Despite the raw talent they possess, Muse have yet to release a fully accomplished album. It seems as though Matthew Bellamy has the tendency to attempt too many things simultaneously, resulting in a severe lack of focus. This is showcased impeccably on 2012’s The 2nd Law, where the band go from hard rock to dubstep with a flick of a switch.
On Origin of Symmetry though, we saw Muse hitting their creative stride and rolling with it, and whilst this naturally resulted in a few imperfections, the album benefitted greatly from its sense of fearlessness. With its enormous riffs and blistering basslines, Origin of Symmetry contains that raw intensity that made me fall in love with the band all those years ago, a quality that disappeared after Absolution.
Sure it may overstep the mark, at times edging into the realms of ridiculousness, but you find yourself enjoying the ride too much to care. It can be a disorientating experience, particularly with the last portion of the album feeling lost and bewildered, though one could argue that’s all part of its charm.
To be honest, I find it extremely difficult to assign a score to Origin of Symmetry. The impact it made on me as a teenager cannot be overstated — this is the work that marked the beginning of my journey into music, and for that reason it will always hold a place in my heart. For me, it’s a classic.
9 out of 10
Origin of Symmetry was my introduction to Muse, and although returning to it hasn’t provided the same punch, its power remains pretty remarkable. The album is a hotbed of frenzied riffs and quivering falsettos, and its rawness suits Muse down to the ground.
The wealth of sounds utilised — ranging from synthesiser anthems to Latin guitar — is held together by the band’s relentless charge towards the next crescendo. The pacing is more than a little skewed, but once in the midst of yet another great track you’re not terribly inclined to care.
There are few better musical highs than Muse in top gear. It’s breathless, explosive music; the kind that compels listeners to pick up an instrument or start a band. Origin of Symmetry listens like a spectacular jam — with all the unpolished, patchy, brazen energy that entails — and all in all it’s pretty rad, man.
8 out of 10
Putting aside sentimentality, Origin of Symmetry is still an impressive album. Its drama, driving guitar riffs, and falsetto vocals all set the album apart from its contemporaries. Piano and synths line the whole album, but animal bones and organs make major appearances too, providing an eeriness to the final third.
There’s something that feels more raw in this album than the band’s more recent releases and even the most subtle parts of the album have stayed with me through long periods without a relisten.
I can only fault the album in its tracklisting, with such a explosive beginning, I’ve always found myself lost towards the end. With some of the best tracks from the band, Origin of Symmetry continues to be worth returning to.
9 out of 10