The Mute Gods‘ Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth: sweet like candy!
Likely one of the most enjoyable albums of the year, Tardigrades is brimming with melody from front to back, with outstanding keyboard arrangements and gorgeous bass licks. This album pays more direct tribute to 80s prog, an era that is maligned but provided some of the giants of the genre (Yes, Rush and Genesis) with some of their biggest hits and served to introduce the MTV generation to some of the most talented musicians on the planet. Tonally, Tardigrades is most like Yes’s 90125 and even has a sort of synthesized new age feel that marked the band’s collaboration with later soundtrack wunderkind Trevor Rabin.
Tardis is also not dissimilar to last year’s outstanding 80s-invoking Haken release The Architect, but is generally lacking the latter’s epic tracks and extended heavier moments; the arguable exception being the Gabriel-era-Genesis-flavored “The Singing Fish Of Batticaloa,” which still flies by at over eight minutes and is never in danger of collapsing under its own weight—always a risk with an epic. The Mute Gods keep things short and sweet in a tone that will likely appeal to fans of Marillion’s H era or the prog supergroup Flying Colors. Unlike Marillion, The Mute Gods drop in some heavy guitar moments that are almost analogous to breakdowns in their placement, but without the bone-breaking heaviness. No one would call Tardigrades heavy by any stretch of the imagination.
The major drawback for some listeners will be the lack of forward thinking in this release. It is firmly rooted in the past, and those who like true adventure in their prog will likely be disappointed. But if you enjoy catchy, well-written, tightly arranged songs with some tricky time signatures, seek out Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth. You won’t regret it.