Muse have never been ones for subtlety. Why do small and acoustic when you can draft in 5 more guitars, layer them up, add in some lasers and howl about colliding atoms and wars on Mars?
Showbiz and Origin of Symmetry both showed that Muse had far bigger aspirations than they could currently achieve, despite the latter in particular being a big ol’ slice of prog flavoured rock. Full of massive kicks and sweeping overtones, they were a symbol of what was yet to come.
It was Absolution that really saw the band get their hands on the kit they needed for their prospective odyssey, creating and album of pure organised chaos. With the album topping the charts in both the U.K and France, Muse had definitely found a home for their own brand of deranged rock.
Black Holes and Revelations was the pinnacle of what the band had been trying to do before, bigger and more complex than they had been allowed to get before.
While some considered the album overblown and indulgent, Black Holes and Revelations was a smash hit, taking the boys from out of the shadows and plonking them resolutely into the spotlight, whether they liked it or not.
While many had compared the band to Radiohead, Muse’s latest album was too grandiose and busy to let the ties to Thom Yorke continue for much longer.
Knights of Cydonia, the album’s breakout single hit, says absolutely everything you needed to know about the album. Big, sill, weird and an absolute delight, the album takes far more from Queen than Radiohead.
It was this new electronic element that altered the group from what some had called a ‘thrashy three piece’ into a trio of genre hopping ‘space-rockers’ and far more easily consumable for the mass market (which should not be taken as a criticism).
This new accessibility was the key to Black Holes’ absolutely astonishing success. The album went triple platinum in the U.K, and got the band into the U.S top ten, a massive improvement chart wise from Absolution.
It was another three years, seemingly the band’s favoured time-span before we got a follow up, until we got The Resistance. It gleefully went down the path set up by Black Holes, one of cosmological exploration and diving headfirst into the infinite. Or something along those lines anyway.
The Resistance didn’t quite have the same levels of quality as Black Holes though, save for the astonishingly brilliant three part Exogenis at the end of the album. With over 40 musicians involved in the recording process, it’s an enormous, preposterous and utterly brilliant.
The anticipation charged up from Black Holes though propelled The Resistance to new highs commercially, giving the band the top spot in 14 different countries, including the U.K, Canada, Australia and France.
The success of The Resistance will be tough for the Devon rockers to match, but if anyone’s up for topping their own achievements, it’s Muse.
The question is though, following Matt Bellamy’s claims that the album is more personal and even features songs about such petty thing’s as human relationships, is 2nd Law a sea change for the band? Today will reveal all.
Muse – 2nd Law is out now.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith