Ditching the dubstep and EDM influences of 2012’s The 2nd Law in favor of old-fashioned rock ballistics, Muse’s seventh album is a wide-angle, bold-faced attack on the dehumanizing effects of modern war. Produced by Mutt Lange (famous in part for the tank-like sound of AC/DC and Def Leppard in their prime), Drones mashes together the high drama of late-'90s Radiohead (“Psycho”) with the pyrotechnics of Van Halen (“Reapers”) and the grand sweep of both U2 and Pink Floyd—bands who have always chosen to go big or go home.

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