The lead-up to Muse's fifth studio album was fueled by uncertainty. Almost immediately after promotion and touring for Black Holes and Revelations came to a close, rumors about the band's potential direction began floating around like crazy. Would they lean further towards the electronic, the orchestral or the entirely overblown? Or would it be some combination of all these factors?
To make matters even more confusing, the band didn't even know where the album was going. In reference to the recording process, frontman Matthew Bellamy told NME, "What will come out of that is impossible to say…It may just be albums, but it may be a stream of singles, or it may just be one 50-minute symphony, do you know what I mean? Who knows?"
Given all this ambiguity and an opening track like "The Uprising", one might easily jump to conclusions that Muse settled on creating a work not-so-different from their preceding project. When the album continues beyond the eighth track, it becomes wildly clear that this isn't the case.
Nestled towards the end of the set list, a three-song symphonic series entitled "Exogenesis" walks the line between pretentiousness and astonishment. It's absolutely epic, leaving one wondering about the album that could have been (if the label had let them take such a risk). After listening on repeat, you'll eventually just wind up shrugging your shoulders and echoing Bellamy's sentiment… who knows?