Diagonal - s/t. 2008 England

Diagonal are the first modern UK band, that I know of anyway, to truly capture the essence, atmosphere, and sound of the original progressive rock movement from 1970-1971 England. Many groups have come along and tried their hand at generating the sound of Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Renaissance, King Crimson, and Van der Graaf Generator. And while all of those groups are worthy of imitation, they only represented a fraction of the original UK movement. Of course, they were the ones that made the big time, so it's more than understandable how they attracted more admirers than others. But Diagonal has clearly absorbed the record collections of the deep divers - in particular the Neon, Dawn, Transatlantic, Vertigo, and Deram labels and their stable of bands. With Diagonal you'll hear references to bands such as Cressida, Samurai, Raw Material, T2, Beggar's Opera, Gravy Train, Spring, Clear Blue Sky, Diabolus, East of Eden, and Indian Summer. But here's the most important part to understand: They have absorbed the influence, not copy it. And so you get an entirely new album within a familiar context. And because the band has clearly studied this era in depth, not to mention incorporating the period instrumentation (mellotron, Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, fuzz bass/guitar, sax), they are able to create an extract of the genre. What that means for us modern buyers is an enhanced product - perhaps even exaggerated. For my tastes, Diagonal have created the perfect retro progressive rock album. 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.

Personal collection
CD: 2008 Rise Above

Last listen: 4/21/18

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