The Mute Gods | Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth | Album Review March 2017
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Year: 2017
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Alternative Progressive Rock
Nick Beggs – Bass/Chapman Stick/Guitars/Keyboards/Vocals/Programming
Roger King – Keyboards, Guitars/Backing Vocals/Programming/Production
Marco Minnemann – Drums/Percussion/Guitars/Sound Design
Last year as I was in research mode for my first review of The Mute Gods Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, I can vividly remember reading where Nick Beggs was approached by somebody at InsideOut Music to finally do a project for himself. I can also remember how well written, produced and arranged that entire album was. I had given it a 5/5 and read many other reviews that gave high or perfect scores. Keep in mind this was a debut for this new progressive rock outfit that was rounded out by Roger King – Lonely Robot/Steve Hackett and world class drummer Marco Minnemann.
Now in 2017 The Mute Gods have returned in a rather quick fashion and now have their sophomore album Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth. The band did something very few bands do in this industry and they certainly avoided the ‘Sophomore Jinx’. Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth sees The Mute Gods return with a heavier, darker with a more melancholic personality about it. Nick Beggs as a songwriter continues to tackle various subjects through the social commentary of the lyrics. Whether you agree or disagree with his world views and social commentary, it still makes for some very thought provoking subject matter that serves as half the anchor for Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth as I will highlight during this review. Now a break down and a few highlights from The Mute Gods Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth.
Saltaio Mortis is a dark symphonic opening instrumental that opens up the album. It opens it up in much a way as a film score would open up the first sequence in a film. It is truly dark and bleak and really helps develop the appropriate tone for the musical vision on the album. The instrumental is arranged much like a orchestra would be.
Animal Army opens up with a minimalist guitar riff to set the tone that the album has views it will advocate whether politically or artistically or a little of both. From there a very powerful rhythm section anchored between the drums and bass take this track into a brooding chord progression. The vocal harmonies really play well off the rhythmic backbone of the track. It also conveys the lyrical content quite well. The bass and orchestral section make for a very original progression.
We Can’t Carry On begins with some heavy up tempo rhythm progressions that allow the darkness of the song to set the table and mood. It does so appropriately due to the heavy political commentary involved in the track. The dark brooding instrumental aesthetic lends excellent emotion to the anger apocalyptic scenario Nick Beggs paints throughout this track. Nick also establishes himself as a prolific vocal frontman on this one. This is a very thought provoking track that we all can find ourselves thinking about. The bleak chord progressions throughout also do a beautiful job making this a potential anthem going forward.
Video Courtesy of (Inside Out Music Official YouTube Channel)
The Dumbing of the Stupid is a very up tempo almost acid jazz in nature. The vocals are through a distorted filter giving the listener the effect that somebody is giving a wake up call to action through a megaphone. The bass and drum rhythm section is borderline semi Gothic in nature without losing any of the deliberate progressive elements. This track has a nasty gritty guitar solo on it to match the rhythm progression established on the track. The guitar solo’s along with the keyboards run in beautiful harmony with the bass/drum rhythm section. This is one of the more down tuned tracks on the album that also carries some harder rock elements through it.
Early Warning opens up with a semi electric guitar with a deep bass line line. The vocals are wonderfully isolated over this allowing the lyrics to breathe and story be told. This track also has some bell and chime effects laced through the chord progressions. Everything is very subtle on this. This track allows the listener to digest the song easily. Content wise this is one of the lighter songs on this album.
Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth begins with a very up tempo rhythm section and a slight neo progressive element filtered through the keyboards. Nick Beggs is very experimental on the vocals and not afraid to be pigeonholed into any one vocal style. This is kind of a rare track progressively speaking that it has a verse/bridge/chorus progression through it. The guitar solo’s are lush and thick lending further depth and maturity to the stringed section. The drums really play off the neo progressive effects being delivered through the keyboards as much as they are in time with the bass and stick progressions. The video for this explores some very abstract and odd concepts. It is a reflection of the social commentary Nick Beggs has.
Video Courtesy of (Inside Out Music Official YouTube Channel)
Window Onto the Sun starts off with various keyboard effects along with brilliant work on the bass to give the opening chord progression great depth and character. Do not let the up tempo deceive you this is a very dark track that really questions religion. Their is a nice backing vocal pumped through the keyboard in perfect harmony with the lead vocal. Nick Beggs has pumped the Chapman Stick through a bass processor tho give the rhythm progression a different dimension and depth for verb.
Lament opens up with a very deep brooding bass line giving the track a immediate sense of darkness. The guitar perfectly compliments this chord progression allowing bleakness to breathe through to the listener. The drums come in very subtly on this as well. This is the second instrumental on the album.
The Singing Fish Of Batticaloa opens up with a water like effect. The neo progressive keyboard passage adds some brief light to a otherwise intentionally dark album. This track is a very traditional progressive rock track. It has some really nice keyboards and deep lush bass/drum rhythm section. This is one of the more upbeat tracks on the album. Perhaps it was intentionally light on the listener to allow them to absorb the album or begin to. The keyboard even displays some very old school vintage Hammond organ elements in a few spots. The guitar solo is played acoustically giving the listener a reminder this is a intentionally dark album as a whole without taking away the uplifting elements of the track. This has some very melancholic elements towards the end.
The Andromeda Strain opens up with a heavy bass/drum rhythm section line. This is soon accented with various ethereal keyboard parts and ethereal lead guitar parts bringing both stringed section and rhythm sections in perfect balance. This is the third and final instrumental track on the album that is like a introduction track to the final track on the album Stranger Than Fiction.
Stranger Than Fiction takes on almost a ballad vibe with various piano and guitar portions. The rhythm section allows for the dark aesthetic to remain as it has through the rest of whole album up to this point. Lyrically this questions many aspects of life. The vocals harmonies a lush, full and warm to perfectly accompany the dark subject matter and instrumental progressions.
As I see it The Mute Gods are truly working towards something they can and will perhaps in the future put live on a stage maybe in a mini tour or something that will be possible for a visual document like a BluRay or DVD. I do know there is a third album in the early stages. With Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth , The Mute Gods have come into their own as a actual band rather than a so called ‘Supergroup’. This album is another addition to another progressive legacy in the works. The writing on this was very thought provoking. I give The Mute Gods Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth a 5/5 for further mature development as a band.
To see my review of The Mute Gods Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me from 2016 << Click Here.