Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Muse - Black Holes And Revelations CD (album) cover

BLACK HOLES AND REVELATIONS

Muse

 

Prog Related

3.69 | 430 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ichigo14
4 stars Muse's Fourth Studio Album Black Holes And Revelations Promised to be a new-turn in the band's direction musically, and it did in some ways, however, the elements of Muse's music is still present and although some things have changed, the band keeps its Apocalyptic-Conspiracy-Theory image.

The Album Is Themed rather than a concept, the songs revolve around a common theme, in the case with this album, the theme is Politicians and World Conspiracy. Every song can be related with current world affairs and wars.

Let's begin

-Take a Bow The first song of the album starts with various piano arpeggios that progressively turn into a effects frenzy. Matt Bellamy do a good job portraying the message of the song (The death of a world leader) with the build-up intensity of the bass. Musically speaking, this is a song for the electric fans, lots of effects, arpeggios and dynamic changes. Lyrically is splendid, simple harsh lyrics emphasize the anger expressed in the song.

-Starlight: Possibly Muse's mainstream song, it was in the top 10 in the UK and US for a couple of weeks. Musically speaking, the song is very simple, is in the key of B. (although the live version plays in Bb). Matt uses a nice arsenal of piano and guitar which expresses love and passion with its melodic chords. Yes, this is a love song....a very nice one too...involving incredible metaphors that relate with the end of the earth, to black holes and the supernatural. The rhythms are simple, VERY simple....it's not bad though, it's just very straight forward: straight eight notes on bass and a common drum patter (that is very catchy by the way).

-Supermassive Black Hole: One of Muse's new sound songs, Supermassive Black Hole is a full-on techno song. the influences are clearly seen in a new direction; the chords and rhythm revolve around a very dancy tune. Lyrically speaking, Matt uses falsetto to the max that's not a bad thing. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme does a well balance job although his line is THE SAME as the guitar. A good track, yet not for everyone, this song is for Experimental and techno listeners, not so much for the prog listener.

-Map Of The Problematique: Woot! Woot! Influence here and there....this is Muse's Prog Style at its best! Musically speaking Matthew uses a very odd way to express the guitar's effects, ( in the recording he singlely strums one chord and that chord reverbs into a bunch of notes, really cool effect) This is actually Muse's first song with a helper: Morgan Nichols, who is a synthesizer and bass player. Thematically speaking, this song is full on with lyrics and song expression mixes very well with the progression of chords going on everywhere. An amazing track, I strongly recommend it!

-Soldier's Poem: A Nice slow song that features acoustic bass and guitar (and a xylophone near the end). Muse goes acoustic in this song with a few arpeggios here and there. A Short sweet track that is in essence a war song. The Title says it all! It's a story from the perspective of a United States Soldier, lyrically speaking, it's wonderful thanks to the back-up vocal work by Bassist Wolstenholme.

-Invincible: The track is an expression of Muse's crossover Prog abilities. From beginning to end the listener can hear small prog bits and at the same time listen to a story of Friendship, Love and Trust. The story is as follows....The end of the world is near, there is a couple who are being torn apart by the world but remain together in spite all odds. Nice right? Well, there is more to this track than a story. How about INCREDIBLE Guitar work by Bellamy?! He uses a nice mix of slides in the beginning to create a UFO effect, progressively he uses a bunch of arpeggios that build up to the song's Solo. The solo is a mix of taps, slies and tremolo picks.....Matt basically makes the guitar cry! (No, seriously, the live versions of this song feature Matt doing some incredible effect stuff to his guitar!) The bass is indeed very proggy near the end and the drums feature a nice march style beat.

-Assassin: A Progressive tune similar to Absolution's Stockholm Syndrome It has the elements of a nice concept song. The concept? The tale of an assassin on his way to murder a world leader. Very controversial theme, don't you think? Anyhow, musically speaking, this song uses a nice balance of Drums and Guitar, however is nothing new in Muse's music.

-Exo-Politics: Musically, this song doesn't shine much (it uses a moderate tempo to drive the song's note progressions) Thematically, however, this song is superb! A Story so well told.....it is as follows: The tale of one man on earth, watching as the world crumbles....he doesn't mind the struggles and feuds between nations, he simply watches how the world unfolds as its nears its end. Chilling story which involves politicians, aliens and spaceships!

-CITY OF DELUSION: Behold..... My favorite Muse track of all time.....CITY OF DELUSION. Possibly Muse's most experimental song of all time. Musically, it is a song that uses Mediterranean, Arabian and Spanish styles. Matthew hired an Arabian string orchestra to provide the AMAZING string works in the song. All works well with this song, guitar, strings drums....but the BASS is what TRULY makes this song a masterpiece, such a nice bass line that truly is the foundation to this amazing song. The theme? well, it is about a city of delusion....it's up to the listener to make its own interpretation of the song. To top it all off, the song features a TRUMPET solo, which makes a highlight near the end of the song....truly makes it a masterpiece! A MUST! I STRONGLY RECOMMEND IT! I assure you.....you won't be disappointed!

-Hoodoo Hmmm......This song is a bit tricky. It's a masterpiece in its own way musically, it uses a nice classical influence by Tchaikovsky. However this song is a bit odd, it doesn't really fit well with the other songs but musically, it's outstanding.

-Knights of Cydonia: The Album's most progressive tune. The influences of Rush can be heard on this tune. This Western Progressive tune features an effects intro that introduces the song's main chords. Then it builds up and starts off! from beginning to end, Muse tells the story with their instruments, creating an ambiance of despair and determination. Nice way to end the album....oh, and did I mention a return of Spanish style Trumpet here?

Overall, I was very satisfied with the album, it is an excellent addition to any Prog fan and of course to any Muse fan, there are a couple of things here and there that seem to change in Muse's style of music, but in essence they're the same old Prog-experimental band that they've always been. One thing I must note though, my main disappointment was the short length in the album, only running 45 minutes.

ichigo14 | 4/5 |

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this MUSE review

Social review comments () BETA







Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives