Muse
Origin of Symmetry


5.0
classic

Review

by Flashmobba USER (22 Reviews)
January 4th, 2017 | 49 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 15 years on, Muse's masterstroke retains its cutting edge.

The start of 2000 brought somewhat of a crisis for Matthew Bellamy and Co. Their debut LP Showbiz was only a moderate success on the charts, and critics were quick to dismiss it as a hackneyed attempt at recreating Radiohead's sound. After touring outside Britain with big names such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, the young band discovered a newfound energy and inspiration, and went back into the studio to create another record. And they were better for it, as Origin of Symmetry sees Muse expand their musical territory to create a diverse rock album that, quite frankly, rocks.

Origin of Symmetry features a much more experimental side of the band, as they meddle with progressive rock, space rock and even Baroque rock. There still are flavors of alt. metal and grunge, courtesy of Muse's influences like Nirvana and Rage Against the Machine, but this record is executed with finesse and integrity that gifts the album a stellar cohesion of different styles. Origin of Symmetry plays like a grandiose rock opera in space, and shows the band at the peak of their talents and ingenuity. Opener New Born starts the album off with a bumbling piano and bass melody, an explosive guitar riff, a maniacal solo and Matt's abstract lyrics about butt squeezes and destroying the spineless. Melodramatic" Yes. Kickass" Hell yes, just like the rest of the album - New Born does an excellent job of foreshadowing what's to come. You get bombastic riffs that cut through like buzzsaws (Micro Cuts), you get eerie, epic numbers (Space Dementia) and catchy metal-infused bangers (Hyper Music). All these factors indicate that the album's strongest virtues are its inventive songwriting and indelible ferocity and enthusiasm, felt even in the mellow tinkerings of Screenager.

The only thing this record lacks is bad tracks, with the strongest highs being represented by its epic, longer tracks, namely, the aforementioned New Born, Space Dementia and Citizen Erased. The other two are quite possibly the greatest tracks in Muse's canon, the former being a ghastly space rock outfit featuring beautiful piano solos. Matt's lyricism rarely takes the spotlight, yet his vocals are a marvelous instrument unto themselves. His falsetto is particularly effective in Space Dementia, where each band member brings his A-game before a cathartic ocean of sound erupts in the song's climax. Meanwhile, Citizen Erased is an alternative rock masterpiece, featuring a monstrous two-note guitar riff, a razor-sharp guitar solo and mellow breaks in the middle and the conclusion. It is without a doubt the crown jewel, not only of the album, but of Muse's entire discography.

The record is indeed peppered with the traditional ingredients of a rock album; arena-sized choruses, mathematical solos, terrific basslines and drumwork as well as Matt's screeching vocals harmonies, best represented by Bliss and Plug in Baby; excellent yet relatively simple tracks. However, the experimental side of the record is equally enthralling. Screenager is an eerie, odd number, in which Dominic Howard is reputed to have used the balafon and even animal bones for its recording. It is a beautiful, more ambient song with acoustic guitar strumming and a mystical atmosphere permeating it. Elsewhere, the Latin-American guitar escapades in Darkshines, coupled with Matt's guttural screams and gothic piano make it an easy album highlight. Feeling Good is a marvelous blues-rock cover of legendary jazz artist Nina Simone's original song, whereas Plug in Baby features a notoriously awesome riff that made Matt Bellamy the famous, adventurous guitar player he is now.

It's the little details like this that make the album such a captivating and intrepid record. It is a cohesive anthology of rock's capabilities, and the polar opposite of a 'sophomore slump'. Haunting tracks like Screenager thrive with louder, more dynamic tracks like Megalomania, without sounding out of place. Origin of Symmetry's avant-garde songwriting and nuclear-powered atmosphere and instrumentation will always portray the record as a classic. Each track possesses a breezy accessibility yet a godly Midas touch that separates the record from its brethren. Origin of Symmetry will always be the benchmark of Muse's catalogue, and no matter how many misfires they create in the future, Matt Bellamy and Co. can look back and be proud of the record they constructed here. Although their subsequent release, Absolution, comes close, I personally think Origin of Symmetry is an album they won't be able to surpass anytime soon, for better or for worse.

Recommended Tracks:-
Citizen Erased
Space Dementia
New Born
Hypermusic
Darkshines



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user ratings (3479)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Flashmobba
January 4th 2017


1020 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

First time reviewing a classic, hope I did aight. Feedback and pos's appreciated!

onionbubs
January 4th 2017


9875 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. does the album justice. Have a pos

Flugmorph
January 4th 2017


19681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i agree with this review

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

Flashmobba
January 4th 2017


1020 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cheers guys!

IronGiant
January 4th 2017


1603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great read, I enjoyed this review a lot Flash. I use to love this album, but, admittedly, it has grown off me a bit as I've distanced myself from actively listening to alt. rock. I'll prob spin this while I'm working out just to hear it again. I remember really loving Megalomania and Space Dementia.

Emim
January 4th 2017


27657 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Space Dementia best agreed

Flashmobba
January 4th 2017


1020 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@iron- thanks so much dude! Aw you gotta replay it man, favorite rock record of mine.



Yeah space freaking kills, incredible verses and outro

grannypantys
January 4th 2017


1944 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i miss the days Muse was worth listening to

TVC15
January 4th 2017


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow great review dude! I've overplayed this album so unfortunately I don't enjoy it as much as I used to

Digging: Therapy? - Infernal Love

sempiturtle
January 4th 2017


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If they had stayed this good they'd be one of the best bands in the world.

Flashmobba
January 4th 2017


1020 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@TVC cheers my man! Haha the more I play this the better I like it



Yeah after 2nd law and drones I don't think they'll ever return to such form 😞

TVC15
January 4th 2017


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Drones did seem promising tho, it's their most guitar oriented since BH&R

sempiturtle
January 4th 2017


1517 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Origin to BH&R streak was insane. After that 3 album run and the Wembley show you could probably be justified in saying they actually were one of the top 5 bands in the world.

Egarran
January 4th 2017


7697 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

*the crown jewel



One of the best concerts ever when they toured with this.

Digging: The Decemberists - The Tain

Cimnele
January 4th 2017


1394 Comments


mat belmy

Digging: Imperial Triumphant - Vile Luxury

Flashmobba
January 4th 2017


1020 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@sempi exactly. Yeah drones was decent but nowhere near origin. @egarran thanks for that lol didn't realise

TVC15
January 4th 2017


9817 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've never heard of that concert need to check it ASAP

LaughingSkull
January 4th 2017


599 Comments


I love Muse!

menawati
January 4th 2017


16587 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

best album of theirs, plug in baby rocks, nice rev

facupm
January 4th 2017


11329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Actually the best song is micro cuts



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