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Discipline - Live 1995 CD (album) cover

LIVE 1995



Symphonic Prog

4.15 | 26 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars (8/10)

1995 being a year after the first of the Discipline albums, you might think this would be mostly material from "Push & Profit", but Discipline have always been a band whose live catalogue was far more extensive than their studio one. Indeed, a lot of the songs on their studio albums were played live long before they were ever taken into a recording studio. This is the first of two major reasons for any Discipline fan to invest in their live material; you will get something new for your money. Seeing as how I live in the UK, making it unlikely I'll ever get the chance to actually see Discipline live, I was perfectly happy forking out the extra money to get this DVD delivered to me. The songs that do exist on studio releases also tend to be a darker and more aggressive take in their live incarnations, which I'm sure a lot of people will enjoy.

The second major reason is to see Matthew 'the magic acid mime' Parmenter bring these songs to (crazy) life, which he very much does. You can see just how much he throws himself into every song, as well as hear it in his voice. You can see a clip from this DVD of the song "When The Walls Are Down" (now available in studio form on Discipline's latest album, "To Shatter All Accord") on Discipline's official YouTube channel, and it was this that originally encouraged me to purchase the DVD. Indeed, a friend I showed this video to described it as "like he's taking some sick sadistic pleasure in every syllable". The costume changes (one per song) are great fun as well, they include everything from a traditional witch to an escaped mental patient. All in all there is a real dark showmanship to Parmenter's performance which makes the concert a theatrical spectacle. At times it's even like watching a more serious and twisted version of Alice Cooper, especially (for example) in the shocking sonic assault of "The Possession".

Now, obviously Parmenter is the star of the show, but I was also really impressed with Jon Preston Bouda on guitar. It becomes clear live just how important he is to the Discipline sound in general, and how skilful he really is, able to play his part subtly blending into the sound, or explode into action where called for. He really knows how to get the most out of his instrument, making his guitar screech and wail with impressive talent.

The DVD extras are a bit more variable in terms of quality of footage, and are not all taken from the same show (they are from various performances from 1988 to 1998). They do provide an interesting historical picture of the band, but a lot of the early performances are pretty 'raw', and tend to lean more towards hard rock than prog, so be warned. That's not to say the songs are bad though. It is also quite fun to watch them grow into the band we know and love today, with the last song being the epic "Into The Dream" (as heard on Discipline's 1997 masterpiece, "Unfolded Like Staircase"). Other highlights from the extras section include the rambling insane monologue of ocular mutilation ("Eyeballs Story"), and the appearance of Parmenter's violin in "When She Dreams She Dreams In Colour (Coda)".

But it is the main show that interests me the most. Here there can be no doubt that the compositions themselves are of a very high standard. I haven't gone into any detail about them in order to not repeat myself if/when I review the albums. I'm not sure I would say this is the best starting point for people new to Discipline, as it is a bit full-on for a beginner. However, for those who already know (and presumably appreciate) the music of Discipline, I can definitely recommend "Live 1995".

ScorchedFirth | 4/5 |


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