It’s been over two years since the Leto Brothers’ band, 30 Seconds To Mars brought us any music. Jared and Shannon, along with bandmate Tomo Milicivec, haven’t been resting on the brilliance of 2007’s A Beautiful Lie though – an unharmonious split from their record company saw them sued by EMI for $30 million. The court may have ruled in favor of the band, but the trio seem to have been left with a whole lot of pent up anger to put into their new album, This Is War. It’s not always completely clear who this anger is directed at, but after just one listen to this CD, you’ll be fully engulfed in 30 Seconds To Mars’ war cry anyway.
“Escape” opens the record and sets the mood for the soaring symphonies to come with ominous drums and an army of vocalists backing Jared Leto’s singing. He lays it all out for the listeners immediately – “This is not a game… This is war.”
If the call to arms and the band’s evermore apparent disdain for modern, capitalist man and his society puts you off from the start, give it a try ignoring the lyrics but still definitely listening to the music because the way the band toys with the boundaries of screaming hard rock and modern electro music on tracks like “Night Of The Hunter” and “This Is War” is quite spectacular. Jared’s vocals are not as hardcore and heavy as those we heard on the band’s last album, but these songs will definitely quiet the last few people who still may doubt his musical prowess.
Songs like the more radio-friendly first single, “Kings And Queens,” “Closer To The Edge,” “Vox Populi,” and “Search And Destroy” are also rhapsodic listening delights. Other tracks the likes of “Hurricane,” “L490” and “Stranger In A Strange Land,” however, border on boring in comparison and might lose some listeners with their cold musical vibe.
So if you are feeling the need to wage war on society (or pretty much anything, for that matter), take this is your “call to arms, brothers and sisters, it’s time to go to war,” and you’ll love this CD. But if, like a lot of us, you don’t care what message Jared Leto’s penchant for the dramatic is trying to deliver now, just listen to This Is War for some of the best soaring, solid rock music around at the moment.