Muse have been turning ears and heads for their forthcoming sixth studio album, The 2nd Law ever since dropping their dubstep-tinged album trailer.

Since then they’ve ensured that the lead-up to their latest studio effort has been anything but dull.

Our first taste of the album came in the Official London 2012 Olympic Games anthem, “Survival”; a track written specifically by frontman/guitar & piano wizard/conspiracy theory junkie Matt Bellamy to inspire athletes at the international sporting event.

Then there was the full reveal of that dubstep tune, the semi-title track, “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable”. Which sounded like the soundtrack to The Dark Knight Rises and Skrillex having an instrumental argument.

In fact, it was the latter that directly inspired the track, with drummer Dom Howard saying they “took inspiration” from the dubstep linchpin after attending one of his intense live shows, exclaiming “we wanted to see if we could do [dubstep] with real instruments.”

Now, we have the third taste and the first official lead single from Muse’s October scheduled record, and it’s another stretch into another eclectic direction.

Despite its title, ‘Madness’, follows neither the burly choral chanting and Middle Eastern scales of ‘Survival’ nor the crunching symphonic battle of ‘Unsustainable.’

Sonically, it’s a more restrained affair and closer in spirit to a traditional pop song. Riding a squelching synth line and a processed vocal hook (ma ma ma ma mad mad mad), Bellamy gives his most slinky, R&B vocal delivery yet.

The whole thing swells with gradual layering, including vocal textures and – yes – those familiar Queen-isms the UK power trio have now made their trademark; ‘Bohemian’ harmonies, Brian May-influenced guitar solo and all.

Following playing the Olympics Closing Ceremony, Dominic Howard spoke to NME about the release of their follow-up to 2009’s The Resistance, saying the band were nervous. Explaining that, “every time you finish a new album you feel excited and nervous and anxious about what’s going to happen with it when it gets released, but with this one we’ve discovered some new ideas for our band.”

Adding that, “every album for me seems to open up doors to the future and this one does more than ever.”

Off the basis of what we’ve heard so far, it seems pretty futuristic to us.

Originally due for a September release, The 2nd Law has then postponed until October 1st; with the band writing on their website: “Sorry about the delay, we promise it will be worth it!”

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