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DISCIPLINE

Symphonic Prog • United States


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Discipline biography
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.

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. DISCILPNE, 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, DISCILPNE 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 solidified what was to become their legendary status.

Although the studio albums were spaced out over four years, that did not mean these guys di...
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Discipline official website

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  • Canto IV Unfolded Like Staircase, 1997

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This One's for EnglandThis One's for England
Strung Out Records 2014
Audio CD$12.98
$18.66 (used)
Push & ProfitPush & Profit
Strung Out Records 1993
Audio CD$12.52
$7.99 (used)
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More places to buy DISCIPLINE music online Buy DISCIPLINE & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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DISCIPLINE shows & tickets


  • MAD in Belgrade on 24 May 2014
  • SpreewaldRock Festival 2014 on 29 May 2014
  • With Full Force Festival XXI on 4 Jul 2014
  • G.O.N.D. 2014 on 10 Jul 2014
  • Discipline & Support on 11 Jul 2014
  • Spirit From The Street on 28 Aug 2014

DISCIPLINE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.49 | 106 ratings
Push & Profit
1994
4.26 | 259 ratings
Unfolded Like Staircase
1997
4.27 | 502 ratings
To Shatter All Accord
2011
3.54 | 12 ratings
Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013
2013

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

3.97 | 20 ratings
Into The Dream ... Discipline Live
1999
4.18 | 31 ratings
Live Days
2010
4.45 | 14 ratings
This One's for England
2014

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

4.14 | 16 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
 Into The Dream ... Discipline Live by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 1999
3.97 | 20 ratings

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Into The Dream ... Discipline Live
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Discipline's first live album offers selections from the band's live appearance at Orion Studios' "Showcase" venue, allowing them to combine the warmth of a live performance before an enthusiastic audience with the recording quality of the studio. Matthew Parmenter's patter between the songs is omitted, presumably to keep the album to a single disc, but on the plus side the band are on top form and there's a great selection of tracks presented - everything from Unfolded Like Staircase except Before the Storm (decent live rendition of which are on Live Days and This One's For England), a smattering of material from Push and Profit, and an early rendition of Between Me and the End, which would not emerge on a studio album until Matthew Parmenter's Astray. Although a few tracks from here also made it to the more expansive Live Days, there's enough that's exclusive to this release to make it worthwhile for every Discipline fan.

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 Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013 by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.54 | 12 ratings

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Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Although a couple of pieces from it - Mickey Mouse Man and Wrists - have found their way into more recent Discipline live setlists, in general Discipline haven't widely trumpeted the Chaos Out of Ordr demo tape - but all that's changed with this 25th anniversary reissue of the material. What we have here is a very early incarnation of Discipline, where the lush, meaty sound we've come to know on albums from Push and Profit onwards wasn't quite in place and the musicians were all still at an early stage in their musicla development.

Sound quality is actually pretty decent for a demo tape, and musically speaking there's interesting stuff on here, provided you have patience for extended instrumental noodling. It's a decent look at the 1980s Discipline sound and should be treasured for that, and happily it's also a fun listen in its own right, but if you haven't heard Discipline's major studio albums first I'd prioritise getting those over this.

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 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 502 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Sanki

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 the impression of forced length with repetitive passages and less than interesting transitions and melodies. When the Walls are Down is pure noise to me; I skip it. Circuitry and Dead City are listenable but they do not have the sophistication of any of the pieces in the Staircase. To me, Parmenter's solo album, Astray, is better.

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 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.45 | 14 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars A solid live release from the To Shatter All Accord tour, this album demonstrates that since the recording of previous live releases like Live Days Discipline have lost none of their live chops. Presenting somewhat more forceful and aggressive versions of the material in question, it isn't quite Discipline's answer to Van der Graaf Generator's Vital (VdGG being a group often cited as being an influence on Discipline's sound) - it doesn't quite go that far into prog-punk and the sound quality is markedly better - but it's getting there. Between this, the stunning quality of To Shatter All Accord, and the word on the band's official site that they are working on a new studio album, it's clear that the Discipline reunion is showing no signs of slowing down.

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 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 502 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by admireArt

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 writing, somehow overshadowed by the obvious "copy-kats" of "riffs", either vocal, electric guitar or keys, from that "era". They in turn throw some personal touches to the genre, but not that often, and not all that "original".

It is like witnessing a band under construction (I know this is not their first album), a lot of potential, but still under construction.

I hope this guys realize, how close and far they are. Because I can assume, if they are not first eaten by markets and followers, that they have blended a lot of very good influences (from Sabbath, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Rush, Kinks, ELP with the likes of Judas Priest, Deff Leppard, Boston, UFO, T-Rex, Aerosmith and others). So, there is a lot to absorb to make it invisible, as to call their "own", but also very good songwritings and arrangements, when they do not become self-indulgent (track 4 for example, great song "made" too long).

A promising band that I hope trascends its very "interesting" and kind of "opposite" influences and their own market.

***3 PA stars.

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 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.45 | 14 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by zentr

5 stars Discipline posted something about recording on their Facebook page so I have been hoping to hear about a new studio album. However, this live release was a total surprise. As soon as I heard about it I downloaded it from iTunes. I've been listening to it almost exclusively for the last week.

This is everything I want in a live album. I like live albums to be a clear soundboard recording with just enough ambient crowd noise to enhance the energy of a live performance. I want to hear the musicians comfortable with the songs; a little swagger and confidence. I want to hear the bass buzz and guitar strings growl. I like the lyrics to be even clearer and easier to make out than on the studio recording. In essence, I want the live album to truly illuminate the studio compositions, to enhance them with raw energy and charismatic spark. This album has it all.

The songs are from all three of their studio releases. It's an excellent setlist with a good song order. The musicianship is fantastic. Each band member knows his parts well. The performance is both muscular and emotional. Listening to the collection of songs I could pick out the influences of early Genesis (particularly the drama), early King Crimson, and Van Der Graaf Generator.

I was surprised to hear Parmenter's humor during the Band Intro. Very little of what he said would be humorous on paper, but his delivery had the crowd laughing at everything.

If you are a fan of any or all of Discipline's albums, this album is a must. If you were one of the people giving an excellent rating to their To Shatter All Accord album, this experience will bring you more of the same. I won't go so far as to say that this is the album to start with if you are unfamiliar with the band, but this is a good survey of the band's creative output.

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 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 502 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Progrussia

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 rockers, but luckily trimmed down compared with previous albums that had good atmospherics and riffs, but also long stretches of dreck. Dead City is surprisingly funky. When She Dreams... is more psychedelic, somehow I never can finish it. Rogue is a huge epic. Starts with acoustic guitar, follows with a good riff and psychological roller-coaster.

Overall, would have been a perfectly brooding, groovy, hard-hitting album, if not for the overuse of the crescendo technique and episodic vocal detours (venom-spitting, banshee-wailing) all too obviously lifted from other sources.

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 Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013 by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.54 | 12 ratings

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Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

3 stars here are a few things that have to be mentioned right at the beginning of this review, and the first is that at the time of recording Matthew was underage and Jon and Woody were just 17. Yep, what we have here is the original 'Chaos Out of Order' which was released in 1988 as a cassette, plus an additional song from 1987, enhanced as opposed to remixed as the original tapes weren't up to the task so there has been some very minor tweaks here and there. Personally, I have been after this for years but have never been able to find a copy, which probably has a lot to do with Matthew never being happy with it and after the initial production of cassettes ran out it was not re-released. It took another five years before they produced 'Push & Profit', and another four after that for 'Unfolded Like Staircase', after which there was no more. Now, I firmly believe that Discipline are one of the finest progressive bands to come out of the States in the Nineties, and I have searched out live albums and compilations, and when the band reformed for the amazing 'To Shatter All Accord' in 2011 I was overjoyed. But, there was still that niggle, just what did 'Chaos Out of Order' sound like?

Many years ago I can remember chatting with Martin Orford, asking if IQ would ever reissue 'Seven Stories Into Eight', and at that time there was absolutely no plans to do so, but it was an album that many fans wanted to hear, no matter what it was like. Of course they later did make it available, along with a complete re-recording, and it was warmly received. But what about this one? Matthew has provided plenty of sleeve notes, along with the lyrics etc, but it is obvious that he has some reservations about making this available again after all these years, and in some ways I can understand why.

If this album was viewed on it's own without knowing anything about its' history or the age of those involved then it is quite possible then it wouldn't get the most favourable review in the world and a listener may believe that all of Discipline's album are similar. But, if you already know their music then this is a delight in so many ways. Even at such a young age the guys are demonstrating their music dexterity and handlings of complex layers and stylings. But, there is also a naivety in what they are performing, demonstrating promise while also showing the simplicity of youth. I was surprised at just how much I kept being reminded of Todd Rundgren when I played this, as it isn't an artist that I normally associate with these guys, which shows just how far they had to go to reach their true identity.

If you have yet to hear all of the other Discipline albums then gently walk away as this has not been made available for you. But, if like me you have never been able to get enough of their music and have for years wanted to hear this material then this is definitely for you. www.strungoutrecords.com

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 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.27 | 502 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Memo_anathemo

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 the seventies, and if you allow me to say the next thing, they are very much in the vein of Van der Graaf Generator, even Michael Parmenter has a pretty similar voice register and tone as Peter Hammill. Is he the Hammill of our times? An album worthy to be listened over and over, an album worthy the 5 stars, or at least 4, no less. Excellent!

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 Unfolded Like Staircase by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.26 | 259 ratings

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Unfolded Like Staircase
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Mr. Mustard

3 stars Unfolded Like Staircase is a relatively unknown album that seems to have gotten a lot of praise from multiple sources, which is the main reason I decided to look into it. Suffice it to say the first thing I noticed was the overbearing sound and style of multiple classic prog groups the album seems to carry. This seems to carry the intensity and theatrics of Van Def Graff Generator, and the symphonic atmosphere of Genesis. An odd combination for sure, but it seems to work for these guys, who still manage to have a unique sound.

The album carries a heavy, symphonic edge with an overall dark atmosphere filled with Mellotron. Keyboard and guitar seem to have a balanced role. The Genesis and VDGG influences are instantly noticeable, so much so that this truly sounds like a classic prog album with a modern twist in sound and production.

The song-writing overall is pretty good; the songs are very structurally diverse and for the most part have quite a few good ideas. Unfortunately, the album is a bit long and inconsistent. The opening 'Canto IV' is probably the strongest and is filled with great riffs and melodies, including a motif from 'Dance On a Volcano' from Genesis. The same could be said about the following song, 'Cruches,' but the following tracks seem to suffer from either excessive length or poor ideas. 'Into the Dream' could have been shortened to 12- minutes and would have been much more effective. For this reason, I believe if this album has any faults, it isn't due to the lack of strong melodies and ideas, but rather the poor use and combination of these ideas. Usually I prefer through-composed music, but the songs generally don't seem to have any idea or motif that is repeated constantly throughout, meaning the songs often seem like they aren't going anywhere.

Overall, this is a good album, though I don't believe it quite meets the level of praise it receives. This is definitely an album for fans of classic prog, especially Van Der Graff Generator and Genesis. While I believe there are plenty of better modern prog albums, this is certainly one that is worth a listen.

6/10

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