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Discipline - To Shatter All Accord CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.19 | 633 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 8/10

"To Shatter All Accord" is one of those rare albums that comes from the heart instead of the head.

One of the most fascinating and loved bands of modern Progressive are Discipline, the band that released "Unfolded like Staircase", an album that was praised to the point where it is now a legendary cult album for Prog fans. "To Shatter All Accord" is their first album after ULS, thus this 2011 release was highly anticipated by many people. Once again, it seems that Discipline prove to the world how Progressive Rock is still mightily strong, as it was back in the golden era.

It is known that this band isn't really one that likes to do musical revolutions: their style is pretty standard Progressive Rock, with a quasi-retro feeling. There's plenty of organ, decent amount of sax playing, Peter Hammill inspired vocals, and somewhat rough production. The swirling effect the guitars often have are a trademark for Discipline, and the guitar work overall has always been very creative. The mellotron is occasional, thus the band is more focused on extremely typical instruments. That is because this is a band that doesn't need extraordinary new sonic inventions to be great, because their song-writing skills are the center-piece of their whole music, strengthened by amazing musicianship on behalf of everybody in the band. Their melodies are memorable and very well built, a band that certainly aims more for the heart of the music than it's skin, and that is rare thing to find in any musician/band, especially for such a genre like Prog, where schematic thinking songwriting-wise is almost a prerequisite.

Discipline have proven with this album that they know how to climax things; as a matter of fact, this album as a whole is extremely climactic in its nature; something anybody could notice, just by looking at the length of the songs and the order they appear on the LP; among the five songs, the first three are relatively accessible and easy to listen to, the fourth is much longer and more ambitious, and the last track goes beyond anything the band has ever released length-wise. It might seem strange, but considering the tracks' length is critical for understanding how an album works.

Starting with the Hard Rock influenced "Circuitry", this album boasts a wonderful and perfect intro: it starts strong and with a very retro feel, but it unexpectedly twists at a certain point, becoming a restless chameleon, making these six minutes sound extremely complete and circular. The two following songs, "When The Walls Are Down" and "Dead City" are even more well written, with more haunting melodies, even more jaw-dropping musicianship and amazing songwriting, however both of them borrow ideas, especially from Van Der Graaf Generator and King Crimson. The ascending climax of the album continues with the thirteen minute "When She Dreams She Dreams In Color", a slow but gorgeously done song mainly divided in two parts, the opening one calm, almost claustrophobic, but with a beautiful driving melody and great vocals, the other part a long, stretched out exercise where layers of different instruments, including mellotron and a long sax solo, are put together and create this wonderful tapestry of different sounds. But then "Rogue", the 24 minute epic, is where Prog fans will start really drooling: tons of hooks are thrown at the listener in this period of time, leaving him overwhelmed by the complexity and the always consistent great song- writing, even though at times it does remind a little too much of the old bands, especially Van Der Graaf Generator, while executing "A Plague Of Lighthouse Keepers".

"To Shatter All Accord" is one of those rare albums that even though not having extraordinary production or particular instruments, manages thanks to the amazing song- writing to deliver songs that will shake any listener. The influences are very noticeable, but this shouldn't stop anybody from enjoying these wonderful songs that just might go down in Prog history.

EatThatPhonebook | 4/5 |


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