English rockers Muse have released their seventh studio album, titled Drones. It was recorded at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada, with the band and Robert John "Mutt" Lang co-producing. Band members on the album include Matthew Bellamy (guitar, vocals, piano, keyboards), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass, backing vocals), and Dominic Howard (drums).
Speaking with Gigwise, Matt Bellamy explained the concept behind Drones:
To me, drones are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behavior with no recourse. The world is run by drones utilizing drones to turn us all into drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.
Throughout Muse's 21 year career, they have carved out a unique sound that has allowed them to stand out from other hard rock acts. Musically, this album packs a heavy punch full of Bellamy's operatic vocals and distorted guitar riffs. Supporting him are Dominic Howard's hard hitting drums, and Chris Wolstenholme’s rumbling bass. An attitude of defiance with head-banging guitar shredding aren't new to Muse, but the lyrics and production on this album may be their strongest to date.
Straight from the opening song, "Dead Inside," this is a powerful album that's full of emotion. "Psycho" and "Defector" are similarly adrenaline fueled rockers. "Reapers" is a fitting display of the band's talents, as the band combines neo-classical guitar riffs with mosh worthy breakdowns. "Mercy" and "Revolt" may be the most pop-friendly sounding songs on the album.
There's a storytelling arc over the course of Drones that really works nicely. After getting bombarded with songs about war and politics, the mellowness of "Aftermath" leads us to a "The Globalist," a 10-minute song that goes from soothing to hard rocking. The a cappella chorale of the album's last track, "Drones," is a somber ending to a dynamic, musically rich, thought provoking album.
Drones is a serious concept album that works on all fronts, addressing present day realities that most people don't want to talk about. If you can stomach the subject matter, this is a very rewarding listen.
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