Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

DIAGONAL

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Diagonal picture
Diagonal biography
Formed in 2006 in Brighton, UK - On hiatus between 2013-2018

DIAGONAL surprisingly appears on the stage in 2008 like an insider's tip. This Brighton/UK-based band is consisting of seven musicians in the mid twenties who obviously have the preference on 1970s prog music.

Accompanied by a 7'' production the eponymous debut album was released by the Rise Above Records label. The songs are full of references to wellknown prog dinosaurs but not getting dusty though. Based on a rich instrumentation and a sophisticated songwriting DIAGONAL is blending nearly all styles the genre has to offer. Far away from any mainstream this band is recommend to prog gourmets.

See also: Bandcamp

DIAGONAL forum topics / tours, shows & news


DIAGONAL forum topics Create a topic now
DIAGONAL tours, shows & news
No topics found for : "diagonal"
Post an entries now

DIAGONAL Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to DIAGONAL

Buy DIAGONAL Music


The Second MechanismThe Second Mechanism
Metal Blade 2012
$26.99
$191.88 (used)
DiagonalDiagonal
Candlelight 2009
$24.09
$19.99 (used)
Diagonal by DiagonalDiagonal by Diagonal
Candlelight
$70.70
$42.17 (used)

More places to buy DIAGONAL music online Buy DIAGONAL & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

DIAGONAL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

DIAGONAL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.13 | 215 ratings
Diagonal
2008
3.81 | 140 ratings
The Second Mechanism
2012
4.21 | 15 ratings
Arc
2019

DIAGONAL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DIAGONAL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

DIAGONAL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DIAGONAL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.51 | 5 ratings
Heavy Language (Black Sparkle)
2008

DIAGONAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Arc by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.21 | 15 ratings

BUY
Arc
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars Diagonal is a Eclectic Prog band that started out in 2006 in the UK, released an album in 2008 and another in 2012, and then went on hiatus between 2013 ? 2018 to raise families and etc. In August of 2019, they came out of nowhere to release their 3rd albums "Arc". For a band that started out with 7 members, it is quite a feat to say that the band's line up has remained the same except minus one member. All 6 of the remaining members were with the band since the beginning; David Wileman (acoustic and electric guitars), Alex Crispin (organ, electric piano, vocals), Ross Hossack (synthesizer), Nicholas Whittaker (alto and soprano saxophones, vocals), Daniel Pomlett (bass), and Luke Foster (drums, percussion). "Arc" has 8 tracks and a total run time of just over 44 minutes.

In order for the band to "get back in the groove" of working together, they decided to try creating the album with a more spontaneous method, not spending so much time trying to get the perfect take. They holed themselves up in the studio for a week and spent that time composing, jamming and recording, focusing on nothing except music. The lyrics have taken what the band calls a "Jon Anderson approach" where they are mostly thematic, choosing words to fit the mood instead of telling a story.

The album starts instantly with a groovy beat on "9-Green" (6:22), which soon brings in the vocals that sounds similar to the male vocalist from "The Human League", but good enough, but have a nice level of vulnerability to them. The music is clean and feels free flowing, but it isn't what you could call straightforward either, as there is a strong progressive feel to it all. A unique sounding guitar solo comes in around 3 minutes, which continues even when the vocals start again. The music is relaxed and really does seem like it is very un-forced. During the last instrumental section, things take time to develop and intensify as the guitar continues, then it eventually calms back to the flowing style again.

"Stars Below" begins atmospheric with nice synths and keys and acoustic guitar. It's a very nice mix, again relaxed and free flowing. The melody from the vocals doesn't fall into anything really structured, it just seems devoid of any boundaries or borders. Short and nice, with shades of Canterbury Scene and a light jazz attitude.. "Citadel" (8:02) does follow a loose- structure of sorts, but at the same time, has a meandering attitude. The soft jazz/motorik feel really shines through on this one, relaxed and free floating. As the music slips into a soft psychedelic feel, you get a feel of "Can" or even some of "The Doors" softer jams. Later, the sax comes in with a more minimal foundation, but that soon returns. Instruments continue to take the spotlight as the music softly flows along with some excellent improvisation.

"The Spectrum Explodes" (4:32) has an upbeat tempo, but retains smooth synths with sustained chords and a more accessible melody. In the instrumental break, a sax introduces in a rousing guitar solo. The music sounds almost like a Moody Blues track in their later years. The beat and meter get a little more complex towards the end, but smooths out again for a organ and synth led ending. "Warning Flare" (6:13) slows things to a slow, moderate tempo, and returns to the mellow and relaxed style. Beginning with a floating intro with guitar and sax, the vocals later come in, and it all sounds a bit more Pink Floyd-ish, but with psychedelic, stoner guitars. Things calm down towards the middle until the track is mostly driven by acoustic guitars and soft organ with the vocals. An extended sax solo has the final spotlight of this track. The title track "Arc" (4:25) comes next. This one has a definite psychedelic feel to it, but gets more intense when the vocals come in with a tricky melody echoed by the guitar. Synths and sax share the solos on the instrumental break, followed by fuzzy guitar after.

"The Vital" (7:38) begins with an atmospheric organ and minimal soft guitar both improvising together. This time the band calls on their inner, early psych-Floydian spirit. Even the sax gets in on the mellow instrumental bliss-out. The somewhat ambient track just meanders along like a slow, wandering river, and also brings an inner peace to the spirit in the same way as the river does, evoking nature almost as well as anything by Paul Winter. Very nice, and quite unexpected actually. "Celestia" (4:34) ends the album with a soft and pensive song with more "Floydian" style, but with a repeating keyboard riff in the background.

This album seems to teeter on 3.5 star rating, but overall the band manages to tip the scales in their favor. The music is quite easy going with a relaxed flavor, even in the heavier moments. It seems the band was going for that style from the comments they made about having a sense of spontaneity without feeling stressed out about boundaries of time and such so much. The music is mostly quite relaxing, and yet it doesn't really get boring like you might think, however, in the first few listens, it might seem a bit same-y. But the music grows on you also, and with more listens, you will pick up subtleties that you didn't notice at first. It's a very nice album that mixes soft jazz, psychedelics and even some hints of Krautrock in places, plus it is a bit spacey at times. Very nice, but not really essential or excellent, but quite good nevertheless.

 Arc by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.21 | 15 ratings

BUY
Arc
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by TheCrimsonPrince

5 stars I was heavily anticipating this release since it was announced and, frankly, I am not disappointed.

Songs like "Citadel", "The Spectrum Explodes", and "The Vital" prove that the group has truly attained its sound. Each member skillfully presents their instruments without sounding pretentious; I especially like the vocalists, Alex Crispin (organs, keyboards) and Nicholas Whittaker (saxophones).

The album is not explosive, but that is not to say that it is not powerful. Diagonal does not need to play loudly or quickly to be heard - that is the beauty of this group. Since they are unique in every way, one may find it difficult to locate their influences; so few bands can become so removed and outstanding. In a way, Diagonal is no Starcastle, the blatant Yes-imitator, nor is it Klaatu, the band that fooled the world into thinking that it was the Beatles.

Well done.

 Diagonal by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 215 ratings

BUY
Diagonal
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 247

Diagonal is an English progressive rock band that appeared in 2008. The band is based in Brighton and consists of seven piece musicians who include two keyboardists, two guitarists and a reeds player amongst their number. The band's style tends less towards the more symphonic side of the genre popularised by the likes of Genesis and Yes, and more towards the more experimental, avant-garde, jazz-flavoured side. Still, the band manages to keep things pretty accessible at all times. The main influences appear to be Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson, whilst heads are nodded to a variety of bands from the Canterbury scene, such as The Soft Machine. There's also a spacey, psychedelic flavour to some of the tracks, which recalls the Syd Barrett's era in Pink Floyd, particularly in the build up of the songs.

Diagonal is, perhaps, the first modern U.K. band that I know which truly capture the essence, atmosphere, and sound of the original progressive rock movement from the 70's, in England. Of course, many other groups before have come along and tried their hand at generating the sound of Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Renaissance, King Crimson, and Van der Graaf Generator, in one way or another. And while all of those groups are worthy of imitation, they only represented a fraction of the original U.K. movement. Of course, they were the ones that made the big time, so it's understandable that they had attracted more admirers than all the others, really.

But, in reality, despite Diagonal has clearly absorbed many of those influences, unlike many of those bands, they only have absorbed that influence, not trying to copy it. And so, with this debut album of Diagonal you can get an entirely new album within an old familiar context. And, because the band has clearly studied this era in depth, not to mention the incorporation of the period instrumentation, the mellotron, the Hammond organ, the Fender Rhodes piano, the fuzz bass/guitar and the saxophone, they were able to create an extract of the genre, a mix of many of the genres of prog with a good taste. In what concerns to me, Diagonal have created a great and interesting retro progressive rock album.

So, 'Diagonal' is the eponymous debut studio album of Diagonal and was released in 2008. The line up on the album is Alex Crispin (lead vocals, piano, organ, synthesizers and percussion), Nicholas Richards (guitar and percussion), David Wileman (electric and acoustic guitars and percussion), Ross Hossack (mellotron and synthesizers), Nichlas Whittaker (backing vocals, alto saxophone, clarinet, flute and recorder), Daniel Pomlett (bass) and Luke Foster (drums and percussion).

'Diagonal' has five tracks. The first track 'Semi Permeable Men-Brain' is a mind blowingly intense and heavy piece with killer guitar work, and some great use of wind instruments and mellotron. The vocals are in The Moody Blues' style, although the vocals aren't as strong as The Moodies. There's a spacey, psychedelic flavour on this track which recalls Pink Floyd in the Barrett's era. The second track 'Child Of The Thunder-Cloud' is a mellower track that starts off rather mellow, with piano, but I really love those aggressive passages that kick in. The atmosphere builds into the jazz prog territory with some psychedelic effects. The vocals remind me of Pink Floyd. The third track 'Deathwatch' is also a mellower piece, a Canterbury influenced piece of music, with electric piano and some mellow vocal passages. This is a very beautiful track with some inspired rhythms. It has a long instrumental section which is very melodic and beautiful. The fourth track 'Cannon Misfire' is an instrumental piece with lots of riffs. It has some great guitar work by both guitarists and an amazing bass line. It's the track that can provide a higher proportion of jamming. This is a track with great musicianship and is very intense. The fifth track 'Pact' has a jazzy feel, then an ambient passage that reminds me of something that Vangelis would do, or perhaps Brian Eno. It's a track with great melody in a fantastic ambient style. Covering several styles and with some nice bluesy and jazzy touches. It's a nice way to close this album.

Conclusion: Diagonal is a vintage 70's prog act like The Soft Machine, King Crimson, Van Der Graaf Generator and Camel, as their music is dripping in nice and lush keyboard soundscapes, jazzy sax melodies, and some adventurous space rock explorations. Diagonal have certainly come up with an exciting and quite challenging listen here with their debut album space rock, prog, jazz-fusion, and Canterbury fans will most certainly want to investigate this one. The album looks amazingly 'grown-up', even if not every arrangement is completely convincing and sometimes one or the other transition bumps a bit. But, overall the tensions, Diagonal plays skillfully with quieter and louder passages and has successful melodies on board. And, with the whole retro attitude, it goes without saying that the album is about a classic LP length long. This is an album to be held up as an example of how to do it right. If you're a student of the genre, then let Diagonal be your teacher. This is prog rock you would have thought disappeared after the 70's, really.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 140 ratings

BUY
The Second Mechanism
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 2012 saw the belated release of the sophomore effort by a young British group who made a splash with their debut album four years earlier, and after this one vanished with barely a ripple.

The new music was the same throwback Heavy Prog as before: a convincing facsimile of the early 1970s, nimbly tracing the analog footprints of the band's musical forefathers. But several shifts in personnel over the preceding four years (losing two key players; consolidating the remaining quintet) left its mark on their sound, which by necessity had to be kept on a tighter leash this time.

Make no mistake: there's no shortage of excellent music here, played with admirable skill and dedication. The aggressive yet measured "Voyage/Paralysis" opens the album on a Crimson-influenced rabbit punch, and the repetitive drive of "These Yellow Sands" builds to an undeniably thrilling, breakneck climax, setting up the ominous "Mitochondria", with its distant echoes of classic Van Der Graaf Generator.

But a degree of momentum was obviously lost in the long wait between albums. And the exertion needed to rebuild it from scratch can perhaps be heard in the more deliberate compositional focus within each track, most of them instrumental (the unfortunate vocals in the song "Hulks" were thankfully kept to a minimum).

In my review of the band's self-titled debut I applauded the way they managed to avoid the copycat habits of other retro-proggers, by not trying to mimic Yes, Genesis et al. Instead, the album (and this one also, to a lesser extent) sounded not unlike a 1971 cult act, newly rediscovered. It's an approach that made their old-school aesthetic fresh again, but at the same time posed a unique problem.

The music of those second-tier Progressive rockers from the 1970s is enhanced today by distance and nostalgia, as reminders of a lost Golden Age when true musical creativity hadn't yet been marginalized by the demands of commerce. But Diagonal doesn't enjoy that same advantage: the band is too new and working in a different zeitgeist, which might explain why the experiment folded after only a couple of albums, both of them quite strong. This second and possibly last recorded effort is a notch below their first, but it improves when heard in sequence. Spin the '08 debut, and then play this one to better appreciate the refinement of purpose.

Hopefully the group is only dormant, not completely dead. Of course, the same wish could easily apply to the style of music itself, but in the immortal words of Clarence Darrow (a true progressive, but not a rocker): "Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for."

 Diagonal by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 215 ratings

BUY
Diagonal
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You'd never guess after hearing the first Diagonal album that it was recorded in 2008: the songwriting, arrangements, instrumentation, performance and production all combine to flawlessly recreate not just the sound but the spirit of the early 1970s.

They aren't, of course, the only group to have been directly influenced by the Progressive Rock stars of a bygone era. But there's a difference in their approach that sets Diagonal apart from other modern proggers living in the past. Instead of stealing ideas and sometimes actual riffs from Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant et al, these guys resemble one of those obscure second-tier bands who labored in the wake of their better-remembered role models, and whose only recorded LP is now a rare collector's item.

The results go beyond homage to become an act of witness, by young musicians with a functioning time machine stashed somewhere in their Brighton studio. From the distorted vintage organ chords in the album opener "Semi-Permeable Menbrain" (an awesome title, by the way) to the Mellotron-induced nirvana of the closing 14-minute "Pact", there isn't a single aesthetic misstep throughout its vinyl-era 46-minute length.

The occasional lead vocals, gently bathed in period reverb, are equally nostalgic: unquiet ghosts from an undead past. But the album is more than just a convincing anachronism; the music itself would be memorable even without the analog cosmetics. Listen to how the song "Child of the Thunder-Cloud" rises gradually from an acoustic piano and clarinet intro to a thrilling freak-out finale. Or the way in which the drifting Mellotron cloud in "Pact" finally condenses into a rousing twin-guitar anthem, before closing on a moment of unexpected grace.

Classic, but modern; heavy, yet delicate: this was a band living the dream firsthand, not just visiting in retrospect.

 Heavy Language (Black Sparkle) by DIAGONAL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.51 | 5 ratings

BUY
Heavy Language (Black Sparkle)
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

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.

 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 140 ratings

BUY
The Second Mechanism
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

5 stars British band Diagonal released a very impressive self-titled debut back in 2008, with the seven member band of young musicians playing a mix of retro styled prog with a modern, heavy and youthful indie-rock energy. Sax, clarinet, flute and recorder weaved around pounding piano and eerie electronics to suggest a Van der Graaf Generator influence, although admittedly the album was somewhat let down in parts by rather flat vocals. Still, the album was strong enough to gain the group a strong `word of mouth' buzz that suggested they were one to watch, although the band would sadly lose just a bit of momentum by taking four years to record the follow up, but hot-damn, was the wait ever worth it! 2012's `The Second Mechanism' sees the band tearing through five lengthy and eclectic instrumentals (although the one track to feature vocals this time is an improvement on the debut), full of aggressive playing, delirious yet seamless constant changes in direction and a noisy daring unpredictability. Imagine a mix of Anekdoten, the Mars Volta, Van der Graaf Generator, Anglagard and King Crimson with a touch of Post Rock, and you're a little closer to what the band take even further.

Throughout opener `Voyage/Paralysis', eerie twitching electronics are torn apart by pounding call-to-arms drums, vibrating mud-thick pulsing bass and serrated electric guitar ringing. In just over six minutes, the band also dart through deranged spiralling synth freak-outs, angular jazzy diversions and dirty sax droning - phew, got all that?! `These Yellow Sands' adds a pinch of Post Rock build and is unsurprisingly (with that title) lightly flecked with stormy eastern vibes, adding chiming guitar mystery, crystalline electric piano sparkles, relentless drumming and ghostly sighing low-key cries, and sax that moves from dusty wafts to honking blasts, stormy rumbles and manic up-tempo bursts bring back that Van der Graaf Generator flavour of the first album. `Mitochondria' floats through wandering melancholic bass over spectral piano and lonely horns before picking up in-tempo and furiously bouncing through a thunderous manic rumble of jagged stop-start guitar spasms, drum battery and haunting maddening sax - plenty of power and tension in this one!

The second side's `Hulks' introduces a sparingly used doomed weary regal vocal that, alongside murky bass, droning distortion, rising/falling electronics and constant cutting sax/guitar slices twisting in unison, helps capture that despondent mood similar to bands like Anglagard and White Willow at their most drizzly, and there's plenty of dark unease bubbling under the surface. Slowly unfolding ambient synth washes coat `Capsizing's background (and is that a touch of the Mellotron buried in there too?), but the piece rapidly grows in restless momentum and has the band all delivering break-neck soloing, the highlight being some fuzzy bass vibrations, infectious sax runs with stirring clarinet and noisy jazzy breakdowns that are deliciously darkly grooving. It's a little more upbeat than the previous tracks, so ends the album on a somewhat warmer note.

Sadly since its release, the band seem to have gone rather quiet (worryingly their website has vanished and their Facebook page hasn't been updated in almost two years), which might suggest the group may have finally folded, but let's hope it's just the calm before the storm of their next release. There is too much exciting potential, completely evident talent and top-notch playing on display here, and if anything, `The Second Mechanism' sets an indie-prog, vintage-meets-modern standard that more bands and listeners should have been paying attention to. Completing surpassing the already great debut, it's a cruelly ignored disc that deserves a new lease of life and rediscovery, no matter how belated.

Five stars.

 Diagonal by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 215 ratings

BUY
Diagonal
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Seven-piece outfit from Brighton, UK with all members being multi-instrumentalists.These were David Wileman, Nicholas Whittaker, Nicholas Richards, Ross Hossack, Luke Foster, Alex Crispin and Daniel Pomlett, with Crispin being the lead singer but all members contribute on vocals.They recorded their debut at Toe Rag Studios in London and the album succeeded both CD and vinyl issues on Rise Above Records.

The aim of Diagonal was to interpret the Classic Prog years from the 70's and actually you will hardly believe the album was recorded that recently.The extremely vintage opener ''Semi-Permiable menbrain'' borrows the best moments of KING CRIMSON, dominated by heavy guitar workouts and powerful Mellotron washes, and mixes them with a certain Jazz-Rock attitude ala COLOSSEUM with pounding organs and jazzy solos.A great opener indeed, followed by the long intro of ''Child of the thundercloud'', which becomes fully KING CRIMSON-oriented in the process with beautiful vocals in the vein of GREG LAKE and an energetic ending section with nice breaks and a very good piano performance.''Deathwatch'' lies somewhere between CRESSIDA (in the vocal lines) and KING CRIMSON/VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR (in the instrumental parts), even having slight Post Rock moves, led by light saxes, mellow electric piano and atmospheric guitar lines.With ''Cannon misfire'' seems like ROBERT FRIPP meets on stage with DAVID JACKSON in a very complex track with inredible guitat runs, frenetic bass lines and psychedelic saxes, simply stunning!''Fact'' is a beautiful closer, opening with a great guitar/organ vibe, but soon being transformed in an early-KING CRIMSON/CRESSIDA-inspired piece with orchestral Mellotrons and crying vocal lines.The only stretched point of the album comes after.About six minutes of ethereal, Lounge soundscapes of a Post Rock approach with synths and Mellotron, which is very atmospheric but maybe a bit too long.

Definitely one of the best recent Retro Prog albums.Highly nostalgic, characterized by impressive performances, excellent instrumental skills and tight compositions.Highly recommended.

 Diagonal by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.13 | 215 ratings

BUY
Diagonal
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Diagonal play a style of nostalgic progressive rock which, despite benefiting a little from modern recording standards, is aesthetically informed by the underground prog bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s - a time when the interweaving of early prog and the countercultural underground was still in place and classical music influences hadn't yet begun to outweigh the psychedelic roots of prog.

At points they are really quite excellent at recapturing the aesthetic of that period - just listen to that organ sound at the start of the opening track for a great example - but I feel the album is dragged down a little precisely because of the band's commitment to authentically vintage- sounding material: by not allowing themselves to learn the lessons of hindsight the band end up repeating mistakes of the era, such as allowing an uninspired drum solo to go on for way too long. In essence, the band spend a little too much time reinventing the wheel and not enough time trimming away the fat for this debut to be anything other than a pleasant but inessential nostalgia trip.

 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.81 | 140 ratings

BUY
The Second Mechanism
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives