30 Seconds to Mars – This Is War

Thanks to John for this recommendation.

30 Seconds to Mars has released their third studio album, This Is War. Very late and after royally pissing off Virgin.

It’s funny to think about it now, but I saw these guys live many, many moons ago before ever really realizing who they were. I still have picture  I mean, I knew it was Jared Leto, and I think I was just still a little creeped out over Requiem For A Dream. Like, was he going to jump off of stage and steal my TV? I do give them props for not using the Leto name. In fact, Leto will refuse to play a show if the venue had used his name to promote. I actually still have pics of them, back in the good old days when Metropol was still open in Pittsburgh. Where we youngsters would always go because it was rarely over 21 and you could smoke.

I’ll admit I went out and bought their first album. It’s wasn’t bad. Much like a lot of the music that was coming out around then. Somehow 30 Seconds to Mars got intertwined with all these seemingly unrelated bands. They were touring with bands like Chimera and American Headcharge and all these seriously heavy bands. Then you have all like, 5’2″ of Jared Leto with his blond hair and eyeliner. It’s kind of the same thing that Orgy went through, I guess. They just were something else entirely, but they got lumped in with all these metal bands.

30 Seconds to Mars I appreciated for their vintage synth sound and that little…edge. I don’t know what the hell it was. Maybe just Leto’s charisma. I’ll admit that I totally missed their sophomore album, A Beautiful Lie, and now that I’m listening to the new album, I have to wonder what the fuck that album was because This Is War sounds NOTHING like their self-titled. I mean, the self-titled was released in ’98, but damn.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this album. I kind of like it. It’s a little screamo for me, but I’m a huge fucking emo kid so it kinda makes sense. While it doesn’t sounds like the 30 Seconds to Mars that I know, it sounds like this is what they should have been making the entire time. Like the title track, “This Is War”, it’s heavy with a killer chorus and a raw, screaming Jared Leto. It’s kinda hot, I’m not going to lie. But while there’s tracks like that, there’s also tracks like “Closer to the Edge”, “100 Suns”, and “Escape” which are really just awkward. The end of the album seems to veer into a weird emo place and you really lose the momentum.

Reading the band’s own thoughts on the album and what they were going for, I really don’t get it. “Rock opera”? “Concept album”? Not so much. Where they’re coming up with this shit, I’m really not sure.

It’s a decent album. It involves Jared Leto yelling a lot and some semi-decent music. Currently, I’m feeling kind of…indifferent about this album. If you’re into 30 Seconds to Mars already, I’d say check it out. If you’re not, I doubt that this will be the album to make you a fan. C

30 Seconds to Mars’ Site

30 Seconds to Mars – “This Is War”

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One thought on “30 Seconds to Mars – This Is War

  1. I’ve only heard 2 songs by them. Buddha for Mary which I don’t like, and The Kill which I think I liked mostly b/c the video was just a music video version of Kubrick’s The Shining. That and I had a serious thing for Jared Leto back in the ‘My So Called Life’ days and it’s pretty hot to see him screaming at himself and whatnot.

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