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DISCIPLINE

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Discipline biography
Formed in Detroit, USA in 1987 - Still active as of 2018

DISCIPLINE is one of those rare cases of obscurity combined with reverence. Much like Änglagård was the Swedish phenomenon, DISCIPLINE was the U.S. counterpart. They are bands that released two highly praised studio albums in the '90s, and then disappeared. The ensuing passage of time allowed them to become legendary. The most obvious difference from Änglagård being that the DISCIPLINE albums are still readily available.

Photo by Doug Susalla

Even though they did not have an official release until 1993, the band had been around since 1987. Guitarist John Preston Bouda, drummer Paul Dzendzel, bass player Mathew Kennedy, and singer/multi-instumentalist Matthew PARMENTER began in a place that is not usually considered fertile ground for prog. When one thinks of Detroit (Michigan) music, it usually conjures images of Motown, Ted Nugent, or Iggy Pop. I lived in the area in 1987, and I can tell you that I was not looking for the next best thing to Marillion to emerge in my neck of the woods. However, they took the bull by the horns, and created a loyal following in the Detroit area. It wasn't just the challenging music that drew fans. The live shows harkened back to Gabriel-era Genesis. Matthew Parmenter changed costumes for each song, and wore his now trademark mime makeup. This led to his nick name, The Magic Acid Mime. They had no recording contract, but their cassette tapes were very well received.

In 1993 Discipline recorded their first proper album, "Push & Profit." It wasn't exactly a smash, but it was a critical success. A supporting tour in Norway also proved that they had moved far beyond local hero status. To get proper albums out there, they created their own independent label. DISCIPLINE, and Matthew Parmenter, are the only artists on Strung Out Records. "Push and Profit" was not your typical Neo fare. They took cues from many different areas of the prog realm. Where lesser bands using this approach might seem unfocused, DISCIPLINE blended it together as if this is the way it is supposed to be done.

1997 saw the release of the much-heralded "Unfolded Like a Staircase." Most (if not all) of the whimsy found on the debut was gone. This was a much darker album, and consisted of four long tracks. For this album, a Peter Hammill influence was very much in the forefront. That did not deter the fans, and it so...
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DISCIPLINE discography


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DISCIPLINE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.57 | 43 ratings
Chaos Out Of Order
1988
3.56 | 159 ratings
Push & Profit
1994
4.22 | 412 ratings
Unfolded Like Staircase
1997
4.20 | 678 ratings
To Shatter All Accord
2011
3.68 | 104 ratings
Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
2017

DISCIPLINE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 39 ratings
Into The Dream ... Discipline Live
1999
4.27 | 48 ratings
Live Days
2010
4.67 | 56 ratings
This One's for England
2014

DISCIPLINE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.15 | 26 ratings
Live 1995
2005

DISCIPLINE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

DISCIPLINE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

DISCIPLINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.20 | 678 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by The Genre Spanner

4 stars Discipline are another modern band guilty of rehashing the 70s symphonic prog style with very little to add. But rather than copying the usuals like Yes or Genesis, they picked a less obvious choice and for me, this works in their favour.

If you take the band Van Der Graaf Generator, add a lot more guitar, lean it closer to rock than jazz, and add some mellotronic lushness, you get To Shatter All Accord. The dark and somber tone, eccentricity, vocalist - it's all quite similar. Although this Peter Hammill impersonator differentiates himself by singing with a less open mouth, which I don't enjoy as much.

The production has a fairly live and raw approach, and combined with the organ and mellotron we get that nice vintage 70s vibe. As with most prog of this persuasion, there's enough variation to keep things interesting - soft parts, rock parts, jazzy parts, rhythmically complex parts, and some sax and violin thrown in.

The songs are pretty strong, with striking and unexpected lyrical imagery and thoughtfully composed guitar solos. My only real complaint would be that 'When the Walls Are Down' and 'When She Dreams She Dreams in Color', become too repetitive towards the end, especially the latter which repeats the same chord sequence for 8 minutes!

What keeps me coming back is the masterwork 'Rogue'. It's a sinister epic with its middle instrumental section being the absolute highlight of the album and something to lose yourself in. The atmospheric build up followed by utter chaos with the vocalist's abstract screeching is enthralling and creative. But I must admit the song does lose its dark intrigue toward the end, with perhaps a little too much reliance on guitar soloing.

Despite being mostly derivative of the classics, this is a good listen.

7/10

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Sagichim
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars As much as I love Discipline I think that this is a step back from their previous effort To Shatter All Accord and their amazing classic Unfolded Like Staircase. Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea is of course a good album but I can't help but feeling something is missing here, could be the departure of guitarist Jon Preston Bouda, replaced by Chris Herin from the band Tiles, so that may effected the band's direction. Generally speaking the songs bear a more simpler approach, definitely less challenging and complex than what I would expect from these guys. I think the band was aiming a bit "lower" to a more conventional kind of songwriting (by Discipline standards of course) especially when 4 out of the 7 songs are at around 4 minutes long and are not that progy at all. I don't mind that the band has taken that road at all, the thing is the material here isn't just strong enough, it's good but doesn't rise to the next level.

Multi instrumentalist Matthew Parmenter is still in good form, his Peter Hammill like vocal approach is still very enjoyable, he is definitely one of my favorite modern vocalists. Although there's a change in the quality of the songwriting the music is still in the same symphonic/Neo prog style. There are 7 songs here, 5 short songs and 2 lengthy pieces that will naturally appeal more to prog fans, this is where the writing is more adventurous and bold, and the band shows their instrumental chops on top of some beautiful melodies. The shorter tracks ranges from ok to good but they are never bad.

The Body Yearns opens the album in a promising way, easily one of the highlights in the album and holds one of my favorite melodies by the band ever. Matthew's opening voclas and piano lead topped with that moderate guitar line is simply sublime, it takes about half the song and it is pure heaven. It changes half way through and becomes slower with a good guitar solo from Chris before returning to the main theme. Life Imitates Art is average, simply a standard song with a verse and chorus format, dark sounding at first almost sinister, but it's actually the chorus that brings the whole thing terribly down for me, seems out of context too, the rest isn't that exciting either. S is the title of the next song and it's an improvement, a short instrumental with some intense violin driving the rhythm, it changes half way and becomes more interesting, not anything special but definitely a good song. The catchy pop tinged little ditty Love Songs is I guess Intentionally titled like that since the lyrics indicates the opposite. "Don't speak to me of love songs" and then before the bluesy guitar comes in he sais "I just wanna be alone". This is a fun tune with some cool bluesy guitar based on a good melody but again is not intended to be thrilling and it's really not, I think this is the farthest they've gone from Unfold Like Staircase. Here There Is No Soul is another fun and catchy short rocker with Matthew's great singing, it's much too short to leave any impression...but it's ok I guess. The Roaring Game is a 6 minute instrumental which brings back a little bit of playing and musicianship. Although it uses the same mantra over and over it's good and becomes stronger towards the end as the tension rises, nice guitar by Chris and some powerful drumming by Mr. Dzendzel. The closing 15 minute track Burn The Fire Upon The Rocks is a great song featuring a mellotron for the first time. You can find all the great characteristics of this great band here, good instrumental moments, complexity, soulful vocals, beautiful melodies. It goes through all kinds of ideas and moods but feels like a unified piece, probably the best piece here.

So this is kind of a mixed bag for me, there are 3 really good songs here which takes more than half of the album but I don't think they are better than anything from Unfold Like Staircase or To Shatter All Accord, the rest isn't exciting at all so overall the lows are ok and the highs are not that high. You have to be in the right mood to really enjoy the whole thing. A good effort, 3+ stars.

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Corcoranw687

4 stars It seems like a good time to revisit some albums I didn't give enough of a chance to over the last few years of being so busy. With the world at a bit of a quiet standstill, perhaps my views may change on things I didn't consider earlier. The very first album I thought of was this one, which I bet would have received 3 stars from me upon release. There are reasons for the stylistic switch here, most notably a new guitar player. I remember getting far into the album and wondering where those guitars from "Circuitry" were, but as the band said, this was a "little step in a different direction". I'll go track by track here, but if you didn't give this a chance the first time, do it! 4 stars

"The Body Yearns" starts off with vocal and piano before we get to our main melody, featuring fantastic lyrics on the subject of learning and the brain's ability to process information, new and old. If Van der Graff Generator comparisons weren't on your mind already, the organ section will take care of that. The second track also reminds me of VdGG, but the later years. It's my least favorite on the album, it's also where I decided I didn't like it the first time. Track three is "S", a jittery instrumental that reminds me of Larks era King Crimson, and is also where I noticed the sound quality on this album is fantastic, certainly their best sounding album from a production standpoint. "Love Songs" and "Here There is No Soul" are surprising pop songs that aren't going to remind you of the band's previous two albums, but I like them. "The Roaring Game" starts interestingly enough, but then that guitar shows up to give us a riff! Parmenter has some great piano moments here, and we have a great guitar solo at the end. It fades out at an inopportune time though, I like where the solo is going but it's over in the middle of it all. The fina, track is the best one by far, I don't want to go section by section but we have a quirky bluesy riff that gets slowed down to be more Discipline style, Canterbury style vocals over the only mellotron on the album, and it just keeps giving. This is an all time Discipline track and a great ending.

 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.67 | 56 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by javajeff

4 stars I have been listening to Discipline for some time, and finally decided to get the live album now that I am on a live album craze of sorts. The first thing that is worth noting is that the download version of disc1 at Google Play, iTunes, and Bandcamp has a track 6 called Band Introduction, which introduces each member and their instruments. It is a nonessential track as it contains no music, but is worth a listen to get to know the band more. While we may be fans of the music, it is good to know that there are real people that produce the music. Discipline seems like a humble bunch of guys that love music and the art that they create. Led by Matthew Parmenter on vocals, keyboards, and whatever else, the Van Der Graaf Generator references will always be present... which is not a bad thing. In music, there will always be someone that came first, but Discipline create some of their own high quality progressive rock music. This live album combines the majority of To Shatter All Accord and Unfolded Like Staircase, and adds a track from their most underrated album Push & Profit. As far as the timeline goes, there is no presence of Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea on this release. The first thing that I noticed is how amazing this live recording sounds. It sounds clear with lots of pop, making it a good introduction to the band. I would call Canto IV and Dead City two of the absolute best tracks from Discipline, and the live versions are excellent. If you are a fan, this is a worthy addition to your collection. If you do not own anything from them, this is also a good starting point to sample two of their best albums.
 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.20 | 678 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 203

Discipline is a band from Detroit founded in 1987. The band gained a following amount of fans in the Detroit area, performing unusual original music, heavily influenced by the progressive rock music of the 70's, with a live memorable show for theatrics. Lead singer Matthew Parmenter delivered each song behind a coat of mime's makeup, often a different costume, bringing to our memory the vocalist of Genesis, Peter Gabriel, in the good old times of Genesis.

As many of we know, there are an infinity of groups with influences from the greatest 70's progressive rock bands such as Genesis, Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, etc., with more or less success and more or less personality. But, in my humble opinion, this is the first time that a band drinks all the essence of the strange and difficult musical world of Van Der Graaf Generator. But what impresses me most is that they make it with a naturalness, quality and personality that make of this group a unique band, in the last thirty years, in the world of progressive rock.

It was only in 1993 that Discipline released their first studio album 'Push And Profit', and in 1997 they released their second studio album, their great masterpiece, 'Unfolded Like The Staircase'. However, it passed many years until the band has released another studio album. Until then, we only could enjoy some great live documents of the group. So, it was a big surprise for me that the band in 2011 released their third studio album, entitled 'To Shatter All Accord'.

The line up on the album is Matthew Parmenter (vocals, keyboards and descants), Jon Preston Bouda (guitars), Matthew Kennedy (bass) and Paul Dzendzel (skins and percussion).

'To Shatter All Accord' has five tracks. The first track 'Circuitry' isn't properly a true new track released by the band. A raw live version appears on 1997's ProgDay '95 compilation CD on the band's 1995 'Discipline Live' VHS tape. It also appears on their double live compilation 'Live Days' released in 2010. It's a song propelled by a down guitar riff with an organ underneath, some gentle piano and a saxophone work that evoke the sound of Van Der Graaf Generator. This is a song with a real vintage sound that promise to us a fantastic and unique musical journey that can brings to us again the glory days of the 70's progressive rock music. The second track 'When The Walls Are Down' isn't also a truly new track from the band. As happened with the previous track, a live version of the song appears on 1997's ProgDay '95 compilation CD on the band's 1995 'Discipline Live' VHS tape, and it also appears on their double live compilation 'Live Days'. The song has a dreamy saxophone work over a piano before the guitar riff and a tortured vocal work, which might be familiar to the fans of Peter Hammill and of Van Der Graaf Generator. Bouda's guitar work is absolutely incredible. This is a perfect track for King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator's fans. The third track 'Dead City' is the first truly new track on the album. It starts with a Bouda's psychedelic guitar style followed by Parmenter's keyboards before the beginning of Parmenter's unmistakable voice, this time with a mix between Gabriel and Hammill's vocal styles. This is really a cool track, very accessible, short and concise, completely different from the rest of the album. Still, this is my less favourite track on the album. The fourth track 'When She Dreams She Dreams In Color' is a very complex track with many jazz elements that reminds me strongly the sound of King Crimson, especially the sound of their fourth studio album 'Islands'. It's a very extensive track with about fourteen minutes long. This is, in reality, a great track with a gorgeous mellotron work perfectly in the same vein of the first two King Crimson's studio albums. It's a heaven for the mellotron fans. It has also a beautiful violin performance evocative of Kansas. Sure it pleases Kansas' fans. The fifth track 'Rogue' is the lengthiest track on the album with twenty-four minutes long. This is definitely the great highlight of the album, a song that any progressive fan should listen. This is one of the best progressive songs I've ever heard. The performance of all band members is outstanding. This is a song that incorporates magnificently and perfectly the musical styles of two of the best and most complex bands of the universe of progressive rock, King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator. I love this song that represents a perfect way to close this magnificent album.

Conclusion: 'To Shatter All Accord' is an incredible album which opens with a golden key the return of a great and unique band to our progressive world. This is an album that strengthens the musical influence and fuses perfectly the distinct sound of two of the greatest bands of progressive rock music of all time, King Crimson and Van Der Graaf Generator, without Discipline lose their own and unique identity. And now, the great question. Is it as good as 'Unfolded Like Staircase'? In my humble opinion, I don't think so. Sincerely, I continue to prefer that album. However, it's almost as good. This is simply one of the best albums you can ear in the progressive rock music, in our days. It's an album full of passionate music with a lot of emotion. Discipline was back with a fantastic new album. God bless them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

5 stars There is no doubt at all in mind that one of the most important bands to come out of America in the last thirty years has been Discipline. For some reason they have never seemed to gain the column inches that bands such as Spock's Beard and Enchant have been able to generate, but if I had to choose a band that was trying to do in America what VDGG achieved in the UK then it would be to Discipline I would turn. Founder, multi-instrumentalist and singer Matthew Parmenter is still very much at the helm, along with drummer Paul Dzendzel and bassist Mathew Kennedy, but founder guitarist Jon Preston Bouda is no longer involved, with his place being taken by Tiles guitarist Chris Herin. Obviously, this has had an impact on the overall sound, especially as that band are generally more straightforward melodic and rocky than Discipline, but Matthew still has a very firm hand on the arrangements and his piano underpins everything that is taking place.

This is only their second studio album in twenty years, but it's all about quality over quantity, and while it doesn't have quite the edginess or danger of some of their other albums, it is still very much a triumph. Chris understands his place within the band, and while Paul and Matthew Kennedy lay down the foundation it is very much linked in with the piano, from which Matthew Parmenter then takes the music in multiple directions. There is only one fairly lengthy song on here, the closer "Burn The Fire Upon The Rocks", but these guys don't need lots of time to push and pull the music in multiple directions. This is what progressive music is all about, moving into and across boundaries so that they aren't following any themes or styles but are very much their own band. That anyone playing them would never think for a minute that they were American shows just how diverse an adept these guys are. The more I play this, the more I discover, and the more I like it. It is an album I fell in love with the first time I played it, and I have grown to enjoy it even more since then! Essential.

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by jude111

5 stars This is my choice for 2017 Prog Album of the Year, and the track The Body Yearns is my Best Prog Track of 2017. I'm surprised this album isn't being talked about more, but I guess that's the sad state rock music in general is in, this year in particular. It's been a hard year, politically and culturally.

To address the criticism that there are - gasp! - short songs on here: To put it succinctly, this is a fun album, full of variety and surprises. There are shorter and longer songs. If short songs bother you, then I recommend you avoid A Farewell to Kings (4 songs 5 mins. or less), Hemispheres (2 of its 4 songs clock in under 5 mins), Dark Side of the Moon (all short-ish songs), Nursery Cryme (4 of 7 songs are short)...

1) The first track, "The Body Yearns," is nearly 10 minutes of gloriously melodic prog. This is the kind of song Discipline does so well. It seems effortless and insanely catchy, but musically it's quite complex, and if it was easy to do, more would be writing music like this. But no one else is. 2) "Life Imitates Art" is a fine second track; it's perhaps the most VDGG-like song on the album. If prog were still played on classic rock radio like it used to be (think Tom Sawyer, Bloody Well Right, Aqualung), then this would be the likely radio hit. 3) The third track, "S," is a nice instrumental with shifting tones. 4) The fourth track seems to be giving some people some problems. It's actually a quite Beatlesque melody that Paul McCartney used to come up with in his prime. How can anyone not like this? "Love Songs" injects the kind of fun and variety that albums often sorely lack; its ending should give you a smile of delight. It's also the kind of leftfield song that radio used to love; perhaps another would-be hit back in the day. Lyrically-speaking, it's clearly related to all the other album tracks. 5) & 6) Although these are two tracks, I hear these as companion pieces that are meant to be played together. "Here This Is No Soul" is again quite melodic, and seques into the instrumental "Roaring Game." Unlike the previous instrumental, this one has more of a feeling of an improvised jam, especially in its last 2 minutes. 7) "Burn the Fire Into the Rocks" is the last and longest song on the album, at 14 minutes. It if weren't for the awesome first track, this one would be my favorite. What sounds like a mellotron introduces new tonal colors into the album. A beautiful track with a nice groove, that ends with a surprising synth solo.

In conclusion, Discipline never sounded better. They sound fresh and vital, and the vocals and songs are highlights. Is it their best album? Well, is Foxtrot better than Selling England by the Pound? In other words, it's an excellent Discipline album, worthy to stand side-by-side with their other work, and will no doubt be a personal favorite for many of its fans.

 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.67 | 56 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is freaking awesome!

It is incredible what Discipline has done to me, I already loved them when I discovered their Unfolded Like Staircase, and then in 2011 with the release of To Shatter All Accord, they became one of my favorite US bands, actually that release was my top 2011 prog album. Since then, I've been crossing my fingers hoping to see them on stage once, and seems that life has treated me well because I will be able to experience it really soon when they play at Progotoberfest, which really excites me.

In 2014 they released a two-cd live album which was recorded at the RoS Fest in 2012, an album that in my opinion is flawless, showing the incredible potential the band has on stage, with that evident VdGG feeling, the theatrical spirit of Parmenter and the amazing musicianship of Dzendzel, Kennedy and Bouda. These four musicians managed to transmit the countless stories and emotions their albums share, with that vivid and human touch concerts give, so the audience could get immersed into a sometimes dark, sometimes touchy, sometimes disarming atmosphere Discipline produce.

The song selection was perfect, only eight but making a running time of almost 100 minutes. At that time, they were promoting To Shatter All Accord, so it was pretty obvious they would open with "Circuitry", a wonderful track that shows the power of this band, which in my opinion has to be one of the best US prog bands since the 90s, sadly not so many people concur with me, but who agree, won't let me lie. A jump to the past comes next with "Before the Storm" with its two parts performed, and then with the nice "Blueprint" from their 1994 record Push & Profit.

Matthew Parmenter's voices is simply amazing, no matter if he reminds us of Peter Hammill, he has a very own sound produced by that theatrical and emotional tune he implements. From the 2011 they played then "Blueprint" first and then "When She Dreams, She Dreams In Color", the last song of the first CD, and a personal favorite of mine, I truly love that song and its final hypnotic instrumental part. I am really looking forward to witness this one soon.

You might ask why keeping only 3 tracks for a CD, but well, two out of them are magnificent epics. The first one is their famous "Canto IV", a true masterpiece released in 1997 that stays as one of my Discipline favorite compositions ever, it is wonderful to listen to its changes in mood in a live version. After the final epic the band performed "The Reasoning Wall", which might be my least favorite track, which doesn't mean it is bad or something related, not at all; and then, the concert finishes with the super 24-minute suite "Rogue", which is the one that also closes their 2011 album. Man, hope to be lucky enough to witness Rogue, it is incredible how those 24 minutes pass so fast, taking us into a true progressive rock bliss where the mind flies and is fed by countless colors and textures.

This album is of my recent favorite live releases, without a doubt. I'll tell you later how happy will I be after seeing Discipline on stage, I am sure it will be unforgettable!

Enjoy it!

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With the departure of founder member and long-serving lead guitar player Jon Preston Bouda, it's no surprise that Captives of the Wine Dark Sea represents something of a sonic shift for Discipline. With Chris Herin from Tiles stepping in on guitars, the sound of the album feels like an exploration of a path less taken - like the sort of material you'd get if, after the neo-prog-ish Push and Profit, the band had taken their sound in a more art rock direction instead of the symphonic prog-oriented sound of Unfolded Like Staircase or To Shatter All Accord.

That isn't to say that this is a simple or straightforward release, mind; in terms of the overall attitude, I'm reminded of the warped pop music sensibilities of Slapp Happy or late Art Bears running head-first into the dark energy of Discipline's big inspiration, Peter Hammill and VdGG. At point's there's a sort of prog cocktail jazz sound to proceedings, but whilst the album reaches a quasi-mainstream peak in the middle (Love Songs, in particular, comes across like a parody on the subject), it concludes with a two-set of songs which will doubtless please prog fans with their extended instrumental breaks, even if they aren't quite in the mode we are used to Discipline working in.

I get the feeling that this is a bit of a transitional release - at points it sounds more like one of Matthew Parmenter's solo releases, particularly given the extensive multi-instrumentalist duties he takes on here and the generally more conventional song structures he tends to go for on those - but Discipline are good enough that even their transitional works are worth paying attention to. Approach with an open mind and don't hold your hopes out for Unfolded Like Staircase 2: Unravelled Like Escalator and you'll probably get the best results.

 Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.68 | 104 ratings

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Captives Of The Wine Dark Sea
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Review originally published in www.therocktologist.com

How I love Discipline!

I'll be honest; Discipline must be one of my favorite active US prog bands mainly due to their already classic "Unfolded Like Staircase" and their magnificent "To Shatter All Accord" which was my favorite 2011 prog album. Then I listened to their live record "This One's For England" and oh man, I've been willing to see them on stage for several years and seems my dream will come true soon at Progtoberfest in Chicago. And well, of course I would be looking forward to listen to some previous songs but I am also eager to see the ones from this new and great albums that I am reviewing right away. This time Matthew Parmenter and company have delight us with a 7-track album that make a running time of 45 minutes full of prog rock, symphonic and eclectic with that inherent VdGG feeling that Matthew's voice provides as well as with the musical arrangements.

It kicks off with "The Body Yearns". It is impossible not to think of Peter Hammill, and even I could say the music reminds me a bit of Gentle Giant so it is a pretty nice combination of a gentle sound with a raw voice. The song develops an addictive sound and at half the song it changes and produces a dark and somber atmosphere, which is one of the characteristics of Discipline's music, I totally love those somber instrumental moments that might be repetitive but hypnotizing. "Life Imitates Art" is another cool track, much shorter than the opener but with that same VdGG feeling provided not only by vocals, but also by keyboards, strings and drums.

The eclecticism of this band is not a hidden fact, and we can confirm it with "S", an instrumental track that can remind you even of King Crimson due to those guitars and dark atmospheres. Here the band also added a nice violin that produces both a symphonic and jazzy sound. With "Love Songs" vocals return accompanied by acoustic guitar at first, and later bass and drums join in a very soft way. It is one of Discipline's catchiest tunes ever, which doesn't mean it is weak, not at all, but we might not be used to it. "Here there is no Soul" is a rockier tune than the previous one, but it is quite different from the first tracks here, no dark atmospheres here, and a nice rhythm that can be easy to dig.

"The Roaring Game" is a gem, I absolutely love it! I could describe it as a perfect amalgam between strings and drums, with an overdose of hypnotic figures that create a powerful sound. The four musicians involved understand each other perfectly, so the result is a clean and natural instrumental prog song in which no one stands out because all of them have their share and great things to offer. The last song is another gem "Burn The Fire Upon The Rocks" whose 15 minutes make a magnificent ending. This piece blends prog rock and even jazz, with a great use of keyboards, wonderful bass lines and quite different passages. The first four minutes are instrumental and then the music fades and the voice appears, creating a new soft passage that will be developing new elements for some minutes, including the beautiful addition of a mellotron. The track keeps morphing but always sharing interesting moments. I think it is not as powerful as other of their epic-gems such as Canto IV or When She Dreams?, but it is quite solid, nevertheless.

A very good album that I've been enjoying a lot recently, not my favorite Discipline one, but it is great as usual. Now I am eagerly waiting to see them at Progtober Fest. Enjoy it!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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