The Mute Gods – ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me’ is Nick Beggs’ collaboration with Roger King (keyboards) and Marco Minneman (drums) and is out now on Inside Out Records – Review by Tim Darbyshire
Nick Beggs is a busy man. Aside from touring and appearing on record with Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson seemingly almost constantly between 2009 and 2016, forming and recording an album with the excellent band Lifesigns (2013), joining Belgian band Fish On Friday (2014) – and these are just the prog related projects – he has now formed The Mute Gods with Roger King and Marco Minneman.
The division of labour is intriguing – Nick of course plays bass and stick but also handles the vocal duties as well as contributing guitar and keyboards. Roger provides keyboards, guitars, backing vocals and production, and Marco also contributes guitar along with his distinctive drumming style and ‘sound design’. Contributions are also made by Frank Van Bogaert, Nick D’Virgilio, Adam Holzman, Gary O’Toole, Rob Reed and Ricky Wilde.
Nick Beggs has spent a lot of time on tour with Roger (Steve Hackett) and Marco (Steven Wilson) over the last few years, and the result of this collaboration with these talented artists is a concept album of sorts – “a rather disgruntled rant at the dystopia we’ve created for ourselves and our children” according to Nick on The Mute Gods website. Much of the subject matter concerns governments, corporations, religion and news media – conspiracies, cover-ups, scaremongering – and the fact we seem to be losing sight of what’s important in this life.
As expected from such a trio, the album is stylistically varied, experimental in places and expertly delivered. The music ranges from out and out prog (‘Swimming Horses‘, ‘Strange Relationship’) to catchy pop rock (‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me‘), with mellow interludes (‘Father Daughter‘, ‘Nightschool For Idiots‘) and extensive instrumental workouts (‘In The Crosshairs‘). As with a lot of this kind of music, the cd is a grower….more and more detail is heard and appreciated on the second, third and fourth listens. The highlight for me is the beautiful closing song ‘Father Daughter‘ (see video below) featuring Nick’s eldest daughter Lula. To me this sounds like a reconnection and hope for the future after the preceding disconnection.
It’s a bit of a no-brainer that most fans of modern progressive rock will enjoy this album – and rightly so. Nick deserves to be in the limelight for a change after many years backing up high profile musicians. Available now in limited edition digipack cd and double vinyl.
1 ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me’
2 ‘Praying To a Mute God’
3 ‘Nightschool For Idiots’
4 ‘Feed The Troll’
5 ‘Your Dark Ideas’
6 ‘Last Man On Earth’ (bonus track on digipack cd release)
7 ‘In The Crosshairs’
8 ‘Strange Relationship’
9 ‘Swimming Horses’
10 ‘Mavro Capelo’ (bonus track on digipack cd release)
11 ‘Father Daughter’