The 2nd Law (album)

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Cover art
Vinyl Cover art
Muse at the Studio - 2011
Muse album
Name The 2nd Law
Tracks 13
Total length 53:39
Recorded 2011–2012
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy, Dominic Howard, Christopher Wolstenholme
Producer Muse[1]
Art work Connectome Project, Laboratory of Neuro Imaging ; Steven Wilson (12" Deluxe Box Set Artwork)
Publisher Warner, Helium 3
Format(s) CD, CD+DVD, 2LP, CD+DVD+2LP (Limited Edition Box Set)
Catalogue №
  • 825646568802 (CD - digipak) »
  • 825646568796 (CD - jewelcase)
  • 825646568789 (CD+DVD)
  • 825646568772 (2LP)
  • 825646568765 (CD+DVD+2LP Limited Edition Box Set)
Release date
  • 1st October 2012 (World) »
  • 28th September 2012 (AT, AU, BE, CH, DE, IE, LX, NL, NO, ZA)
  • 2nd October 2012 (South America, CA, ES, IT, US)[2]
Chart position
  • 1 (UK, AT, BE, NL, FI, FR, IT, NZ, NO, PT, CH) »
  • 2 (AU, CA, DK, DE, HU, KP, PL, RU, ES, US)
  • 4 (SI)
  • 5 (CZ, JP)
album chronology
The Resistance
The 2nd Law
Survival.jpgMuse - Madness - Single Artwork.jpgFollow Me.jpgSupremacy.jpgPanicstationsupermassive.jpg


In an NME interview, Chris said "We'll definitely start working on a new album next year [2012]"[3] He went on to say "I think we'll definitely take some time off after this touring period because it's something we've never done. I think the most time we've had off is about six weeks in the last 12 years, so we're due a break." In another NME interview, Matt said that he was thinking about writing a more personal music project for their next album. "I sense that that's going to lead to a writing project that will be more personal, rather than talking about grand political concerns. That itself might lead to material that's more suitable for smaller venues."

Chris has said in a recent interview that the band want to do something "radically different" on their next album. The bassist told Kerrang! magazine that it felt like they were "drawing a line" under their past and were eager to embrace new ideas. He said:"[The band] feel like we are drawing a line under a certain period of what we've done in our career. It feels like it's time to move on and do something radically different." However, he also admitted that it wasn't always easy to progress and push their sound forward, adding: "But then you could get into the studio and go back to what you're comfortable with. You get in the studio and there's a natural process and you have to see where a song will take you."

On his Twitter account Matt jokingly described the album as a "christian gangsta rap jazz odyssey, with some ambient rebellious dubstep and face melting metal flamenco cowboy psychedelia".


The name "The 2nd Law" references the second law of thermodynamics, which is quoted in the album trailer as follow

"All natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases. In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system incre,cre,cre,cre,c,c,creases. Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless. New energy cannot be created and high grade energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is...Unsustainable"

New songs

Looks like there might be some delay in space coming soon

Near the beginning of 2010 Muse indicated they had been working on potentially two new songs, one of which was ready for recording. One was mentioned by Dom in an interview with regard to Muse providing new music for the 2012 Olympic games.[4] This turned out to be Survival. Dom also mentioned a "love song" the band had written originally intended for the Twilight Saga: Eclipse soundtrack, stating that the band "were ready to record" in Australia during the Big Day Out tour. This turned out to be Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)[5]

Later,when Matt was asked whether fatherhood was on his mind, he told MTV: "Yeah, I'm definitely going to bring out the Vibraphone, a lullaby, things like that. I'll definitely get a lullaby on there."[6] While lyrically this would appear to be Follow Me, Explorers would be more appropriate sonically.

During the NME Awards 2011, Matt and Dom humorously stated that there would be "a lot of chords" on the album and that Matt already had many ideas flowing through his head, including one song which Dom said sounded very cool already.


With information gathered from twitpics, the album is known to feature a brass section and an orchestra. Additionally, Matt has been seen holding a "Kitara", a guitar-shaped synthesizer controller. In an interview with NME Chris said that Matt was talking about "messing with grooves and loops". In an interview with NME in 2011, Matt said he was wanting to introduce some 90's rave into the band. The album will also have a lot of choirs in some songs like Survival.

Recording place

"California is generally a bit 70's" - January, 2012

Bellamy told XFM: "We've actually never made a full album in London, we've made bits here occasionally." He added: "It would be nice to be based in the same place so we can go out and so we can make an album together and also socialise together at the same time." He also said: "It also means we can make the album over a longer period of time without having to pressurise it all in to a three week studio session, you can spread it out."[7] On November 16th 2011 Muse posted pics from Air Studios London England.

In January 2012, Muse went to the Shangri La Studios Malibu, California USA for recording.

Back to the studio

"Matt showing his scores to David Campbell" - Feb 23rd, 2012
"Matt, Dom and Chris being creative" - Feb 29th, 2012

Wolstenholme said that, Muse will back to the studio by September in 2011, after Reading and Leeds festivals.

By October and November Muse started recording their sixth album.

On February 23rd, 2012 Tom Kirk posted via Twitter a picture of Bellamy showing his arrangements to the accomplished composer David Campbell [1]. David has an extensive background in arrangements and compostion of music.
Other pictures tweeted from Tom Kirk and the official Muse Twitter account show all the members of Muse working in Cello Studios, along with a Tweeted photo of Muse and the Brass section posing in Los Angeles. All this would indicate that Muse are fine tuning their existing pieces of music with a view for Classical elements to appear on the next album.
Muse also worked at Capitol Studios shortly after working at Cello. Contrary to previous quotes of the band saying the sixth album would be made in London, it appears Muse are focussing on the timely delivery of their new offering. Muse appear to have been also working with studio engineers Adrian Bushby and Tommaso Colliva.

On February 29th Paul Reeve posted a tweet stating, "Just confirmed dates for recording vocals for the new Muse album...You will not have heard anything like this from them before".

Bellamy posted on his Twitter that Muse would be producing the album themselves, although Paul Reeve has produced vocals for the project.


In a interview with Absolute Radio, Matt mentioned the new album may have influences from Justice and DIOYY, and that he was very into the 'hard electronica' sound at the moment.[8]

In an NME article according to Dom the band "went to see Skrillex in Camden around October. We went 'Fuck, it's so heavy', loved it. It was like a full metal gig, they had the circles of death, people were moshing, I hadn't seen a reaction like that to electronic music before. We took inspiration and came up with Unsustainable." Matt added, "Some of that hard dubstep or brostep coming from America is capturing the imagination. The moshpit has moved from guitars and gone towards the laptop, so with that song we're trying to see if we can challenge the laptop. We created something that was dubsteppy but we wanted to see if we could do it with real instruments. We wanted to ask, 'Can rock bands compete with what these guys are doing?'" In the same NME Article, the song Panic Station was described as having "demented 80's elements such as backwards 'Let's Dance' drumbeats and riffs reminiscent of INXS' 'Suicide Blonde'".

Also, in a recent interview Matt revealed that he took influence from "The Dark Knight Rises" composer Hans Zimmer, claiming:"He's the greatest film composer of recent times. That song 'The 2nd Law', you can definitely hear some Hans Zimmer influence."


On the 6th June 2012 a movie-style trailer was released for the album featuring music from the album, and announcing the title. It was accompanied by a release date counting down to 17th September 2012, a Monday, indicative of the UK release date.[9][10]

On 27th June 2012 Survival was debuted on Zane Lowe's show on BBC Radio 1. It was confirmed and simultaneously released as the Official Song for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

On 30th July 2012, the artwork for the album was revealed over a selection of 11 images. The final album artwork depicts an image of the Human Brain and all the neurons that make it up. The Image came from the Human Conectome Project.

On 2nd August 2012, it was announced via Muse's website that the release date of the album had been postponed to the worldwide release date of the 1st October, and that the song Madness will be released on 20th of August.

On August 9th, 2012, Muse made the Deluxe Box of The 2nd Law available to purchase with the free music video of The 2nd Law: Unsustainable.

On September 24th, the album leaked. The same day, Muse announced the websites which would be streaming the full album worldwide that evening.


The 2nd Law Tour kicked off in October 2012 and continued until December 2013, stretching across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Track list


  1. Supremacy – 4:55
  2. Madness – 4:39
  3. Panic Station – 3:03
  4. Prelude – 0:57
  5. Survival – 4:17
  6. Follow Me – 3:51
  7. Animals – 4:23
  8. Explorers – 5:48
  9. Big Freeze – 4:41
  10. Save Me – 5:09
  11. Liquid State – 3:03
  12. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable – 3:47
  13. The 2nd Law: Isolated System – 4:59



  1. Supremacy – 4:55
  2. Madness – 4:39
  3. Panic Station – 3:03


  1. Prelude – 0:57
  2. Survival – 4:17
  3. Follow Me – 3:51
  4. Animals – 4:23


  1. Explorers – 5:48
  2. Big Freeze – 4:41
  3. Save Me – 5:09


Limited Edition Bonus DVD

The making of The 2nd Law: - 32:27

Bonus Feature: - 7:52



  • Matt Bellamy - lead vocals (except tracks 10 and 11), guitars, keyboards, orchestral arrangements, production, additional mixing (track 6)
  • Chris Wolstenholme - bass, synthesizers, backing vocals, lead vocals (tracks 10 and 11), drums (track 1), production
  • Dominic Howard - drums, percussion, synthesizers, production

Additional musicians

  • David Campbell - conductor and additional orchestral arrangements
  • Alyssa Park - first violinist
  • Gerardo Hilera, Josefin Vergara, Kevin Connolly, Mario Deleon, Michele Richards, Ruth Bruegger, Sara Parkins, Sara Thornblade, Serena McKinny, Songa Lee, Tamara Hatwan - violins
  • Andrew Duckles – principal viola
  • Alma Fernandez, David Walther, Matthew Funes – violas
  • Steve Richards – principal cello
  • Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, George Kim Scholes, Suzie Katayama – cellos
  • Dave Stone, Oscar Hidalgo – basses
  • Rodrigo D’Erasmo – additional violin (tracks 4 and 8)
  • Daniela Savoldi – additional cello (tracks 4 and 8)
  • Wayne Bergeron – trumpet solo (track 1)
  • Joseph Meyer, Nathan Campbell – French horns
  • Alan Kaplan, Charles Morillas, Craig Gosnell, Nick Lane – trombones
  • Charles Findlay, Steven Madaio – trumpets (track 3)
  • Tom Saviano – tenor saxophone
  • Donald Markese – baritone saxophone
  • Katie Razzall – spoken words (tracks 12 and 13)
  • Tom Kirk – additional chanting (track 5)
  • Bingham Bellamy - additional sound effects (tracks 6 and 13)
  • Aaron Page, Antonio Sol, Baraka Williams, Beth Anderson, Bobbi Page, Christian Ebner, Chyla Anderson, Clydene Jackson, Boddicker Edie-Lehmann, Francesca Proponis, Gabriel Mann, Gerald White, Gregory Jasperse, Gregory Whipple, Guy Maeda, Joannna Bushnell, John Kimberling, Karen Harper, Karen Whipple Schnurr, Kathryn Reid, Kimberley Lingo Hinze, Michael Geiger, Oren Waters, Raven Kane, Reid Bruton, Robert Joyce, Scottie Haskell, Susie Stevens Logan, Teri Koide, Walter Harrah - choir

Production personnel

  • Tomasso Coliva - additional production, engineering, mixing (track 4)
  • Adrian Bushby - additional production, engineering
  • Paul Reeve - additional vocal production and mixing (track 6)
  • Nero - additional production and mixing (track 6)
  • Chris Lord-Alge - mixing (tracks 1, 5, 7, 9 and 12)
  • Mark 'Spike' Stent - mixing (tracks 2, 8 and 10)
  • Rich Costey - mixing (tracks 3, 11 and 13)
  • Alessandro Cortini - additional synthesizer engineering
  • Brendan Dekora - engineering assistance
  • Olga Fitzroy - engineering assistance
  • Sean Oakley - engineering assistance
  • Tom Bailey - engineering assistance
  • Ted Jensen - mastering

Additional personnel

  • Gavin Bond - photography

The 2nd Law gallery

Spread gallery

Sixth album recording gallery


  1. Matthew Bellamy. (2012-02-05). @aMUSEd_for_life we are .... Twitter. Retrieved 2012-02-06 from
  2. moonbaby. (2012-06-07). @THE 2ND LAW - WORLDWIDE RELEASE DATES. Retrieved 2012-10-06 from
  3. Muse at T In The Park: 'We'll definitely start working on a new album next year' (2010-07-12). Retrieved 2010-07-13 from
  4. centisuk. (2010-02-28). 6 Music snippet. Muse forum. Retrieved 2010-03-01 from
  5. Leah Collins. (2010-02-28). Muse No Longer On Eclipse Soundtrack; Now What Will We Play At the Vampire Baseball Game?. Retrieved 2010-03-01 from
  6. Jason Gregory. (2011-02-14). Muse Writing 'Child-Friendly' Album As Matt Bellamy Gets Ready For Fatherhood. gigwise. Retrieved 2011-03-01 from
  7. Absolute Radio. (2011-02-24). Muse Moving Back to London. Xfm. Retrieved 2011-02-28 from
  8. Absolute Radio. (2011-02-23). Absolute Radio - Matt Bellamy: new Muse album interview. Absolute Radio. Retrieved 2011-02-28 from
  9. Muse management. (2012-06-07). Album trailer released.... Retrieved 2011-06-07 from
  10. Muse. (2012-06-06). Youtube: Muse - The 2nd Law - Album Trailer. YouTube. Retrieved 2012-06-6 from

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