Muse - Drones - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Muse - Drones

by Nse Ette Rating:8 Release Date:2015-06-08

UK indie-rockers Muse burst on the scene with 1999's Showbiz, sounding like Radiohead with a dash of the theatrics of Queen. Since then, they've been pretty consistent. Album number seven, Drones, is a concept album of sorts; mankind enslaved by technology and mind-control, emphasised by a pair of foreboding interludes ('Drill Sergeant' and '(JFK)'), with the sound ranging from hard rock to electro to operatic. 

'Dead Inside' opens the album, a punchy dance-rocker with electronic flourishes. 'Psycho' is glam rock with shades of Depeche Mode, with vocalist Matt Bellamy singing "Your ass belongs to me now" for a stadium-friendly chorus. Pile-driving beats, swirling synths, and shredded guitars rule on songs like the racing 'Reapers', 'The Handler', and 'Defector', with Bellamy's forlorn yelp managing to rise above the cacophony, alternating between gently melodic and brute noise. 

The aptly-titled 'Aftermath' shifts the tempo down, a soothing balm after the prior pummelling, with the band unleashing their inner U2 on a song that recalls 'One'. Elegiac and beautiful with an enchanting, trilling guitar solo. 

The album's revelation, though, is the ten-minute-long 'The Globalist', which starts with some Morricone-style whistling, a slowly unfurling guitar intro, bursts of blistering guitar and piano balladry, with the tempo shifting from gentle to skyscraping melodrama, a rock symphony. 

Closing is the hymnal title track with lyrics about getting killed by drones, although one has to endure the warbling choir. A fitting finale after all the paranoia and claustrophobia. 

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