Herald rating: * * *
"You will burn in hell," sings Muse's Matthew Bellamy on Take A Bow, before the Dr Who sound effects take over and paranoia kicks in. It's the kind of over-the-top prophesy we've come to expect from the man who gave pompous beautiful new meaning on 2004's Absolution and 2001's Origin of Symmetry.
Fourth time around, Muse haven't lost their love of theatrics. Pulses rise so much on the opening track you can't help but think the apocalypse has arrived. Map of the Problematic is a Eurovision treat that throws camp beats in with vampirish baroque'n'roll and Bellamy's grandiose, asthmatic singing style. The sense of bombast is never far away, even on the sensitive war song Soldier's Poem, or Supermassive Black Hole with its creepy Marilyn Manson vibe and brilliant line, "Glaciers melting in the dead of night".
At times they sound like a ludicrous fusion of Queen, Primal Scream and Rammstein, but on others they have more style than substance. Tracks like Assassin showcase fantastic drummer Dominic Howard but make you wish Bellamy would quit drawing out words for as long as possible. If you're having a bad day, put this on, throw your arms wide and feel the power.
Verdict: The most ridiculous religious experience you'll ever have
Muse play Big Day Out '07 on the Orange Stage