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THE MUTE GODS

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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The Mute Gods biography
The Mute Gods is a new project that combines the rather considerable talents of three proven prog titans, the legendary bass maestro Nick Beggs, Roger King on keyboards and drummer Marco Minneman. The material was written during Beggs? busy touring schedule with both Steves, Hackett and Wilson and fleshed out by King and Minneman. All three add multiple instruments to the mix as well as being monster players. The style is a heady mixture of styles, all imbued by rather stark lyrics about a variety of subjects from human interface, parenting, politics, social unease and religion.
Additional guest appearances by Gary O?Toole, Nick D?Virgilio, Adam Holtzman, Rob Reed, Frank van Bogaert, Ricky Wilde and Lula Beggs

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Do Nothing Till You Hear FromDo Nothing Till You Hear From
Import
Imports 2016
Vinyl$19.45
$29.81 (used)
Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth (Bonus Track)Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth (Bonus Track)
Import
BELLE ANTIQUE 2017
Audio CD$34.76
$44.10 (used)
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THE MUTE GODS discography


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THE MUTE GODS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 51 ratings
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
2016
3.39 | 45 ratings
Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth
2017

THE MUTE GODS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THE MUTE GODS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth by MUTE GODS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.39 | 45 ratings

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Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth
The Mute Gods Crossover Prog

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Sometimes a band or project is placed on a pedestal so high even before any music is released, and then, when the album is actually released, the band falls off the pedestal, and it hurts, quite a lot!

The Mute Gods is tagged as 'super trio' of the modern Progressive Rock era with names very well known: Nick Beggs (Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson and Lifesigns), Marco Minnemann (The Aristocrats, Tony Levin and Steven Wilson) and also Roger King. However, when listening to the record it is incredible to note how well-known musicians and pros managed to record an album so anemic and so poorly produced. Amateur would be the first word that comes to mind when I think of the production of the record. And that's the irony of it all.

The instruments are all mixed in a blur of sound and there is not the slightest separation in the frequencies, it seems as if is only one instrument playing, a very messy one, and you're unable to distinguish anything. Even Marco Minnemann, who is a great drummer, disappears in ... Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth because of the production, any interesting idea that the drummer has was basically destroyed by the production.

Ironic is the fact that the band call themselves The Mute Gods, because that would be the best thing for the trio: being mute! The vocals on this record are just horrible! Either they are terribly bad or they are terribly annoying, there is no middle ground!

You want a good Prog Rock record from 2017? Stay far far away from ... Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth. There are at least 2555 more interesting bands playing Progressive Rock in 2017!

 Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth by MUTE GODS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.39 | 45 ratings

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Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth
The Mute Gods Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars The project continues.. The Mute Gods are back, thankfully their debut 2016 album was not a one-shot wonder as they have returned with another exquisite offering albeit a tad harder and darker, a most welcome addition to our prog universe. Beggs is "pissed off, we are all a bunch of idiots because we put up with idiots". The whole atmosphere is "apocalyptic, catchy and ironic", he says as he smiles irefully. Who are these silent deities? A core trio of superb musicians in Nick Beggs on bass and Chapman Stick, the suave keyboardist Roger King , both Steve Hackett regulars as well as world- class drum maestro Marco Minnemann, they have no need to supply any kind of credentials as to their talents. Three absolutely sensational talents On "Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth", there are no invitees, just the three honing their laser chops to the highest gleam. I really enjoy the fact that there is a prog band out there that writes about contemporary issues, everything from political polarization, journalistic bias, overt media-fueled slander on the Internet to global manipulations and social apathy.

Starting off an album with a funeral march seems kind of oblique risk but these are crafty minds at work, suggesting an interment dirge as either an appropriate anthem of the cruel times we currently reside in or just an apropos burial soundtrack for this record! "Saltation Mortis" being a Roger King specialty, having done such scoring for Mr. Hackett before, also doing a fine slice of guitar that emulates the Genesis man to perfection. Somber, gruesome and devilish, a perfect introduction. You may be interested to know (or not) but Beggs is a vegetarian, so what better than "Animal Army" to rile up some organic zeal, possessed by rampant guitars, poly-rhythmic rolls and double bass drum onslaught notwithstanding , the palpable irritation is skin deep, as Nick sings "his scourge of humanity" rant with convincing authority. His voice is becoming ever more appealing but let us not forget that his prosperous bass playing is arguably among the very, very best in the world.

A scream of rage at mankind's ongoing and seemingly unabated stupidity, something Einstein once worried about so eloquently when comparing human folly and the universe in terms of eternity. Wrong decisions, bizarre counter current tendencies, programmed information, advertising and news by manipulations from both sides of the political spectrum. "We Can't Carry On" is a splendid success, a definite highlight track that has all the ingredients: intense sizzle, overt indignation, influential melodies and insistent messages, all vehiculated with prime musical authority. The Beggs vocal is sublime, hitting a higher level without any hesitation and utterly convincing. Minnemann pushes the forceful beat forward like a bull-dozer in heat. Roger then shoves a wall of synthesized strings into the fray, urging on the bombast and generally 'carrying on' like a one-man symphony orchestra (he is not a rocker! LOL)

The lads decide to stretch their considerable chops on the nuclear explosive "The Dumbing of the Stupid", which could easily have been heard on a Steve Wilson/Porcupine Tree release, as its epic in size, while spewing unfettered spittle and deliberate annoyance, the guitars ornately harsh, the bass firing on all cylinders and a drum attack that defines the musical warfare being foisted. The voice goes through various tones, encompassing the spectrum of emotions, laden with effects. These are no happy campers!

One of Roger's favorite tunes is "Early Warning", a resilient ballad that proposes a gentle essay on three distinct life issues, a woman dealing with cancer, a sister affected by a brother's self-harming tendencies and village of people who are besieged. The voice is angelic and the entwined symphonics are drenched in pastoral serenity, Beggs' mellifluous bass swerving like a dervish in rapture delight. A beautiful and majestic piece. We return to maximum acceleration on the fuming title track "Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth", a track inspired by the only guaranteed survivors of a nuclear Armageddon: cockroaches. Tardigrades are multi-cellular organisms that live in space, water and nuclear reactors and according to Beggs, will also inherit the world, whatever is left-over post mushroom clouds. The bruising pace is steered by Marco's jet-propelled pulse, allied with screaming guitars and scorching symphonic keyboards. Beggs growls, howls, screams and utters pain like a seasoned vocalist, quite the revelation, in my opinion.

The highly evocative "Window on the Sun" is quirkily about computer criticism, seeing how the technology has provided huge advantages but also many negatives, namely apathy, desensitizing and superficiality. The throbbing bass offensive is entrancing, the soaring guitar arches brilliantly and terrific drum fills compound the thrill, as the voice laments the futility of retro-progress. Roger infuses some cool choir synthetics, once again uplifting the bombast.

The brief "Lament" is way too short, a heartfelt Chapman Stick-led section, delicately stitched with acoustic guitar frills and elegant piano tinkling counterpoints. Orchestrated with subtle gentleness. This serves as a perfect intermezzo for the following 8 minute epic, "The Singing Fish from Batticaloa" is based on a strange lake in Sri Lanka that featured strange sounds from singing fish, even though the region was mired in the midst of a furious civil war. What were the fish singing about? Sweeping synths meander about, streaming into the air, as the bass bubbles and the drums ripple. Roger takes this piece and applies layers of orchestrated genius to make this quite the experience. The surreal and calm mid-section catches one unawares, sounding almost vintage Genesis-like circa Trespass, as the flute and mellotron shuffle by, acoustic guitar in tow. The pained vocal is truly majestic, here is a man who has clearly improved his vocal skills. The "Andromeda Strain" is an instrumental finale about the classic movie (one of my and Nick's favorite movies), a brief but evocative mini soundtrack about a virulent organism that threatens the planet, brought back 'accidentally' by a space probe.

The album ends on another hallmark feature of the Mute Gods, a finale ballad of epic quality and deep-felt emotional disposition. The debut had the gorgeous ode to Beggs' daughter Lula "Father Daughter", while here we have a tribute to Beggs' wife on one hand and Nick finding some semblance of happiness at a time he thought that to be impossible . Disco queen and Cher fan (inside joke) Roger King adorns the crystalline arrangement with some attractive piano motifs and suave orchestrations to further enhance the sweet vocal , full of fragile beauty and earnest feelings, worn on the proverbial sleeve, a touching tribute from musicians who clearly love what they do.

This project has a lot of important attributes in that it can be listened to as a pure entertainment on one hand , while also offering individual instrument pleasure auditions, as all three musicians sparkle and excel beyond the norm. My addiction to the bass guitar is well garnished here, Beggs using the bass (4 and 8 string), fretless and Chapman with unabashed brilliance. No wonder this band has won so many critics over as well as winning awards within and beyond the prog community. Seeing the interviews with Nick and Roger on their website proved to be a rather mercurial visit into their humorous character and generally engaging personality.

5 Amoebae successors

 Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth by MUTE GODS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.39 | 45 ratings

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Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth
The Mute Gods Crossover Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars This second album is darker and more intense than the first one in the sound and in the nature of the lyrics. From the opener, we can hear the big Steve Hackett influence on the guitar sound. The production is perfect and the beautiful arrangements give to the songs that are already of high quality more value. If Nick Beggs doesn't have the greatest voice, he has succeeded to make the vocals works with some specials recording effects. The music contains some nice atmosphere and some catchy chorus that will take you back at times to the 80's new wave past of Nick. When you have Roger King on the keyboards, you can go wrong again here with some beautiful melodies. The solid precision in the drums playing of Marco Minneman is also a highlight of this album. And finally who can resist the sound of that Chapman stick of Nick Begg that apparently is responsible for a lot of the guitars section. If the first album was a collaboration work, this one is a trio effort and a solid one.
 Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me by MUTE GODS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.62 | 51 ratings

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Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
The Mute Gods Crossover Prog

Review by stewe

4 stars Here we have basically a solo album of one of the most demanded bassists on present prog scene. I have followed Nick Beggs since his recent works with some of my favorite artists - Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, and also John Michtell's Lonely Robot. So when I got known about this, I couldn't miss it. I also saw him live several times, and besides his exceptional musicality, he seems like an intelligent and humorous guy. And my expectations have been really fulfilled - Mr. Beggs is also a talented composer showing here that he also apparently learned a lot from his music "employers".

Music really often recalls aforementioned artists, in terms of sounds, stylistics and overall quality, although it doesn't sound as duplicate or imitation of neither of them. Right from the beginning, we have a smash prog-hit - beautiful melodies, thundering precise rhythms, catchy riffs, amazing chord shifts. This fashion continues over the whole album, with a lot of variety but still enough of consistence.

Roger King is obviously a key member for Beggs to elevate potential of his music, adding keyboard wizardry and atmosphere with his keyboard palette and soundscapes' engineering, as he had done with Hackett's albums. Marco Minnemann, as well as other drummers add proficiency to rhythm section which is breathtaking throughout. Beggs's melodic/pop sensibility make sure that songs catch the ear from first time, but they still are growers due to details and musicianship hidden in them - particularly sound textures, odd time signatures and melodic shifts thrown here and there. Some may complain about high-piched, rather melancholic lead vocal of Beggs which he uses in other projects usually for layering harmonies. I find his voice enjoyable and emotional, fitting well to the music.

Mr. Beggs and his band prove that music can still be very refreshing and intelligent in 21st century, in defiance of circumstances of contemporary musically rather degenerated world. Album is varied lyrically too - cleverly critical and thought provoking, sometimes very personal. Actually I may like this even more than Wilson's and Hackett's recent outputs. Although I don't have any negatives to say about this album, I am still rather shy to call it a masterpiece. Nevertheless this is an excellent album that deserves more attention here on PA than it has so far.
 Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me by MUTE GODS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.62 | 51 ratings

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Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
The Mute Gods Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Having seen Nick Beggs live with Steve Wilson on the 2015 tour, and being totally seduced by both his instrumental command as well as his obvious enthusiasm, it was hard to resist jumping on the Mute Gods bandwagon, especially with such luminaries as keyboardist Roger King and drummer Marco Minnemann as co-stars. Beggs has always impressed me with Iona but his recent work with Lifesigns, Fish on Friday, Steve Hackett and Steve Wilson really sealed the deal. The majority of the material was assembled during tours, in hotel rooms, on restaurant paper napkins (I wonder about that image, though) and presumably, while travelling in some long-haul airliner to the next gig.

Before getting into the details of this debut album, let it be said for the record that it is an absolute grower that will not necessarily grab you immediately by the throat except for the final and fabulously personal "Father Daughter" ballad, which is the sincerest song one is likely to hear in a lifetime. More about that jewel later. The album is a diverse set list of songs that span a wide spectrum of styles, including dark symphonics, quirky yet intelligent prog- pop, brooding modern progressive rock which are obviously imbued by the various influences of working with professionals like Steve Hackett and Steve Wilson. After numerous spins, I can really appreciate the flawless quality of the playing, the courageous tackling of various touchy subjects (religion, political conspiracy, dystopia, apathy, human issues and parenting) which surely resemble the more contemporary interests of modern prog bands as well as Beggs' penchant for not wanting to overplay his talent. Minnemann and King actually contribute greatly to the sound and substance, all three doing the guitar parts by committee. All of this was really quite transparent upon first glance, so I urge deeper investigation before criticizing with too much facility.

The opening title track is the longest track here, clocking in at nearly 8 minutes, and really setting the tone with some moody atmospherics and tight bright chops. Lyrically, "Do Nothing till You Hear from Me" was inspired by president and former General Eisenhower's famous televised about the rise of the military?industrial complex, a highly interesting historical anomaly BTW, as well as the geologist Phil Schneider who said some rather interesting things regarding UFOs, before dying suspiciously, presumably silenced. I could not help feeling a slight kinship with fellow Brit storyteller Guy Manning, who also enjoys controversial subject matter in his song writing.

"Praying to a Mute God" also contrasts light musical style with rather somber lyrical material. Beggs states" We seem to be living in a time of heightened religious fundamentalism in which people deliver the wrath of God or speak out on his behalf". There is a load of detail in the recording, jumbled dissonance which comes across as social dissatisfaction verging on anger and fear, of living in a new age fraught with deceit, despair and maybe even futility. Hence, the apathy that Wilson constantly harps on, and rightly so.

The most controversial track here is the subtle "Nightschool for Idiots" which some critics have panned for being too simplistic and commercial. Yes, there is a strong 80s feel, a vocal closer to the Korgis (or maybe even Kajagoogoo?) but the sweet playfulness is very British and wholly eccentric that harkens back to No-Man's Wild Opera album (and a masterpiece in my opinion, with lusciously clever tracks like "Housewives Hooked on Heroin" and "My Rival Trevor"). To prove the point, Beggs segues with the disconsolate and blunt "Feed the Troll", perhaps the most contrasting follow up you could hope for, a surly and nasty keyboard-driven sonic snow plow straight out of the Porcupine Tree style. 'Little room without a view' he pleads as he sits at the computer, blogging bull[&*!#] and judging everyone and everything, not by expertise but by Internet access.

In case you feel the material is still a tad too saccharine after 'Idiots', the heavy mood remains revolting with the sombre "Your Dark Ideas", anchored by its careening synth loops (Roger King does masterful work all through this release) and Minneman's concussive percussives. The surly and snarky laugh that precedes the churning organ flurry says it all, augmented by the brooding and uncomfortable pace, with creeping Crimsoid seething. The bodyguard track is "In the Crosshairs", which just carries on the sweeping drama, Arabic-styled guitar storms and mellotron ablaze, certainly influenced by many a Hackett instrumental (check out the guitar phrasings, pfff). Clever and delicious.

Two more longer tracks really flesh out the work with some seriously Steve Wilson inspired stylistics, Beggs sweet voice urging melancholia ('the language of despair' he sings) on "Strange Relationships", combining joy and doom and mounds of painful atmosphere bathed in gorgeous melodies, expertly detailed (Gary O'Toole's cymbal work), the forlorn piano outro by Frank van Bogaert is brief but ravishing. "Swimming Horses" is perhaps the most progressive styled piece here, Rob Reed adding massive dollops of ringing keyboards, and a rumbling bass undertow allied with a Tony Banks-like organ splurge from Belgian van Bogaert. Nick D'Virgilio provides some exemplary drum work as well but the true highlight is Nick Beggs's effective vocal work.

Speaking of vocal wonders, I promised to talk more about "Father Daughter", a rather blatant sounding electro- ballad that would make the Pet Shop Boys or Naked Eyes jealous and proud, except for a rather innocuous detail: the duet here is highly charged and personal, a sung discussion between daughter Lula Beggs and her father that would make a mountain range weep in silence. The chorus, the delivery and the lyrics are exemplary and frankly, outright beautiful. The gulping throat will need time to recover, you just need to be sensitive to being a parent in the 21st century, I guess.

This project needs to continue, Mr.Beggs

4 Quiet idols

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition.

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