25 September 2023

Simulation Theory

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Muse, Warner Music United Kingdom 2018.

Muse has released their first album since Drones (2015) which debuted at number one in 21 countries, including Australia.

Simulation Theory is their eighth studio album and it’s a cinematic, futuristic, synth-rock extravaganza.

The artwork for the cover has been deliberately designed to mimic movie posters and was illustrated by digital artist Kyle Lambert who has done the poster art for the movies Stranger Things and Jurassic Park among many others.

Muse have sometimes been castigated as being pretentious and it’s true to say that their live shows are bigger than Ben-Hur. They play stadiums and their sets, production, and sound is huge.

This criticism is often levelled at bands that reach for a grand vision and Muse certainly fall into this category.

The band has once again built the songs for this album around carefully crafted synthesised rhythm tracks that perfectly suit the futuristic theme of the album.

Their sound is dominated by huge drums, a sound that has occasionally been dubbed “the footsteps of God.”

The band are renowned for mixing elements from many musical genres:- electronica, metal, and even classical music and rock opera into their style, but I think they are really prog rockers at heart.

All their albums are built around a theme and space travel and visions of the future predominate.

You could easily imagine many of the tracks on this and any other of their albums being used as a film score in science fiction movies.

Muse formed in 1994 and have sold well over 20 million albums and developed a huge fan base.

In Australia alone they have had three #1 albums, Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance and Drones with The 2nd Law reaching number two on the ARIA charts.

The band are certainly well respected because they have won two Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, five MTV Europe Awards, two Brit Awards, seven Q Awards and 10 NME Awards.

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