Reapers (song)

MuseWiki, wiki for the band Muse
Revision as of 19:51, 25 March 2015 by Spectrauma (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search
Muse song
Name Reapers
Album/single Drones
Alternative titles
First live performance 15th March 2015
Latest live performance 23rd March 2015
Recorded 2014/2015 - The Warehouse Studio, Vancouver, Canada
Writer/composer Matthew Bellamy
Producer Muse, Robert "Mutt" Lange


The song features a large amount of falsetto singing and guitar solos.

There are 'Drones' under the name "MQ-9 Reaper", Muse used photos of various drones with a similar look to this kind of drones in their instagram photos.[1]

Composition and analysis

Reapers is perhaps one of the most progressive songs in Muse's catalog, featuring prominent use of modulation, demanding guitar work and an uncharacteristically improvised solo.

Guitar feedback and pounding drums introduce the song before Bellamy lunges into a tapped guitar solo with an unstable tonal center. Eventually rooting in D minor, the verse establishes an urgent air of desperation, as Bellamy sings of domestic conflict and drone warfare. The lyrics make reference to the "AGM-114 Hellfire" air-to-surface missile commonly used in aerial combat vehicles. The verse follows the Andalusian cadence twice, a chord progression also found in Citizen Erased and Resistance, with Wolstenholme's bass walking across the ninth of each chord.

Bellamy and Wolstenholme play in unison for the primary guitar riff, which uses the D minor pentatonic scale and is backed by a "Drones!" chant. The riff climbs chromatically to establish a new tonal centre in the G Mixolydian mode, providing a more established for Bellamy's declaration that he is ready to become a reaper. Before long, the stop-start chugging guitars give way to another tapping solo, and eventually the verse and chorus repeat again.

Following the second chorus, Howard drums in unison with Bellamy as he plays the primary riff. Wolstenholme continues this motif as Bellamy launches into a guitar solo, filled with pitch-shifting effects, tapping and chromatic melodies. The riff ascends as the key changes to E minor, eventually climbing through the fourth and fifth to revisit the chorus one last time.

As the final chorus ends, riffs give way to arpeggiated chords as the song builds to a dramatic climax, at which point the tempo suddenly drops and Bellamy howls over a chromatic bassline played by Wolstenholme. As the intensity builds, Bellamy doubles the bassline on his guitar as air raid sirens sound and Wolstenholme repeatedly screams "CONTROL!" into the microphone.



[Verse 1]

Home It's becoming a killing field There's a crosshair locked on my heart

With no recourse And there's no one behind the wheel Hellfire You're walking in the crossfire

Drones! Drones!


We will rise in the sea Bodies on the shore ??? Now I am ready to know

[Verse 2]

War Licensed to govern here I don't think I can handle the truth

And it's just too cold And we're all expendable ??? They're trying to get around the crossfire


We will rise in the sea Bodies on the shore To become reapers and horsemen Now I am ready to know


[Final chorus]

We will rise in the sea Bodies on the shore ??? Now I am ready to know

Too much thought control Bodies on the shore To become reapers and horsemen

Now I am ready to know


  1. Instagram. (2015-02-). #MuseDrones. Muse. Retrieved 2015-03-18 from

Go back to songs