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Muse - Origin Of Symmetry CD (album) cover

ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY

Muse

 

Prog Related

3.96 | 395 ratings

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Insin
5 stars Origin of Symmetry is Muse's heaviest and probably their weirdest album. It's also their best. A major improvement from the angsty, alt rock-based Showbiz, the band's first involvement with symphonic aspects occur here, never taking a central role but present in more than one song. The lyrics begin to take on typical Muse style. Though rarely clear and mostly ambiguous, they touch on subjects like technology, religion, self-harm and depression, love, etc. OoS also features more diversity in not only style but in mood ? but all songs are Muse's own brand of hard rock. No two tracks are the same, while each manages to hold onto the characteristic OoS sound.

As a heavy album, OoS is primarily guitar-based, but piano and keyboards play an important role in creating much of OoS's variety. They are typically used for intros and outros, but there are two songs, Space Dementia and Megalomania, which are dominated by these instruments. Megalomania's inclusion of eerie organ coaxes forth another diversifying factor on OoS: mood. While not atmospheric, OoS showcases an assortment of moods and emotions, ranging from the rapturous, entranced Bliss, to the enraged, probably-a-leftover-from-Showbiz Hyper Music, to the ominous Screenager and closer Megalomania, and others that I haven't mentioned. This makes OoS one hell of a ride ? and the songs diverse while being consistent enough to function as a cohesive album.

OoS, as a whole, is a great album, but there are specific moments when it shines the most. These are what raise it above the rest of their works ? these short parts that are absolutely mind-blowing.

1. The transition from the piano to a heavy riff on New Born: As if trying to trick the listener, the first song from Origin of Symmetry, New Born, opens with an ominous piano section. The bass line seems to swirl, the drums build the song slightly as frontman Matt Bellamy plays an eerie piano line and croons cryptically. Bellamy lets out a final, chilling, lingering wail, the song pauses, and the listener gets a sense that something drastic is about to happen. Out of nowhere, you are hit by a monster riff. The song picks up. You are headbanging.

2. The Plug in Baby riff: The whole song is great, full of upbeat energy with a strong, catchy chorus. Dynamics are used well, and the bass bounces along. But the riff is the best part ? catchy, fairly technical, and spinning circles around your head.

3. The high note from the Micro Cuts chorus: Can I just say: holy mother of god and how. The whole song is done in falsetto, but here Bellamy ties with the highest note he's ever sung. OoS is packed with plenty of Bellamy wails, and this is the best one. Micro Cuts is a great song too, really weird with plenty of meter shifts during verses and an explosive outro.

4. The synth on Bliss: Bliss is touching, emotional, and the lyrics are tender. The synth forms its backbone, undulating and threading the instruments together. It complements the lyrics beautifully.

5. The Citizen Erased ending. You know what, the whole song: Citizen Erased is a fan favorite. After a heavy beginning, taking up the bulk of the song, and an angry riff that echoes the song's great drumbeat, Bellamy produces an emotional solo and the track winds down into a semi-ambient bridge and a piano outro. At only seven minutes, it's an epic. Imagine what Muse could do if they were a true prog band.

Basically, I consider Origin of Symmetry to be perfect. Even their cover of Feeling Good does not seem out of place, as I have heard people complain before. It is consistent but diverse, heavy but melodic, and emotional but not overdone. This is Muse at their finest.

Insin | 5/5 |

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