Steve Hackett

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

The Mute Gods – Atheists & Believers Review

“With some exceptions, in a rule-of-thumb sort of way, the ‘technical’ modifier means ‘this was harder to play’ while ‘progressive’ means ‘this was harder to write.’ As such, experience is highly valued among progressive musicians especially, and progressive supergroups seem more common than other genres. The Mute Gods is another one of those, consisting of Steven Wilson’s bassist Nick Beggs and drummer Marco Minnemann, who also performs guitars here, and keyboard player Roger King who played with Nick and Steve Hackett of Genesis fame.” Great expectations.

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

The Sea Within – The Sea Within Review

“I’m as leery of self-proclaimed supergroups as the next guy. They almost never work out. Usually, though, they at least have some humility about themselves, and claim they are not in fact a supergroup, but rather just a bunch of chaps who happen to want to make music together. Not so with The Sea Within. In fact, guitarist Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings) says “Call it a supergroup if you want – I think we can handle that.” Big words!” Super group, super attitude.

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs Review

Orphaned Land – Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs Review

Orphaned Land has gone through a lot more change than I think I even realized as they have made the journey from an obscure but promising melodeath band to a major label metal act. Back in 2013, I ended my review of All Is One by urging the band and the label not to “fuck with the formula.” The new record, which I was not impressed by, was being released only three years after the incredible The Never Ending Way of ORwarriOR. All Is One lacked the depth and force of any of the band’s previous material, a fact which I attributed to the album not having been given the time it needed to germinate. But I didn’t fully realize that since the release of 2011’s The Road to OR-Shalem, the formula had already been pretty well fucked. The first drop was Matti Svatizky in 2012, he was followed by Yossi Sassi in 2014. Both the guitarists had been in the band since 1992 and Yossi is the one I have always associated with Orphaned Land‘s characteristic “oriental”+prog rock sound. With Yossi’s departure, it was hard to not imagine that decline was inevitable. So I admit that I approached Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs with mixed feelings and a healthy dose of dread.” Fear and the Orphan.

The Mute Gods – Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth Review

The Mute Gods – Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth Review

“Complexity is an issue which many an academic seem to confuse with quality — the same can be said of progressive music as a whole. Sure, intricacy is a hallmark of the genre, but sometimes less is more. England’s The Mute Gods are a particularly fine example; a crew of dyed in the wool musicians pumping out highly musical platters of prog rock with lashings of memorable pop-rock sensibility.” Pop-prog is a thing now?

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

Headspace – All that You Fear Is Gone Review

“As you may have noticed, we’re prog wusses at AMG. We look favorably on innovation, strong atmosphere and where progressive isn’t a synonym for purely technical. Enter Headspace. Comprising high profile musicians such as vocalist Damian Wilson of Threshold, keyboardist Adam Wakeman of Ozzy’s band (and son of the Yes legend) and Lee Pomeroy, of note for his work with almost everyone ever (including Steve Hackett), the line-up is experienced and successful. ‘Supergroups’ are, however, plagued as strong personalities pull the music in various directions, often devolving into vain wankfests.” The curse of the supergroup continues.