4/5 Let’s set the scene: the population is rapidly expanding, our environment is struggling to cope; mankind is nearing its doom. At least, that’s the vision Muse are presenting through 13 tracks of bombastic orchestration, baying chants, whomping bass and foreboding vocal crescendos. But it’s not all doom and gloom. ‘Prelude’ – the minute-long orchestral interlude four songs in – is subtle and hopeful, while the upbeat guitar of ‘Madness’ smacks bizarrely of George Michael’s ‘Faith’, with added sentiment and gentle cooing. The 2nd Law is absolutely nuts, and full of distracting quirks, yet you stay with the story every step of the way.