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Muse’s Chaotic Symmetry: The Origin Of Symmetry Story

It was 2001, and humanity was entering the new millennium with hope and fear. Behind – a century of scientific and technological progress, bloody world wars, space exploration, postmodernism and the formation of popular music. Hundreds of musical genres and currents were born, strengthened, evolved, captured the world, crawled to the sidelines, went into oblivion and resurrected in a few decades.

In the late 90s, rock bands increasingly began to turn their eyes to the past. The Strokes and The White Stripes Americans and The Vines Australians, inspired by the aesthetics and sounds of the 60s and 80s, breathed life into garage rock and paved the way for countless indie bands from the 2000s. In Britain, the popularity of Britpop was gradually declining, and Tom York and his associates hit electronic experiments, upsetting part of the army of their fans. A virus called “nu-metal” was rapidly spreading in the world … “Origin of Symmetry” did not fit into everything that happened. He sounded bold and strange, breaking borders and rushing into the future.

Welcome to the wonderful nightmare world of one of the most surreal, caricature-ridiculous baroque and roll bands ever born of Albion. (Roger Morton, NME)

In 1999, the popular presenter of “BBC Radio 1” Steve Lamak first put on the air the song Muse. This was the “Muscle Museum”, which captivated the audience and reached third position in the UK indie chart. The same year, the debut album of the band “Showbiz” was released, there were several laudatory reviews of their concert performances, and the famous NME journalist Mark Beaumont interviewed ordinary Devonian guys in which he persistently compared them with Radiohead. Thus began the public life of Muse and their difficult rise to fame.

From the very beginning, the group divided music lovers and critics into two camps: those who were enthusiastic about its crazy energy, amazing concert performances and eccentric antics of the frontman, and those who considered Muse another pale copy of Radiohead, a pathos dummy with a Freddie Mercury complex shamelessly trampling the classic heritage. The stumbling block for many was the unusual, nervous vocals of Matthew Bellamy.

Some described the sounds he made as “the cries of a harpy burned at the stake” and “the buzz of a vacuum cleaner pumped with drugs.” Others admired the “vocal pirouettes of British Gelsomino” and the “drumming-tearing falsetto opera diva on cocaine” that did not fit into the charts. There were also those who, refraining from any epithets, simply pressed the stop button.

For two years since the release of the debut album, the group toured continuously. In the States, they warmed up rock giants Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers, gaining experience for their future grand stadium shows. Matt selflessly smashed equipment at concerts and more and more frankly spoke with reporters about government conspiracies, spiritualistic sessions, alien invasions, magic mushrooms, psychological wars and Berlioz, gradually turning into a real, incredibly strange and very charming rock star.

In 2000, the band won the Best New Band nomination at the NME Awards. All this paved the way for the second album, which strengthened the position of both fans and opponents of the group.

With the release of this disc, the following geniuses simultaneously turned over in their coffins: Johann Sebastian Bach, Sergey Vasilievich Rachmaninov, Richard Wagner and some others. (Fuzz No. 11, 2001)

Despite half a million sold copies of their debut album and a growing army of fans, Muse still remained in the background. Released in March 2001, the single “Plug In Baby”, a radio hit with a recognizable neoclassical riff, quickly burst onto the 11th line of the chart and changed the situation. The “New Born” that followed in June reached 12th place and tuned fans of the Devonian trio to an album full of well-tailored rock fighters. But the group is not used to live up to anyone’s expectations.

Origin of Symmetry was recorded much faster than the rest of the albums – in a few short studio sessions squeezed into a busy touring schedule. The record label “Taste Media” planned to re-entrust production to John Lecky, who worked on the first longplay, but since he was in Africa, it was decided to record several songs with Dave Bottrill, known for collaborating with Tool, King Crimson, Dream Theater and Peter Gabriel.

The songs “New Born”, “Plug In Baby”, “Bliss” and “Darkshines” were recorded at “Rich Farm Studios” (County Surrey) at the end of the year 2000, during a break between performances in Scandinavia and Australia. The group created an atmosphere in the studio close to a live performance, trying to sound when recording as if the three of them were playing on stage. “It was a great time, we were playing the fool, eating mushrooms and all that, being cut off from the world in the Surrey wilderness,” said Dominic.

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