There comes a time in the life of every band where they have an important question to ask: should we continue eating bread and cheese or should we take a huge risk and see what happens? This is what many people outside of the industry call “selling out” or changing your sound to stay viable and reach your creative potential. It took me a long time to realize this, Avid Reader, and it makes sense why bands would do this in time. Considering they had yet to break it huge in the U.S., Matt Bellamy started work on what seemed to be a series of albums about the end of humanity. This week we’ll talk about a few themes many folks have picked up from Muse and how it all seems to make you want to stock up your basement.
Look at the album work for 2003’s Absolution: a guy with a gas mask off watching a brigade of humans flying overhead. This makes you ask: what the hell is going on? The album starts with a march as we find out an emergency has been sounded so we’d better grab the kids and hide. Over the course of the album our characters fall in love with captors (“Stockholm Syndrome”), try to keep it all together (“Hysteria”) and then it all fades out (“Blackout”). A phoenix begins to rise from the ashes and tries to help but something is kept back on “Ruled by Secrecy”.
Cue up 2006’s Black Holes and Revelations; we find that some time has passed and our heroes are fighting corruption (“Take a Bow”), they are back to save the ones they love (“Starlight”), someone must’ve died (“Invincible”), yet others take up the staff to lead the charge (“Assassin” and “Knights of Cydonia”). Containing more swirling beats and interesting guitar noise, this album is a good segue to the massive album.
2009’s The Resistance, has our heroes banding together to make heads roll and listing off demands in “Uprising”. Love will always bloom in times of tragedy (“Resistance”), and then we find out what the corrupted lords have been doing (“Unnatural Selection” and “MK Ultra”). As it all ends under the suite of a three part symphony (“Exogeneis”), it somehow revives hope for the future of mankind.
As of late, I have been reading the second in a trilogy of books by Justin Cronin, The Twelve, which has some similarities, though the books are about a vampire virus used for biological warfare. True, there are some tracks in these albums that are kind of slow on their own but they tell an interesting story that makes you wonder where the next album, 2nd Law, will go in October. Be ready for dubstep, more strange themes, and maybe robots. I have stopped guessing and just want to know the next chapter in the series, but I have to be patient. And I hate waiting.