PrintThe Mute Gods is the freshly minted project featuring a strong  line-up of seasoned musicians from within the progressive music scene. Debut album Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me finds the trio of Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett), Roger King (Steve Hackett) and drummer Marco Minneman (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani, The Aristocrats), crafting a smooth and sophisticated progressive rock album with touches of alt pop-rock accessibility. Brooding, classy prog with a classic vibe yet distinctly contemporary feel, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me is smeared with the crafty fingertips of experience. Flawless musicianship, flowing compositions and lush production impress from the outset, but do The Mute Gods deliver the goods on all accounts and live up to their impressive pedigree?

Frankly, my first few spins of the album were impressive from a certain artistic standpoint but underwhelming on a songwriting level. Sure the keyboard-heavy sound, easy-on-the-ear vocal melodies and interesting arrangements made for a pleasant enough listen, but I guess I was craving something with a bit more edge and flair. Thankfully my feelings towards the bulk of the album have warmed considerably across repeat listens, as I’ll further explain, making it easier to overlook a couple of weaker tracks during the album’s first half. The opening title cut kicks off with a cheesy space-age build-up before unfolding promisingly on the back of Beggs’ smooth and infectious vocal hooks and a driving central groove and melody, leaving a strong first impression.

The poppy, acoustic-driven “Praying To a Mute God” follows, and while it has grown on me, it lacks the payoff punch to elevate it beyond merely solid, although the punctuation of a darkly off-kilter jam towards its conclusion is a winning touch. The first half of the album arguably boasts the more accessible and hookier material, led by the title track and layered subtleties of the rocking “Feed the Trolls.” Sadly, the irritating repetition and too-airy melodies of “Nightschool for Idiots” and goofy (perhaps intentionally so?) lyrics and vocals on “Your Dark Ideas” fail to live up to the song-writing strengths featured throughout the rest of the album. Luckily, the last four tracks compensate for the minor misfires and offer utterly compelling, moody and richly rewarding material, beginning with the slinky grooves and sultry melodies of the sublime instrumental jam, “In the Crosshairs.” Overall Do Nothing Till you Hear From Me is a ‘grower’ in the traditional sense, underwhelming but somehow intriguing on early listens, before it’s myriad of hooks and songwriting quirks gradually unfurl and draw you in.

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Although keyboards are often at the forefront, the prominent basslines and subtle guitar melodies each hold their own and fatten up the depth and fullness of The Mute Gods sound. Beggs has a decent set of pipes and plenty of strong melodies to show-off, and while his vocal performance doesn’t always rub me the right way, he generally compliments the music in a positive fashion. The beautiful, emotional vocal harmonizing resonating from the rich psychedelic textures and spaced-out jams of “Strange Relationship” are particular highlights. Aptly titled closer “Father Daughter” features a gorgeous duet between, you guessed it, Beggs and his daughter. Subtle electronics and infectious basslines bubble underneath the full-bodied and alternately melancholy and uplifting ballad, and the inspired vocal trade-off is a real treat. Nifty incorporation of the keyboards and Chapman Stick, along with guest appearances from multi-instrumentalist Nick D’Virgilio (Spock’s Beard) and drummer extraordinaire Gary O’Toole, coupled with a superb, audiophile production cap off a fine release.

Despite my initial reservations, the album’s overall quality outweighs the less appealing elements, and at their best The Mute Gods prevail with a quirky spark, offbeat lyrics and playful instrumental prowess. However, while Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me has glimmers of greatness it ultimately falls short of that status due to some uneven songwriting during the album’s first half, taking away from the flat-out brilliant moments that pepper the album’s arty latter movements. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me is a very well written and composed album that’s sure to capture and captivate a wide audience and should definitely be heard by prog aficionados.


Rating: 3.5 /5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: InsideOut Music
Websites: themutegods.com | facebook.com/themutegods
Releases Worldwide: January 22nd, 2016

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  • mtlman1990

    Does Nick Beggs sing? If so, ill pass.

    • Luke_22

      He sure does. Lead vocals throughout.

  • You wot m8?

    I guess I’m lost and now perusing Mildly Upset Progressive Guy. Silly me.

    • Thatguy

      Gazpacho…

      • Is amazing? I know, right!?

        • MelbCro

          yeah, best marillion cover band ever

          • Oh c’mon. They’re just “prog in the style of Marillion,” not a cover band.

    • Luke_22

      Yep you entered a secret portal only accessible through the extreme channels of AMG. Though more frustrated than upset, it’s still good though.

    • You guys get so silly over posting prog. Do you also edit Metal Archives in your free time?

      • You wot m8?

        Mebe.

        • Well then you should know that Darkwave is totally metal and you should be exploding due to the fundamental paradox that music that is actually tougher and heavier (that is, Steven Wilson and The Mute Gods) than Darkwave is something you make fun of.

          • You wot m8?

            Not overly following. In any case, I really don’t have a problem with the proggier stuff you decide to put up on this blog. I just think it’s funny that really, really proggy stuff is the most frequently featured non-metal thing posted on the AMG site. Given that it could be argued that pure, red-blooded prog is nearly paradoxically opposite in musical taste to the more “metal” metal. I simply find it amusing that your musical taste, and the taste of many fine reviewers on this site, is so varied as to encompass such opposing styles.

            Spoiler: I don’t edit for Metal Archives.

          • I’m pretty eclectic. I think it’s a common thing among people who spend a lot of time thinking about music because you get bored with the simple stuff after a while.

          • You wot m8?

            Fair, fair…

          • I consider myself a fan of metal, and I love brutal stuff like Abysmal Dawn, but then I like Porcupine Tree and the Pineapple Thief. It took me a while but “Wisdon of Crowds” by Jonas Renske and Bruce Soord turned out to be one of my favorite releases of 2013, and I owe it all to this site.

      • Thatguy

        Prog Is fine, it’s just that one band…

  • Reese Burns

    I watched that “Feed the Troll” video, and all I can say is that it seems like these guys are almost trying too hard. It was kinda sad to see a bunch of guys in their early to mid forties trying to “get hip with the internet lingo”.

    • Diego Molero

      This has nothing to do with the review, but could you recomend me an A7X record to get started? I like some songs but they have so many albums and idk where to begin.

      • El_Cuervo

        Best albums: Waking The Fallen, City of Evil and the self-titled. In that order for heaviness. If you’re coming in from the metal side, start at Waking The Fallen.

        • Diego Molero

          Cool, thanks man. Will start with Waking The Fallen.

      • Reese Burns

        Cuervo’s right in terms of heaviness, but I always liked Nightmare the best. But if you’re after heavier stuff God Hates Us is really the only song on Nightmare you’d be after. If you’re into some lighter stuff as well, Save Me is an eleven minute song that I really love. Their single Carry On is good, as is Not Ready to Die. Hope you find something to enjoy :)

        • Diego Molero

          Will check that record as well, will be interesting to hear a lighter side of A7X, I also read that Portnoy is on the album so that sold me already. Thanks a lot.

          • Reese Burns

            No worries, hopefully you enjoy them

        • Zadion

          Love heaped at a mainstream metal band like A7X being expressed here at AMG…? Am I even on the same site anymore???

          I agree that To End the Rapture is shamefully overlooked. Their debut is hit-and-miss but my goodness that song is amazing.

          • Reese Burns

            A7X is my favourite band, but is by far the lightest thing I listen to. I understand why some people don’t like them though. That’s why I really like this site. If this conversation were to happen on Metalsucks or a similar site, the word “homo” probably would have been used three or four times by now.

          • El_Cuervo

            They were one of my gateways into metal. I’ve always liked them, though I listen to them much less now than I used to. A Little Piece of Heaven is probably my favourite song of all time.

          • Reese Burns

            I always liked the self-titled a lot, even if some of the songs on it are pretty out-there, just because it was them doing exactly what they wanted to do as a band, for better or for worse. There’s a lot of creativity on that album, and Little Piece of Heaven is a wicked tune.

    • Luke_22

      I agree some of the lyrics seem a bit forced, I think it’s a solid tune though.

      • Reese Burns

        Guess it’s just not my thing. Glad someone’s enjoying it though!

    • Zadion

      That’s how I feel about Druhm when I read his reviews!

  • Thatguy

    I can’t get past the title – also the title of a very old, very cheesy jazz standard that I will have in my head for the rest of the day now that I have read this unless I can hear some black metal soon and I can’t because I’m at work and it would scare the patients…

    Yes, I know that sentence is too long and scatty but my brain is infected by a terrible song.

  • Goldicot

    I’m not sure this deserves a 3.5.

    • Reese Burns

      I’m not too big on it either. I heard the “Feed the Troll” song a while ago when it was premiered on No Clean Singing (Or InvisibleOranges, can’t remember). Wasn’t a fan then, and hearing the rest hasn’t really won me over.

    • Luke_22

      I didn’t think so either, but numerous spins later and I wound up finding a fair chunk of the album to be very good, despite a few frustrating elements

  • Gabriel PérezMolphe

    InsideOut is releasing a lot of interesting prog right now.
    P.D. Will there be a review of the new Votum?, I had the same opinion as AMG until Harvest Moon(which I love) and I’m really digging the released song from their new one.