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Discipline - Unfolded Like Staircase CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 422 ratings

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3 stars Some neo prog bands model themselves more or less exclusively on one particular classic act - think of IQ and Genesis. Others, like Discipline, call a variety of different bands to mind without sounding exactly like any of them. Discipline sound like they have never heard an album released after 1973, and the sonic palette recalls pre-LTIA King Crimson, Gabriel era Genesis and VDGG. All of this adds up to a very decent concoction - Matthew Parmenter has a voice of his own, both literally and compositionally, and he is backed by 3 very able musicians. The opener, Canto IV, is a 13 minute epic inspired by Dante's Inferno. This could be an unmitigated disaster in the hands of some, but Discipline pull it off admirably. Parmenter doesn't quite have Peter Hammill's vocal range, but he conveys the anguish of a soul in torment with similar aplomb, and also adds sax flourishes that recall Ian MacDonald in King Crimson. This track is one of the best prog songs of the past decade, and I wish I'd discovered it sooner. Perhaps inevitably, the rest of the album never quite matches up its superb opening, but it also never becomes boring. The 22 minute Into The Dream is another grand achievement, though not quite in the class of Canto IV. My one gripe with the writing is that Before The Storm goes on a bit too long - perhaps Parmenter wanted to let the rest of the band cut loose a little, but this is the only place where they sound like they're noodling. I'd give this album 4 stars, except that the excellent writing, arranging and performance are let down by an oddly flat production, perhaps because it was recorded on a tight budget. Nonetheless, it's a good addition to any prog collection.
Syzygy | 3/5 |


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