Discipline - To Shatter All Accord,
I can’t remember when or how I first heard of Discipline, but let’s just say that it was it was somewhere in the Nineties. Back then I was stunned by the quality of the music that these guys were producing, and ‘Unfolded like Staircase’ should be in every prog lover’s collection. But that was their last studio album, and came out in 1997. Since then there has been some live releases (if you can find a copy of ‘Progday ‘95’ on which they feature the grab it), but nothing new from the band. Singer Matthew Parmenter has released some superb solo albums, but when it came to light that the band were reforming in 2008 for NearFest the question would be would they stay together? Thankfully the answer to that is a resounding “Yes!” and Matthew (voice, mellotron and keys), Jon Preston Bouda (guitar), Mathew Kennedy (bass) and Paul Dzendzel (drums) have released a new studio album at last.
Only five songs (but one of these is more than 24 minutes in length), and two of these have appeared previously (in live versions), but I am very much in prog heaven. It is quite hard to describe the music of Discipline – they always remind me of classic Genesis but actually sound nothing like them at all, while it is possible to hear elements of King Crimson, VDGG and a host of others but with some strident and at time almost dischordant guitars. Progheads aren’t always the best at saying what they think about music, but the review of this album that appeared on www.dprp.net is a delight – in that Brian Watson says about the epic ‘Rogue’ “this is perhaps Jon Preston Bouda's finest hour. There's a fluidity to the playing that is truly a joy to behold. If this song was a girl I would not only ask it out. I'd marry it. I mean her. Yes, I love this song.” It seems a tad picky that he gave the album only a 9/10 and I’m sure that this was because he doesn’t think that it is quite as good as ‘Unfolded’.
To be honest I’m not so sure – this is prog with an edge, music that demands attention. It can never sit happily bubbling along in the background like Genesis, Floyd or Moody Blues. 15 minutes into ‘Rogue’ and the shrieks are genuinely un-nerving. There are long instrumental passages that allow everyone to shine and at the end of the album there is only one thing to do. Take a breath, put on the kettle, and play it again. Only this time just that little bit louder. If this album doesn’t deserve maximum marks the nothing does. Sheer brilliance.www.strungoutrecords.com