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Diagonal - Diagonal CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 215 ratings

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5 stars What a throwback! To think that youngsters of the 21st Century would want to so perfectly, so beautifully, so diligently recreate the sounds of the early days of what we now call 'progressive rock' is, to me, mystifying yet marvelous. It only took me three listens through to truly fully appreciate and absolutely love this album.

In "Semi-Permeable Membrane" I hear PROCUL HARUM, PINK FLOYD, HAWKWIND, even ARGENT, TRAFFIC, BLIND FAITH, BALCK SABBATH, MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, CHICAGO, SANTANA, CARAVAN, THE MOODY BLUES, and so much more! And yet, it is all its own--totally new and fresh! Amazing song/jam! 10/10

"Child of the Thundercloud" starts off with clarinet and piano--taking us into a completely different realm of music--taking on a very jazz fusion feel as the rhythm section joins in. But then vocals give it a very definite TRAFFIC/MOODY BLUES (with a little ELP) feel. Then, halfway through we're taken to a very spacious Nursery Cryme-like section, which then turns into the 'thunderstorm' that YES and CAMEL never did (but probably wish they had). Then the seven minute mark yields yet another shift--to a kind of NEKTAR/GONG-like outro. Wow! 10/10

"Deathwatch" starts like a FLEET FOXES song before rhythm section and saxophone join in. A very spacey, sparsely instrumented section ensues which allows the group to showcase its vocal talents. Then at the four minute mark a slow jazzy Canterbury-like song builds until is devolves in a KING CRIMSON-esque kind of way. Awesome. 9/10

"Cannon Misfire" is my least favorite song on the album, but is still quite impressive both compositionally and instrumentally. Sounds a bit like BILLY COBHAM, TONY LEVIN, DAEVID ALLEN, ROD ARGENT and MEL COLLINS jamming together. 7/10

"Pact" is the album's longest song at 14 minutes. It starts out with a bit of a feel as if TONY BANKS and ROYE ALBRIGHTON helped out on ELP's Tarkus--at least until the JIMI HENDRIX/STEPHEN STILLS vocals come it. Then PROCUL HARUM becomes the dominant influence/model. At 6:15 the music disappears leaving a very familiar ("Close to the Edge") space filled only with a single oscillating organ chord which is played over by a flutish-sounding synth(?) and, later, by some incidental vibes and percussives.This lasts for over 5 minutes before the song climbs back out of the grave with some THIN LIZZY like dual guitar marching. A good song. It just has a little too much 'drag' for me and not enough of the previous songs' mood, tempo, and stylistic changes to keep me mesmerized. 8/10

DIAGONAL is definitely a band to watch. I have a feeling they could do just about anything they wanted to and excel. IMHO, this album is one for the ages: a masterpiece.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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