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Muse - Black Holes And Revelations CD (album) cover




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3.70 | 493 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Black Holes & Revelations' - Muse (7/10)

Muse (concerning all of the other music they have done) have generally impressed me in their songwriting, and have written some pretty great songs, but I've never really felt that a really ambitious album had been made by them... until I gave 'Black Holes And Revelations' a good listen. While Muse's previous albums suffered from issues such as a lack of flow ('Showbiz') or an inconsistency in song quality ('Absolution' had a near-perfect first side, but a very mediocre second,) Muse are able to improve on past shortcomings, and make an album that is dramatic, bombastic and larger than life from start to finish.

Muse certainly do not try to bombard the listener with progressive insanity, but moreso integrate prog/innovative ideas into a more accesible sound. That's not to say that this is 'mainstream' however. It is simply a marriage of two schools of music; and there are certainly enough strange ideas in the music to keep the album fresh for many, many listens.

It's also nice to have a break in Prog where the concept of melody is held in high regard. While this attention to accessible songwriting conventions and lengths may be condemned by a 'br00tal' Prog fan, there's nothing to suffer here. Some of Muse's previous work had alot of raw noise to it (a la Alternative Rock) but here the sound is polished and refined to perfection, which is definately a nice improvement in any case.

While there isn't any 'filler' work here, there are some tracks here that are a bit of a break from the 'larger than life' atmosphere that Muse is prone to generate. The song 'Hoodoo' for example, shouldn't be considered so much as a song, than a mere extended intro or interlude before the true epic of the album, 'Knights Of Cydonia.' While some may see this as nothing more than wasted album time, it makes the flow alot better (after all, an album with solely bombastic material would get a bit boring.) In terms of flow, there is a roller coaster of sorts, going from high, energetic points ('Assassin,' 'Knights Of Cydonia') to the more laid back tracks (such as 'Soldier's Poem.)

Muse have reached their peak with this release. They have more or less corrected all of the problems in their sound, and in doing so have created an album that is catchy, yet inately intelligent and complex. 'Black Holes And Revelations' is a great piece, and a sure sign that prog is still seeping into the mainstream, whether people know it or not.

Conor Fynes | 4/5 |


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