Tardigrades Will Inherit The Earth

Nick Beggs (Steven Wilson, Steve Hackett), Roger King (Steve Hackett) and Marco Minnemann (Joe Satriani, Aristocrats) deliver adventurous rock effort infused with timely perspectives on the state of religion, politics, media, and the environment.

Any rational observer of the current trajectory of the world is bound to ask similar, critical questions. Is humanity about to slam into a brick wall? Do we understand the fragility of our existence? Are we driven to distraction by media and politics at the expense of solving problems of enormous magnitude? Does democracy truly exist anymore? What’s the one thing we can focus on that can shift our direction?

The Mute Gods examine these and other major queries facing our planet on its second album for InsideOut Music. It’s a darker, deeply thought-provoking follow-up to its acclaimed 2016 debut recording Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me. It picks up from where the first album left off, with its examination of societal control mechanisms, and looks at the inevitable outcomes should we continue down dark, dogmatic pathways. Musically, the album is an expansive rock effort with a heavier, more metal-oriented focus than its predecessor, yet steeped in melodicism and addictive hooks.

“I know I’m not the only person who feels the way I do,” says Beggs. “Other people understand the state of the world and what’s at stake as we make one terrifyingly bad decision after an other. This album asks people to take off their rose-tinted spectacles and consider the reality facing us. At this point in my career, I feel strongly that it’s important to use music as a vehicle for truth, not just feel-good entertainment.”
The Mute Gods was founded in 2015 by Beggs, a celebrated bassist, Stick player, songwriter and vocalist who has sold more than three million records with his own groups. His contributions also grace the work of myriad artists and genres, including progressive rock, pop, Celtic, funk, and soul.

Beggs records and tours with Steven Wilson, one of the best-selling alternative rock artists of this generation, as well as Steve Hackett, formerly of Genesis. In addition, Beggs has worked with legends across the pop and rock worlds, including Belinda Carlisle, John Paul Jones, Gary Numan, Kim Wilde, Englebert Humperdink and Seal. In the progressive rock realm, he’s also performed with Steve Howe, Iona, Lifesigns, and Rick Wakeman.

Unlike the debut Mute Gods album, which included many special guests, Beggs chose to keep this release to the core trio ensuring a laser focus and consistency throughout. Roger King, the album’s keyboardist and producer, also works with Beggs on Hackett’s sold-out world tours. King has long been Hackett’s right-hand man, serving in production, arrangement and writing capacities for the guitarist. Marco Minnemann, considered one of the most important, explosive drummers of our time, has worked with Beggs extensively on many Wilson tours and recordings.

Nick Beggs on ...tardigrades will inherit the earth, track by track:

Saltatio Mortis
“The album starts with a Roger King-penned 21st Century funeral march for humanity. It sets the tone for the record.”

Animal Army
“It’s a rallying cry for the biosphere itself, which will inevitably rise up and take back everything humanity has tried to take away from it. It’s about the world progressing towards a state of entropy.”

We Can’t Carry On
“Time’s up. We can’t continue down the path humanity is traversing. Either we start creating meaningful change and reassessing our ways or it’s all going to be over before we know it.”

The Dumbing of the Stupid
“This reflects on how the media seduces and sedates an already atrophied populace into complacency and malleability. We’re a species focused on bright, shiny distractions and this escapism is contributing to our undoing.”

Early Warning
“This track offers three vignettes. The first is of a woman discovering a cancerous lump in her side. The second is a sister discovering her brother is self-mutilating. The third is about a war-torn town that awakens to the fact it’s about to be bombed out of existence. They’re three scenarios involving early warnings of worse to come.”

Tardigrades Will Inherit the Earth
“It refers to a water-dwelling, eight-legged micro-animal capable of living in extreme conditions. They’ve been found living on the outside of the international space station and inside nuclear reactors. If humanity continues down the path of extinction, they may well be the next dominant species.”

Window onto the Sun
“Science and technology are exponentially expanding their footprint on society beyond our ability to control or understand their implications. Will technology liberate or destroy us? This song explores the question.”

Lament
“This is a Chapman Stick instrumental accompanied by orchestra designed to signify the grief and sorrow of those who understand the difficulty of the state we’re in.”

The Singing Fish of Batticaloa
“A true story of a place in Sri Lanka that has experienced the phenomenon of singing fish. It includes BBC recordings of the organisms. I wrote the song from the perspective that perhaps the fish are trying to tell us about our future and warn us of our impending demise.”

Hallelujah (Deluxe Edition only)
“It’s too late for religion. The song looks at how people continue in blind faith, even as we are hitting failure states across the planet.”

The Andromeda Strain
“This instrumental was inspired by Michael Crichton’s science fiction novel of the same name. It’s about how NASA discovers highly-toxic bacteria in space, yet brings it back to Earth, without understanding the consequences of doing so.”

Stranger than Fiction
“This song offers a ray of hope. I wrote it for my wife. If we can find love, it can provide meaning and understanding in all of this madness. It can change the lens through which we see everything, hopefully for the better. It’s really the only hope we have left.”

...tardigrades will inherit the earth is available as a standard-edition CD, deluxe edition with bonus tracks and vinyl.

Track Listing
1 SaltatioMortis
2 AnimalArmy
3 WeCan'tCarryOn
4 TheDumbingOfTheStupid
5 EarlyWarning
6 TardigradesWillInheritTheEarth
7 WindowOntoTheSun
8 Lament
9 TheSinging Fish Of Batticaloa
10 The Andromeda Strain
11 StrangerThanFiction
 

 

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Their music has always had the ability to tell a story and this is true whether or not there are lyrics being sung over the music; the dynamics and ideas at play here within the instrumental passages are such that the stories are able to continue very eloquently.Another interesting addition this time around is with the inclusion of a guest vocalist on the song ‘The Ivy Gate’. Judy Dyble offers her voice within this quite a dark and powerful composition that concerns “the reported sightings of a ghostly apparition beside the cemetery gates in a quiet English village.” It is an intriguing composition that begins with a folky, bluegrass banjo-led melody that initially I railed against. In the context of the song however, it makes a lot of sense and is a wonderful addition to the band’s armoury. Moreover, it is an ingredient that I have grown to rather like and enjoy.The violin playing of Rachel Hall is beautiful and I embrace the sadness and atmosphere that is conjured within this track. But even more, I love the way in which the song builds and opens up at the 4:30 mark to deliver a sumptuous melody that is made even more powerful by the duet of Longdon and Dyble that joins it, before the track deconstructs to end with some impressive and emotional vocals and the soothing sound of rain falling.It seems like I am uncontrollably waxing lyrical about this album, but that can’t be helped I’m afraid, with every positive word being well earned and justified. And it must continue I’m afraid.The opening few moments of ‘Brave Captain’ and indeed the album as a whole, create a very subtle, ambient soundscape, very introspective and thought-provoking at the same time. After a minute or so, the entire band enters the fray in what becomes a rousing and dynamic piece of music. This is arguably the most immediate track on the album but in true Big Big Train fashion, it ebbs and flows throughout its substantial 12 minute life creating a sense of drama upon which they tell the powerful story of a World War One pilot named Captain Albert Ball who gave his life for his country.Naturally, given the subject matter, there are moments that convey the sobriety of the story, like the almost Dire Straits-esque piano and bluesy guitar section. But equally, there are also times where the musicians open up their wings and take flight, just like the central character in the song. When they do so, it is quite a heady experience and it is easy to get caught up in the music that swells all around you.Another favourite is the quite stunning ‘Experimental Gentlemen’, a tale of Captain Cook on his first journey of discovery. Incorporating a vast array of intricate ideas within a remarkably cohesive whole, it moves from gentle, dreamy and wistful to up-beat and bouncy. You can feel an increase in intensity as the song slowly and inexorably moves through the gears to eventually deliver a dramatic sequence complete with an emotional and delicate lead guitar solo. That’s not the end though as there’s time for an extended atmospheric outro that has a subtle yet moving feel to it.Arguably the biggest exponent of those aforementioned extended instrumental passages is the longest track on the album, the hugely impressive ‘A Mead Hall In Winter’. The melodies are just so strong that they draw me in for repeated listens in spite of its length, rivalling anything that appeared on ‘Folklore’. But it is the experimentation and the ambition that is the most impressive aspect, including a plethora of bold and striking keyboard sounds as well as plenty of lead flamboyance all round. It all helps to create genuinely rich and engaging textures not to mention a multi-faceted, multi-layered soundscape. This sort of music only works when it is handled with care and attention to detail. And Big Big Train are fast becoming the safest pair of hands that I know, turning everything to gold with their unique Midas touch. My mind never wanders, my attention is never diverted away and as this epic composition draws to a close via a reprise of the early sumptuous melodies, I am filled with nothing but admiration for what has been achieved here.By contrast, ‘Meadowland’ is a much shorter proposition that benefits from a truly gorgeous lead violin and acoustic guitar intro, full of sensitivity and elegance. The wistful vocal delivery of Longdon adds a compelling embellishment to a piece of music that straddles the divide between folk and progressive rock, that I wish was twice as long.The title track begins in strange fashion with an oddly creepy and discordant introduction, quickly replaced by more acoustic guitars. Another serious grower, I’m currently of the opinion that it contains my very favourite melody on the entire album, accompanied by the words:“Out on the Heathland,Look up to the night sky.See the second brightest star?Adjust to the dark light.”The vocals and music together combine in magical fashion to stop me dead in my tracks. But I also enjoy the way in which the track subtly moves away from its starting point, to finish with more instrumental prowess in a much different and more up-tempo vein. The closing vocal passage is inspired too.Seeing as I’ve mentioned all the others, it seems churlish to overlook the closing composition, ‘As The Crow Flies’. It ends ‘Grimspound’ in fine fashion, fittingly oozing warmth and richness. It begins in delicate fashion, featuring more female vocals and some really welcome flute from Longdon. At the mid-point, the composition explodes in typically controlled but epic fashion, delivering a briefly rousing and heartfelt melody, led by hungry guitar notes that retreat all-too-quickly, allowing the song to ease to a gentle and introspective conclusion.Just when you thought that Big Big Train couldn’t possibly get any better, they do. ‘Grimspound’ is without doubt the best progressive rock album I’ve heard since…well, since ‘Folklore’ to be exact. Big Big Train have become an integral part of my musical life, to the point where I cannot imagine what my life was like before I discovered them. Right now, I can’t think of any bigger compliment that I can pay or one that is more justified and thoroughly deserved. Without question, Big Big Train are my favourite progressive rock band on this planet, bar none." - Man Of Metal blog
    $12.00
  • IQ made the curious but welcome decision to make a special edition of The Road Of Bones containing 40 minutes of extra material on a second CD.  None of this material is available elsewhere.  Not remixes or throw away tracks - just 40 more minutes of prime IQ!IQ's 10th studio arrives and again with a slightly reconfigured lineup.  The exceptionally gifted Neil Durant, previously with Sphere3, is now handling keyboards.  Nothing dramatic changed.  If anything keyboards might even be a bit more prominent.  Paul Cook and Tim Esau, the original rhythm section, are now in tow. Peter Nicholls is his sombre self.  Guitars seem to be slightly heavier but all in all this sounds like prime IQ.  This is a band that has weathered personnel changes over the year but like a fine wine they've improved with age.  This is a BUY OR DIE release.  Top 10 for 2014. 
    $18.00