Muse
Black Holes and Revelations


5.0
classic

Review

by 2muchket! USER (4 Reviews)
July 4th, 2006 | 139 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


With stories of recording in a creepy old French chateau and then leaving for a New York studio, it would seem Muse haven’t quite lost their spark, and they do seem pretty out there in terms of the other bands around at the moment. Stories that Muse wanted to go in a different direction preceded this release that the band didn’t want to create Absolution II: back to the planets, but more of an expanded album in ambition and content. Anyways Muse is back with their fourth album Black Holes and Revelations . Their last two albums proved that they are with out a doubt so far they band of this generation.

Explosive live shows, and have the ability to convert their dynamic musicianship into fantastic albums. They’ve honed their craft and seem to be a band with limitless ambition. And with this release seem to have turned another corner and done something unexpected. Muse have gone pop. Well popish anyway. But the biggest change is the lyrics. They’ve expanded on the themes raised in previous and even branched out into politics. Perhaps taking inspiration from the French riots last year. But overall its business as usual from the trio.

Onto the review:

The album kicks off with Take a Bow , which is explosive as a muse album opener could be. Beginning with some synth, which stays constant through the song, with some strings also present in the intro. Comparisons could be made with other muse songs like Butterflies and Hurricanes. Matt Bellamy lyrically is on top form with some poignant lyrics about those that are corrupted, ‘our freedoms consuming it self what we’ve become is contrary to what we want’. This continues to about the 2:30 mark when suddenly Guitars kick in, bass and drums start here properly too. The musicianship in the second part art is top-notch wit some crescendo drumming and sliding bass lines. What follows is even stranger; if you thought the bands first single from this album Super Massive Black Hole was pop then prepared to be taken aback. Starlight is built around a catchy piano hook (think abba) some solid drumming, and of course a fuzzy bass line. It then morphs into guitar pop in the chorus, which screams that this will be anthem; with Matt Bellamy yelping for loved ones now far away.

The first single from this album, Super Massive Black Hole shocked fans, and it took me a fair bit to get into this song. The song kicks off with a fuzzy guitar and bass, and some solid drumming it really is a good song. Bellamy is back at his Falsetto best, again singing about relationships. The solo is pretty good too, its effects laden and sounds slightly out of the ordinary (which I suppose is normal for muse).
The next song Map of The Problematique is another great song with a weird synth like intro and a piano, which I mistook as a choir first time of listening, which progresses into a typical muse song, with more solid drumming and some good audible bass lines, mixed with some good singing (not falsetto though). The next song A Soldier’s Poem is the most obvious political song on the album with Bellamy putting himself in the moral situation of a soldier. And is most probably an attack on the situation in Iraq. The song raises some good lyrics too ’I will still lay down my life for you, and do you still think you deserve your freedom’ . Musically it’s the sinister ballad muse have come to write a few times. With some slow drums and acoustic guitar the vocals are delivered softly and quietly. Matt actually sounds quite like Jeff Buckley on this particular song.





Invincible Starts out very slow with military style drumming in the background over what sounds like an organ, with the bass also playing in the background. Around halfway the bass becomes louder and the military drumming stops and normal drums resume. At around the 3 minutes the bass starts to change and guitar kicks in for another effects laden solo, with the bass distorted. Another great song. Invincible changes the pace and leads to Assassin , which after a short strange guitar intro leads into a heavy instrumental section. Dom also shines on this song with some excellent drumming during the heavier parts, even a couple of short drum solos too. The whole song is epic from the excellent drums to the effects laden guitar and solid bass, which is not exceptional but good non the less, to the lyrics, which refer to toppling governments and inducing war.

Exo Politics is another guitar led song, which begins with short drum intro, which is then joined with a guitar intro before; strange eerie noise begins which sounds like an old stylophone before the fuzz distorted bass comes in. The chorus is the best thing about this song and the lyrics are some of the best on the album, exploring Matt Bellamy’s opinion aliens and governments. Great song. City Of Delusion follows on from the other three great songs and Chris produces a really good basin this particular song. It begins with a quiet acoustic with Matt singing and stays like that until about 40 seconds in when the bass and drum come in. Chris plays a nice alternate bass line, which sets this song off well. There are also some great strings, which really better the song as well. The chorus too is amazing with an electric led guitar and sounds fantastic. The second bridge is also good with the acoustic playing with the bass and drums but with now a trumpet, which gives the song, a Spanish feel. This theme carries on into Hoodoo with the guitar doing this Spanish almost flamenco thing at the beginning before the vocals begin. This carries on with a few chords played in between lines, until the drums come in along with a piano. About halfway the piano becomes more dramatic the bass kicks in, and the drums change and play some fills. Before stopping and just Bellamy strumming quietly. Another great song

The album leads out with the impressive Knights Of Cydonia , which can only be classed as an epic. Beginning with a weird and yet wonderful sound intro, which is like that of some alien spacecraft, the song begins. Galloping from horses hooves, and horses neighing can be heard before another array of weird and wonderful sounds kick in. Overall its gives the impression that someone is being abducted. Before drums bass and guitar all kick in. With some great backing vocals of ‘aaahhh’ ‘aaahhhaaa’. Before the main part of the song kicks in. The music is played like it’s galloping if that makes sense. The guitar does some weird stuff and doesn’t actually sound like a guitar at some points. Overall this beginning part sounds like the opening music of an old western film. The proper vocal begin at around the 2-minute mark. And this sort of musically repeats itself until around the 3 minute mark, when the music stops and its just the Bellamy along with backing vocals singing ‘ No ones gonna take me alive take me alive, the time has come to make things right, you and I must fight for our rights, you and I must fight to survive’. This is repeated for a while and while its being sung the music builds up slowly getting louder and louder. Then around the 4-minute mark the song really gets going and morphs into a guitar led heavy outro. The bass, guitar and drums are all; faultless in this end part and really do sounds amazing with some nice drum fills from Dom.

So to conclude with this really is a classic album. Muse show a new direction with songs like Super Massive Black Hole and starlight, but manage to do what they do best in songs like City of Delusion, Assassin, and Take A Bow. The drums are the best they’ve been on any album, with the guitar shining too. The bass on this album is solid with Chris showing what he can do, although some better bass would’ve been nice it still doesn’t detract from this great album

Within the genre 5
Outside the genre 4.5


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Comments:Add a Comment 
sgrevs
July 4th 2006


698 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review.

Knights of Cydonia is so Iron Maiden/Queen/Old Muse.

Very good album though.

2muchket!
July 4th 2006


900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah one thing I didn't mention was how this album at times reminds me alot of Prog, especially in KoC.

CharmlessMan
July 4th 2006


169 Comments


I can't wait to get my hands on this...I've heard about 3 or 4 songs and they all sound empire if you ask me...I couldn't believe my ears the first time i heard "Supermassive Blackhole", I was standing there going "what the fuck? Is this Muse or Prince?" but after 2 or 3 listens the song really grew on me and I think it's a brilliant tune.
Another thing I love about this band is the way the music starts off with this little piece of instrumentation and then grows into this epic boiling-pot of mind-blowing sounds...Not many bands around can achieve this sort of sound

Kyle
July 4th 2006


667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this album, it's fantastic. Exo-Politics is such a great song.

La Revolucion
July 4th 2006


1060 Comments


The only song I don't like on this is Assassin. Good review.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 4th 2006


721 Comments


This isn't that good.

Jawaharal
July 5th 2006


1832 Comments


I still need this to sink in.

Though Starlight is such a beautiful song, and Knights is pretty good dramatic fun.

RandyfromPennywise
July 5th 2006


752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review mate, I haven't heard this though, might be worth a download.

Just a tip on the review, go through and read it completely (once you have posted it or are about to post it for future reviews), there's a few things you could fix up, things with commas, capitals and some grammar. Besides that I thought you made your points well.

Polyamarous
July 5th 2006


23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome album, different to others but definitely in a good way. Starlight is just amazing.

Against Miik!
July 5th 2006


215 Comments


I thoroughly enjoy every song on this album definitely worth the wait. I like the subtle, although sometimes not so subtle, political edge. I'm glad they released an album like this, instead of just makin the same old shit.

Good review. I would have done it if it had gone unreviewed any longer, but this is probably better than i coudla done.

:thumb:

fisky009
July 5th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dont think you can say there is a typical muse song, but thats just me.

Nice review, wanted to do this myself but Sputnik wouldnt load up.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2006


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album owns hardcore. Probably the best Muse album so far. After about a week and a half, I'm thinkin its probably going to get a 4.5. Not sure though.

2muchket!
July 6th 2006


900 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think perphaps maybe the score I gave is just a little too high.

Oddsen
July 6th 2006


1127 Comments


This sounds good maybe I'll get it.

astrel
July 7th 2006


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah I think I will have to get it myself...

Isola
July 7th 2006


421 Comments


Saw them today opening up for Depeche Mode. From time to time I really enjoyed the musical parts but most of the time it all just drowned in weird guitar effects.

fisky009
July 8th 2006


813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Its a good album at the moment, Im still giving it time to sink in. Very progressive really, but I like that. Loving the synths on this, loads of it.

Isola
July 8th 2006


421 Comments


Matt Bellamy is an amazing guitarist, can give him credit for that.

CharmlessMan
July 9th 2006


169 Comments


It was a lot like OOS but different in many ways...quite a difficult album to explain, but otherwise brilliant.

Two-Headed Boy
July 12th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think this is as good as Absoultion but this is quite a fine album. Exo-Politics and Assassin are my current favorites.



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