick sound almost constantly. So imagine the horns as being part of the sound now instead of being seperate like all of the instruments. This is more of a "rock" album and much more modern sounding while it comes across like they are jamming a lot with repetitive melodies. Way less vocals too when compared to the debut. And all of this is not a bad thing as this is a great album. Just different.

"Voyage / Paralysis" opens with spacey and bubbly sounds and the album will end this way as well. The band then kicks in with horns outfront. Spacey synths join in after 3 minutes as the horns stop then the guitar comes to the fore. Horns are back as they continue to jam. "These Yellow Sands" is more laid back with horns helping out. This is such a great track. I like the way the tempo shifts at times in this one too. Love the guitar 6 minutes in. "Mitochondria" opens quietly with bass and then the piano joins in followed by laid back horns. A change after 2 minutes as the song kicks in heavier. Check out the guitar 5 1/2 minutes in.

"Hulks" is the only track with vocals on it but they are brief. Drums and horns lead early then it settles back as the vocals join in around a minute.They don't stay long. A change before 3 minutes as it turns darker. It becomes intense after 4 minutes and this intensity is building. Nice. I like the vocal melodies late as the guitar rips it up. "Capsizing" is spacey to start with plenty of atmosphere. It starts to pick up before 1 1/2 minutes. So good. Horns play over the fast beat. The guitar replaces the horns before 5 1/2 minutes but the horns re-join quickly and eventually lead again. It ends with those bubbly synths.

There are some guest trumpet and flugelhorn this time around besides the sax and clarinet. This is a fantastic album but I can see many being disappointed because they want a repeat of the debut. It just shows how incredibly talented these guys are that they can change styles and still hit one out of the park.

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