Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on april 12, 2007 18 of 20 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse. There has not been a day go past since Christmas day 2005 that I have not listened to this band. That was when I first heard Absolution and it blew me away. However, Muse have definitely changed their sound since then and I am still unsure whether it is for better or for worse. Gone in this album are the amazing piano based songs and wonderful bass lines that featured on the previous 3 albums. Although listening carefully there are some similarities between this and the last 3 albums.
01. Take A Bow - a truly amazing opening for an album. While some people find this track boring, it is my second favourite track on the album. The song starts with synthesized strings and is constantly cycling through major and minor keys which gives this song no definite key signature. We finish the first verse and in comes the pumping bass line and drum beat before building up through the chorus into the second verse. The song ends with heavy distortion, reminiscent of the end of Space Dementia on Origin Of Symmetry and leads us nicely into the next song.
02. Starlight - a true anthem if one was ever heard. Beginning straight away with an extremely recognisable bass line and distinctive drum beat before we hear the amazingly catchy piano riff that dominates the song. A change of sound for the chorus with typical Muse style guitars and the arpeggiated keyboards which we first heard on Bliss. Quietened right down for the breakdown before bringing us back to the verse and riff followed once again by, chorus breakdown and ending with the riff.
03. Supermassive Black Hole - the album seems to flow along and Supermassive Black Hole certainly follows well from Starlight. A heavy distorted bass line begins the song with another patented Matt Bellamy guitar riff and excellent drums from Dominic Howard. A lot more pop-like in style, this is definitely a side of Muse which we have not seen before. A good choice for a first single, apart from the name promoting the album, it appeals to more people with it's funky yet interesting style.
04. Map Of The Problematique - while many people seem to like this song a lot, this is definitely my least favourite song on the album. A very repetitive chord sequence, only roots notes on the bass, and an incredibly simple piano part that does not impress me coming from my biggest inspiration for piano playing. I usually skip this song because I simply can't be bothered to listen to it.
05. Soldier's Poem - based on a soldier's poem this is another shock to all Muse fans. Barbershop with tinges of waltz in there certainly was not expected. Yet this is a short but sweet song on the album that probably isn't appreciated enough by many people.
06. Invincible - a feel good song that can seem cheesy at first with the sound of a record player at the beginning. I do like this song but the beginning does drag on and the chord sequence is identical to Everybody's Changing by Keane. However, as we draw further into the song we hear a bass breakdown reminding us of Hysteria from Absolution or Futurism from Origin Of Symmetry. Following is a guitar solo from Matt which brings us momentarily back to the Muse we have heard before.
07. Assassin - the heaviest song on the album with amazing drum fills from Dom and eerie backing vocals. This is definitely a favourite amongst Muse fans and we hope to see much more of this live.
08. Exo-Politics - beginning with a drum beat followed by a riff that is very hard to get out of your head once it's in there. A lighter song compared to Assassin but nonetheless it's musicality makes it one of the best on the album.
09. City Of Delusion - the start of the experimental side of the album is this Spanish influenced song. With an acoustic beginning the song soon builds up as an amazing bass line comes in. With some interesting drums in the chorus and the amazing high range of Matt's vocals this song does not disappoint. After the first chorus we hear a bass solo from Chris and we are treated to a trumpet solo after the second chorus.
10. Hoodoo - continuing the Spanish theme with solo guitar before entering into a slow, quiet yet haunting song. Suddenly we are given the piano that we have been longing for on the album and we hear chords being played up the octave, not unlike those at the end of Apocalypse please before returning to the slow quiet guitar that ends the song.
11. Knight's Of Cydonia - finally we have reached the end of the album with the most climatic song heard in years. This is definitely my favourite on the album and consists of 6 minutes of pure unadulterated bliss. For anyone who doesn't know, Cydonia is a region on Mars where life is once believed to have existed. We begin with the sounds of running horses establishing the Knight part and soon we hear the spacey sounds of lasers and sirens bringing us to the futuristic sound of what might happen on Cydonia. Once stated in an interview as being put there for a laugh, the sound effects lead us into a truly stunning opening with harmonies and falsetto vocals galore. A guitar slide brings us into the ongoing, foot tapping motif that runs for the first half of the song. Guitar solos, falsetto melodies, trumpet fills, pumping bass, and ongoing yet fantastic drums: this song has it all. We are brought back to the opening section and then a breakdown occurs and we are treated to some truly fabulous harmonies and synthesized riffs from the band. Guitars, drums and bass come back in and we feel the song really build up. The harmonies come round once more and the song climaxes with a synth solo before ending, leaving us all breathless and wanting more. A perfect song to end an album or concert with and cannot be topped in my opinion.
I'm basing this on the English release so I therefore do not include Glorious in this review. I'm only going to rate the sound 8 in this review because I miss the bass lines and piano from the band and hope that it does come back in the next album. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Now I'm more about the music then lyrics personally but I will give you my opinions on the songs.
01. Take A Bow - an obviously politically based song, calling on world leaders to make the right decisions. Quite graphic in places "Death, you bring death, and destruction to all that you touch. Burn you will burn, you will burn in hell for your sins." They certainly evoke strong images, perfect for an opening song on an album.
02. Starlight - bossibly about a relationship with someone "I just wanted to hold you in my armsm. I'll never let you go", but also possibly about being tired of people around him and wanting to get away and live his own life to do what he wants. "Far away, far away from the memories of the people who care if I live or die. Starlight, I will be chasing your starlight."
03. Supermassive Black Hole - continuing the theme of relationships in the song. Possibly about someone who drew him in and lied to him. "You caught me under false pretences... Superstar sucked into the supermassive." Could also possibly be about the government lying about things or covering up issues such as global warming. "You set my soul alight. Glaciers melting in the dead of night"
04. Map Of The Problematique - following the theme of relationships and failed relationships "I can't get it right since I met you", this also brings back the element of panic and chaos first visited in Take a Bow. "Fear and panic in the air, I want to be free from desolation and despair." There is also another reference to Mars with "Fear and panic in the air." Mars' moons are Phobos and Diemos, the Roman Gods of fear and panic.
05. Soldier's Poem - as is suggested in the title, this is an anti-war poem and is based on a poem called The Soldier by Rupert Brooke. Another anti-war poem about the injustices of war and being sent away to fight and even though the war is wrong they will still lay down their life. Maybe an attack at the Iraq war.
06. Invincible - a feel good song with lyrics about following your dreams and being your own person. Whilst being a bit on the cheesy side, these lyrics definitely make for a good arena song.
07. Assassin - exactly what the title states, this song is about an assassin who seems to be part of an anti-government group who want to declare war on their government. Possibly reminiscent of the anarchy revolution of the 70s or maybe and underground movement planning to strike against a dictator and free oppressed peoples "Whatever they say, these people are torn". A pun on the word democracy evokes a powerful image. â€œOppose and disagree. Destroy demonocracy."
08. Exo-Politics - as the title suggests this is about politics and politicians. But this song also returns to Matt's area of interest; conspiracies and aliens. "Open the skies over me. When the zetas fill the skies" The song is about an articulated invasion of Earth by aliens but it can also be about our trust in our world leaders. "Will our leaders tell us why?" Leading to the idea that it may be a conspiracy by the government. "It's just our leaders in disguise."
09. City Of Delusion - a much more mellow song about maybe someone who hides away from others. "Stay away from me. I choose to hide from the all Seeing Eye." It also runs along the same theme of killing with Assassin" Destroy this city of delusion. I will avenge and justify my reasons with your blood."
10. Hoodoo - a different song to others on the album, with the theme being about hiding within your own world and not facing reality. "Come into my life, regress into a dream. We will hide and build a new reality". Then the song turns dark with anger and regret at not being what the wanted to be and slowly fading away. "Watch our souls fade away and our bodies crumbling missed the opportunity to be a better man."
11. Knights Of Cydonia - a complete change from the previous songs on the album. The others seem to be about telling the problems "How can we win, when fools can be kings?" but this has a feel about actually going out and doing something yourself. "Don't waste your time or time will waste you". It's also about standing up for what you believe in and doing the right thing. "No one's gonna take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive."
I give the lyrics 10 because I think Matt Bellamy is so God damn brilliant at evoking images and singing about things such as relationships in a totally different way to other bands. // 10
Impression: Personally, this was not as good as the previous three albums from a musical point of view but lyrically this is probably the best. The best songs have to be, Knights of Cydonia, Take a Bow and Supermassive Black Hole. My least favourite is definitely Map of the Problematique. If it were stolen then I'd probably be out of pocket from a lot of things because my computer, guitar, and other CDs would be gone as well so I'd have bigger things to worry about. // 7
Black Holes & Revelations
A Modern Myth, on june 12, 2006 15 of 22 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, it's been a long, long three years. What have Muse been upto in that time? A lot, surprisingly. Well, touring a lot. For the few of us at Earls Court, we've heard parts of Take A Bow. For the few of us in Italy recently, we've heard various songs, namely a lot of the new album. But what about the rest? Muse were playing a few songs in 2005, but with a much rawer, heavier sound than found on the album. Muse decided to take a step back, in terms of the darkness found on Absolution, and then a step right, and then another step, and so on. You get the idea. The result is a musical blend of songs. We have spanish guitar (Hoodoo, City Of Delusion, Knights Of Cydonia), we have piano ballads (Take A Bow, A Soldier's Poem and Starlight kinda), and we have unusual songs that might have fitted into other bands repertoire, (Map Of The Problematique, which seems to be Muse melded with Depeche Mode, and Supermassive Black Hole), and we seem to have classic Muse (Map again, KOC again, and Invincible). Taking just one track, Invincible, this seems to showcase what Muse do best. They use bass, drums, lyrics, vocals, synth and guitar to amazing effect. And, to use a pun, together, they're invincible. Yes, shoot me if you want to. I still say that the album is an awesome blend, and yes, even SMBH fits on nicely. And there's UFO noises on the album. How cool is that? // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics are a change from the first two Muse albums, but some of the lyrics could have come from Absolution. And some lyrics have changed. This album is more politically themed, "During the struggle, they will pull us down, but please, please let's use this chance to turn things around" as an example from Invincible. "There's no justice in this world and there never was." from A Soldier's Poem. Actually, the second half of the album, and I use second half to describe everything from ASP to describe the second half as politically themed. Assassin especially. Matt uses his normal range of voice, i.e. falsetto squawks, normal singing, and slightly higher pitched singing, throughout the entire album. Knights Of Cydonia showcases his talents especially when performed live as he uses his entire range of vocal talents in it. // 10
Impression: It's easily the best album of the year. All the songs are pretty damn awesome depending on your mood. Especially if you're feeling in a bit of a flamenco mood. If anyone stole this album, I would skin them alive and then chuck them through a jet engine and then reclaim the album. And then destroy their town. Just 'cause this album is that damn good. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
Gerard Way Jr, on august 06, 2009 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Ah, Muse. That Queenesque British band we all know and love. Unless we are the fans who AREN'T Twilight-absorbed little girls still finding out just what the hell PMS means, and have not only heard songs OTHER than "Supermassive Black Hole," but have also been fans since before Robert Pattinson was even in Harry Potter, let alone this new blob of mush called Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I was alright with the books, but the movie ruined "Supermassive" for me on SO many levels, it's hard to describe without throwing up all over that lovely shirt you're wearing.
Anyway, Muse. Like I said, Queenesque, less so in this record. In fact, compared to 'Absolution,' another one of Muse's hits, it's got a lot more...oh, I dunno how to describe it. Not techno, not synth, not hip rock. It's got more bass. More beat. Hence "Supermassive Black Hole."
No, that's not the only track on the record, but it's probably the most innovative--it's different from any Muse you've heard before, at least, to a degree, and it's actually really good.
That's almost the only track of its sort, however. Others have acoustic guitar a lot, piano, more guitar, okay vocals, etc etc. Basically, it's no different, other than "Supermassive," than any other Muse album. Not really, anyway. I guess I can say "Hoodoo," "Invincible," and "Soldier's Poem" are, but, other than that, it's still the great sound of Muse. It IS different from other albums, but, there again, it isn't. // 7
Lyrics and Singing: Lyrics? Lyrics? Ah...not a lot to say. I mean, they're charming for average, but that's almost all I can say. Nothing really unique, but, at the same time, they're good for average. The singer is pretty good, he's got nice control over his falsetto, nice emotion. I know I compare this band to Queen a lot, but he really doesn't sound anything like Freddie Mercury at all. He IS good, however. The lyrics and sound go together very nicely, much like crayons (that make music) all over a fresh stack of paper (making music) by your 3 year old son (who is singing). It just sounds...good. I really, really like this record, for an average record. This is the sort of innovative sound music needs these days; it really is. I guess this review is sort of abrupt, then. // 7
Impression: This is probably the best Muse album thus far, though 'Absolution' is still excellent, and, really, one of the great records of the year 2006. This is one of the records that was good BEFORE it was hyped up, unlike stuff like Green Day's 'American Idiot' (which was good for the genre, the genre being I Suck More Carpet Than A Broken Vacuum Cleaner) and My Chemical Romance's latest 'The Black Parade.' Those were called extremely average that weren't even great for average, the exception probably being the latter. There again, 'Black Parade' got away with ripping off older artists like Pink Floyd, Nirvana, and, yes, Queen. Muse, however, is completely original, and, therefore, gets my thumbs up. This record in particular, you should probably buy, because it's really incredible, even if not more so than it could be. Really, I think it should have been a bit longer. Best tracks are "Starlight," "Map of the Problematique," and "Invincible."
Black Holes & Revelations
BadPhysh, on june 30, 2006 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I first began to read hype around this new album, I was skeptical. The members of Muse continued to go on about how deeply their breathtaking concert at the 2004 Glastonbury (one of my favorite concerts to watch) had changed theme, both as people, and as a band. As soon as I heard the album however, I saw just how right they were. Gone are the sweeping romantic style piano solos, reminiscent of Rachmaninoff. Gone are the moments that leave you bowing to the floor in salute of any one of the highly skilled members of the band, and I miss those moments greatly. Istead they are replaced by something that may be even more awe-inspiring ovall though. This CD is filled with moments that will leave you agape at the sound of the whole band. They have matured greatly in the years since absolution, and are able to paint a rich soundscape as a full band, filling this new album with string parts that add a vivid spacey feel to the entire work. Their sound, though still stretching in every direction, is pulled together tighter than it has been on past albums, giving it a strong direction, but still allowing it freedom to stray off the beaten path, even for them, going far enough to incorporate a mariachi style guitar, and trumpet parts in the final two songs of the album. There is still plenty of diverity throughout the album, with moving ballads (Invincible and Starlight), a dance toon that you'll never get out of your head (Supermassive Black Hole), their new style of spacy-sounding string scored rock that they've moved up a step from Absolution, pools of cascading, preachy explosions (most notably Take A Bow), and most shockingly, Assasin, which takes songs like Stockholme Syndrome a step further, opening with a needling guitar riff that you half expect to be followed up by an impossibly fast synthesiser run, and the tortured screaming of Children of Bodom's Alexi "Wildchild" Laiho. Somehow, howeve, they manage to reign the sound in a bit, and make this album feeel like one solid, coherent peice of music.
One of the largest dissapointments here is, as mentioned earlier, the lack of moments that truly make any single member of the band shine. There are very few true guitar solos here. There are no piano parts that stretch out forever evoking any and every enotion and, most notably, the bass has been greatly scaled back. Chris Wolstenholme is an amazing bassist who can throw out speedy, precise riffs like those in Hysteria with both hands tied behind his back. You won't find mugh of that on Black Holes and Revalations though. Whenever there is anything vary exciting going on with the bass (my favortie is a well written decending line that comes in about halfway through Invincible) the volume is turned way down, making way for their new, spacy sound. The one exception to this rule is in Supermassive Black Hole, which is driven by a pumping bass, with the presence and distortion cranked up as far as it can go. But frankly, though I love this song, the bass part failed to impress me. Close inspection shows this to be a slightly juiced up version of the bass pert from Time is runing out in a different key. No problem there, it still sounds great, but other than invincible the bass didn't really jump out and grab me like it usually does with Muse. A fine new sound for a band that is begining to settle down a bit and get comfortable with what they do. They change it up a bit, and they really manage enrich there style on this album, sounding like way more than three people. I'm eager to see how they pull off this much sound live. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matthew Bellamy's voice soars over the music as triumphant as always, speaking of twisted conspiraicies, aliens coming down from the skies, and proclaiming undying love. The difference you can here in this album is an overall feeling of hope. No longer is it sung by an observer of life, but a man who is willing to be proactive, and sees that change is possible. Sometimes this is shown with frightening anger, and a willingness to throw off the chains of the old, espsecially in Assassin, a song which describes just exactly what the name would have you think. Bellamy preaches instead of warns, as if trying to give rise to a new world order of sorts, and he makes you want to follow him. The writing, as usual with Muse, is impeccable. He manages to evoke exactly the feelings he wants, when he wants, and he leeves you wishing you could write lyrics like he could. // 10
Impression: Black Holes and Revalations is a beutiful soundscape of spacey rock and Matthew Bellamy's high-pitched vocals soaring over the music. They change up their sound a lot, both within the album, and from earlier works, but there is obviously drive and direction behind this music. Bellamy urges us to take action and change the world for the better before it is too late. In ways, this CD even reminds me of Radiohead's Kid A. It took a few minutes for this concept to grow on me, but now that I've become acclimated to the CD, I just can't put it down, with track like Invincible haunting my thoughts for days at a time. Even with stiff competition from Keane, Thom Yorke, Andrew WK's anticipated comeback, and Queensryche, this could very well be the best album of the year. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
jackh131, on september 18, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well here we are, 7 years after after their debut album Showbiz, and this band is still the best there is. This album, while it is more experimental than their other albums at points, it still has the same tenacity of other muse records. Muse's usual sound comprised of guitar, bass and drums, but with this album they have began to use synths more often than they used to, such as on tracks like Take A Bow and Map of the Problematique, but there are still some great guitar based tracks on here like Exo-Politics and Assassin. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics on this album are, in my opinion, not as good as on the other albums, there is not much of a mixture of lyrics, they all seem to be following a political theme, which can be good, but not if it's used on every track on the album. Although there is no denying that Matt Bellamy is one of the most talented lyricists around today, both in terms of writing lyrics and singing. // 8
Impression: This is certaintly a great album, although I don't think it as good as Origin Of Symmetry or Showbiz, it is much better than Absolution, which was a bit of a let down for me. My personal favourite songs on the album are Knights of Cydonia, Take A Bow and Exo-Politics, although I'm not a huge fan of Starlight and Supermassive Black Hole, they are still good songs. I would certainly reccomend this to any music fan. It is a great introducion to muse, and would definitly have persuaded me to buy their other albums if I didn't already have them. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on june 30, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I'm not gonna say how much I have been waiting for this album! After 2001s origin of symmetry, people didn't think muse could follow up. However, they not only managed to match their previous effort, but beat it with 2003s Absolution. Once again, Muse have done the impossible and beaten themselves again. This album is superb for many reasons, but mainly because it fits together as a whole. Every song brings something new to the mix, and no song is poor (unlike their previous efforts which had some filler). The music is more subtle, there is less piano here than absolution, more guitar but less distortion, more vocals, thankfully the bass and drums are as good as ever but still some newcomers will be put off by the opener Take A Bow, which, despite being one of the best tracks on the album, is not easy listening. Parts of it sound like Space Dementia from OoS. However, let every track on the album grow on you and you will realise that muse are light years ahead of the opposition for the sheer basic fact that they are the best songwriters of the last 20 years. The guitar is better than before because Bellamy has learned how to use minimalistic riffs (such as invincible) and the odd break, but the song always comes first, and only solos where it suits. Of course, the solos are still as bizarre as ever, but only for the better. Doms drumming has gotten better again- he is brilliant on every song, particulary Starlight and Exo Politics. Chris and his bass really add the feel to each song, and his amazing riffs in Invincible and City of Delusion prove his talent. Some songs on the album have a dark groove that really gets you going, some are simple, short and sweet, and some, of course, are completely off the wall in concept and execution. Someone has to think of a rating system that goes above 10, but for now. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matts lyrics have changed a bit. Opener Take a Bow may shock some people with its clear political message with little else to interpret, but have no fear, that is not the case with the rest of the album. There are some references to global warming "Glaciers melting in the dead of night", and (as before), some references to breaking away "Stay away from me, make a fortress and shield your beliefs". Bellamy sings "I can't get it right since I met you", presumably talking about his girlfriend. The backing vocals really work and make you wonder why muse havent tried it before. The song where the lyrics really shine is Knights of Cydonia, the album closer. As the guitar subsides and Matt sings "No ones gonna take me alive, the time has come to make things right" and the guitar comes in, you realise his lyrical power and after hearing the album the only reaction you can make is to press the repeat button. Wow indeed. // 10
Impression: This kicks all other music you have heard out the window. July 3 (or July 11, if you live in the USA) should be marked out on your calendar as the day your life will change. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on june 29, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: They kept us waiting three long years, and the wait got to some of us, but it is finally here. Muses long awaited follow up to their enormous album Absolution, and what a cracker it is. Another reviewer said that this album has structure in comparison to their previous releases, and I have to agree- while absolution peaks then drops then peaks then drops, and origin seems to be a collection of good songs, BHAR is almost like a concept album in its majestic vocals which follow the same theme. More on those vocals later. The album is shorter than absolution and is better for it- you can listen to the whole thing in one go, and yes, every song grows on you. whether its their opener Take a Bow, with its amazing guitar section, which somehow manages to beat their previous opener Apocalyspe please. The album features many different styles, such as Starlight (happy song), Assassin (heavy song), Hoodoo (majestic song), Soldiers Poem (amazing ballad), and Supermassive Black Hole (picture a robot dancing to depeche mode and prince singing. The 3 best tracks on the album: Map of the Problamatique, with great piano that we have come to expect from Bellamy, and a great riff as well; City of Delusion, a real muse masterpiece which I cannot believe, it is truly epic; Knights of Cydonia, which just about beats COD because of its amazing breakout section, solo and the best one liner on the album (no ones gonna take me alive, the time has come to make things right). Absolutely majestic. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Bellamys lyrics have always been confusing, and though they are still odd in places, there is a reoccuring theme of destruction and no one doing anything about it. As usual, his vocal range is immense, with power and melody coming second nature to him. He sings beautifully in Soldiers Poem about a soldier not knowing what he is fighting for. The good thing is, not all of their songs are as obvious as say, System of a Down. You can take what you want from the lyrics, but you will be affected. As soon the final track Knights of Cydonia ends, you feel a call to arms to go and do something. And if a singer can make you feel that, then lyrics must be worth a 10. // 10
Impression: This is Muse's best album, because it is an album that you have to listen to start to finish to appreciate. Not one song requires you to press the skip button. If it were stolen, I'd appreciate the thiefs good taste in music, and hope he enjoys it as much as I have. I am still listening to this album now, and I will be this time next year. Do yourself a favour this Monday, run to the shops as early as you can, you won't regret it. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
METSOAD, on june 28, 2006 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well all I can say after listening to this record is, wow. I don't I've heard anything on this level of harnessed insanity in any album I've ever heard. Muse are just the most insane, ambitious and just generally brilliant band in the entire UK at the moment. Matt Bellemy is one of those musicians that other, lesser beings stand in awe of, be it because of his piano playing, his singing or most of all, some of his now legendary and reveared guitar playing. The bass playing on this record (by Chris Wolstenholme) is just as good as ever. Typically complex when it needs to be and simple when it needs to be, just generally great. The Drumming is there to basically complete each song with extra garnish. Dominic Howard is one of the best around and also extremly versitile, able to confidently do great things at any volume and speed. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matthew Bellemy's lyrics are some of the most thought provoking around. If a band could ever make an album tell a story like Pink Floyd could back in '70s then this man can. "Map Of The Problematique," "Knights Of Cydonia" and "Take A Bow" are some peices of lyrical genius and are some of the best lyrics the band have ever produced. This album tells us alot about the woes of the world past and present and it right up to date and relevant as it will be for many years to come. // 10
Impression: The opening song Take A Bow is simply insane with great synthisier sounds and some excellent guitar and bass work in the second part of the song as well as the haunting chants of "you will go to hell for your sins". Classic. Starlight is the first "rocky" number on this album and it can be described as the title track. The bass guitaring and drumming on this song is absolutly ballistic. Everyone knows the dance hall filling, bum shaking, disco style Supermassive Black Hole and as I predicted this isn't the best song on this album by any means although the guitar solos is very cool indeed and the singing although just about unrecongisable is great. Map of the Problematique is crazy with an awesome intro and great keyboarding, it is the best non guitar song on the record. Soldier's Poem is a small but powerful and haunting acoustic ballad that sounds creepy if nothing else. The singing on this song is particularly great. Invicible is generally good but is really made a great bass riff in the middle of the song which is a peice of genius, the lyrics are rather good on this song too. Assasin is this albums "Citizen Erased" or "Hysteria", the metalish number with the crushing riff. One of the highlights of Muse's entire carrear. Loud, vicious and wonderfully mosh pit friendly, pay particular attention to Dominic Howard's blistering drum solo. Exo-Politics is even better with more riffs, an awesome guitar solo and unforgettable lyrics along with a great bass guitaring abd drumming, an all round future legend of a song. City of Delusion is a mix of an orchestra and muse at their most rocking, many great solos, riffs melodies, enough to please any major fan of music in any genre, just great, it could be a single though. Hoodoo is very sparse sounding and slighlty empty in the beginning but with the introduction of the jazz style drums and bass to the song it becomes like "Blackout" or "Butterflies and Hurricaines" from "Absolution". Then the distorted guitars as well as piano add to this slow but high impact song into another complex great. Knights of Cydonia is a proper Muse album ender, haunting, creepy and a different kind of heavy to other distorted Muse songs. The End riffs of the song are very Iron Maide esque and also quite genius. "No-ones going to take me alive, the time has come to make things right, the time has come to fight for our rights, you and I must fight to survive". That haunting refrain leaves a lasting memory of this truly great song.
Overall this is one of the great all time records. It has everything any true music fan could ever want, out of this world guitaring, amazing bass playing, great keyboards and spectacular drums. The Best songs overall are Starlight, Exo-Politics, Assasin, Knights of Cydonia, Map Of The Problematique and City of Delusion. These songs would deserve to go into any bands scrap book of greats but in fact it s overall a truly wonderful album with only one let down of a song. The first single "Supermassive Black Hole" dosen't quite fit the rest of the album and even though its good, it is definatly not the sound of this album or Muse as a band. Long live the crazy trio from Devon and long may this album rule on as a legend forever. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on may 18, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: My musical interests used to be so dull and near non-existant, until I bought Guitar hero 5 and played Plug In Baby and realised that Muse were awesome. Since then I have heard everything there is too hear, and I love it all. Black Holes is very different from Absolution; Absolution having some classical influences but also hard rock tunes. Black Holes and Revelations drop the classical, but brings in a whole lot more:
01. Take a Bow: 8 - The synth intro works well, seems a bit soft to begin a Muse album, that is, until things really kick off. The guitar really adds to this track, and the ending is truly brilliant
02. Starlight: 9 - Starlight brings love to the album, with a catchy tune and the mix of guitar and piano, which works really well in blend with Matt's amazing vocals
03. Supermassive Black Hole: 10 - This is one of the songs that really shows Muse's ability to make a good song that will please even the R&B robots. The guitar is very catchy as are the beautiful vocals, and the drum beat. It remains my second favourite Muse song
04. Map of the Problematique: 9 - Another step into previously uncharted territory for Muse, but again a great success. The song is easy to dance to, having that feel, and is catchy and funky
05. Soldiers Poem: 7 - While it's not chart topper, it definitely has meaning with some acoustic guitar and referance to soldiers and wars.
06. Invincible: 9 - A sweet love song, about not letting "them" pull you down, but also provides a kick in the middle of the album with a guitar shredding solo (more uncharted territory).
07. Assassin: 7 - Like soldiers poem, it's not going to be topping charts, but it does convey one of the boldest messages Muse have written into a song so far: "Destroy Demonocracy". The drums are the standout in this song
08. Exo-Politics: 8 - Some nice guitar riffs, and epic solo. Contains thought-provoking lyrical themes, and would probably have been a single if the other songs hadn't have been so good
09. City of Delusion: 7 - With it's spaghetti western feel, it is a good song. The trumpet parts are also very good, which play over gutiar
10. Hoodoo: 7 - a random piece of music, but really sets you up for the behemoth approaching...
11. Knights of Cydonia: 10 - This is a proper good song like nothing I've heard before. The guitar riffs are amazing, the vocals are amazing, everything is amazing. With this song alone Muse return credibility to prog rock // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics, as always, are amazing. They really relate to the here and now and suit the songs perfectly. Matt is definitely on top of his game. From the political feels of Take a Bow, Assassin and Exo-politics, to the love themes of Starlight and Invincible, the songs are easily relatable to who you are and that intimacy makes Muse an amzing band. // 10
Impression: It really blows any other modern rock artist out of the water, because Muse are just so bold. They don't care about making mistakes, they just want to experiment and make amazing music (which they succeed in doing). Other bands play it safe and make good steady tunes, but Muse really raise the bar for other modern band.
The Most impressive songs are Supermassive Black Hole and Knights of Cydonia, just because they are so different and amazing in their own right. There isn't really anything to hate on this album, it's all good. If this album was stolen, I would buy another the next day. If it was stolen again, I would buy it again. If it was stolen everyday of the year, I would buy it again and again, because Muse are truly the best. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
vagelier, on april 06, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Black Holes & Revelations is Muse's 4th studio album. In my opinion, it is the best Muse album to date. I'll explain why. Though I cannot deny the genius of the preceding Absolution, the brilliant concept album, Black Holes may be less of a album and more of a collection of great songs written between the two, the latter is musically more well-written and beautiful.
Muse's style has become a whole lot more sophisticated since the debut in-your-face prog-rock album Showbiz (which I love). Instead of loud, sneering guitars and explosive drums they started writing songs with heavenly vocals and more thought-through structure. Some may call it a waste, I consider it a development. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: 01. Take A Bow: the techno, anxious intro to the album is an example of Muse's new sound: strings and keyboards playing fast riffs where the mood is important. A good, solid opener though not one of the best in my humble opinion. 3.5/5
02. Starlight: though it might be too "poppy" for the Muse purists out there, it's definitely a great song. The intro offers a slightly-too simple riff but when ready switches to the louder bridge. This song also has beautiful lyrics (Hold you here in my arms/I just wanted to hold) and is yet another example of Bellamy's amazing vocal qualities, comparable to Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant. 4/5
03. Supermassive Black Hole: this song is hated upon by Muse fans because of the Twilight "incident". Nevertheless, I consider the best muse song ever. It starts off with a catchy riff including a great drum beat, begging you to start jumping through your own house, but the choruses contain some of the best vocal harmonies I've ever heared by Muse, alike Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. The solo is also great, not your average rock solo but an experimental keyboard solo. 5/5
04. Map of the Problematique: again one of Muse's greatest songs. The melody is just so beautiful. Again, the combination of the lovely lyrics (I can't get it right/Since I met you) and Bellamy's enormous capabilities this song is one of the pinnacles of Black Holes & Revelations - 4.5/5
05. Soldier's Poem: here Muse show they are capable of more than rocking out hard and making beautiful songs; a 3/4 jazz-song with again Queen-esque vocal harmonies. An emerging change in Muse's style and one of the long-awaited (at least by me, I loved unintended) acoustic pieces. Also the contradiction of the beautiful melodies to the spooky lyrics "And do you think you deserve your freedom/No, I don't think you do/There's no justice in the world/And there never was." is utterly breathtaking 4/5
06. Invincible: Invincible is slightly too sugary for me. Though the solo is amazing, the military drums and the "fight for your dreams and you will prevail"-lyrics lack depth. Too bad, but it's likely a filler. 2/5
07. Assassin: The System of a Down-ish riff and dynamics and conspiracy lyrics set the mood for this absolutely mad song. After Soldier's Poem and Invincible, we needed something more upbeat and dynamic. And I cannot say they've failed. This song is comparable to Showbiz songs but it also contains some of the harmonies that are the signature of this album. 3.5/5
08. Exo-Politics: the catchy drum and guitar intro suddenly changes into a more spacy mood when the vocals and keyboard kick in. Definetely another example of Back Holes' greatness. 4/5
09. City of Delusion: with the flamenco intro this song appears to be another alternative rock-piece, including the trumpet solo. Though the chorus is a bit too boring, this is still a solid song. 3/5
10. Hoodoo: again a very exciting intro. Hoodoo is probably the least poppy song of the album, together with Assassin and Take A Bow. Though it may be slightly too far-fetched for the average listener, it is a satisfaction for the old-school Muse-fan. 3.5/5
11. Knights of Cydonia: the progressive piece which is many a Muser's favorite. And I can't argue against that. KoC is an astonishing song in terms of structure, riffs, vocals and power. Dominic Howard's horse-like drums comparable to Child in Time and the great intro riff and vocals already make this song worth your while. But then there's the bridge, with utterly breathtaking vocals, both beautiful and exciting, a perfect build-up for the coming guitar riff and complete lose-your-mind outro. Especially live, this is epic. The lines "No one's gonna take me alive/Time will come to make things right/You and I must fight for our rights/You and I must fight to survive" would even get a 90-year old to jump up from their chair and dive into the mosh-pit like 200-pound wrestler. Bottom line is, this song is so darn awesome! 5/5 // 8
Impression: If the album was stolen, I'd most definitely buy another one. It's one of my favorite albums of all time. I understand that the superconservative hardcore Muse fans might not appreciate the musical genius that went into the creation of this album, but not only did Muse reach a far wider audience with the making of Black Holes but they also showed their capability and diversity. A terrific effort and a must-have to any Muse and non-muse fan. Get your ass to the music store and buy it, you will not be disappointed! // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on may 01, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I'm going to make this plain and simple, this was a disapointing turn in the bands career. I did not like the electronic sound that they have taken a liking to. It seemes to me they were making an attempt to fuse rock with a new age main stream style of music and although that seems like a good idea in theroy, I'm not convinced that it was such a good idea in practise. I feel that they should have progessed on there prior sounds rather then attempting to take on a new style, Absolution and Origion of Symmetry were both fan-f--king-tastic! However like Showbiz, Black Holes and Revelations just seemed like it wasn't muse at all, if you get what I'm trying to say. // 1
Lyrics and Singing: Although this album was pretty bad it was not completely unbarable. I must admit that knights of cydonia, city of delusion, exo-polotics and hoodoo were ok I'd give all those songs accumatively 7/10 at best.
I think that these songs were the only to highlight from that album. This being because they actually seemed like they had some kind of structure to the, and by structure I mean they make sence and I have to highlight hoodoo from this album I actually thought that wasn't too bad, very strong powerfull lyrics and vocal techniquies. I really have to also point out that supermassive black hole has to be the worst song they have ever pulled out of there arse it was just 5 mins of random words and super high pitched whining. // 2
Impression: I was over all very dispointed in the effort that Muse had put into this album, If you're and Absolution and Origion of symettry fan I strongly advice you to never touch this album as it may make feel as if Muse are now tainted and you may never feel the same way about them again. I know that's how I certaintly feel about them.
I really hope to god with all my heart that the next album will blow me away and I will once again be proud to say I am a muse fan. // 3
Black Holes & Revelations
REvibe, on april 20, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound re-defines music with all different styles used by Muse on their 2006 album. Their is an impressive use of synths (take a bow) and mind-boggling solos (Invincible) in which two handed fretting is required. Knights of Cydonia, the last track on the album, is an epic and defining rock song and is described by bassist, Chris Wolstenholme, as '40 years of rock history in 6 minutes'. The intro is influenced by The Tornados' hit, Telstar. Matt Bellamy, the vocalist, pianist, composer of the music and lead guitarist, is the son of George Bellamy who played rhythym guitar for the band. In the album there is an impressive use of guitars. This is showed in most songs but mostly Exo-Politics, Supermassive Black Hole and Knights Of Cydonia. Supermassive Black Hole sees Bellamy's voice become a falsetto, a new sound. Soldiers Poem was a very different song from the rest and the acoustic ballad also went off in a completely different direction. The band said that it was epic but was completely stripped down until a very simple arrangement was left. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matthew Bellamy is obviously a very talented singer and as he writes all the songs, is able to express his views in the songs. Bellamy is known to be a fan of sci-fi, and in the song Exo-Politics, he sings about 'zetas' filling the sky. Zeta is short for zeta reticuli which is an alien. Bellamy also sings about his political views in Take A Bow, Soldier's Poem, Assassin and Exo-Politics. He sings about the leaders of the world being corrupt and that they have done wrong. The lyrics work well with most songs and in my opinion, three of the best are Supermassive Black Hole, Knights of Cydonia and Exo-Politics. In all the lyrics fit the music and are sung by a more than capable singer. // 8
Impression: This is definitely my favourite album... I believed this band's previous releases to be good but this blew me away! I will buy a copy of this for all my favourite places and my favourite song on the album has to be Knights of Cydonia. I bought the guitar tablature book for this and don't regret it at all! This has 11 incredible tracks and if you don't own it, go out and buy it right now! // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
froggyman, on december 02, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse has one of the most distinct and varied sounds I've heard, they go from almost techno dance/electronic(Supermassive Blackhole) to an also indie rockish sound(Soldier's Poem). The use of effects adds to the sound rather than just sounding like annoying squeals and the like. All of band members really contribute to the sound and Matt Bellamy's solos are good and they fit into the songs nicely without sounding like he's just showing off. The best show of the band's awesome sound hands down is Knights of cydonia, the galloping rhythm along with a seriously catchy synth riff and Bellamy's voice working almost like a instrument itself. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: One Word of Warning:Matt Bellamy's singing might annoy you, his high falsetto style of singing takes a little getting used to but it really fits with the music. The majority of the lyrics have some politics in them but the album never becomes preachy(probably because they are not targeting a specific offical or government). The Songs that best show his skill are:Take a Bow, Assasin, Hoodoo, and invincible. // 8
Impression: All of the songs are winners but the top five are definatly:
1.Knights of Cydonia
4.Take a Bow
The only songs I did not care for were Soldier's Poem(too soft) and Supermassive Blackhole (too clubby). I would seriously reccomend this to any Muse fan as well as fans of Coldplay as their sound is kinda simaler except there isnt as much emphasis on the piano in Muse. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
mon_the_fraser, on november 27, 2007 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse are back with their fifth studio album and this one again fails to disappoint. Matt Bellamy's focuses on this album are mainly political and love, nothing different there really but it still works. This album differs from the other Muse efforts as it many of the tracks lack the classical piano and the album has more synthesisers. This album is very experimental for even Muse's standards and features synths pianos and many other strange noises and effects as well. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Bellamy's are always good but never really intelligent and on Black Holes and Revelations this does not change. This is album as stated previously is very political and this is shown from the start."Take A Bow" a song they used ironically at the beginning of the album is very dancy and is very blatantly political. There is no clever lyrical trickery only meat and potatoes telling you how it is. Other good tracks lyrically are "Hoodoo" and "Invincible" the album is full of good lyrics but it is really the musicianship which makes such a good album. // 8
Impression: The highlight of this album is the thundering "Knights Of Cydonia" this was used as the opener at Wembley Stadium on June 16 and 17 at for good reason. It has only 64 words in it but is still the most powerful track on the album. It's jackhammer of a riff at the ends has ensured its place in history as one of the best riffs/solos of all time. This album is enjoyable from start to end and is something different providing a remedy to the large amount of generic rock music out there. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
Bozjoarmstrong, on february 06, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: When I think of Muse I think of 'Plug In Baby' and 'Time is running out'and how they'd probably never do anything as good as those songs again. Bloody hell, how they've proved me wrong! 'Starlight' in my opinion may be the best song of 2006 and definately the best Muse have ever done. 'Supermassive Black Hole' is unbelieveably catchy and songs such as 'Invincible', 'Assasin' and 'Knights Of Cydonia' are way more than album fillers. There is a much different sound to Black Holes And Revelations than anything I've ever heard and my god I love it! // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matthew Bellamys lyrics are pretty much the same as you'd expect, his voice can range from Beautifully melodic to slightly scary, but I wouldn't have it any other way with Muse. The overall theme of the lyrics is Space, War, Love and death. Personally I think the best lyrics are to be found in the final track 'Knights Of Cydonia' eg. 'I'll show you a god who falls asleep on the job, how can we win when fools can be kings' and 'No ones gonna take me alive, The time has come to make things right' Classic and believe me after listening to 'Supermassive Black Hole' you'll be singing about melting glaciers and superstars for some time! // 9
Impression: Overall this album is definately worth buying, I love almost everything about it and maybe it will be album of the year. I would definately buy it again if for some reason I stopped paying enough attention to it and it went missing! // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
unitedbyfate, on september 22, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse continue to have their unique, experimental sound that hits you as soon as 'Take a bow' starts. 'Starlight' starts with a fuzzy bass line before the catchy piano tune kicks in. Mostly a calm song except for the chorus. 'Supermassive black hole', the first single of this album comes next with the same guitar genius that made the riffs for 'Hysteria'(Absolution) and Plug-in baby(Origin of symmetry). Matt Bellamy's high pitch vocals accompany it with Chris Wolstenholme singing the chorus whilst playing a ridiculously complicated bass line. This is followed by 'Map of the problematique', filled with strange synth and a fantastic drum beat. Next on the list is 'Soldier's poem', the lighter note on the album. It may be short but has impact as it describes a soldier fighting in a war thta's nothing to do with him. This is followed by 'Invincinble', not particularly a bad song, but doesn't seem to compare to the other songs of the album'. Any doubts about the rest of the album are thrown out the window as the quick-tempo of 'Assasin' instantly brings memories of 'Origin of symmetry'. 'Exo-Politics' slows the pace but not by much as Bellamy hit's us with yet another great fiff. 'City of Delusion' and 'Hoodoo' follow and fail to stand out, especially against the last track, 'Knights of Cydonia'. Possibly should have been the first song on the album, but maybe it wasn't because of 'Starlight' and 'Supermassive black hole' were already tracks 2 and 3. Also it leaves the album on a great high. // 8
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Bellamy does it again. After Absolution, I thought Muse could never have better lyrics but this album proved me wrong. 'Knights of Cydonia' alone blows you away. 'I'll show you a god, who falls asleep on the job. How can we win, when fools can be kings. Don't wastes your time or time will waste you.' The usually strange aura of Bellamy's lyrics continues with the theme of conspiracy, among others. // 9
Impression: It is a serious contender for album of 2006 with 'Starlight' and 'Supermassive black hole' already being great hits. Like other Muse albums it has a fantastic variation of sound, meaning they still have a unique sound. It is a definite 'must-have' for anyone in the sort-of experimental rock genre. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
jesusjimmy, on august 14, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound. The sound, the sound, the sound.Its hard to describe something as good as this. It isn't unstopablely brilliant like Absolution but it is great. I'll call it scarily good if it wasn't Muse. What I mean is we have too high expectations of Muse and this followed Absolution. So much preassure was on the band to produce something amazing, an album that every man woman and child would buy. They didn't. They made an album that everybody that isnt an Ibiza and dance music mad person would buy. Maybe I should review the album now. Amazing. Plenty of distortion and I like that. Assasin is an amazing song and so is Starlight. Neither are as good as Exo-Politics or Supermassive Black Hole, but to me Knight Of Cydonia is the best on the CD. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Lyrics are brilliant again. This is where the album and Muse for that matter shine. "Glaciers melting in the dead of night and the superstars slipped into the supermassive". And that's ony the backing vocals." No one's gonna take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive." Brilliant. // 10
Impression: Overall, great, love it but not there best, Absolution is. Most impressive song, Knights Of Cydonia. I love everything about this album but not as much as Absolution. I have to say I think that if this came out before Absolution it would be the other way round, and we would say Absolution wasn't as good as this. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on july 27, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: forget the hype, forget the shock the first time you heard Supermassive Black Hole, only a fool would deny that muse have made the album of their career. As soon as the drums crash in 2 minutes into the opener Take a Bow, you know you're in for something special. Put simply, if in anyway you are interested in alt rock/indie/metal/pop/prog/techno/classical music, then there is something here for you. This album WILL sell, and you should be glad for it- there is nothing else like muse at the moment and there hasnt been since some english band decided to make OK Computer. Yes thats right, I just compared BHAR to OK Computer, for the variety of the songs is the same. Muse, thankfully, have less slow, sleepy songs on their album than their previous effort, Absolution. Unlike the aformentioned album, this album gets stronger as it goes along- the last 4 songs (Exo-Politics, City of Delusion, Hoodoo, Knights of Cydonia) are probably the best, delivering a four-pronged assault to the ears that is truly amazing. The instruments? despite a lack of piano, that question should not even be answered. Of course its top notch, with the guitar, bass and drums all reaching dizzying new heights. But what else would you expect from Muse? // 10
Lyrics and Singing: On first listen, the lyrics appear to be random and excessive in places. On second listen, you realise how completely and utterly wrong you are. Bellamy has beaten himself once again, especially on soldiers poem and invincible. the closing lines of Knights Of Cydonia "No ones gonna take me alive" are incredibly powerful, though not beating the best closing lyrics on the album - Hoodoo; "And I've had recurring nightmares that I was loved for who I am, and missed the opportunity to be a better man" which beats any line he has ever said before. And even supermassive black holes princy/justin timberlake vocals are no challenge to him. 29 later this year, this man shows no signs of stopping. // 10
Impression: A truly majestic album in every single way, buy this CD if you have any kind of interest in music. If you dont like this album, you don't like music. If you don't like music, I have to ask why you are on a site called Ultimate-Guitar. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
MiniMusicMasta, on july 14, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I love Muse because they're a British band along with another couple making good music, rather than crap hip-hop stuff. They sound kind of like a mix of modern effects and synthesizers combined with some of the most fantastic guitar, bass and drum abilities around. It was recorded in an old house in france and avatar studios in new york, where jimi hendrix often recorded. Great sound due to the fact they're British. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Bellamy. Talented guitarist. Maybe even better vocalist. He has such a great voice that can reach high notes very easily as shown in the song Supermassive Black Hole, Knights Of Cydonia and others throughout the album. The lyrics are mainly about alien theories and universal take overs and other weird stuff, but the talent of the vocalist makes it all up. // 10
Impression: Muse have taken their different ideas over their last 3 studio albums and picked out the best parts and made new material out of them. This is what I like about Muse. They are British! I hate to say it but there are not many bands of this genre around who are British so it is nice to see them around. They sound like a heavier version of Radiohead. I would most definetely buy this album if it were stolen. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
martinhendryuk, on july 14, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, I have to admit, I've never been a super massive fan of Muse, (if you'll excuse the pun), but on impulse buy I decided to give Black Holes and Revelations a shot; after a brief listen in the car on the way home I skipped through the tracks with an analytical eye and found nothing grabbed me like the classics 'Bliss' or 'Plug In Baby'. I was disapointed with Absolution and thought this might be the end of my interest in them. However, when I got the cd home and listened to it all the way through I realised that Muse have focused on a more pure direction in thier music. That of creating music that would be fitting of thier title of 'best live band 2005', designed specifically to blow the mind upon going to a Muse concert. The revival of the arena rock genre might just be here, and in the world of the NME 10 minute band it's a noble cause to be supporting. The sound of the CD itself harks back to the classic arena bands of old, such as the Queen influenced harmonies on 'Soldier's Poem' or the final song 'Kinghts Of Cydonia' which to me reminds me of Zeppelin's 'Achille's Last Stand' in both terms of urgency and the fact that MUSE's subject matter is nearly as diverse as Zep's referances to Greek mythology and Tolkien.
The album itself is much more cohesive in comparison to Absolution and is the obvious fruits of four years work. The MUSE trademarks are all present and correct in songs such as 'Starlight', 'Invincible' and 'Exo-Politics', with Matt's formiddable vocal, use of arpeggios and classical bombastic style and orchestration. Muse also have a few new tricks up thier sleeves; such as spanish style guitar in 'City Of Delusion', (which is reminiscient of 'Recess' off Hullabaloo Soundtrack', the rave style 'Map Of The Problematique', which is my personal favorite on the album, and of course the viceral funk groove of 'Supermassive Black Hole'. The only negative I can find with the album, is that although it is apparently cohesive, only half of the songs stand alone as exciting to listen to at this point in time, ('Starlight', 'Supermassive Black Hole', 'Map Of The Problematique', 'Assassin', 'Exo Politics' and 'Knights Of Cydonia'). This is probably due to the fact that I prefer thier heavier, more guitar based material. Overall sound is crafted to astound, and although the true force of the music is not apparent from just listening to the CD, it's a massive incentive for me to go see this band live. From armchair to activist it seems. // 7
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics on the album are again very much in the vein of Absolution, based around the curious mind of Matt Bellemy, who's interest in conspiricy and science fiction fuels the band's indivdual approach. This again reminds me of Led Zeppelin's work, and that of the earlier arena rock bands, with an interest in fiction, as well as romantic content (Muse appear to generally focus on these as two tiers of thier writing style, exemplary of this is the differance in content of 'Exo-Politics' to 'Invincible'). Although due to the focus on technology, romance and politcal partisanship nature of the lyrics (notably the introduction 'Take A Bow'), it could be said that Muse limit thier audience, and alienate neutrals, (for example a lot of my friends find not only the lyrics, but Matt's singing style overly flamboyant and elaborate). Which is a shame, as Muse generally become overlooked by mainstream rock fans for these reasons. // 8
Impression: From listening to earlier matterial, I'm impressed by the way in which the band have varied and evolved thier style, from what was essentially a band that was seen as radiohead 2 into space rock pioneers. The innovations keep coming, and this is why I believe Muse have something much more exciting to offer the world of music than bands which come and go, because the best way to experiance music is to see the band live.
01. Take A Bow - essentially a more focused introduction than that of Absolution. Not really a song I would listen to on it's own merit, fits well into the structure of the album.
02. Starlight - magical, song which shows the MUSE can still write inspiration music, without being too over the top, works well in contrast to previous song, due to simple melodies.
03. Supermassive Black Hole - funky and fresh, I enjoy this song alot, as the chorus is catchy, and induces groove. Singing style is differant from 'Starlight' (higher up) and contrats well. So far so good.
04. Map Of The Problematique - another different style of song introduced. I can only imagine how awesome this would be live, inducing a rave in the stadium. Works well with Matt's vocal and is my favorite song on the album.
05. Soldier's Poem - reminscient of Queen style vocal, I essentially see this as an 'Interlude' which strengthens the structure of the album as a whole. Not too long and dragged out and allows a rest from the spectacle of the start of the album. Not one of my favorites though.
06. Invincible - classic romantic Muse. Not generally the style that I'm fond off, but is a song that I can see my self liking in the future. Use of organ is expressive, but not as emotive as 'Megalomania' from Origin Of Symmetry, which wouldnt have gone amiss on this album.
07. Assassin - quite a strong song, with a basis on riffs, but lacks the hook of the next track, and becomes forgettable. Possibly a track that I'll have to listen a few more times before appreciating fully.
08. Exo-Politics - a great track, with good structure throughout and would be a classic live. Quite funky, with a good chorus break. Best lyric of the album 'fully loaded satalites' sung with conviction. One of my favorites.
09. City Of Delusion - Spanish style guitar is effective, and suits the style. Again a song with a good chorus break, and would be good live, although possibly not in the vein of older material, as spanish guitar style seems to detract from the awe of live materials.
10. Hoodoo - again influence by spanish style guitar and heavy influence of classical romantic piano, another forgettable track on the album however as it falls between the void of undecided style, I essentially view this as an introduction to the next track.
11. Knights Of Cydonia - Muse's take on the rock epic, although not as epic as 'Citizen Erased' in my opinion. A strong track to end the album with and drives forward well, I can imagine this being amazing live and it has been noted as a classic.
Although the album is not perfect, I believe that Muse are moving in the right direction with thier music, and if focused utterly on providing the best material for a live show, could produce a album of groundbreaking proportions, hopefully resulting in Muse becoming one of the best bands in the world, in terms of inspirational material aswell as astounding live shows. Needless to say, from listening to this, I'm much more interested in what the bad have to offer the world of music, and in thier own words, would hate to see them 'fade away'. // 8
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on june 14, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse return with a brand new sound. Following up the number one album Absolution, they go one further once more. With new instruments in the mix such as trumpets and synths, they utilise these to great advantage. Each track is perfectly mastered but not to the point that it is totally computer generated. Stand out tracks include: Starlight, a U2-esque power ballad with beautiful vocals by Bellamy; Supermassive Black Hole, the dark dance floor sure fire hit, it features prince style vocals from Bellamy and a riff that sounds like franz ferdinand from Mars; Knights Of Cydonia - imagine a desert landscape, horses galloping and lasers, you're not even close. This track is truly epic. Bellamys vocals shine becoming an instrument itself, whereas the drumming on this track shows just how accomplished Dom Howard is; Map Of The Problematique sounds like a bond theme to start, with synthesizers, heavy pounding drums and a forceful bassline. This is my favourite track on the record, it's daring but it's perfect in everyway. Check out Hoodoo for some flamenco style riffery which finds Bellamy in reflection. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Bellamy once again has proved himself as a lyrical master. The CD is evidently politically themed. The opener Take A Bow finds Bellamy calling on World Leaders to take responsibilty. Almost ominously. // 10
Impression: This album is a sure fire number one. It's going to be a BIG seller. The most impressive songs to me, are the awe inspiring Knights Of Cydonia, Invincible, Starlight and Map Of The Problematique. There is such a range of styles on BHAR that it is impossible to call it samey, which I found of the latest RHCP offering. The only criticism for me, is that it seems very heavily produced. Which really I don't see as a bad thing. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on june 13, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse have taken another step in another direction this album, building on the sound of Absolution in a quite unpredictable way. I'd say by far this is the most 'deep'-sounding Muse album, with much more in the way of electronic keyboard sounds (sadly at the expense of much of the piano-style keys we're used to, but you get used to it) and layers of sound. There's some fascinating tracks on here, towards the end of the album particularly, tracks like Hoodoo and City Of Delusion feature Flamenco-influenced guitars and, in the latter, a trumpet solo. Essentially what we're getting from Muse here is a once again very different sound. Personally I wasn't encouraged by their choice of single, Supermassive Black Hole. So if you've been interested in the album simply to find out if this the (somewhat disappointing) style they've turned to then the answer is a resounding no. The rest of the album does indeed feature the heavily distorted bass, downright weird guitar and keyboard sounds and wailing vocals that this track does but, not to such a degree. SMBH is like an extreme example of their new sound and, for me, doesn't encapsulate the feel of the album the way, in my opinion, a first single should. It should be noted that, in the US, the first single will be Knights Of Cydonia, which I feel is a much better choice. Despite my dissatisfaction with the single, when listened to in the context of the rest of the album it genuinely works a lot better. When you hear it following Starlight and preceding Map Of The Problematique, you can see where they're coming from and see the logical connections it makes with the rest of the album. I suppose it's a matter of personal opinion on whether it works as a song on its own, but as part of the album it fits right in.
Another note is that the early stages of the album transition so quickly as to almost sync together. It's almost chaotic, which I think is probably intentional and more or less reflects the feel of the songs. Overal I'd say this was a more complex-sounding Muse which, at first listen, could easily be mistaken for being very pop-influenced. The more you listen to it the more you notice how much your first impression of it was wrong. At first listen, I would've given this album 6/10 for being solid but, in general, somewhat disappointing. After a few spins, my opinion has been utterly brought round and I'm giving it a 9 for a deceptively complex and inventive album, without a single really weak track and endless potential for spicing up their live set. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics here are often working on similar levels to many of the Absolution themes, particularly ideas of space, discovery, and a degree of frustration, recalling tracks like Sing For Absolution or The Small Print. There's some new ideas too, with some much more politically-themed tracks like A Soldier's Poem, Ex-Politics or Assassin. But it's not done in the near-patronising oversimplified way a band like System Of A Down have expressed their political views - We have the same kind of interpretive and passionate lyrics that we really expect. All I can say is that the lyric-writing style and execution hasn't dipped in quality in any way. Matt's vocals are great still, on this album, but there's much more of the wailing, catatonic vocals that on Absolution and less of the raw, emotional singing from the heavier tracks like Stockholm Syndrome or Hysteria. But again it sounds more complex, some tracks feature dual vocal layers (which presumably Chris will have to provide in a live setting, which is welcome because we know he can hold a tune pretty well) and there's new levels of vocal effects which we've seen hints of before but never really utilised as the basis of a song's sound. Overall, impressive vocals once again, but the higher pitched wailing isn't my personally preferred style that Matt does. Despite that, I concede his remarkable talent in doing this, and the lyrics are as quality as on previous albums. // 7
Impression: This is difficult to compare to other albums I've heard. Some immediately made the comparison to the Scissor Sisters with the new single and, if anything, I was to dispell any anxiousness Muse fans have that they've turned towards this kind of poppy self-indulgence. Muse have, in my mind, always been a band who defy genre or classification, they do a lot of different things with each album and, simply, there are a few tracks with which they've tried to take their own view of pop music. But it's the way pop music should be done, it's musically interesting, lyrically provocative and utterly different to anything else in the charts. So that's fine. And the rest of the album is varied and fascinating, maybe not noticeably so on a first listen but enough to make you want to hear again. It's certainly an album that will grow on you, and it's got a lot of ideas which we've never heard from the band before. Overall it's a confusing but ultimately satisfying album. Standout tracks for me would be Map Of The Problematique, Assassin and Knights Of Cydonia but, genuinely, every single track has qualities to bring you round and really love the album if you're prepared to give it the time and attention it deserves. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
VLVTRVOLVR13, on december 18, 2007 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The album starts out with "Take a Bow." The song starts off rather empty with Bellamy playing a piano lick and singing. As the song gradually grows, it becomes more atmospheric as other instruments enter. Its climactic ending leaves a trail of decay and feedback as the CD moves into the heavy bass line of "Starlight," a slightly more romantic and pop-oriented track. The diversity of Muse on this album is consistent with their other works in the sense that every song has different and distinguishable aspects. The band sounds great on each track with different instruments taking the spotlight at different points. Bellamy's guitar work, as always, is enchanting, especially on tracks like "Assassin" and "Knights of Cydonia." As far as style, Muse is impossible to tag. Their songs themselves escape specifications. Black Holes and Revelations is a Science Fiction Romance. Spacey and Majestic, the sound in itself is the reason why I continue to listen to this album. // 9
Lyrics and Singing: Matt Bellamy's falseto singing is extremely impressive. His incredible range and cryptic lyrics of romance, conspiracy, and the supernatural are often compared to those of Thom Yorke(Radiohead). The lyrics fit comfortably overtop their respective songs and very much follow the movement of the music. At times it is hard to decode exactly what Bellamy is singing about, but then again, that is part of the fun in listening to music. To be honest, I looked up most of his songs, but then again, I'm not the most eclectic source of knowledge either. // 9
Impression: This certainly wasn't my favorit Muse album, but by no means does that degrade it's quaility. I think anyone who is a fan of Muse should deffinately check this album out becuase the band's continuous diversity will probably surprise you. I think Knights of Cydoina is certainly the "pedestal" track of the album(hey! It's on Guitar Hero 3). However you percieve it, Muse's Black Holes and Revelations is a great album, but not quite their finest. // 9
Black Holes & Revelations
RadioMuse, on november 28, 2007 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: After finally breaking into America the hard way (touring the wheels clean off their tour buses) Muse took some time to carefully consider their next endeavor into the dog-eat-dog world of pop rock music today. The result is simultaneously triumphant and unfortunate. See, despite the Radiohead copy accusations surrounding Muse for the first two albums they remained a creative tour de force of music. Sure Matt's lyrics and voice weren't fully developed yet but the band created uncompromising epics that fit into normal 'pop' song lengths. Each moment of each album was a feat of guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, vocals and piano. It's the complexity and power of classical, with the energy of heavy metal and the movement of punk. Absolution saw them perfect this sound on Hysteria and Stockholm Syndrome, while also concentrating on condensing into a more digestible form. Black Holes jumps out of this mold, and while the epic intentions remain their often intentionally held back at risk of seeming boundlessly bombastic. A new dance-rock Muse emerges at several points, and a new obsession with syths makes itself felt. This is Muse thrashing about, spreading the arch of their musical talents in an attempt to find new ground. The downside is sometime it doesn't work (Take A Bow is very eh, Supermassive Black Hole almost seems like a bad joke, Soldiers Poem goes nowhere), the upside is that it opens new doors; doors best represented by the lovely Starlight, punchyness of Map of the Problematique, or the Spanish-inspired City of Delusion and HooDoo. The band also manages to whip up one of their classic anthems here: Knights of Cydonia: six minutes and six seconds of absurdly overwhelming, exceptionally bombastic, bliss. // 7
Lyrics and Singing: Matt's vocal abilities have never been stronger and when he really chooses to think it over neither has his ability to stir up powerful words. Take a Bow, while musically a build up to nothing, is a lyrical punch in the gut; Starlight is touching and makes an excellent sing-along; Map Of The Problematique a feat of lyrical brilliance, and City of Delusion shoots successfully for the stars. Soldiers Poem too, is a touching in words, though the vocals are a little overdone considering the nature of the balled. The rest of the album alternates incredibly brilliant lines with pointless fluff like "together we're invincible". Sure it's all delivered with such powerful conviction but aren't such lines terribly adolescent for a band now moving into their late '20s? Of course this section's rating is balanced out by Matt being probably one of the ten greatest singers I've ever heard. // 7
Impression: As an album there's no doubt that Black Holes And Revelations is a great one; head and shoulders above most of it's competition in todays rather stagnant music scene; however, for a Muse album it's rather weak, perhaps their weakest. Don't fret over my saying so though, BH&R still has several Muse classics on it and it signals the first huge step off the path down which they originally charged. If they're willing to keep pushing their boundaries and return to ignoring anyone who's not a fan (critics often dissed on Origin of Symmetry but any true Muse fan will tell you it's their best) they'll push the 3-4 minute 'pop' rock song format so far beyond it's breaking point that they might well invent a new genre. That's what Black Holes And Revelations really is for Muse, it's a huge step in every direction at once, and such risking taking is going to cause some failures, but if the successes like Hoodoo, City Of Delusion and Map Of The Problematique are any indication they might well be on the edge of a huge breakthrough. // 8
Black Holes & Revelations
Stealthbass, on july 12, 2006 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Muse combines soothing sounds, hard rock, fast, slow, and a new mystifying melodic sound into Black Holes & Revelations. The cover sounds such as hard rock, classic rock, hip-hop, and acoustic rock. This is a top notch CD. They share there pain and suffering and make you feel how good the songs really are. The soloing and blending of the music are perfect. This CD makes you sit on the edge of your chair to see what is next. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: The lyrics are so exhilarating and breathtaking. Matt yet again makes the music thrilling to his audience. He keeps you wanting more. He punches you with an original distinguished vioce. He covers all aspects of different musics in his fantasticly magnificent and capturing lyrics. // 10
Impression: Overall, Muse has done it again. Dominating the world of music. Throwing out new up beat hard rock and other twists into one CD. This is well above most other artists and groups in the world. The most impressive things are the capturing lyrics and the soloing and blending of many different types of music. // 10
Black Holes & Revelations
unregistered, on july 06, 2006 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: When you hear this album for the first, two things can happen to you: you love it or you hate it. The truth is that it depends on what you like about Muse. If at first you only liked heavy stuff like "Hysteria", "Stockohlm Syndrome", "Microcuts" or "Cave" you will probably hate this new album and for you the band has lost its charm. But if you like all of Muse's stuff, even their worst B-side, you'll love it and you can even consider Blackholes & Revelations as the best thing that Muse has done by now. The true point is that Muse have drastically changed their sound and we all could notice that when we first heard Supermassive Blackhole. Let's face it, which one of us didn't get stranged enough with it, and who didn't said "What the f--k!" out loud? Probably none of us. I mean, if you are a true Muse fan you'll find out that Muse is not a standar band that is limited to one specific kind of rock music. They can do anything they want and they have that right since Showbiz. What I'm trying to say is that all of Muse's albums are very different the one from the other. Showbiz is way too different from Origin of Symmetry and this one is very different from Absolution and the first cd of Hullabaloo. So you should not be surprised/angry/panicked with the changes made in Blackholes & Revelations. Even if it's the most radical change that the band has taken, it is the next logical step into Muse's career; you had to see it coming since you first put the Absolution CD in your player. And to say the truth, Muse have conserved most of what distinguished them from the other bands and even better, they've improved and they've become even more versatile, they've learned how to manage the intensity of the album (actually the energy in Blackholes & Revelations increases from song to song; it has a "soft" begining, it takes a rest with "A Soldier's Poem" and it ends with an epic chorus compained with a great riff in "Knights Of Cydonia"). But still throughout the whole album you can find "echoes" from the other albums; riffs like the ones in "Assassin" remind a lot of the ones used in "Stockohlm Syndrome", and that's only one example. // 10
Lyrics and Singing: In the lyrics matter, it's the same. They 're not that different, it's just that Matthew Bellamy seems to have left aside the personal topic and started to worry about politics and society. If you make a comparisson between all of Muse's lyrics, this is also "the next logical step". Absolution shyly showed the band's social and political worries, and songs like "Apocalypse Please", "The Small Print" and even older ones like "Citizen Erased", are a living proof of that. The thing is that on this record the political topic is more notorious, but nothing new! And, as usual, Muse has this great synchronicity between what their lyrics say and the music they play, even if now the massive chours is what sounds the most ("Supermassive Blackhole", "Invincible", "Assassin", "Exo-Politics", "City Of Delusion" and of course "Kinghts of Cydonia" are all songs with a chorus that seems to be done by more that only two persons (Chris and Matthew). // 9
Impression: If you want to give it the attention it deserves, Blackholes & Revelations can be your favorite Muse album, but if you prefer to be another one of those psychorigid persons that want it all "as it was always meant to be", you should not even listen to this album. We all Muse fans should comprehend that the band has been changing since they first rehearsed and this new album should not be a surprise 'cause it's not that different from the other ones. Muse has simply grown. // 10