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Discipline - To Shatter All Accord - 2011



“When She Dreams ... She Dreams In Color”


Discipline, a band from Detroit, was founded in 1987. They gained a following in the Detroit area performing unusual original music with a live show memorable for theatrics. Lead singer Matthew Parmenter delivered each song behind a coat of mime's makeup, often in a different costume. It was not until 1993 that Discipline released their first CD, “Push & Profit”. In the year 2000 progVisions reviewed their masterpiece “Unfolded Like Staircase” which was released in 1997. However the band never made that third studio album, we could enjoy some great live documents of the band. I remember the live recordings from the Progday festivals and the album “Live: Into The Dream”. In 2005 the band's independent label released “Discipline: Live 1995”, a DVD that captures the band during its most theatrical period. Parmenter appears alternately dressed as a jester, a witch, a toga-clad prisoner of Limbo, and a straight-jacketed clown. This special edition DVD includes an extra hour of live footage spanning the band's career from shows in 1988, 1992, 1997, and a rare 1998 performance of the song “Into the Dream”. Last year the label Cyclops released a double CD entitled “Live Days”. But the big surprise of 2011 is that the band's independent label (Strung Out Records) released that third studio album, entitled “To Shatter All Accord”.


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


Of course the Discipline fans could enjoy Matthew Parmenter's solo albums “Astray” (2004) and “Horror Express” (2008) which both had the feel of a band ... but this is the real thing! You can find the following compositions on “To Shatter All Accord”; “Circuitry”, “When The Walls Are Down”, “Dead City”, “When She Dreams She Dreams In Color” and “Rogue”. The album opener is “Circuitry” a rock song with those characteristic vocals and organ sound. The band’s unique sound has some resemblance with the music of Van Der Graaf Generator. You can hear this in a song like “When The Walls Are Down”. It has to do with the vocal style Matthew Parmenter uses. The tension of the music is slowly building up towards a climax. It is the first highlight of the album. “Dead City” is with it's five minutes (5:15) the shortest track of this album. This up tempo track has some jazzy elements, a beautiful melodic guitar solo and nice vocal lines. But those first three good songs are a warm-up to the last two brilliant Discipline compositions. The first one is entitled “When She Dreams She Dreams In Color” (13:41) and has a slow and intriguing opening. Very slowly the tension of the music is building up towards an amazing climax ... full Mellotron strings with a breathtaking melody. The first time I heared this piece of music full of passion and emotion ... I had tears in my eyes. The music goes straight for the heart. The Mellotron turns into a beautiful violin sound. The track has an abrupt ending. Only for this song you have to buy this album! Then it is time for the magnus opus of the album, “Rogue”. This suite is divided in the following chapters; “Scene I Prologue”, “Scene II Shadowgraph”, “Scene III Wee Bit ó Vitriol”, “Scene IV Borrowed and Blue”, “Scene V Blush and Rouge”, “Scene VI Trance”, “Scene VII Nightmare”, “Scene VIII Solus (Recapitulation)”, “Scene IX Soliloquy” and “Scene X Epilog”. It all comes together in this long (24:05) piece of music. Halfway the full Mellotron strings are combined with a melodic electric guitar before the track becomes more complex and is on his way to a climax. In some of the instrumental parts you can hear again those Van Der Graaf Generator influences. But you can also enjoy melodic guitar parts in this diverse track. This is where we (Discipline fans) all have been waiting for! The waiting is over ...


For me “To Shatter All Accord”, the new studio album from Discipline, is the biggest surprise of the year 2011. An album full of passionate music with a lot of emotion. The last two tracks of the album, “When She Dreams She Dreams In Color” and “Rogue”, are the highlights of this wonderful album. It is a worthy successor of “Unfolded Like Staircase”. The waiting is over ... Discipline is back ... with a fantastic new studio album!

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - November 2011 -   - Strung Out Records