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The Mute Gods - Atheists and Believers

The Mute Gods
Atheists and Believers
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 April 2019, 12:01 PM

As global populism continues to lead humanity down sinister, self-serving alleyways and truth is an irrelevance, does anyone have the capability of saving this planet? Have humans forgotten their responsibilities to each other, especially to those millions of people left homeless and displaced by conflict, while arms sales to warmongering nations carry on abated? These are some of the powerful themes that THE MUTE GODS put under the spotlight on “Atheists and Believers.”

This is the third album in a trilogy of pulsating, turbulent rock compositions that delves even deeper into the machinations that are driving mankind further towards an abyss of its own making. The metal-edged, menacing wake-up calls to humanity are tempered by three gentler, more sentimental compositions in which Beggs reflects on love and loss, mortality and marriage. “The album’s key message is that we now empower stupid people and don’t listen to educated, informed experts anymore because truth is no longer fashionable,” explains Beggs. “We must change this course as a species or we will all die.

“Atheists and Believers” leads us off, with a jovial sound and easy going guitar riffs. The bass is pronounced…kind of like a good RUSH song. The vocals are smooth and mellow throughout and the song was fairly easy to listen to…quite enjoyable. “One Day” has a dreamy and mellow sound. It’s fairly straightforward music without many frills but the sound is big and rich. It ends in an instrumental passage of bliss. The message is clear: “Today, everyone’s looking for something they can’t find…one day, we might find ourselves.” “Knucklehed” opens with some Proggy and trippy keys and the settles into an easy listening rhythm. It turns a bit dark just before a keyboard solo. “Envy the Dead” has a slow, lumbering riff, and he talks about “When I look at this planet, I envy the dead.” The riff pattern is repeated throughout and the one thing the album lacks up to this point: excitement.

“Sonic Boom” opens with fat keyboard notes and an air of mystery. It’s an instrumental piece that uses a lot of different elements and brings excitement to the table for the first time on the album. “Old Men” opens with soft flute and acoustic guitars, dancing together ever so gently on the first warm day of spring. The vocals are soft and emotional. It’s a song about longing to some degree. “The House Where Love once Lived” is a telling title. It’s a poignant and dreamy song that is depressing to some degree. I’ve always said there can be beauty found in darkness and that is the case here. The sound is fairly thin until the end where they bring in a little more instrumentation. “Iridium Heart” opens with some trippy elements but settles nicely into a memorable guitar riff straight out of the 1980’s. The vocals are run through some kind of odd effect at first. Iridium is a chemical element and when they speak the chorus, it’s done in that sterile fashion as the title suggests.

“Twisted World Godless Universe” is an aptly titled song. It certainly feels that way sometimes. Unlike the title, it has a jovial entrance, but then turns dark with some more of that spoken word method of delivery. “I Think of You” closes the album, with a very personal song with personal meaning. Doleful piano and string notes open the instrumental, and they continue throughout, almost Post-Rock in their delivery. The bass clarinet notes come into play here as well…it sounds like a final hurrah. Overall, the album was very expressive. I found myself drawn into the moments of beauty that were here and there, but just not done consistently enough. Besides one or two songs, it just wasn’t exciting or ear catching for me. The messages were great however, and for that alone, I would recommend a listen. You might glean something that I was unable to.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Atheists & Believers
2. One Day
3. Knucklehed
4. Envy the Dead
5. Sonic Boom
6. Old Men
7. The House where Love once Lived
8. Iridium Heart
9. Twisted World Godless Universe
10. I Think of You
Nick Beggs – Bass, Guitars, Chapman Stick, Programming, Keyboards, & Vocals
Roger King – Keyboards, Programming, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Marco Minnemann – Drums, Guitars

Guests on the album:

Alex Lifeson – Assorted Stringed Instruments
Craig Blundell – Drums
Rob Townsend – Flute, Soprano, Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Lula Beggs – Backing Vocals
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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