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 - Presently on a hiatus (as of 2017)

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


DiagonalDiagonal
Candlelight 2009
$24.09
$18.21 (used)
The Second MechanismThe Second Mechanism
Metal Blade 2012
$9.46 (used)
Diagonal by DiagonalDiagonal by Diagonal
Candlelight
$44.74
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM - SEALED VINYL - IMPORT LP RECORD USD $39.98 Buy It Now 9h 29m
DIAGONAL JEAN CHRISTOPHE CHOLET ALTRI SUONI SWISS JAZZ CD SWITZERLAND USD $19.99 Buy It Now 11h 47m
Diagonal - The Second Mechanism NEW LP USD $20.50 Buy It Now 12h 23m
JOHNNY ALF DIAGONAL Japan mini lp CD Celso Murilo MPB SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
DIAGONAL FLYING NEW CD USD $8.76 Buy It Now 1 day
Diagonal - The Second Mechanism [CD] USD $15.73 Buy It Now 1 day
12": Prostitutes - Ecstasy, Crashing Beats And Fantasy - Diagonal - DIAG0015 USD $11.39 Buy It Now 2 days
12": Evol - Right Frankfurt - Diagonal - DIAG032 USD $12.66 Buy It Now 2 days
LP: Prostitutes - Dance Tracksz - Diagonal - DIAG033 USD $18.36 Buy It Now 2 days
12": Streetwalker - Ooze - Diagonal - DIAG008 USD $12.66 Buy It Now 2 days
Not Waving Animals CD Diagonal Records 2016 506016548188 USD $11.39 [0 bids]
2 days
ELON KATZ The Human Pet MLP Yellow Vinyl diagonal powell russell haswell NM- USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
El Hombre Trajeado-Fast Diagonal (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $24.77 Buy It Now 3 days
Diagonal Diagonal LP VINYL Rise Above Records 2008 USD $38.01 Buy It Now 3 days
NHK yx KOYXEN - Doom Steppy Reverb LP diagonal powell actress russell haswell NM USD $9.00 Buy It Now 3 days
Stockholm Lisboa Project-Stockholm Lisboa Project-Diagonal (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $15.95 Buy It Now 4 days
EL HOMBRE TRAJEADO FAST DIAGONAL NEW VINYL USD $26.01 Buy It Now 6 days
PHILIPPE FENELON-DIAGONAL-EPILOGUE-PARAL.LEL-HAFFNER-LP-GF-IMP-HMC 5180-NM USD $18.39 Buy It Now 9 days
El Hombre Trajeado-Fast Diagonal VINYL NEW USD $38.77 Buy It Now 9 days
EL HOMBRE TRAJEADO Fast Diagonal LP VINYL Europe Chemikal Underground 2016 10 USD $37.11 Buy It Now 9 days
CAPITOL sleeve - b&w; diagonal rows; text under logo; E7B-1BS in corner - 7" USD $5.00 Buy It Now 10 days
CAPITOL sleeve - b&w; diagonal rows; text under logo; no number in corner- 7" USD $5.00 Buy It Now 10 days
El Hombre Trajeado-Fast Diagonal (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $26.02 Buy It Now 11 days
Company Sleeve 45 COLUMBIA Brown w/ Red Lettering & Diagonal Stripe on USD $4.00 Buy It Now 11 days
Diagonal - Second Mechanism (CD Used Like New) USD $11.31 Buy It Now 12 days
CD - Classic Rock - New Music for 2009 - 15 Tracks Ulysses,Diagonal,Treat,Caimbo USD $1.58 Buy It Now 12 days
Seij Minus Ac?-Black Acuity Suddenly Diagonal CD NEW USD $18.03 Buy It Now 12 days
Company Sleeve 45 Capitol - White W/ Black Diagonal Repeating Logo USD $4.00 Buy It Now 12 days
Company Sleeve 45 Epic - White W/ Black Diagonal Stripes And Writing USD $5.00 Buy It Now 12 days
FAST DIAGONAL USD $29.47 Buy It Now 13 days
PHILIPPE FENELON DIAGONAL MAIPU994 EPILOGUE PARA.LEL HARMONIA MUNDI HMC 5180 USD $9.83 Buy It Now 14 days
Stockholm Lisboa Project-Stockholm Lisboa Project-Diagonal (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Elektra - Asylum Records Company 45 RPM Vinyl Record Sleeve Diagonal USD $6.95 Buy It Now 14 days
12": Streetwalker - Ooze - Diagonal - DIAG008 USD $12.66 Buy It Now 14 days
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM - YELLOW VINYL - IMPORT LP RECORD USD $29.99 Buy It Now 14 days
GALLAGHER: THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY; PELINKA: DIAGONAL; BEATH: LAGU LAGU MANIS USD $5.55 Buy It Now 15 days
GALLAGHER: THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY; PELINKA: DIAGONAL; BEATH: LAGU LAGU MANIS USD $8.88 Buy It Now 15 days
Diagonal - Lukus Wells (2010, CD New) USD $21.16 Buy It Now 15 days
Crawford Howard The Diagonal Steam trap CD New Classic Belfast Humour USD $13.78 Buy It Now 15 days
Prins Emanuel Diagonal Musik VINYL LP (24THAUG)NEW USD $24.06 Buy It Now 15 days
NHK YX KOYXEN Exit Entrance LP NEW VINYL DFA Pan Diagonal Aphex Twin Autechre USD $20.99 Buy It Now 15 days
Matt Moore : Diagonal CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 16 days
French Touch - Diagonal Jean-Christophe Cholet FRANCE CD Cristal Jazz MINT #49-3 USD $6.29 Buy It Now 16 days
French Touch - Diagonal Jean-Christophe Cholet FRANCE CD NEW Cristal Jazz #49-3* USD $6.29 Buy It Now 16 days
TRAFFIC THE LOW SPARK OF HIGH HEELED BOYS LP 1971 ILPS 9180 SEALED DIAGONAL CUTS USD $39.99 Buy It Now 16 days
TRAFFIC SHOOT OUT AT THE FANTASY FACTORY LP 1973 SEALED ILPS 9224 DIAGONAL CUTS! USD $34.99 Buy It Now 16 days
DAVID/FRICK,SIMON HELBOCK - DIAGONAL CD NEW+ USD $26.22 Buy It Now 16 days
RCA company sleeve - blue ink; diagonal dotted line; Nipper graphic - 10" USD $6.00 Buy It Now 18 days
DIAGONAL - Self-Titled (2009) - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $41.75 Buy It Now 18 days
ELEKTRA-ASYLUM label company sleeve - diagonal rows; L.A., N.Y., Nashville - 7" USD $4.50 Buy It Now 19 days
Diagonal-Second Mechanism CD NEW USD $19.52 Buy It Now 19 days
Capitol Records Company 45 RPM Vinyl Record Sleeve Black & White Diagonal USD $6.95 Buy It Now 19 days
(CD) Gubaidulina:Sieben Worte; In Croce /Julius Berger;Kammerorchester Diagonal; USD $17.00 Buy It Now 19 days
Duo Diagonal-Tango 040 CD NEW USD $18.28 Buy It Now 20 days
Lukus Wells-Diagonal CD NEW USD $19.10 Buy It Now 20 days
Diagonal - Second Mechanism [New CD] USD $12.46 Buy It Now 20 days
Diagonal - Lukus Wells (CD Used Very Good) USD $17.09 Buy It Now 20 days
DIAGONAL LP by Diagonal 12" Vinyl Record Rise Above Records >NEW< USD $29.95 Buy It Now 20 days
Diagonal - Second Mechanism [New CD] USD $13.31 Buy It Now 20 days
POWELL Fizz 12" NEW VINYL Liberation Technologies Diagonal Death Of Rave Factory USD $16.99 Buy It Now 20 days
Diagonal - The Second Mechanism NEW CD USD $13.10 Buy It Now 21 days
Lukus Wells - Diagonal [New CD] USD $19.09 Buy It Now 21 days
Slavonic Tone Diagonal/Jean-Christophe Cholet CD USD $32.46 Buy It Now 22 days
Diagonal - Diagonal - Diagonal CD T8VG The Fast Free Shipping USD $24.28 Buy It Now 22 days
WEA LATINA label company sleeve - black & white; diagonal rows - 7" USD $4.00 Buy It Now 22 days
ASTRA / DIAGONAL SPLIT 7'' LTD GIG ONLY PRESSING OF 300, MINT, RISE ABOVE, PROG USD $95.02 Buy It Now 24 days
12": Powell - New Beta Vol. 1 - Diagonal - DIAG038 USD $20.26 Buy It Now 24 days
Fast Diagonal [VINYL] Vinyl USD $29.65 Buy It Now 24 days
^ JOHNNY ALF diagonal JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW // USD $39.99 Buy It Now 25 days
Crawford Howard, The Diagonal Steam Trap, Spring Records SLP 1002 lp USD $3.79 Buy It Now 25 days
STOCKHOLM LISBOA PROJECT - DIAGONAL * USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $15.36 Buy It Now 26 days
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $12.48 Buy It Now 26 days
STOCKHOLM LISBOA PROJECT - DIAGONAL * NEW CD USD $16.98 Buy It Now 26 days
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM NEW CD USD $13.32 Buy It Now 26 days
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM [DIGIPAK] NEW CD USD $15.76 Buy It Now 26 days
DIAGONAL - Diagonal - CD,prog/psych, 2008 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 26 days
NHK YX KOYXEN Doom Steppy Reverb LP NEW VINYL Diagonal Demdike Stare Gescom Blaw USD $28.99 Buy It Now 28 days
Diagonal-Second Mechanism (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $16.76 Buy It Now 28 days
CRAWFORD HOWARD - THE DIAGONAL STEAM TRAP CD USD $13.80 Buy It Now 28 days
STEVE GALLAGHER - FLYING DIAGONAL NEW CD USD $22.19 Buy It Now 28 days
POWELL Insomniac 12" NEW VINYL XL Diagonal USD $15.99 Buy It Now 28 days
CRAWFORD HOWARD - THE DIAGONAL STEAM TRAP - LP USD $13.72 Buy It Now 29 days
Diagonal - The Second Mechanism (NEW CD) USD $15.82 Buy It Now 29 days
DIAGONAL - THE SECOND MECHANISM CD HEAVY METAL HARD ROCK NEW+ USD $20.55 Buy It Now 29 days
Diagonal-Second Mechanism (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $15.72 Buy It Now 29 days
SHIT AND SHINE Powder Horn 2x LP NEW VINYL Diagonal Powell Russell Haswell USD $36.99 Buy It Now 29 days
GREEN GUMS Black Tounge 12" NEW VINYL Diagonal Factory Floor Bronze Teeth Powell USD $23.99 Buy It Now 29 days
Diagonal Audio CD USD $31.56 Buy It Now 29 days

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)

4.14 | 202 ratings
Diagonal
2008
3.90 | 135 ratings
The Second Mechanism
2012

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)

3.52 | 4 ratings
Heavy Language (Black Sparkle)
2008

DIAGONAL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 135 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
4.14 | 202 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
3.52 | 4 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
3.90 | 135 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
4.14 | 202 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
4.14 | 202 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
3.90 | 135 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.

 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 135 ratings

BUY
The Second Mechanism
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

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.)

 The Second Mechanism by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 135 ratings

BUY
The Second Mechanism
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

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
 Diagonal by DIAGONAL album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.14 | 202 ratings

BUY
Diagonal
Diagonal Eclectic Prog

Review by Starhammer
Prog Reviewer

4 stars From a different angle...

This eponymous debut was one of the best albums of 2008 and with a second release on the horizon, now seems a good time to write a quick review.

Diagonal are a five piece outfit from Brighton that play an intriguing style of eclectic prog. At times it falls somewhere between Camel and Deep Purple but for the most part it fells quite original. The first few times I listened to the album the almost tuneless alto sax was a major deal-breaker, but now I love it and seems part of their signature.

The opening two tracks are truly excellent and and compliment each other well. The general tranquillity of Child of the Thundercloud provides a stark contrast to the bombastic Semi Permeable Men-Brain. The standard of musicianship is superb and the arrangements both engaging and tasteful. However, for me one of the stand-out points is the production. Too often great compositions get ruined by unbalanced levels or poor clarity, but the sound here is pretty much perfection, and this is particularly admirable for such a dynamic album.

Diagonal's only real short coming is a bit of a lull towards the middle. Deathwatch does nothing for me, and the opening to Cannon Misfire just sounds like outtakes from the SPM-B breakdown. This leaves me thinking they might have peaked to early, but thankfully it is recovered with a hypnotic bass riff, and the psychedelic finale on Pact provides the perfect ending.

The Verdict: Whilst the centre might be a little under-baked, the album as a whole remains a delicious slice of prog.

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