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Muse: Black Holes and Revelations

With musical influences seemingly coming from bands like Queen, U2, Radiohead, Marillion, and Pink Floyd, Muse certainly have more to offer other than just being the new stars on the block of British pop. Black Holes and Revelations is their latest, a bright and soaring collection of emotional pop, gritty hard rock, and experimental, spacey prog. Singer/guitarist Matthew Bellamy occupies the space somewhere between the passion of Bono and the glam of Freddie Mercury, taking songs like "Starlight" and "Soldiers Poem" straight to the stars, complete with tasty keyboard, crunchy guitars, and tight grooves. The band rocks hard when they want to-listen to the funky, almost T-Rex sounding riffs of "Supermassive Black Hole ", the driving guitars and wild synth blasts on "Take a Bow", and the metal intensity of "Assassin", all songs that really kick some butt. However, it's graceful, poppy prog that this band really does well, like the trippy, Tangering Dream styled ambient-techno-pop of "Map Of The Problematique", the Floydian journeys of "Invincible", the symphonic hard rock of "Exo-Politics", and the majestic, yet savage electronic feel of "Knights Of Cydonia". For a trio, Muse get a pretty full and rich sound, so expect to find many layers here ready to uncover and discover. Black Holes and Revelations might not be the most original album you will ever hear, but with catchy, dense instrumentation, some great vocals, and memorable songs that rock, stimulate the mind, and tear at your heart, this is one fun & grandiose release from a band that has nothing but stardom ahead for them.

Track Listing
1. Take A Bow
2. Starlight
3. Supermassive Black Hole
4. Map Of The Problematique
5. Soldier's Poem
6. Invincible
7. Assassin
8. Exo-Politics
9. City Of Delusion
10. Hoodoo
11. Knights Of Cydonia

Added: January 31st 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Muse Website
Hits: 2336
Language: english

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Muse: Black Holes and Revelations
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-01-31 11:31:21
My Score:

The band from Devon, England released Black Holes and Revelations in 2006. I know its been out for over three years but since I have only recently given this one a listen I thought I would write a review. So far this is my favourite Muse album, even better than their latest The Resistance.

Over the years Muse has really developed their own signature sound which comes through loud and clear on Black Holes and Revelations. Keyboards and synths are used heavily along with programming to give these tunes a strong electronic vibe. The band also uses strings on a few cuts adding a richness to the band's symphonic sound. The vocals of Bellamy are excellent as usual. He has really matured as a vocalist since their first release, showing great restraint but still able to belt out the falsetto when the called upon. The drumming of Howard is also top notch, giving many of these songs that extra drive and adds some tasty fills throughout.

Beginning with the addictive "Take A Bow" you just know its going to be one hell of a ride as pulsating keys form a backdrop for Bellamy's expressive vocals, slowly building up as all instruments kick in with a vengeance. This is dramatic stuff, maybe even a little over indulgent, but I love it. Better yet, the vocals will please Queen fans to no end. The pop rock of "Starlight" is next with its melodic keyboards and heavy electronic undercurrent that is typical of this band. This has to be one of the band's catchiest songs as the hooks constantly pull in the listener. "Supermassive Black Hole", the album's single, is another hook filled tune with a pulsating electronic beat, processed vocals and an irrestistable chorus. "Map of the Problematique" starts with a heavy dose of electronics, a keyboard motif and rollicking drum work. Crunchy guitar rhythms add to the dense layers of sound and the soaring vocals of Bellamy are excellent. The pace slows with the pretty but short "Soldier's Poem". Fans of The Beatles should rejoice as the vocal arrangement is stellar. Queen also came to mind while listening to this one. "Assassin" is one of the heaviest tunes and includes fast riffs, plenty of guitar crunch, rapid fire drumming and crashing percussion. The layered vocal arrangement is spine tingly good. That does not cover all the songs but rest assure there is not a bad one in the bunch.

Muse are rapidly becoming one of the best modern rock bands around and Black Holes And Revelations is a fine listen. I just cannot get this one out of my head. Although not a full fledged progressive album, all fans of progressive rock should give this band a listen. You will not be disappointed.

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