A little less dramatic than the preceding album “Origin of Symmetry” and less theatrical than the following album “Black Holes and Revelations”, Muse Absolution is the ultimate compact Muse tone which constitutes most of what Muse fans will remember the band with for life. When talking about the signature Muse sound, one instinctively recalls the swinging melodies in Time is Running Out, the Queen-inspired epic piano-orchestra in Butterflies & Hurricanes and in-your-face guitar riffs in Hysteria.
Absolution has probably the most chant-able Muse lyrics, featuring the all-time Muse anthem Time is Running Out. Focused on political messages (isn’t Muse always), themes of mistrust, fear and personal belief, scattered with references to the bible and an apocalypse, Absolution is anything but your ordinary poppy love cheese. Front man Matt Bellamy recalled that the Iraq war had an influence on the band’s songwriting for this record.
The lyrics in Stockholm Syndrome were inspired by a story of a bank robbery of Kreditbanken in Stockholm in 1973, where some of the hostages fell in love with and subsequently defended their captors in trial. Time Is Running Out speaks of the shady authorities who control the world, while Apocalypse Please is an (ridiculously) epic song about religious fanatics.
The instrumentals in Absolution reflect arguably the most signature Muse style ever recorded. The guitar riffs in Time is Running Out and Hysteria are among the most minimally masterful riffs ever crafted by Matt Bellamy, and they won’t escape your head easily. Dominic Howard was amazingly versatile, going from thumping loud in Apocalypse Please to delicate side-sticking in Falling Away With You. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme provided the balance to Bellamy’s weightless vocals with his heavy, thunderous bass lines.
Blackout features an 18-piece orchestra and Matt Bellamy’s jaw-dropping piano. Endlessly has the most modern sound in the set, featuring electronic elements, vocal effects and virtual instruments. The sharp contrasts and Bellamy’s extensive use of seventh notes in his solos and chord progressions create the suspenseful atmosphere. This album is simply one masterful and subtly provocative work that stretches one’s nerves and emotions, refusing to release the tension.
Definitely one of the best Muse albums ever produced, Absolution grabs your head the moment you listen to the first track, and refuses to let go even after the last song is over. If you haven’t listened to it yet, you are seriously missing out on one of the best rock albums of the 21st century.
Muse Absolution Album Track list:
- Apocalypse Please
- Time Is Running Out
- Sing For Absolution
- Stockholm Syndrome
- Falling Away With You
- Butterflies & Hurricanes
- The Small Print
- Thoughts of a Dying Atheist
- Ruled By Secrecy
Written by Gin
Gin specializes in writing about heavy metal music. She is also a guitarist and recording artist. Gin utilizes and promotes Ableton Live. You can check out Gin’s music on her website below.