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Muse - Black Holes And Revelations CD (album) cover




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3.70 | 493 ratings

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4 stars "Corrupt, you're corrupt. Bring corruption to all that you touch. Behold, you'll behold. And behold them for all that you've done." - Take a Bow As an impact of my recent involvement in a rock music organization which was just recently established - we named it as i-Rock!, my musical horizon expanded as I deal with people who are much younger than me. So, I was encouraged to have some try of much modern kind of rock music like Coldplay, System of a Down, My Chemical Romance, Pearl Jam, REM,etc. Well .. a lot actually. I tried some of them and like Coldplay is OK with me because I think Marillion Marbles is similar like Coldplay. I realized that in an interview Ian Mosley - Marillion's drummer - is a big fan of Coldplay. This might be why Marbles has a bit colour of Coldplay music. I even like some albums of Pearl Jam. What I'm doing is basically like Dieter Fischer who was checking out a couple of modern bands. Oh yes, I learn that enjoying other kinds of music would definitely enrich my knowledge and equip me better as a prog reviewer. As I said when reviewing Muse previous album "Absolution", this is the music for my son and I intentionally purchased it for him. I spin many times before I finally write this review. As I know the band in a very limited period, I think this album is better than the previous one (LOL probably it's because I'm getting familiar with this kind of music now while when I wrote a review on Absolution I was like forcing myself to enjoy the kmusic). One thing for sure when I started enjoying this album I always read the sleeve notes to get the lyrics of each song and I think that is the strong point of this album: good lyrics. "Take A Bow" (4:35) kicks off the album with a full blown synthesizer-drenched music demonstrating a dragging vocal line with political lyrics. I think government officials of any country should enjoy this song while reading the lyrical verse. "Death, you bring death. And destruction to all that you touch. Pay, you must pay. You must pay for your crimes against the earth. Hate, feed the hate. Feed the hate of the country you love.." - with this kind of lyrics, needless to say how powerful the lyrics. The music is a combination of space and new age styles.

"Starlight" (3:59) takes the new age style much more obvious. When I say it's a new age style it's the kind of music Robert Miles plays. This song also reminds me to 80's bands like Ultravox, Alphaville, Orchestral Maneuver In The Dark, etc. blended with Radiohead. Lyrically this song tals about science fiction : black holes and revelations.

"Supermassive Black Hole" (3:28) brings an upbeat music with programmed or electronic drumming and manipulated singing style (not using the original voice). The rhythm section is something that sounds like soft riffs which combines guitar, keyboard / synthesizer and electronic drumming. Definitely, this song is very accessible to many ears.

"Map Of The Problematique" (4:17) starts with a bit distorted guitar sounds followed with new age music typical kind of music that Robert Miles plays. The only difference is that this Muse version includes vocal line which is done in a dragging style. You might consider this music with spacey-cosmic nuance in similar nature with those recorded by pop group Alphaphille. The only difference is that probably the short insert which shows repeated drum (electronic) beats in the middle of the track.

I consider that "Soldier's Poem" (2:03) is the band's naughty exploration to a weird (?) combination of oldies music (something which resembles a song that starts with a lyrical part like "Willingly ..." - well I cannot remember well who sung this oldies song of the 60/70 - it could be Matt Monro, Andy Williams, or Tom Jones?) with serious political lyrics showing an anger to Government who send soldiers to war. Musically, it sounds like a humor to me because I can get the oldies nuance as well as Queen's typical choral section. But, lyrically it's a serious song "How could you send us so far away from home when you know damn well that this is wrong.".

"Invincible" (4:59) starts with ambient sounds of synthesizer, howling guitar followed with "fills" and marching drum mixed softly at the background. This might picture the nuance of a war. Vocal enters in dragging style (as usual). The guitar (or synthesizer?) short solo before the drum beats roll into the music is nice.

"Assassin" (3:29) is truly an upbeat music that reminds me to Dream Theater's "Never Enough". Well .. as you know it that this Dream Theater's song was directly influenced by Muse "Absolution" album. But this "Assassin" really reminds me to "Never Enough" because I get used to Octavarium album already. It's probably Muse' answer to Dream Theater's heavily influenced by Muse music in "Never Enough". I like this song very much especially with its fast tempo, rocking style (with modern sounds, of course) and good music riffs.You might sense that this song is also influenced by Queen.

"Exo-Politics" (3:52) is to me like a new-wave song with firm drum beats and dragging singing style. Most people would definitely enjoy the beats and riffs of this song. I like the cosmic synthesizer at the background. This song is accessible to those who rock! I especially like the chorus part "I am waiting patiently. I'll wait for the sign" and it's followed with short guitar solo. Very nice and it's rocking!

"City Of Delusion" (4:47) gives a flamenco nuance at the opening especially with the use f acoustic guitar rhythm to accompany the vocal line. What's so interesting is the insert of synthesizer sounds which resemble the eastern music nuance, combined with good guitar rhythm and synthesizer effects. There is also trumpet work in the middle of the track. Brilliant! I do enjoy this track.

"Hoodoo" (3:42) starts differently with guitar solo followed with low register vocal line - which makes this song is different compared to other tracks. It's a mellow opening. The singing style is similar to Thom Yorke of Radiohead. After lyrical verse which says "Why ..wy is this crisis in your eyes .." the music moves suddenly into higher register notes with "Come to be how did it come to be ...". Oh, I consider this as prog song even though the structure is straightforward, but it has richness in music textures.

"Knights Of Cydonia" (6:04) brings the album into fast tempo music, upbeat style exploring the synthesizer sounds and drum beats (mixed modernly so t sounds like an electric drumming). The music flows naturally and it has an energetic style. The choir line in the middle is nice and powerful with background music using a mixed of textures combining Pink Floyd, Robert Miles, Radiohead and classic rock guitar riffs (mixed in modern sounds). It's a cool music ...

"Glorious" (4:38) is not available from my CD - it's probably a bonus track which I'm sure it's another excellent track.

Well .. well guys ... how should I conclude this album? If you happened to read the above long review, you might expect me to give at least four stars. Indeed you are right even though I once in doubt because most likely the readers of this site coming from "Old School" of prog music - those who adore Pink Floyd, Genesis, King Crimson, ELP and the like as "true" prog music and consider the rest is "not" prog. I can consider myself into that box of category - sometime. But, when I think deeply on how the music of Muse "Black Holes and Revelations" flows naturally into my ears and it sends acceptance signal into my mind and at the end it truly stirs my emotion, I then come back to my simple definition of music: "Music is emotion" - so, this album really rules me! That's why, without any doubt at all I give my full four stars rating for this album - regardless this is prog or not. Who does care, actually ...? Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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