At about 4:30 AM EST, 7:30 PM in London, Zane Lowe of BBC1 had the honour of debuting the first track of Muse’s new album, number six, The 2nd Law.
If you were expecting a quiet acoustic follow up to 2009’s The Resistance prepare to be disappointed as the first single from the album “Survival + Prelude” is a very grand affair.
Opening with a large string section, before cutting a choir repeating notes staccato, the whole song has a sense of Queen melodrama from the get go. Think ‘United States of Eurasia’ and’ Neutron Star Collision’ with tinges of the guitar work seen is tracks like “New Born”. The choir only gets more epic as a male and female choir begin to sing in round and harmonize at the same time as Matt Bellamy proclaiming that he is “going to win” and “choose to survive” with an almost desert-rock tone on his guitar that is distinctly recognizable as Muse.
The song continues to crescendo in such a manner that it feels like the world’s greatest pump up song. Which is probably apt seeing as it is the song representing the London 2012 Olympics. As an olympic song, it’s “all encompassing”. The band believe it focuses on the “athletes and competitors at their most brutal”, tuning in to “the competitive side”.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on BBC1, Dominic Howard, Chris Wolstenholme and Bellamy revealed some more details about this release, due mid-September.
It’s clear that we’re very close hearing more from the album and the eventual release, with Bellamy revealing that “even today we’re still picking the track listing and final mixes”. The band took “a year off” last year, playing a handful infamous gigs in which they played the entirety of their sophomore release Origins of Symmetry alongside a best of set. Towards the end of the year they decided to start what would end up being a process of “six or seven months of recording” for this new release.
The album itself is, if possible, more epic than anything previously done according to what we’ve found out about it. Bellamy mentioned that the olympic track is one of few Muse songs which features “guitar and piano playing at the same time” which is something you’ll find he doesn’t “usually do”. Bellamy is adamant to continue mentioning that the album is “very, very diverse” with hints of what “Rage Against the Machine do with hip-hop” on one track, they “did the choir [and] there are some tracks where [they] went brass too”. It’s clear that Muse will still bring the epic nature of their sound to the forefront of this album.
Across the album as a whole, however, Matt maintains that getting the “groove” right was something the band wanted to nail on this new release and he believes they’ve done it. On recording the album, they’ve utilized a lot of instruments that hadn’t been used in their music before thanks to computer software – don’t worry purists, they’ve “done it all for real”. This is obvious from the pictures tweeted by the band of them with a forty piece orchestra during the recording process. Bellamy proclaimed that they’ve “brought back brass on this” record boasting the fact that the “lead trumpet player was the guy who played on Superstition” (Stevie Wonders’ hit track).
On the live performances, Bellamy wasn’t quick to give much away, but he did make note that the band’s calandar was “full” up until late 2014. Howard made particular note of how odd it is to have “two years of your life planned out”. Irrespective it appears as though we are going to be lucky enough to receive a tour here in Australia pretty early into the itinerary as they plan to make it a particularly extensive tour, with the option of coming twice in that time still very much in the forefront of people’s minds.
No matter what happens, it’s safe to say that Muse are back and, more importantly, they’re bigger than ever. Get keen folks, The 2nd Law is coming very fast.