YOU can imagine the discussions which went on at Muse hq when they decided to start work on their new album. “Do we carry on the way we are, writing epic, if formulaic, stadium rock..." the conversation must have gone, "or push the boat out and do something bold, brave and new?” Things aren’t always easy when you’re one of the planet’s top live bands. Fortunately, for their sixth album Matt Bellamy and co have got it bang-on; their ‘musings’ seem to have paid off.

Fans will be enraptured to learn that the Muse sound and feel is still there in spades but The 2nd Law also sees them moving in slightly new directions.

Bass player Chris Wolstenholme has contributed a couple of songs, and the band’s sound extends into new, and occasionally funky, directions which are nonetheless not radical enough to alienate hardened followers.

Anyone who has raised their arms in delight at the band in a festival field will revel in the bombastic hard-edged prog rock of opener Supremacy, while bouncy Panic Station sees them jump aboard the funk train, before going all out Queen-inspired power-pop on Explorers.

Credit goes to Wolstenholme for his two songs, Save Me and Liquid State, which act as a foil to Bellamy’s familiar style, while the ubiquitous Olympic single Survival fits well, and helps relive those already half-forgotten days of our glorious golden sporting summer.

The album’s name, apparently, refers to French scientist Sadi Carnot’s Second Law of Thermodynamics. On the strength of this album, Muse show they are far from running out of steam themselves.

Expect to see them back in a field near you next summer.