Muse faced a creative challenge when following up its immensely successful last studio release, 2009's The Resistance. The trio from southwestern England responded with a concept album, The 2nd Law, that keeps building on its big sound and diverse styles. Referring to the second law of thermodynamics, the ambitious recording tells the story of a resource-strapped planet that can no longer support its inhabitants. “The Second Law: Unsustainable” starts with a dramatic orchestral and choral opening arranged and conducted by David Campbell (Metallica, Sheryl Crow) before transforming into a dramatic techno-rock showcase. Performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics, “Survival” presents a more inspiring (and pop-friendly) narrative.