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TO SHATTER ALL ACCORD

Discipline

Symphonic Prog


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Discipline To Shatter All Accord album cover
4.22 | 547 ratings | 27 reviews | 41% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Circuitry (6:16)
2. When the Walls are Down (7:29)
3. Dead City (5:15)
4. When She Dreams She Dreams in Color (13:40)
5. Rogue (24:04)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

-Matthew Parmenter / vocals, keys, descants
-Jon Preston Bouda / guitars
-Mathew Kennedy / bass
-Paul Dzendzel / skins, percussion

Releases information

Strung Out Records

Thanks to gentlegiant for the addition
and to marty mcfly for the last updates
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  • Canto IV Unfolded Like Staircase, 1997

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DISCIPLINE To Shatter All Accord ratings distribution


4.22
(547 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(41%)
41%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
30%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

DISCIPLINE To Shatter All Accord reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
5 stars What an extremely pleasant surprise to see that after a gap of fourteen years Discipline had released a new album. Their second album in particular, Unfolded Like Staircase is highly regarded amongst a small but discerning group of prog fans and they are going to be delighted with To Shatter All Accord.

An album of only five tracks but it does include a twenty four minute epic. Each track compelling in its own right from the guitar dominated one two opening of Circuitry and When The Walls Are Down, the simpler and melodic Dead City through to the final two which captures them at their most inventive. When She Dreams She Dreams In Colour really bring to mind the Van Der Graaf Generator comparisons they're no stranger to. The haunting opening dominated by dark piano work and some wonderfully subtle jazz drumming give way to more bombastic playing. A long drawn out coda will keep mellotron fans happy and a melancholic violin solos over a slow and simple rhythm. This is not the norm however as Discipline are masters of working very effectively in more complex time signatures, demonstrated on the album as a whole and on the closing track Rogue. It's the highlight on an already excellent album. A jaw dropping musical ride, moving from powerful bombast to subtler interludes with some great hooks, particularly around half way when a fantastic Hammond and guitar driven riff really locks in to a compelling groove after a slow build. The band play brilliantly, as they do throughout and Mathew Parmenter's theatrical vocal delivery is superb.

A brilliant return for Discipline then. If you haven't heard them and like your symphonic prog on the dark side you can't afford to miss out on this excellent album. Powerful stuff indeed.

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Send comments to Nightfly (BETA) | Report this review (#568319) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 9.2/10 - They returned!

For many years a new album from Matthew Parmenter's DISCIPLINE had been not only a wet dream for almost any Prog fan, but also a thing unreal, since Matt was busy with his solo career (pretty close to what he was doing with DISCIPLINE though). But this Autumn brought us this jewel, this dare-I-say Masterpiece, a real treat for everyone who likes his Prog to be dark, moody, song-based but not too simple.

Time has done nothing to DISCIPLINE's music: I haven't heard any electronic samples that could ruin their beautiful 70s-alike atmosphere, just better production and mastering. Bouda's recognizable guitar tone, flashing rhythm-section and Parmenter's dubbed vocals along with his keyboard work which is never bombastic but always in-its-place - all DISCIPLINE's aces strike you with their brilliance just when the first track starts off. You could hear 3 tracks from album's 5 before with "When The Walls Are Down" being my long- time favourite: a creepy story about loneliness and insanity, reoccuring themes for Parmenter's dark poetry. This one, with both "Circuitry" (amazing and powerful opener known since DISCIPLINE's live album) and "Dead City" (some joyful melodies detected but unexpected!), serve for songs here, while two closing tracks, "When She Dreams She Dreams in Color" (with its long atonal brooding coda) and "Rogue" are Epics. Since I've seen "Rogue" live on MySpace I wanted to get my ears on its studio version - and here it is! I may have lost a major part of my interest for Prog now, but from where I'm standing (and judging from how many epics I've heard in last 3-4 years) "Rogue" is THE BEST PROG EPIC since IQ's "Harvest Of Souls", easily! Every note is on its own place, every section has its tension, and some lines are just as brilliant as Music can just be!

Now, final words for those who still consider DISCIPLINE to be GENESIS/VDGG/KC clone or something. Just check Parmenter's solo work, where he does all this darkness and depth by his voice and his guitar/piano only! Surely they're INFLUENCED, they bear some similarities and they HAVE to stuck in this Retro-Prog hole in order to be heard, but for me DISCIPLINE are the same way great and classic as any other legendary band you would compare them to. I quit listening to 99% of these-days-Prog nowadays for its bleak copycat- like nature, but DISCIPLINE remains one of my all-time favourite bands ever along with, say, THE MARS VOLTA, TOOL, GY!BE, ALICE IN CHAINS, DRIVE LIKE JEHU, THE CURE and JOY DIVISION.

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#570786) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review by 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!!

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#581377) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 03, 2011

Review by VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars When I read on PA's forums that Discipline would be releasing a new album after 14 years of studio silence, it quickly jumped to the top of my "anticipated albums" list. I have always regarded "Unfolded Like Staircase" to be one of the prog masterpieces of the 90s, and I was thrilled that a band I never thought would release another album was, in fact, going to do so. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, as prog is littered with examples of bands coming back after a long break and releasing a sub-par, probably ill-advised album that sits apart as an ignored, better forgotten part of their discography.

Well, "To Shatter All Accord" is not one of those examples. Discipline have come back with an album that not only holds its own against their earlier work but may actually supersede it. The songwriting here is more refined then it ever has been, and with "To Shatter All Accord" Discipline injects just enough new and innovative material in to make the album sound fresh and new without losing any of their old magic.

"Circuitry" begins the album, and it is immediately apparent that Discipline has not forgotten how to capture their sound. However, as the song progresses I can hear some definitively new elements; there are some piano passages that (to my ears at least) sound very different than anything that appeared on either of their previous albums. "Circuitry" is incredibly dynamic, which is great, as I feel often prog bands use shorter songs as an excuse to write more commercial material, which is definitely not the case here. A stellar opener that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that Discipline has not lost anything in the fourteen years since their previous, "Unfolding Like Staircase" was released.

"Circuitry" transitions very nicely into the next track, "When The Walls Are Down" which begins with a sedate piano and wind part but wastes no time in launching into a rocking guitar riff. I have always thought that Matthew Parmenter's voice had a passing resemblance to Peter Hammill's, and on this song the resemblance becomes uncanny. "When The Walls Are Down" is a great rocker and a great song, if a little less dynamic than "Circuitry."

"Dead City" is the shortest track on the album (though it's still a very respectable five minutes) and it's by far the poppiest. I actually get a bit of an 80s Rush vibe from this one (circa Grace Under Pressure), though that may just be me. "Dead City" also features an amazing guitar solo that sounds like it could easily have come off of "Unfolded Like Staircase." As I said before, this is one of the poppier songs, but that's probably a good thing because the next one is a monster.

"When She Dreams She Dreams In Color" is absolutely amazing. Starting with some delicate but moody piano and some sensitive vocals, the beginning of this track reminds me very much of "Now" from Matthew Parmenter's solo album "Astray." However, "When She Dreams?" quickly distinguishes itself with a hauntingly melodic "chorus" before going into a somewhat jazzy instrumental section. After that we get another intense vocal section before the track enters its monumental, seven minute closing section. Fully instrumental, the back half of this track is at times reminiscent of "Starless'" closing section, but it's overall more melodic then that. At the same time crushingly ominous and devastatingly beautiful, the track manages to make seven minutes of instrumental built over the same repeating chords, and more importantly make those seven minutes intriguing and consistently interesting. Some beautiful violin work features prominently and overall it's an absolute masterpiece of a song.

And after all this, we still have a 24 minute epic! In other situations a band might run the risk of exhausting their listeners, but Discipline is a veteran band that knows how to make great music, and "Rogue" is neither boring nor over-stimulating. Beginning with some classical- style guitar, the song quickly introduces a heavy riff which is itself soon followed by Parmenter's vocals. This first part of the track has a more angular, technical sound that again reminds me heavily of Van der Graaf Generator. The song keeps it ever interesting, however, by switching into a quieter mode that actually bears some passing resemblance to some late Beatles work! The influence is subtle but I can definitely hear it, which is interesting as I've never really heard any sonic resemblance to these two bands before. The rest of the song is brilliant as well, mixes styles and sonic landscapes to create a prog epic that can stand up there with the best of them and is probably even better than some of the (still masterful) epics on "Unfolded Like Staircase." The song closes by dropping down to just piano and vocals (something that Parmenter can pull off better than almost anyone else) before building back up and then fading out with a beautiful soundscape. Truly a tour de force.

With "To Shatter All Accord," Discipline have made a hands down masterpiece. I truly struggle to think of a better album that I've heard from this year, and it's been a very good year. To any who would claim that progressive rock is dead or dying, I hold up "To Shatter All Accord" as a shining example to the contrary.

Without a doubt my album of the year.

5/5

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#583007) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, December 05, 2011

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
5 stars I can't remember when or how I first heard of Discipline, but let's just say that it was it was somewhere in the Nineties. Back then I was stunned by the quality of the music that these guys were producing, and 'Unfolded like Staircase' should be in every prog lover's collection. But that was their last studio album, and came out in 1997. Since then there has been some live releases (if you can find a copy of 'Progday '95' on which they feature the grab it), but nothing new from the band. Singer Matthew Parmenter has released some superb solo albums, but when it came to light that the band were reforming in 2008 for NearFest the question would be would they stay together? Thankfully the answer to that is a resounding "Yes!" and Matthew (voice, mellotron and keys), Jon Preston Bouda (guitar), Mathew Kennedy (bass) and Paul Dzendzel (drums) have released a new studio album at last.

Only five songs (but one of these is more than 24 minutes in length), and two of these have appeared previously (in live versions), but I am very much in prog heaven. It is quite hard to describe the music of Discipline ? they always remind me of classic Genesis but actually sound nothing like them at all, while it is possible to hear elements of King Crimson, VDGG and a host of others but with some strident and at time almost dischordant guitars. Progheads aren't always the best at saying what they think about music, but the review of this album that appeared on www.dprp.net is a delight ? in that Brian Watson says about the epic 'Rogue' "this is perhaps Jon Preston Bouda's finest hour. There's a fluidity to the playing that is truly a joy to behold. If this song was a girl I would not only ask it out. I'd marry it. I mean her. Yes, I love this song." It seems a tad picky that he gave the album only a 9/10 and I'm sure that this was because he doesn't think that it is quite as good as 'Unfolded'.

To be honest I'm not so sure ? this is prog with an edge, music that demands attention. It can never sit happily bubbling along in the background like Genesis, Floyd or Moody Blues. 15 minutes into 'Rogue' and the shrieks are genuinely un-nerving. There are long instrumental passages that allow everyone to shine and at the end of the album there is only one thing to do. Take a breath, put on the kettle, and play it again. Only this time just that little bit louder. If this album doesn't deserve maximum marks the nothing does. Sheer brilliance. www.strungoutrecords.com

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#600583) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
5 stars Discipline return with a towering masterpiece that is a quintessential listening experience.

The first thought for me while listening to this album is where the heck have these guys been hiding? This album contains a musical feast for the ears with some astonishing musicianship and even harks back to the classic sounds of Van der Graaf Generator, King Crimson and Yes. The album consists of 5 songs all with varying atmospheres and structures; from short to epic length. Matthew Parmenter is a very accomplished vocalist capturing an emotional resonance on each song. His keyboard work is exemplary especially the splashes of Hammond and swathes of mellotron. Jon Preston Bouda is excellent on guitars whether it be acoustic, rhythm or scorching lead breaks. Mathew Kennedy maintains a consistent pulsating bassline and the sporadic drumming of Paul Dzendzel is triumphant. Other instruments on the album are descants, saxophone sounds and violins.

The first track is 'Circuitry' that begins with a symbiosis of loud guitar riffs and wild sax sounds. I was immediately impressed with the transfixing power of the sound and Parmenter's vocals are as theatrical as Gabriel or Hammill. This was an excellent start and I was looking forward to hearing more.

On 'When the Walls are Down' the organ is a tremendous augmentation to the wall of sound. The dreamy sax using keys is a lonely sound until a crunching metal riff breaks the solitude. The vocals are an alto range following the melody and then a spacey glissando guitar is heard, similar to Hackett. The next riff is awesome and reminded me of early 70s alternative rock, particularly the riff of Toyah's 'Neon Womb'. There is a manic lead break heard over a cacophonous blast of music with all instruments turned up to 11. The intensity is jarring and there is no room for instruments to breathe exuding a type of musical ferocity.

'Dead City' begins with lead guitar swells and a polyphonic King Crimson 11/8 asymmetrical signature. The vocals are like vintage 70s psychedelic bands, and there is an infectious melody on the line "the city of the dead." Spacey textures abound and a Pink Floyd Gilmour like guitar solo follows. A radio controlled voice is heard as the sound grows powerfully. The dystopian city is given a voice as the music spins wildly out of control, chaotically bent out of rhythm until it is mercifully brought to a halt, capping off a sensational track.

'When She Dreams She Dreams In Colour" begins quietly with a minimalist piano and Parmenter is channelling Peter Hammil in his most contemplative reflective mood. The melody follows an odd time sig. this melody is highly memorable and will conclude with a repetitive chord structure that was the main thing I remembered after a break from hearing the album on first listen. As soon as that series of chords is heard on piano and later guitar it will jolt the memory. The serene peaceful atmosphere drifts on a wave of piano drawing the listener in deeper. The Hammill-esque vocals continue and then a sax sound adds a new colour to the tapestry. Interwoven in the music is the jazzy hi-hat cymbal tapping of Dzendzel. The piano plays in isolation for a while, joined by a clean melancholy guitar. The cymbal splash signifies the floodgates of sound are about to break open. The sound suddenly intensifies and a very dense and moody atmosphere ensues. It feels dark and ethereal as the violin begins to slice out the sounds of anguish and pain, like it is being tortured with knives. The violin is genuinely spine-chilling with its serrated cries of agony. Ominous guitar tones continue in a seductive hypnotic structure and cymbals splash accenting the next chord progression. A mellotron fills the soundscape that is evoking a sense of loss or regret. The haunting measured cadence is made all the more alarming when it suddenly cuts off after a cymbal splash. This was undoubtedly a mesmirising piece of music; a 7 minute coda that has genuine emotive power.

The last track is a colossal 24 minute multi movement suite in 10 sections, 'Rogue'. It begins with a lulling gentle acoustic picking guitar. Parmenter's vocals are multi tracked and sound jarring after hearing the extended music previously. The lyrical content is dark and brooding; "lest they smother you and break you in two." The inflections of darkness and light are apparent with a series of irregular time changes ranging from 7/8 to 4/4 and then to 3/4 and beyond. There is a vocoder effect on some vocals providing a psychedelic effect. The Hammond organ begins a staccato embellishment and then the signature spirals wildly out of control. The tension and release of the music is astonishing. A piano returns with a guitar and crystalline high octave vocals. A new shift in meter begins as a spacey string pad mellotron chimes in. As you drift along on this wave of ambience suddenly the time sig transforms again throws you off, as Bouda's guitar rocks hard. It feels more like Dream Theater or Riverside at this stage. Just as you lock into this groove, the time sig changes again and there are loud screaming wails generating a disconcerting apprehensive emotion. The music draws you in deeper down an abyss of sonic resonances and then you hit the bottom as the guitars are amped up with a Hammond organ grinding out a 70s vibe. Bouda's lead break is exceptional with uplifting soaring string bends and sweeps. A fractured two note crash down signifies a new change and Parmenter's vocals return "every memory scar and fantasy leads me back should I stray, and on and on." The concept of the song follows the adventures of a shipbound crew on the ocean encountering horrific sights and siren like creatures, or is it simply a metaphor for losing your way and searching for peace? You can make your own mind up. A church organ and angular lead guitar fire up and draw this epic to a satisfying musical conclusion.

At the end of Discipline's latest release I was left quite overcome by the intensity of the music. The band generate very organic music; at times technical and daring, but always inventive and unified. The massive epic may become one of the all time great epics along the lines of classic 70s prog or the more recent work of prog metal artists. The prolific fusion of symphonic tones and heavy guitars is an amalgamation that works and the band are able to move from mesmirising beauty to a cacophonic ferocity with alarming technical precision. This is one of the best albums of 2011 and is certainly making an indelible impression in the prog community, and will continue to do so as the band become discovered for the awesome music they generate. 'To Shatter All Accord' is an enthralling album with 5 tracks of immeasurable quality.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#605433) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 07, 2012

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I do believe i've just found my favourite album of 2011. Man this is so much better than I thought it would be despite the rash of 5 stars reviews this has been getting on here. "Unfolded Like Staircase" was an excellent album and a solid 4 stars for me, and I just figured this would be the same. Man was I wrong,this is so much better. VDGG certainly came to mind a lot throughout this disc. It's dark and Parmenter can certainly sound sinister when he wants to. There a few great mellotron sections as well but really this is mainly a dark beast and one i'll be riding on a lot.

"Circuitry" has a nice heavy soundscape with prominant organ as the vocals join in. It settles with piano as the bass and vocal melodies help out. It's building and the sax comes in too.Killer stuff. Ripping guitar after 4 minutes then the vocals return a minute later. "When The Walls Are Down" opens with piano and sax in this laid back but dark passage. It kicks in quickly though. So good. Vocals join in and he's spitting out the lyrics with contempt in a Hammill-like manner after 2 1/2 minutes. Such an emotional track. "Dead City" has a cool sound to it especially the guitar, then the vocals join in. The guitar solos after 2 minutes as the background becomes intense, then back to the earlier sound with vocals.

"When She Dreams She Dreams In Color" features percussion, piano and reserved vocals. This reminds me of the DISCIPLINE of old. Sax ater 3 1/2 minutes as it seems to be slowly building. It kicks in before 5 minutes. A dark calm arrives a minute later. It's building then we get mellotron after 7 minutes. Emotion. Violin 9 minutes in and the repetitive rhythm continues to the end when it stops abruptly. "Rogue" is the 24 minute closer. Acoustic guitar to start then electric guitar and vocals take over just before a minute. Drums then piano as it becomes very VDGG-like. It settles after 5 minutes until it kicks back in before 7 minutes with power. Mellotron after 8 1/2 minutes as it settles back. Nice. The guitar solos after 10 minutes tastefully. It's building then here we go 12 minutes in. Huge bass follows that is ground-shaking. It's so good here as they seem to jam. Prominant guitar after 15 minutes. Vocals are back after 18 1/2 minutes. A calm 20 minutes in and reserved vocals join in. Lazy guitar follows then organ as the song eventually fades out.

This album is an absolute pleasure to listen to. This is MY music.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#613420) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Like Anglagard, Discipline is a highly acclaimed yet less than prolific band, and like Anglagard, Discipline is an incredibly talented bunch but a group that has yet to truly impress me. As with the aforementioned band, their compositional erraticism vexes me. However, there is more coherency to this album than there was with Unfolded Like Staircase. The Van der Graaf Generator resemblance is uncanny most of the time, sometimes becoming a "better" version of Peter Hammill's crew than they were.

"Circuitry" Fans of Led Zeppelin may well love this initial riff. The piano passage adds depth alongside some vocals. Lead guitar and saxophone trade off over heavy riffs in this raunchy rock opener. Were Van der Graaf Generator a heavy progressive rock band, this would be what they would sound like.

"When the Walls are Down" Organ, piano, saxophone and bass lead into a quieter section. I am disappointed because it isn't explored naturally- it is but a tacked-on introduction. A heavy riff comes in with piano underneath. I don't like this song much; it's too grating on the ear, both instrumentally and vocally.

"Dead City" Adopting neither progressive rock charm nor pop rock catchiness, this song is weirdly orchestrated and only somewhat appeals to me. Whereas the vocal section is a bit fun, the jarring, cacophonic instrumental part at the end is excruciating.

"When She Dreams She Dreams in Color" This is the greatest piece on the album, even if the slow, sleepy beginning fails to capture my attention for long. The instrumentation is clever, combining jazz and symphonic rock in a subtle way. The song takes a funky edge for a bit before growing louder, becoming a juddering and unpleasant section. A desolate piano takes over then before a single guitar relieves it. This begins the already celebrated coda of this piece. It is full of Mellotron and spirit. The repetitive rhythm accentuates an incredible ending that begins with Mellotron and leads into a wonderful saxophone and some wild violin. It may be Discipline's most moving moment.

"Rogue" Nylon guitar introduces the longest and final piece. The vocalist wails and snarls over a grungy riff. More than any piece on the album, this one most closely resembles Van der Graaf Generator, only centered around electric guitar. Speaking of six strings, there is a great deal of guitar work, both with respect to backing riffs and lead work, helped along by a complementary organ. The bizarre warbling and caterwauling is unappealing to me, making the second half of the lengthy instrumental middle section almost unbearable. Gentle piano and vocals lead the listener through a spacey transition to a concluding guitar solo backed by solid organ chords.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#630096) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review by EatThatPhonebook
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.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#640794) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012

Review by stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The first Discipline album in almost fourteen years, this hard rockin' set finds the Detroit proggers returning with a vengeance, the four-strong outfit producing their most riveting set yet. Only the third studio release after 1994's debut 'Push & Profit' and the hugely-popular 'Unfolded Like Staircases' from three years later, it's a wonder Discipline have such a near-mythical reputation in progressive rock circles. 'To Shatter All Accord', however, is a testament to that reputation, the opening bars of the craggy, jagged rocker 'Circuitry' emphasizing the group's lean and mean new direction and showcasing the group's refreshingly original style which for the most manages to eschew the usual modern prog conventions, especially during the album's excellent first-half. The opening three tracks - the aforementioned 'Circuitry', the epic, swirling prog of 'When The Walls Are Down' and the slightly more upbeat, keyboard-led 'Dead City' - are the real jewels here, each composition featuring catchy melodies, fantastic interplay and a genuine anthemic feel that blends Genesis- style artistry with simple, fist-pumping rock riffs. It's a winning formula but one that is sadly not repeated on the album's two closing epics. Running in at almost twenty-five minutes, album-closer 'Rogue' is the more impressive of the two, especially during the powerful mid-section when Jon Preston Bouda's screeching guitars reach a wailing crescendo above Matthew Parmenter's cyclical keyboard patterns, yet it's a rare moment of clarity in an otherwise messy, over-produced and overlong piece. That said, this is still a fine comeback album from a talented outfit who have been away far too long. The creative juices of leader and main writer Parmenter are still in good nick, especially on the shorter tracks, and it'll interesting to see if Discipline continue to gather momentum in the coming years or simply disappear out of view for another decade-or-so. At least they have left behind this worthy slice of rock-hard prog, which should more than satisfy the group's loyal brigade of fans.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#646877) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, March 05, 2012

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Matthew Parmenter did a decent job keeping the Discipline sound alive on his two solo albums, but it's still incredibly gratifying to see the band back together and sounding like they'd never been away. Some of the material on To Shatter All Accord was already fully developed back in the band's last rise to prominence in the 1990s, with Circuitry and the wonderfully megalomaniacal When the Walls Are Down having appeared on live shows from that era, as did the coda to When She Dreams She Dreams In Colour, whilst Dead City, Rogue, and the bulk of When She Dreams... seem to be shiny and new.

The structure of the album seems to be a balance between the shorter and more succinct pieces of Push and Profit (in the first three tracks) and the longer workouts of Unfolded Like Staircase (as represented by the final two tracks), though the seamless transition between Circuity and When the Walls are Down blurs the boundaries between those two songs somewhat, and on the whole all the best features of those albums are present here. Once again, Discipline prove themselves to be absolute masters at establishing atmosphere and striking the precise emotional chord they are going for. I don't mind that some of the material on here can already be heard on live albums from the earlier era of the band, because I think the inclusion of that material helps the album succeed at seeming like a natural followup to Unfolded Like Staircase, rather than the sort of reunion album where it feels like there's an abrupt discontinuity between where the band left off and the sort of material they play when they get back together.

In fact, it's one of the best reunion albums I've ever heard - much like Van der Graaf Generator's Godbluff, the fact that the main songwriter of the band was keeping the approach alive in his solo albums pays substantial dividends. Highly recommended.

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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#753812) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For those who love vintage prog ...

As I grew up with early prog music sometime in the seventies, I could easily relate with this album where the elements of its music having very strong roots to bands like King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator in some ways with the music style or at least its dark nuances. In modern world you might compare this band with Anglagard, Anekdoten, Parallel or 90 Degrees, etc. It's hard for those of you who were there in the seventies for not liking this album as this one makes the spirit of seventies music alive - it's basically like a trip to the past with modern technology in recording, new band of the 90s.

The opening track Circuitry (6:16) is basically not a straight Crimson-like track as you might hear something very classic rock style especially on its guitar work and vocal style. The composition is actually more on song orientated one so that whoever lived in the seventies or those who appreciate 70s rock music would find this opening track as an entertaining treat. When the Walls are Down (7:29) that follows as second track starts nicely with violin- like sounds followed by medium tempo upbeat music that features vocal (in the style of Peter Hammil). It's an enjoyable track with practically simple composition. Dead City (5:15) strats beautifully with a stunning guitar solo followed with music that sounds nice at the keyboard department featuring vocal line. This time the singing style is totally different with previous tracks. I consider this a s a quite straight forward rock music with a very nice musical break at minute 1:55 featuring stunning guitar solo. I cannot give you any reference on what kind of music this one is because I believe this is quite unique and interesting to enjoy - it's not something like early prog bands ever played before.

When She Dreams She Dreams in Color (13:40) is basically a track that starts wonderfully with a Pete Hammil style of singing where the music is much of slow version of Van der Graaf Generator style. If you do not know the information about this track you would definitely guess that this is Peter Hammil's voice. The much anticipated passage of the music is at the ending part where the music plays repeatedly in the style of King Crimson's Starless demonstrating mellotron drenched sounds and violin-like sounds that blow you away as it repeats slowly and you are overwhelmed by the violin-like sounds and repeated guitar fills (sometimes I get bored) until the song ends.

The epic Rogue (24:04) starts nicely with simple nylon acoustic guitar (classical) fills at the opening part followed by electric great guitar work to feature the vocal line that reminds me to Anekdoten (the singing style). It's really a blown-away opening which really amazed me at first spin and finally become my favourite as well. I like the part when it starts at approx minute 2:59 where the passage sounds different followed with electric guitar work. There are basically great musical passages and transition pieces typically played by guitar and / or piano that bring altogether a very nice experience to listeners who love early prog sounds. At approximately minutes 5 the music changes again and the singing style is with distance voice, referring to the style of Peter Hammil. I can say that overall this epic move beautifully from one style and mood to another with great transition pieces that create wonderful and pleasant listening experience - at least for me personally. Yes, the song tends to be dark from start to end but the movements are really great! I am so fortunate still having this kind of music as great as early days of King Crimson or Van der Graaf performed in totally new compositions by the younger lads of the 90s - and this was just released in 2011! Oh by the way, in the middle of track there were some musical complexities performed by the band. It's fabulous! I have to stop praising this wonderfully crafted epic that has blown me away to the bone! Oh man ..... this is really greaaaaaaaattttttt ......!!!

Overall, you can summarize clearly if you read the above novel-long write-ups that I write emotionally because I am totally blown away. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#755488) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
5 stars After being much charmed by Parmenter's solo album "Horror Express", "To Shatter All Accord" is actually my first taste of his main band DISCIPLINE. The band has a very classic heavy prog sound, with vocals that sound like a reincarnation of a 21 year old Peter Hammill. Also the prominent organ and the occasional use of saxophone and violins recall the old VDGG sound. But the songs are generally less capricious and more rocking then VDGG, with more rhythm guitars occasionally countered by a gentle touch of GENESIS, mainly provided for by the mellotrons and the melodic guitar leads. Despite the obvious references and vintage sound, DISCIPLINE doesn't come off as a clone, and the wealth of songwriting mastership more then makes up for any misgivings I would normally have for this kind of sound.

The album has a bit of an awkward start, presenting itself in the opening bars as a typical heavy rock/prog band from 1970. But that impression quickly fades as soon as the organ joins in, and when Parmenter adds his tormented tenor voice you know that all will turn out just wright, especially when he makes his line "Are you the apple of my eye?" sound as if he expects you to crawl his eyes out rather then be the apple. The first two songs form a joined effort of increasing intensity and end in a spectacular pathos-filled finale. Did I mention Hammill yet? Track 3 is a lighter and slightly funkier song that lightens up the mood just in time for the two focal points of the album, the 11 minute marvel "When She Dreams She Dreams in Color" and the 'sidelong' epic "Rogue", which must be my favourite 20+ minute prog suite since 1972 something.

Simply a must-have that has been one of my soundtracks for 2011 and much of 2012. It has a bad effect on the wallet though as this obliged me to get everything else from this band and singer. Nothing new but simply beautiful, inspired and very moving.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#857511) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Ever listened to VDGG and wondered what they would sound like if Hamill toned down the hysterics, the guitar was emphasized, and they just generally rocked out harder and longer?

I don't think this album gets all the way there, but it's as close as anything else I have heard, and it's awesome. To Shatter All Accord is simply one of those albums that I heard the very first time and knew I would keep coming back to it. As I've revisited it (many, many times), I keep hearing new things that blow my mind. This album is a showcase for both great prog composition and excellently textured music.

Circuitry/Walls is a great start, as the two form one extended track for me. It starts in a vaguely Sabbath manner and gradually morphs into a killer prog crescendo wall of sound. It's heavily overdubbed, and therefore probably not terribly fit for live delivery, but it's a killer prog track in general.

Dead City was also a highlight for me, as I don't necessarily expect shorter songs on prog albums to be this memorable (I know, I'm guilty of length discrimination!); however, this track is on par with Can-Utility by Genesis in my book. It's got a nice funky rhythm with a missing beat, some Emminence Front keys, and a great instrumental break with a huge crescendo. Just great stuff.

When She Dreams is the track that I may skip. It's too long, although it is a bit catchy when I'm in the right mood.

Of course, the absolute highlight is Rogue. This track is just a monster of menacing prog and dissonance galore. I love the playfulness in time signatures, the absolute cacophony of sound in the middle freakout section, and the textures of the keys. Again, this is just great studio prog. I perhaps would prefer to have a gigantic finale for an epic of this quality, as I think the material in the back 5 minutes is the weakest of the song, but it certainly works quite well as is, and Discipline deserve much credit for laying it down.

In short, this album occupies an essential place in my collection for dark, retro prog. As it's the best of this admittedly subjective genre, I have no qualms about placing this in 5-star, masterpiece territory.

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#890412) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Latest members reviews

2 stars 2.4/5 Although i'm more of an old school prog fan of 60' and 70', i got curious about this album, since it has such a good rating. To be honest, I did not expect anything, i just wanted to hear something new. Unfortunately i did not hear anything new. It has many influ ... (read more)

Report this review (#1192604) | Posted by aneznam | Saturday, June 14, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Unfolded like a Staircase is 5-star album for me; after so many years, when Discipline released To Shatter All Accord, I was excited. Helas, a big disappointment. I do not think that good prog needs to have long songs; unfortunately this album has too pieces (especially the last one) that left ... (read more)

Report this review (#1121540) | Posted by Sanki | Sunday, January 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars If you missed the mainstream "synth/rock/prog" of the eighties, this work resumes it quiet well, and adds some very nice prog touches to the sub-genre. I myself lived that "era", again not by choice, but because my younger brother, listened to it intensely. So, here I go...Intelligent music writi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1090548) | Posted by admireArt | Sunday, December 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A modern-day Van der Graaf Generator-King Crimson clone - that is, dark, dramatic but not yet metallic and with an occasional melodic hook. Punchy production. A penchant for layered crescendos. Probably the most consistent Discipline album. Circuitry and When the Walls Are Down are unhurried roc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1061322) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, October 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Definitely one of the best albums I have ever listened to of symphonic prog. Discipline surpassed a lot my expectations with their latest work. A truly diamond in the crown for the band. The music is incredible, the arrangements are majestic. Discipline has a refreshment of the classic sound of ... (read more)

Report this review (#1009091) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow...just wow... I got this album a while ago back when I saw it was perched at the top of the Best of 2011 page before the 2012 page replaced it. I had actually never heard of Discipline before and was in the mood for something new, so I took a gamble after seeing the album had received s ... (read more)

Report this review (#890371) | Posted by Neo-Romantic | Wednesday, January 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Let me start by staying that I have been a Discipline fan for quite some time and had the pleasure to see them perform live at the Northeast Art Rock Festival a couple years ago. 1. Circuitry (6:16) ? wow it starts with the classic Discipline sound. The music of this track features the class ... (read more)

Report this review (#884752) | Posted by TechnicallySpeaking | Sunday, December 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I nearly overlooked this album, because it was released approximately at the same time as Opeth's Heritage and Steven Wilson' Grace For Drowning. But luckily I listened to it now, and, yes, this album immediately shot to first place on my inofficial private list of most awesome releases of 2011, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#780620) | Posted by Formentera Lady | Sunday, July 01, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 Now yes. A well-priced album which I have no complaints. Fourteen years after his last album, "Unfolded Like Staircase", the semi-unknown American symphonic rock band Discipline returns to the scenes. And wow, that return. To Shatter All Accord is the album that marks the back and ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#622895) | Posted by voliveira | Monday, January 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Dark psychedelic prog rock from the US: I love it! 'To Shatter All Accord' represents my first encounter with US-based band Discipline. , and I have to say that it left me greatly impressed and I will most definitely check out their back-catalogue too. Nevertheless, I feel that a word of cautio ... (read more)

Report this review (#602446) | Posted by lukretio | Tuesday, January 03, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is one band with an unfortunate case of split-personality. While their (few) studio albums present some great music, IMHO, there is always something lacking--something 'second rate'--in the engineering/production of those albums. In concert, live, the band brings an energy, a sound, a rawne ... (read more)

Report this review (#571329) | Posted by BrufordFreak | Saturday, November 19, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Now that was a surprise! After only two live albums after 1997, this one was beyond expectation (same story with Omnia Opera by the way). The band is back with the same line-up (never changed really) with their third album, which consists of 5 tracks in 57 minutes of superb progressive rock. ... (read more)

Report this review (#569635) | Posted by DeKay | Thursday, November 17, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A good progressive band demonstrates technical instrumental skills. A superior progressive band has that combined with a good and unique singer. Discipline is in the superior range. There are so many good bands out there, but usually when it comes time for the singing, it narrows my list of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#558421) | Posted by mattuati | Friday, October 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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