BY MIKE METTLER
The term “supergroup” in progressive music parlance has devolved through the years into a super-sized cliché. While some prog-superstar collaborations have succeeded spectacularly, most of them—and there have been many—work better in theory vs. execution. This is where The Mute Gods proves a happy exception to the rule of supergroup false starts.
Comprising bandleader bassist/Chapman Stick player/vocalist Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett), keyboardist/producer Roger King (Steve Hackett), and drummer Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson,
The Aristocrats), The Mute Gods is impressively pedigreed. Most significantly, the players’ abilities mesh superbly on their InsideOut label debut, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me.
From the harmonic, chiding lament of “Night School for Idiots” (featuring one badass backwards solo) to the lush vocal stacking of “Your Dark Ideas” to the sonic swirl of “Swimming Horses,” The Mute Gods demonstrates genuine group chemistry. Which seems to defy the fact this project is yet another long-distance, file-sharing product of skilled studio wizardry. “No, we were never in a room together. Even Roger and Marco haven’t met yet,” confirms Beggs.
Key to the album’s uncanny cohesion is how King’s production and mastering efforts made The Mute Gods sound like a polished veteran outfit. That, plus Beggs’ intuitive understanding, as leader of the project, that creative give-and-take would enable overall better execution. “Those guys are very capable,” Beggs marvels.
“You give them a blank piece of canvas and you always get back something pretty damn impressive.