Just one year after their debut release Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, The Mute Gods already have a new album that needs to be heard by the people who live on planet earth… or maybe they have sent a copy to Mars already, I don’t know. Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth is the title. You know, those small creatures that can withstand high pressure and very extreme temperatures. The creatures who made this album aren’t that small at all, we are talking about Nick Beggs (lead vocals, bass guitar, Chapman Stick, guitar, keyboards), Marco Minnemann (drums, percussion, guitar) and Roger King (keyboards, programming, production). If you have no clue who they are, you have probably seen them playing along with Steven Wilson and/or Steve Hackett. If you still have no clue, then you probably live under a big (prog) rock.
The artwork is splendid, just like the artwork of their previous album. It has eleven tracks, making the album fifty-two minutes long. This band has their own recognizable sound, but you can hear the influences of Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett’s music. After a few spins it’s clear that this is a real follow up of Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me. It carries the same vibe and atmosphere, although some of the tracks are slightly more heavier compared to the songs on the previous album. Nick dares to do more with his voice as well.
First track Saltatio Mortis is a short and spooky orchestral intro. Animal Army starts with some powerful drumming by Marco, which pushes the music forward through the track. I love the reversed strings during the outro. We Can’t Carry On is my favourite. It’s heavy, thanks to the present bass. The chorus is catchy to sing along with. The Dumbing Of The Stupid also has a heavy start, is more up tempo, and has some top notch drumwork from Marco again. Early Warning is a more quiet track, containing lovely fretless bass parts. Nick’s voice comes more into its own in this one. Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth is another favourite of mine. It’s super catchy and poppy, a track that really makes you happy. The eighties-like sounds really make this song a gem. Window Onto The Sun is something that can be classified as a real modern progressive rock track, just because of the way it has been composed. Lament is a short instrumental track with Chapman Stick, piano and orchestral strings. The Singing Fish Of Batticaloa is the longest song. The music reminds me a lot of Steve Hackett’s music. It contains a long instrumental section with lovely acoustic guitar. The Andromeda Strain is also instrumental, and it’s a mixture of “modern prog meets classical prog themes”. Very well executed! Stranger Than Fiction is a real ballad, starting with piano and orchestral sounds. It would do great as a single on a commercial radio station, thanks to the sweet chorus.
What can I say? This is very good follow up. If you like the previous album, then this is a must buy. If you never listened to any of their music then you should really give this a spin! Everything falls more into place in my opinion. Is this something called progressive rock? Absolutely! It’s not something that could become a masterpiece though, it’s something you just enjoy listening to. See it as a starter meal under the prog rock albums; a good album that contains good songs, which are easy to digest.
****+ Iris Hidding
- Saltatio Mortis (1:57)
- Animal Army (5:00)
- We Can’t Carry On (5:11)
- The Dumbing Of The Stupid (7:09)
- Early Warning (3:56)
- Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth (5:20)
- Window Onto The Sun (6:00)
- Lament (2:01)
- The Singing Fish Of Batticaloa (8:24)
- The Andromeda Strain (2:57)
- Stranger Than Fiction (4:21)
You can watch the video of the track We Can’t Carry On here: