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Palatinate Newspaper-The Big Crunch: Muse "Drones" Special


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http://www.palatinate.org.uk/?p=56509

 

This summer, Muse return with a buzz overhead. Their new album ‘Drones’ promises to be a welcome renaissance to the heavy-duty sound that saw them ascend to such supermassive, histrionic career heights in the first place, and hard-hitting riffage appears to be the order of the day. Will Throp takes a look at the facts to see what we can expect from the Devon trio’s seventh outing.

 

By the time ‘Drones’ is released, it will be almost a decade since ‘Black Holes and Revelations’ hit our shelves. Since then, Muse have headlined just about every festival on the planet, rightly claiming their thrones as the stadium rock behemoths that they always promised to be.

 

But there is a sense in which for the first time in years, this is a band that has something to prove. 2009’s ‘The Resistance was a misfire, and ‘The 2nd Law’, though promising in places, was ultimately patchy.

 

It makes sense then, for Muse to be talking up album seven as a return to the “rawer” hell-raising days in which they produced some of the greatest guitar music of the modern age. Matt Bellamy has been uncharacteristically coy on the subject, but claims that ‘Drones’ will see the band, “move towards musicianship again and focusing on our own instruments: guitar, bass and drums.”

 

It sounds promising. In Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange (producer of AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’) the band have a man at the helm who can give them more punch, more power, than they have mustered on either of their last two efforts.

 

The band’s festival diary also offers an intriguing prospect. Their booking as headliners at Download may have raised a few eyebrows amongst the heavy metal community, but I wouldn’t bet against Muse conquering the Donnington bash come June.

 

That said, it is unlikely that we shall see Muse drop their gaze from the heavens to focus on the more everyday humdrum of adjusting to life in one’s thirties. Bellamy has speculated that the new album will cover topics from, “deep ecology” to “the empathy gap and World War III.” It’s grandiose stuff, and there is reason for the band to be wary – pretentiousness is a criticism that is never too far away for messrs Bellamy, Howard and Wolstenholme and the band need to remain vigilant, lest the album be weighed down by its own audacity.

 

In spite of the concern, there is substantial cause for optimism. Muse remain one of the greatest live bands this country has ever produced, and there’s every reason to believe that ‘Drones’ will rekindle their zest as the rock behemoths that, over the years, have slain stages the world over. The pressure has never been greater, but then Muse have never been ones to shy away from a challenge. Here’s hoping they can deliver.

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