The Second Mechanism is the sophomore release from UK prog act Diagonal. Now, this band is quite a unique fit for Rise Above Records/Metal Blade, as they are as far from hard rock or metal as you can get. Diagonal are more in line with vintage '70s prog acts like Soft Machine, National Health, Hatfield & the North, Eloy, or Camel, as their music is dripping in lush keyboard soundscapes, jazzy sax melodies, and adventurous space rock explorations.
Opening cut "Voyage/Paralysis" is like a meeting of Pink Floyd, Eloy, and Soft Machine, while the more aggressive "These Yellow Sands" sees space rock guitars, analog keyboards, and Passport styled sax lines collide for an exciting prog brew. "Mitochondria" contains some furious jazz-fusion passages mixing with Tangerine Dream styled electronics (the unison guitar/keyboard/sax lines are outstanding), which will appeal to any fan of classic Soft Machine, and "Hulks" sees the first appearance of vocals in what is otherwise a dense mix of dark prog & jazz, complete with some searing guitar solos and stabbing sax that culminate in an almost free-jazz finale. Closer
"Capsizing" is a soaring jazz-fusion meets space rock jam with scattered sax, guitar, and keyboard melodies fluttering about the mix, with some nice heavy rock guitar riffs and leads towards the back end of the song.
Diagonal have certainly come up with an exciting and quite challenging listen here with The Second Mechanism. Space rock, prog, jazz-fusion, and Canterbury fans will most certainly want to investigate this one.
1. Voyage / Paralysis
2. These Yellow Sands