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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. 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 solidified what was to become their legendary status.

Although the studio albums were spaced out over four years, that did not mean these guys ...
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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$12.97
$12.96 (used)
Downfall of the Working ManDownfall of the Working Man
Thorp Records 2006
Audio CD$7.85 (used)
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DISCIPLINE shows & tickets


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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)

3.52 | 117 ratings
Push & Profit
1994
4.25 | 315 ratings
Unfolded Like Staircase
1997
4.19 | 549 ratings
To Shatter All Accord
2011
3.65 | 22 ratings
Chaos Out of Order - 25th Anniversary Reissue 1988 - 2013
2013

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

3.99 | 22 ratings
Into The Dream ... Discipline Live
1999
4.22 | 36 ratings
Live Days
2010
4.70 | 31 ratings
This One's for England
2014

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

4.15 | 20 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
 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.70 | 31 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Yes I assumed this was recorded live in England, but no(haha). This is taken from their live performance at RoSfest in 2012. Man I do love this band, and it's unusual for me to feel that each record they have put out is better than the one before. DISCIPLINE play a dark style of music with plenty of mellotron and are often compared to VDGG, so what's not to like? This is a double album with 8 tracks on it including two from the debut "Push & Profit", two from "Unfolded Like Staircase", and four from their latest "To Shatter All Accord" which is the album they were touring on here.

"Circuitry" is a dark beauty that opens with some nasty guitar as the organ floats in. Vocals follow and Matthew is in fine form here. Such a cool section before 3 minutes as it settles with picked guitar and floating organ but I also dig it when it kicks back into gear with some intense drumming and guitar work. A great way to start the performance. "Before The Storm" from "Unfolded Like Staircase" is a top three for me. This moves me for some reason. The guitar after a minute reminds me of ANEKDOTEN. Nice section too before 3 1/2 minutes with the organ and guitar standing out. Powerful stuff after 6 minutes. So freaking good! Mellotron 7 1/2 minutes in and check out the guitar and organ late. This song blends into "Blueprint" where it continues to be picked guitar and organ leading the way. It turns very FLOYD-like before 2 minutes when the organ gets louder. A cool instrumental. "Dead City" is not about Detroit as Matthew mentions in the intro. This song is brighter and more upbeat, catchy even. Some excellent keyboards in this one along with some ripping guitar before 3 minutes. A big finish ends it. "When She Dreams She Dreams In Color" is another top three for me. It's 5 minutes in before the song kicks into gear but I really enjoy those 5 minutes. A calm follows then it slowly builds. An incredible track! The final track on disc one is the almost five minute "Band Introductions" where we hear how funny Matthew Parmenter is. Such a dry sense of humour and man he made me laugh out loud a few times. Fun stuff.

"Canto IV(Limbo)" is my other top three although "Rogue" is right there too, tough choice. Anyway drums and piano pound away to start before it settles some with guitar and more. It then calms right down with reserved vocals as outbursts of power come and go. Love the organ solo after 6 1/2 minutes and the guitar too that joins in. A driving rhythm before 8 minutes with vocals as themes then start to be repeated. "The Reasoning Wall" opens with piano before it kicks in with a humerous vibe. Love how intricate this all is after 2 minutes. It then turns melancholic a minute later and the guitar proceeds to light it up. Vocals and that lighter and humerous sound return 5 1/2 minutes in. "Rogue" is the closer and the longest tune at almost 24 minutes. I really like the tone of the guitar here to start and it becomes very VDGG-like before 2 minutes. A calm after 4 minutes with guitar and vocals before it kicks back in after 6 minutes. This song has so many shades and colours to it as it plays out. Mellotron 8 1/2 minutes in and guitar a minute later. So good! It turns brighter before 17 minutes. What a ride!

I just can't give this less than 5 stars, i'm so impressed with this band and their sound. A must!

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 Unfolded Like Staircase by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.25 | 315 ratings

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Unfolded Like Staircase
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by JCDenton

5 stars Discipline's Unfolded Like Staircase seemed like an album that would bring a tight group even tighter in sound. I find it very established, as to say the band have found their own sound (partial credit due to Van der Graaf and Crimson). There are the mellotron moments, long instrumental passages, too, some of the common characteristics in a Prog group. Discipline sounds like a classic group totally refined with a modern sound. In fact, I think they distinguish themselves from the granddad groups. They created four excellent tracks here, all epics, none of them sticking out as the weakest or runt of the bunch. My only disappointment is that this is the last album from the group's early times where they showed so much potential (To Shatter All Accord from their 2011 comeback is still great, but that's beside the point!).

"Canto IV" is my favorite piece here. It starts out with a catchy syncopated rhythm that will appear later on in the song, The song tones down for the dark vocals, very moving. The song goes through some great instrumental passages, some more upbeat, some heavy, and some darker. The song builds itself up well and flows through all transitions nicely.

Most of the rest of the album has many of the same characteristics of the first track, though all songs have their own unique ideas. "Before the Storm" is the most dramatic of the bunch. "Into the Dream" instills the most tension in the listener. Polyrhythms are used, usually with the drums playing a simple time and skipping a beat at the end of a bar, while the other instruments play in asymmetrical times.

This band just let the ideas flow, and it stays coherent with nothing stressing. This is a very solid album! Easily a favorite.

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 To Shatter All Accord by DISCIPLINE album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.19 | 549 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by aneznam

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 influences, that can one hear, from heavy metal to crossover prog.

First song has a nice intro to the album, followed by second song which has also hard riffs and long 'finale' enriched whit two riffs and some nice intermezzo soloes, nothing especially progressive.

The third song can be compared with VDGG only with rougher vocals but still inadequate due to lack of avangard to compensate. It finishes roughly like the 21st Sc. Man which is flatering to I. McDonald and Fripp.

The fourth one has a nice progression but unfortunately it is all heard, nothing new like there is in Hybris from Anglagard for example.

As for the last composition; Rogue - very nice intro, I'm also a classical guitar player so i can really say it has beauty in it. The continuation of the song is one of my favourite part, very nice. Sequence that follows has parts that reminded me of MO - Birds of Fire, but that's about it what is excellent, last 4 min. was a slow parting which didn't touch my emotional side.

Good album, nice music, but unfortunately, it didn't leave a print in my ears.

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 This One's for England by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 2014
4.70 | 31 ratings

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This One's for England
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars There is no doubt in my mind that one of the most important bands to come out of America in the last 25 years is Discipline, and when they reformed and released 'To Shatter All Accord' it was certainly no surprise to see it rated so highly. In fact, according to ProgArchives it is still the #1 album of that year. So, they were then invited to appear at the mighty RosFest in 2012, and this double CD is the recording of that performance. So, just eight songs on this double digipak release, but that equates to nearly 100 minutes of music. Some of these songs have appeared on live albums before, but given that they haven't released that many albums that really isn't suprising. And to be honest, a live album without a performance of "Canto IV (Limbo)" would be both unthinkable and unforgiveable.

Singer and keyboard player Matthew Parmenter also provides all of the material, but this is much more than just a one-man show and the rest of the guys were all there when 'Push & Profit' was released in 1994. This is a group that have been influenced by the likes of early Genesis and Anekdoten, but have created a path very much of their own making. One would never guess that these guys are from North America, as they have much more in common with the European progressive rock movement. Their approach is sometimes restrained, harmonic and almost lulling, but there are plenty of times when they are jagged and abrasive, Jon's guitar a strident noise against Matthew's organ while Matthew K and Paul provide the backdrop to let the music grow and move. I have been a fan of the band for many years, and the only thing wrong with this album is that it makes me realize just how much I am missing out by not being able to see them in concert. This is an essential purchase, www.strungoutrecords.com

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 Into The Dream ... Discipline Live by DISCIPLINE album cover Live, 1999
3.99 | 22 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
3.65 | 22 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
4.19 | 549 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
4.70 | 31 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
4.19 | 549 ratings

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To Shatter All Accord
Discipline Symphonic Prog

Review by admireArt
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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
4.70 | 31 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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