30 Seconds To Mars return on December 7 with their third long-player 'This Is War'. The follow up to 2007's 'A Beautiful Lie' sees Jared Leto and co. embracing the concept album format and stretching themselves in brand new directions. Here Gigwise takes you through each track of the album.
An atmospheric opening track, its a brooding crescendo to a disjointed choir sound. A short track at 2:30 it acts as an effective intro .
'Night Of The Hunter'
A synthy-rock statement of intent mixing their older Linkin Park style inspiration with the moodiness of prog-metal bands such as Tool and A Perfect Circle. Passionate with a pulse-like drum beat its that sure fire single that surpasses 'The Kill' in terms of enjoyability.
'Kings and Queens'
Full on epic space rock, almost certainly designed with stadium in mind. With a little bit of a U2 take but highly affirming and uplifting. “The age of man is over” Jared Leto proclaimers but he's lying - presumably after this it will just be the age of 30 Seconds to Mars.
'This Is War'
'This Is War' is a mediocre affair – a sort of anthemic-rock-by-numbers that leaves you a little numb. Still for 30 Seconds To Mars this will be their 'Black Parade' with its break-down towards the end of the track. Can't blame them for wanting a piece of that type of anthemic number on their album.
An acoustic follow-on track proclaiming “I believe in nothing except the beating of my heart” it's unashamedly romantic. The ripple of recorded applause is perhaps a little cheesy but its mercifully short.
A piano driven ballad number which deals in absolute extremes, “Would you kill to save a life/Would you kill to do what's right”.
Closer To The Edge'
A real point of downturn on the album. A broody tale of fake-vigilantism is simply musical lithium Leto's angsty vocals begin to sound like a cat in pain until an obligatory choir chime in towards the end .
A more epic rehash of ground already covered on this album taking an atmospheric U2 affair.
'Search and Destroy'
A stripped-down intro consisting of piano, a tenderised Leto and muffled drums. Its a refreshing step for the band not to pursue the full-on rock out tracks. As such its the only the other track other than 'Night of the Hunter' that's especially enjoyable.
A promising synthy track its not long until it falls back into the usual routine of scream-y chorus. Leto's failure to moderate the use of his soaring voice is a real let down with this album - fine to listen to for a single track its certainly grating by this point on the album. Another potential single.
'Stranger in a Strange Land'
A brooding aboriginal synth-sound and electronic drum beats. This track meets a post-New Order level of darkness that should be obligatory for this album.
50 seconds of feedback gives way to an Oriental-ish riff and a dodgy evil sounding choir all-male choir to bring this album back to the beginning.
Overblown and grating? Maybe, but 30 Seconds To Mars have pushed the boat out on 'This Is War' and at least some credit for that. After all what would rock music be without a few out of control ego's?