Black Holes & Revelations review by Muse

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  • Released: Jul 11, 2006
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.9 (645 votes)
Muse: Black Holes & Revelations
8

Sound — 10
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?

Lyrics — 10
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

39 comments sorted by best / new / date

    barney18
    This is an amazing album, and people here aren't looking at it like an album. Everyone is just going song by song and not looking at it as a whole. The album, in itself, is so broad in influence while still retaining the Muse values. Of course we can see that Bellamy is attacking the hypocrisy of the world and the injustices that are abound in the lyrics, but with the mood of the music, we see a very apocalyptic vibe that is centralizing the thought that it can't get that much worse.....mainly, because its all going to end very soon! I can't get over how big the songs get and then how the tone will change ever so slightly and affect so much. This is an amazing album that really needs to be given a second (or at least a really good, non-casual) listen by everyone.
    The Demiurge
    prog rock at its best we love you muse going to see them in augest at leeds im going to expload yay!!
    jack_demo
    aint herd it yet, release date (for uk at elast) is 03/07/06. but its muse, they are class so it will be amazing
    barney18
    Oh, and I hear that they will be playing at Austin City Limits in September. You can bet your ass I'll be there.
    Riggy
    Yeah, I've heard the album, it is pretty fantastic, if nto a little... odd in places lol. Map Of The Problamatique is by far the best song in my opinion and KOC second. Also Supermassive Black Hole, which at first I thought was disasterous seems to fit in really well, though I'm still not sure if it's a good choice for a first single. You will go buy it on the 3rd.
    Riggy
    *QUOTE* but it doesn't come close to Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. I'd say it's on par with Showbiz. Showbiz is THE best one man. lol.
    hothedgehog
    I read somewhere that there would be an America tour in the Autumn and then they would come back to Europe. I am getting me some muse tickets. What a great first concert that would be!
    Fozzie3000
    I personally prefer Absolution to either Showbiz or Origin simplely cos its got alot more listener friendly tracks. I love Origin and Showbiz but some of their earlier stuff is a little difficult to really get into. I really can't understand why people slate Supermassive Black Hole so much? Its cracking song!! All the songs I have heard have been good. Can't wait til it hits th shops. I'm sure I wont be disappointed.
    monkey_dancer
    AAArgh! I am fantastically excited about this, and now it is even more tantalising. Can I really wait until the 3rd of July? I guess, because sadly there is no other option.... And I second hothedgehog. Saw them on their last tour, and I MUST see them again...T'was amazing...
    Cliff_Hetfield
    It hasn't even been released yet, just been leaked. And it's being released 3rd of July in the U.K and then 11th July in America. Oh and in America, call or e-mail your local radio station and request Knights Of Cydonia.
    Cliff_Hetfield
    Also they're gonna do some festivals and then on July 18th (my Birthday) they'll do a little tour in the US starting off in san Francisco, then off to Europe and then back to the US for a proper tour during the fall and then back to Europe again. Not all of the Tour Dates have been announced but they will be soon. Oh and they're gonna be in the Austin City Limits Festival Sept. 15-17.
    Serigo
    Legendary band, only heard "Take A Bow" and "Supermassive Black Hole" stuido versions and they were pretty epic and catchy respectively...cant wait for the whole of the new album to be in the shops!
    TheNthDimension
    Sounds a little too like a dance remix of Absolution for my likings. Still better than most stuff out there though.
    KoRnFr33K7
    fireball85 wrote: This is a pretty damn good album. I liked the odd blend of styles and the fact that theyv experimented, not being afraid to try completely new things.
    exactly, usually when bands try very different things, they screw up the music and try to hard to be different. THis alb is still muse but has even more influences. It kinda sounds like the faint meets marsvolta, then raped by franz ferdinand and then controled and justified by muse.
    A Modern Myth
    For the people complaining about me giving it 10/10, well, theres one thing I gotta say. I really, really like this album and it actually blends together well, unlike Origin of Symmetry which has 7 good starting songs, two alright songs and then ends with two good songs. Absolution starts off epic, drops around Falling Away With You, picks things up in Hysteria and drops them in Endlessly and doesn't reclaim them. And Showbiz, whilst having good songs throughout, tends to blend into one giant song. BHAR tends to go through three different phases, and explores different styles throughout, which is why it got 10/10/10. "You and I must fight to survive."
    l3xbi
    Riggy wrote: *QUOTE* but it doesn't come close to Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. I'd say it's on par with Showbiz. Showbiz is THE best one man. lol.
    I Agree, but i think its on par with Origin of Symmetry, not all the songs are perfect like EVERY single track on showbiz/absolution. to the guy that wanted the new muse album COFF"http://lee.bolger.googlepages.com/muse-b... ions"
    RadioMuse
    I've heard parts of it was impressed with some and other parts are growing on me. I'll probably enjoy it, a lot, because Muse are one of my favorite bands that actually releases stuff still. Will be d-ling from that link a couple posts up. After all I'll buy the CD anyway to show my support, get the artwork and have a hard copy.
    Supersonic^
    10 10 10.. man UG reviews are ****ing awful. It's a good album, but it doesn't come close to Origin of Symmetry or Absolution. I'd say it's on par with Showbiz.
    fireball85
    This is a pretty damn good album. I liked the odd blend of styles and the fact that theyv experimented, not being afraid to try completely new things.
    tumples
    its pretty damn awesome, map of the problematique is the best track
    shaun_griffiths
    i've heard the album and i agree. Map is probably the best. And Knights is amazing. Their best album to date, easily better than absolution GO MUSE!
    Liamy
    Feck's sake, I'm exploding with excitement. I can't wait for the release, it's gonna RULE!
    faqu
    Sounds very intresting. Good job with the review. I'll check out the album being a preety big muse fan myself.
    rich_sg
    God wait till Nicky gets in here.... I'm looking forward to this album SOOOO much!
    turkey salad
    I've heard it. I personally found it sorta dissapointing. But it was a huge step up from Absolution. No way near their best album to date, but still very good.
    Valamonde
    i agree with er... turkey salad? Anyway, just listened to the album through, few good tracks but in my opinion was the worst album they've done yet, highly dissapointing... though I do like Invincible KOC and Assassin Bring back Showbiz and Origin and start again in my opinion
    chamb_dude
    does anyone know if muse have, or are going 2 release any official tour dates apart from reading/leeds etc.
    hthedinga
    map of the problematique is not close to being the best song on the album. is there actually a stereo version of the album out or are you guys talking about the mono one?