Like previous Drones clips — and the album itself — the “Aftermath” video deals with themes of control and war, and tells the story of a young man who enlists in the army, leaves his family and finds himself broken by the brutality and destruction on the front.
Halfway through, though, as the song turns, the man dredges up hope from the muck. He begins to march through a ruined city, lending a hand to survivors and trying to reunite them with their loved ones. The clip’s final images are those of peace and joy, replete with flying doves.
Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy was inspired to write the band’s drone warfare concept LP after reading Dartmouth professor Brian Glyn Williams’ book Predators: The CIA’s Drone War on al Qaeda.
“I was shocked,” he told Rolling Stone. “I didn’t know how prolific drone usage has been. I always perceived Obama as an all-around likable guy. But from reading the book, you find out that most mornings he wakes up, has a breakfast and then goes down to the war room and makes what they call ‘kill decisions.’ He makes that decision based on a long chain of intelligence people who, as we all know, can be very unreliable.”