Muse released “Reapers” earlier today, a follow up to their last single “Mercy,” which was released last Monday. As far as sound, “Reapers” falls in line with their first single. It’s primarily guitar driven with heavy percussions an amazing bass line, and these are the sole elements of the song. But the difference is everything in “Reapers” has been kicked up into overdrive to capture that chaos and fear created by the lyrics. By the end of the song, you perfectly understand the concept that Matt Bellamy talks about trying to convey in their upcoming album, Drones, out June 8th.
There’s a lot going on in “Reapers.” It is six minutes of pure, unfiltered guitar riffs and mind-blowing ideas. In some ways, it reminds me a lot of “Supermassive Black Hole.” The guitar was the main element, it’s the literal soul of the song. But there were a lot of elements going on and the guitar is even sometimes distorted to create the desired effect. “Reapers” is a lot like that, except with more extreme guitar notes and riffs all through the song. The actual guitar riffs themselves remind me of some of the stuff that we heard in “Map of the Problematique” and “MK Ultra.” But again, while they draw inspiration from some of their previous songs… they’ve still managed to create an entirely new sound all together.
The vocals aren’t the key element in here, and they don’t drive the story of the song along. The guitars do. But even if they’ve purposely or accidentally taken a back seat, the vocals in “Reapers” are still amazing. Throughout the years, Matt Bellamy’s vocals have grown and developed. Every song off of Drones so far is like seeing the fruit of all the hard labor and work Bellamy has done over the years. But it’s not just his vocals that I love in this. Chris Wolstenholme’s backing vocals and parts in the chorus are part of what gives this song its depth, in my humble opinion. It also pushes that chaotic vibe that makes this song a masterpiece.
But what really generates that chaotic, almost fearful feeling are the lyrics. The lyrics by Matt Bellamy paint a picture perfect image of a society where lives are meaningless, where killing someone is as easy as pressing a button on a remote control. While every song mentions drones in some form, this song is supposed to directly call drones for what they are – the reapers, the machines that make turn lives into expendable items. At least, from Bellamy’s point of view. It delivers a very clear but prominent message about our society today, and what it might turn into in the future. And by the end of the song, not only do you understand the concept of the upcoming album, but you absolutely can’t wait to hear it.
Drones is out June 8th, through Warner Bros. Records.
Image Cred: Muse, Danny Clinch.