The dark visual offers a look at the beginning of a possible uprising: A revered figure, Kueen, is rolled into a warehouse and wheeled onto a platform before an army of metal mask-wearing disciples. Loyal assistants aid with hooking up metal attachments to the leader’s arm, which controls the army of disciples and makes the army dance and march at will. The video reaches a crescendo with frontman Matt Bellamy’s metal-influenced vocals, with lights flashing in the area like a gloomy rave.
“Won’t stand down/ I’m growing stronger/ Won’t stand down/ I’m owned no longer/ Won’t stand down/ You’ve used me for too long, now die alone,” Bellamy sings on the chorus.
“’Won’t Stand Down’ is a song about standing your ground against bullies, whether that be on the playground, at work or anywhere,” Bellamy said in a statement. “Protecting yourself from coercion and sociopathic manipulation and to face adversity with strength, confidence and aggression.”
Following the premiere of “Won’t Stand Down,” the group shared a snippet of the visual to their Instagram page and shared that they were excited for the next chapter of their music. “Been counting down the days…we’re excited to share what we’ve been working on with you. Enjoy everyone! Matt, Chris & Dom,” the group wrote.
“Won’t Stand Down” is the first offering in nearly four years. In May 2020, Bellamy spoke with Rolling Stone and revealed that the pandemic gave him and bandmates Chris Wolstenholme and Dominic Howard time to work on music, both solo (with Bellamy’s “Tomorrow’s World” at the time) and as a group. “We’re planning on getting together, ideally in the place we all came together, Devon in Southwest England, and sort of get back to our original ways,” he said at the time. “And even get back to the way we originally used to make music by meeting a couple of times a week to rehearse. The idea was to do that in 2021.”
Bellamy teased a possible record release for this year, and told the publication, “If that goes well, get an album or a bunch of songs together and potentially hit the road again in 2022.”
Muse has yet to give a formal album announcement, but their previous full length album — Simulation Theory — was released in 2018. The album peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and spent a total of six weeks on the chart.
Watch the video for “Won’t Stand Down” below.