CD-WOW album of the week

Nice CD-WOW review of Absolution. It's their album of the week


In some respects, this album is what you would expect from the Devon threesome. Scintillating rock played with dedicated venom and singular passion. The amalgam of classical styles melding with prime rock which has been their mark over the last 5 years. That’s now even bigger. Massive contrasts from one end of the orthodox piano spectrum of the last century, to the most rip-roaring of guitar chords known to man or beast. They have proved that exhibition of excellence from their past pedigree. Showbiz was great, Origin Of Symmetry even better. And even though Absolution still oozes their trademark sound, this is not just a continuation from last time. They’ve re-evolved, raised their play to the next level, and enlarged their wardrobe of sounds to even more lavish proportions.

Basically you’re hooked from the start. “Apocalypse Please?hits off with the grandest of grand pianos, then lest you think they’ve gone all classical on you, the alternative volume kicks in. The warped synths and exploding guitar section. Extravagantly outrageous, sumptuously good. That’s just the start. The rest is equally impressive. Matt Bellamy’s mercurial vocals are stronger, bigger, more vibrant than ever. There are still comparisons to Freddy Mercury, and maybe this would have been the sound of Queen if they had ever really let rip and gone from camp to thump. Besides, Matt’s mum was a big Queen fan.

However even though the style of ‘Absolution?is familiar, nothing is pre-destined in the Muse lexicon. There are still surprises out there. “Time Is Running Out?has a funky dance backing, yet still combines perfectly with the searing guitar riffs. The tinkling ghost piano on “Sing For Absolution?gives a wonderfully fragile edge, and is backed up with Matt almost on his knees pleading. Conversely “Stockholm Syndrome?is a huge wallop of sound, the passion as unequivocal as the decibel factor. “Hysteria?also a tad massive. Loud, gripping, awesome.

Volume aplenty, but this album never veers off into mindless noise. “Blackout?is superbly sensitive. Strings honed to depressing perfection. “Endlessly?has a low-key dance beat that plods away underneath while the kaleidoscope of strings and Bellamy vocals turn it close to perfection. More minimal, but such is their intelligence of variation and versatility. The strength of ‘Absolution?is not just where the big guitar chords are, but also when they are not.

Muse have created another extravagant flight of the imagination. One of unholy power. They use the true potency of classical piano in their baroque-rock package, which is not quite phantom of the opera nor Hitchcock horror, but deep layers of dark water that have something sinister lurking below. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Maybe this is the devil’s music, but the genre-bending neo-classical rock sound of Muse is uniquely their own. Yes past influences are apparent, but ‘Absolution?still manages to be futuristic. It is desperately good. Faith is restored. Consider yourself absolved.


You can buy it from cd-wow, here