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Diabolus biography
Although very little known - 'the band that the world forgot', says Max von Seibold, drummer's son, in a memory website ( -, Oxford band DIABOLUS is an early predecessor for symphonic rock to come in the middle 70's. Members: John Hadfield (lead guitar, vocals), Anthony Hadfield (bass, vocals), Philip Howard (flute, tenor sax, organ, piano, vocals), Ellwood von Seibold (drums, percussion) and Peter Cornel (role unknown). Band was considered not comercial. Disbandments and reunions keep the band playing under the name SUNFLY.

Their only LP, "High Tones", was recorded in 1971, in London, produced by Hugh Murphy and Shel Talmy (THE WHO); but never released because of 'comercial' reasons. An unauthorized edition was released in Germany by Bellaphon. When the members found out about this, in the mid 1990's, they legally fought back property and re-released the album with Sunrise Records, Europe). Music runs from folk tunes to excessive instrumentation, including flute, sax and chorus sang by three of the members of the band, passing through jazz-fusion and complex time composing. GENTLE GIANT's choruses run similarly to DIABOLUS'; flute sound takes them close to JETHRO TULL. Sax prefigures later PINK FLOYD sound, but while in PF sax is "invited" in DIABOLUS it comes as part of the whole. Some of the tunes approach electric jazz through the use of broken times and an open drumming, with moments of total free improvisation.

Highly recommended

: : : Carlos Maza, Lima / PERU : : :

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3.99 | 51 ratings
High Tones

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 High Tones by DIABOLUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.99 | 51 ratings

High Tones
Diabolus Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The story of Diabolus is similar to many of their peers, those unfortunate but talented outfits doomed for oblivion. Only, that is, to be rediscovered years later and thus gaining some recognition. It has to be said, however, that Diabolus is still a very unknown band which deservedly ought to be slightly more appreciated by a larger group of people.

First I'd like to give Diabolus the bad news. They are not really groundbreaking. There. With that said I would like to put forth the good news. Those are that the sole album by this band is a great mixture of all that was happening in the music scene back then, and really the british scene since they are from the UK. The music is a blend of jazz-rock, folk and progressive leanings. I can recall sounds of Jethro Tull, Gravy Train, Cressida, Julian Jay Savarin, Black Widow, Sunday and others from around 1969-1972. It is to me a very pleasant sounding mix, filling me with joy and goose bumps. Though warm it is still sort of ominous and exciting. Diabolus managed to produce an album of highly creative music and resembles the vision of a band bubbling with commitment to music.

I would say that all tracks are very good and none of the songs stick out in a bad way, which sometimes can be the case. The songs are really well matched, though they are different from each other. Ranging from gentleness to all out raucious jazz-rock, the tapestry is a highly intelligent and enjoyable one. I cannot really pick out any track as the superior one, it is really a matter of picking anyone.

The flute, keyboards and drums are all there, alongside great guitar playing and good vocals. If you are into vintage prog this could well be an album for you. Splendid, magnificent and sadly overlooked it is a great piece of history from a time when progressive music really was in it's prime and making. Top stuff!

 High Tones by DIABOLUS album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.99 | 51 ratings

High Tones
Diabolus Prog Related

Review by progshachar

5 stars What a great forgotten band. Love them. They are very unique. A blend of Jazzy jethro tull, with long passages and lovely music. What a shame they were lost and now I am glad they are found and I strongly recommend them. The first song is a strong opener varies from Jazz to rock, flutes, saxophones, soft singing, somewhat sounds like symphonic bands a bit like Cressida, but then they come back to their unique style. The second song "night clouded moon" starts with great flute together with singing, almost a competition, and then it starts to rock, very speedy with the flute all the way. It is very melodic and is one of the best moments in the album. At times it is very Jethro tully. "1002 nights" - is also beautiful, again the flute, quieter rhythm. "3 pieces suite " very unique melodic singing with nice guitar, flute of course, it gets quieter and then it blasts in the middle very energetic, so beautiful, a long guitar solo and again power music. "Lady of the moon " nice energetic piece, more rocky, again the flute. "Laura Sleeping " around 8 minutes starts quietly and then rocks, very melodically, great singing. "Spontenuity" the longest song - 0820 - sounds like "Gravy train" and then a bit Jazzy with saxophone and a long drums piece. "Raven's call " the last song again very powerful and melodic, fast singing with lots of rhythm changes. Great ending to a great album , a great band. A pity they made only this one album
Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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