History of one song /// Muse ‘Knights Of Cydonia’


The closing track ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ from Muse’s renowned album ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ (2006) is a majestic, multi-layered piece of music with hidden meanings and absolutely fabulous instrumentation. Not only is it a great piece to close a great album, but also a very different track from the rest of the songs on ‘Black Holes And Revelations’.

Musically ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ is pure music perfection kicking off with horses galloping and neighing and two-minute guitar solo that rises like a tower of a determined, assertive mission statement to stir all the possible corners of human imagination. The fancy melody has a strong visual element in it hinting at galloping, moving fast, approaching and fighting for your rights. A great part of guitars in the song was inspired by the track ‘Telstar’ by Tornados released in 1962 and featuring none other than George Bellamy – Matt Bellamy’s father – on rhythm guitar. ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ is a highly creative demonstration of Muse’s impressive skills as musicians showing them as a band willing to take up new challenges, step away from well-trotted paths and go deeper into the jungles of creativity without any limits.

Meaning-wise ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ is not an easy nut to crack. On the one hand it is obvious: stand up and fight for your rights to live the life you want to. But on the other, with Muse one should always dig deeper to get to the core of their songs. In a piece from an interview published in Muse’s biography ‘Out Of This World: The Story Of Muse’ by Mark Beaumont (Omnibus Press, 2008), Matt Bellamy explains that this song is about the life-cycle of various civilisations – the way they come and go and did so in the past. However, at a certain point there comes a call to action to do things differently this time and change everything. As another addition to historic and scientific story lines in the song, there is a reference to Cydonia in the song title – a part in the northern hemisphere of Mars where the famous ‘Face on Mars’ has been found.

‘Knights Of Cydonia’ is a masterpiece of a song from one of the greatest rock bands walking on the Earth – a vivid display of their doubtless talent, both – musically and lyrically. In it history, politics and science interlace into a deep, profound story framed in space rock instrumentation, which is not uncommon with Muse who have always enjoyed bringing up historical, scientific and planetary topics in their songs.Ā Sounding very confident and rebellious, it’s absolutely no wonder ‘Knights Of Cydonia’ has remained a fan favourite at Muse’s live shows for a long time.

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