The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world


Released September 2009

Mad, but neutered...


The last couple of albums by British Nu-Indie-Prog band Muse have been completely mental, self-indulgent, pomp, sci fi masterpieces full of sturm, drang and a kitchen sink full of loopy guitar-shred madness, epitomised by the brilliant, overblown, and over the top shred-fest and mini-movie video that was Knights of Cydonia.


After a couple of years touring the world with a live show that was as grand as the music it showcased, Matt Bellamy and Co have taken their time to create their latest pomp rock offering, and there is good and bad news for fans.


On the good side, this album is MORE. More epic, more pomp, more over the top grandeur, and more self-indulgent madness. It’s more earthly too - lyrically it deals with political and financial concerns rather than esoteric other-worldly robot cowboy knights, lambasting corrupt bankers and politicians for creating the global economic crisis, not that you’d think that would bother them much, considering the big business they’ve been doing for several years.


On the bad side, both musically and lyrically it’s all gone a little too Radiohead meets U2, and the pretention on show has also been turned up to Eleven (none more so than on the 3 part Exogenesis Symphony). This might sound like I’m being a little picky, but there is one more bad point – and it’s almost unforgiveable: Where has all the guitar gone?


Yes, sadly, despite flashes of Queen-inspired prog rock, Bellamy’s soaring and sometimes majestic vocals, a rich, lush & layered sound and a terribly British melodramatic approach, what’s missing here is the soaring Hendrixian guitar leads, the frenzied solos, the searing notes from Bellamy’s guitar that made sense of all the overblown melodrama and pretention present underneath. In effect, The Resistance is as mad as any of the band’s previous releases, but this time round Muse have been neutered.


Indie kids, trendsetters and students will LOVE this album. Hard rockers, however, will do like I am about to do right now – go and listen to Knights of Cydonia.