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Muse - Black Holes And Revelations CD (album) cover




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3.70 | 493 ratings

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2 stars 2.5*

Like many, I was drawn to this album by Knights of Cydonia, found on Guitar Hero III. Happens that I was looking for something new and fresher than just another prog album, went to the music store, found it at a good price and bought it. This was my first mainstream purchase since a long time!

Do not get me wrong, this is an enjoyable album. A real candy melody-wise, and well balanced on rythm. But anyone looking for progressive influences here, or even for any impressive musical proficiency, will be disappointed. Most of the tracks follow very simple patterns and the guitars, drums and keyboard compositions are essentially as basic as a politician's catchlines about health care.

Right from the start, Matthew Belamy's voice strikes me as charming, poised, powerful just enough, and very, very precise. The band's soul imo.

The album's first track, Take a Bow, opens with mysterious keyboards, then slowly builds up. It has a progressive touch and makes a strong impression. And then, so does the rest of Black Holes and Revelations... save the progressive touch...

If this album is a good indication of Muse's music, then the genre prog-related should carry a warning in the form of "prog-related, from afar".

For instance, Supermassive Black Hole, like several other tracks, has a catchy melody but is closer to even pop rock than to alternative. Following is Map of the problematique, which I found reminiscent of A-Ah's hit Take on Me, whilst edging more towards alternative with a twist of urban/electronic.

Soldier's Poem is a disappointing ballad, with some REM influence. Fortunately, it's short- lived.

Invincible reminded me of U2's legendary hit One, following a very similar pattern, although ending with harder (but very bad) guitars.

Until the last track, Knights of Cydonia, the songs all manage to get catchy in a way or another, but apart from the somewhat successful melodies and Belamy's voice, the guitars and drums remain VERY elementary. And still, I was satisfied with tracks such as City of Delusion or even Hoodoo which starts badly but ends nicely.

The now famous Knights of Cydonia does not disappoint. Not purely progressive but certainly the more progressive track of the album. Superb guitar riff overlapped by spacey keyboards, gets even Ayreon-esque at some point. Has you hoping that they would go this direction more often.

Close call. A good album generally speaking, but maybe not a "good prog album". Since I have given 3 stars to prog works that I find more complete and impressive than Black Holes and Revelations, I must go with 2 stars in all fairness. But that's an album that I will listen to again in those times where my brain needs its candybreak without losing my mind for it.

SentimentalMercenary | 2/5 |


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