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  • Writer's pictureEtienne Pelosoff

3 Reasons Origin of Symmetry is brilliant

And why this is probably Muse's most unique album

Today, this masterpiece turns 20. Although not black metal nor jazz, it trvly inspired me in composing music. Here’s 3 reasons why.

1. The Bass

Christopher Wolstenholme is one of the three bassists who made me choose this instrument (guess the two others in the comment). In this album, the bass takes a leading role: you might not hear, but you definitely FEEL it. What makes Christopher Wolstenholme basslines so good? Easy: you can sing them! Far from simply providing the root note in eigth notes, it expresses melodic lines in a clever mixture of groove, intervals and extravagant distorted timbre. This subtly creates depth in the rhythm architecture, the harmonic space and the frequency spectrum. Needless to say, Matthew Bellamy and Dominic Horward definitely rock their instruments as well. What makes each one of them so damn powerful is how superb they work together.

2. The Universe

This album has a world of its own. How? While Muse’s music is rooted in grunge, they add three elements which literally take this style up to the stars, evoking the grandiose and beauty of space. First, they explore uncommon harmonies for grunge, such as the phrygian scale. Second, they incorporate some cinematographic elements, such as vinyls violins and industrial sounds. Eventually, Matthew Bellamy’s inimitable lyrical vocals is the cherry on top to achieve a fabulous space opera.

3. The Balance of Tension & Release

Every second of this album is EXCITING. Even the quiet moments keep you captivated because every moment flawlessly leads to the next one: what is known as ‘the balance of tension & release’. Tension is when the music makes us feel like something big is about to happen - typically, a prechorus. Release is when the music offers us a sense of openness and liberation - typically, a chorus. We are addicted to songs which put us in alert and then deliver a sensation of emancipation. We feel rewarded and empowered for having waited and experienced this change of energy. Origin of Symmetry ‘s sharp orchestration always maintains the excitation at its paroxysm. There’s always at least one captivating instrument to nourish the energy. Per-fec-tion. How much do you enjoy this album? What makes you addicted to it? Or what might you not enjoy so much! Let me know, I’m curious! Sending you loads of love, you all!

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