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LIVE 1995


Symphonic Prog

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Living in the third world (With a small variety of Prog DVD's), has disadvantages that turn into advantages in some rare occasions, last week I bought the "Pink Floyd Revisited" by MOSTLY AUTUMN, a band that I like a lot but when listening it, found that the second disk was damaged in the last track (Afterglow), it was one song only, but if you pay 45 bucks (That's the price in Peru for an original double DVD), you want it to be perfect.

Went to the store and the owner who knows me (Believe I'm his best client) immediately accepted the change, but told me I had to wait a month until a new copy came from USA, so being impatient told him I would take two different DVD's and buy MOSTLY AUTUMN when it comes, so searched but only found DISCIPLINE "Live 1995" and no other, so with some reluctance (Not a DISCIPLINE fan) took it plus a movie for my nephew.

Watching a DISCIPLINE concert is a totally different experience than listening an album, the music is good but with the show and the Magic Acid Mime theatrics turns into an excellent experience, watching Mr. Parmenter singing, playing guitar, keyboards and violin is simply amazing, of course it's evident he has more than casual PETER GABRIEL influence in his act and movements.

But if I had to choose a musician that really impressed me is Jon Preston Bouda and his eclectic guitar style, he jumps from aggressive flashes to atmospheric solos "a la" STEVE HACKETT. But not recognizing Paul Dzendzel's strong drumming and Matthew Kennedy solid bass would be unfair, even the guest keyboardist Brad Buszard makes an impeccable recreation of the atmospheric sound reminiscent of Tony Banks, outstanding.

The first part of the DVD is recorded from the 1995 gig and even when not perfect, the quality and sound are good enough, the extras feature some 1998 rare performances, some of them with very poor quality but outstanding music.

I rarely talk about the tracks when reviewing a compilation, live album or DVD because most have been reviewed in the studio albums but in this case there are tracks that really impress me.

From the 1995 concert the opener, "Diminished" presents one of Matthew Parmenter's best vocal interpretations and "Carmilla" is simply breathtaking.

But the best stuff from a musical perspective can be found in the extras, "Piddle Diddle Idle" is a perfect band work,. "When She Dreams She Dreams in Color (Coda)" with Matt at the violin and telling a joke is heartbreaking but "la piece de resistance" is "Into the Dream" with Parmenter at the keyboards, really opened my eyes to a band that I had in front of my nose but refused to see, absolutely rewarding experience.

Still don't know for sure if DISCIPLINE is Symphonic or Neo Prog and honestly, couldn't care less, thanks too the lack of MOSTLY AUTUMN stock, I'm falling in love with a band that I refused to accept because of silly prejudices against Neo Prog that thanks God I left behind after a couple months of being member of Prog Archives.

Not a 5 stars release because when reviewing a DVD we must judge not only the music and the show, but also the video and sound quality which is far from perfect (Even when very decent) but for sure won't give this DISCIPLINE "Live 1995" less than 4 solid stars.

Report this review (#103541)
Posted Monday, December 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
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".

Report this review (#890443)
Posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | Review Permalink

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