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Diagonal - Diagonal CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 217 ratings

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4 stars Although this album is from 2008 DIAGONAL offer an intriguing trip through 1970s prog rock. Even on band photos they look like coming from this era. So it seems like natural when people are irritated and think they listen to something like a re-issue of an elder effort. DIAGONAL are a multifaceted seven-headed band from Brighton/UK. Not a major aspect here but all members have vocal skills without exception. For a debut it all sounds performed with ease - amazingly varied, flexible - even experimental in parts. Additionally the jamming component does not take a backseat here.

They start with Semi-Permeable Men-Brain - a challenge really showing dizzying transformations, twists and turns. Avantgarde tinged as for the beginning (a dazzling guitar and organ interaction) the song soon is thrilled with a jazz rock respectively canterbury styled grooving behaviour. Moreover we have a drum solo integrated ... admittedly short though. DIAGONAL is acting like a collective - nevertheless - every member gets the chance to make use of his abilities.

Child Of The Thundercloud evolves per symphonic impressions mainly - a playful piano/clarinette collaboration first. When the band gets into motion then this remembers me at Renaissance - charming vocals. Okay, they don't have Annie Haslam with them - but it's really nice - especially when they later fade into a heavier grooving improv part. The shorter Deathwatch appears in a rather solemn mood. Electric piano and modified vocals quasi synchronizing with a psychedelia touch, crimsonesque guitars are added later on, backed by stoic repetitive drums.

As most of fusion related stuff Cannon Missfire is instrumental as well and provided with a higher proportion of jamming. Pact as the album's epic track subsequently offers multiple impressions. Ceremonial keyboards for the background, a short jazzy interlude here and a longer relaxed ambient part there. This is presented that self-evident, cool - as if they were playing together for thirty years or so! A fine album which picks up the spirit of the glorious 70s. Obviously DIAGONAL have listened to a lot of stuff from that period and are keen on reinterpreting this in a special eclectic manner. Now I'm wondering what will follow ...

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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