Absolution is the third studio album by the English alternative rock band Muse. It was released on 15 September 2003 in Japan, on 22 September 2003 in the United Kingdom on Mushroom Records and A&E Records and on 23 March 2004 in the United States by East West Records and Taste Media. The album followed up on it's predecessor's diverse musical tendencies and elaborate sound, while also having a more focused and consistent theme and aesthetic throughout. Absolution has a noticeably darker and heavier tone musically, with a lyrical focus on the theological and apocalyptic concepts. The album reached number one in the UK Album Charts. It also yielded the band's first top 10 single hit, with "Time Is Running Out" peaking at number 8 in the UK singles chart. In 2009, it was voted by Kerrang! As the second-best album of the 21st century thus far.