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Discipline - To Shatter All Accord CD (album) cover

TO SHATTER ALL ACCORD

Discipline

 

Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 539 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It is a great pleasure for me to bring up Discipline, American prog prodigy led by the unforgettable "Acid Mime" Matthew Parmenter, and not to do as a retrospective of their short but relevant 90s discography ... but to discuss their brand new album " To Shatter All Accord "! But first let's take a brief look into the American side of prog revival in the 90s: while in the country of Jimi Hendrix and Edward Hopper avant and neo were the most recurrent prog styles, Discipline's line of work followed a peculiar stance, forged through an eclectic mix of retro and neo-psychedelia. Though the band's legacy was not Plentiful, their "Push & Profit" and "Unfolded Like Staircase" albums and their live performances left an indelibly stamped image in the collective memory of the late progressive-loving generations. And now, here they are with "To Shatter All Accord", with the band returning to their "Unfolded" line-up. This comeback album includes three songs the band played in its early years, even when it was a quintet. Now, 'Circuitry' and 'When The Walls Are Down ', true testimonies of the band's theatrical anguish and heartbreaking madness as they appear on the "Live" DVD Live, meet their proper final studio versions of study. In fact, 'Circuitry' opens up the album with strength of character, mostly based on the combination of heavy guitar riffs and deceptively languid swing of the rhythm duo. When the piano occupies the central axis on a subject in 3/4, the song turns to solemnity and gives way to a grim reflexivity, akin to that found in areas as diverse as Areknamés, Versus X and White Willow (for example), which in turn refers indirectly to the Van der Graaf Generator start. The musical idea his own circle closes with a return to the first motif, paving the way for the emergence of the next song, 'When The Walls Are Down'. This one states and imposes its particular presence from that beautiful piano and sax duo that comes before the opener's final organ chord disappears. The wall of sound is brutally powerful (something like Gnidrolog-meets-"Lizard" era KC), yet delivered with egregious finesse. This piece capitalized and streamlines the ominous intensity inherent to its melodic development, giving a little more color to the subject while exploring new depths of anxiety and density with a dark expression. After experimenting a little less than 14 minutes of continuous neurotic climax, 'Dead City' presents a more agile setting on an 11 / 8 tempo, producing a sound somewhat akin to space-rock while establishing family ties with neo- prog standard. However, stating that this is some sort of simplification would be totally inaccurate: on the contrary, it shows a very meticulous preparation of the piece's melodic development all the way toward a playful chaotic coda. So far, we've enjoyed 19 minutes of witty colorful progressive music Discipline-style. After all these years, the band does not show any signs of drowsiness or disorientation after the 14-year hibernation. There are still 37+ minutes music left from Matthew Parmenter & co., and that time scope is occupied by two mega-pieces: 'When She Dreams She Dreams In Color' and 'Rogue'. 'When She Dreams?' carries an ominous tone from the very piano-vocal entrance. Somewhere midway of "Godbluff"-era VDGG and "Rock Bottom"-era Wyatt. The jazzy cadence provided by the drum kit gives an effective dynamic marked by Parmenter's dark singing, and there is an air of permanent expectation that ultimately is sustained by an eerie violin solo during the long instrumental conclusion. It is this long conclusion which conceals the emotional distress revealed earlier in the last sung section, substituting the anger with sadness: the languid rhythmic architecture and the mellotron layers state a proper mixture of Anekdoten and classic KC, a very useful strategy when you need to construct emotional density and grim moods. 'Rogue' is the album's concluding marathon. Starting with a beautiful baroque-style prelude based on the acoustic guitar motif, the first main body is installed with a sophisticated rhythm pattern (alternating 7/8 and 4/4) that clearly states (once again) the VDGraffian and Hammillian modes that influence Parmenter's musical vision. Shortly before reaching the fifth minute's barrier, another central motif transports us to an aura of melancholy, but always embedded in the band's quintessential restlessness: when everything becomes more explicitly dense, the melodic development gains more intensity. A heritage from the 'Canto IV' suite? ? maybe, perhaps? Next is a sequence of two cacophonous motifs that bear a more mechanical tension, but instead of cooling off the overall mood, it really emphasizes it in terms of madness and passion. Parmenter's exacerbated vocalizations as a tormented ghost complete the robustness contained in the sonic architecture developed by the magnificent blend of guitar, organ, bass and drums (yes, a good listener must pay close attention to figure out that those demented sonic washes come from Parmenter's throats and not from his sax or violin). The current storm is steadily maintained, leading to an emotional climax of darkness that is as scary as it is inciting, just like a siren's is known to be lethal yet it is perceived as irresistible and enamoring. Once the storm is past, the calm of the shipwrecked survivor comes: in this specific song, it means that a slow 3/4 motif brings a stylized calm demeanor, as if balancing the idea of surviving a catastrophe. The ending guitar solo and the coda dominated by ethereal mellotron layers, based on the prelude's chord progression, give this suite a proper full circle. So, this was my opinion, a very positive opinion about this 2011 masterpiece of prog. In short: Discipline rules!!
Cesar Inca | 5/5 |

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