Sound — 10
So, 30 Seconds To Mars. Where do we start with these people? Firstly, for those who are old hands to the band, they've changed in sound alot. Gone are the sweeping space-rock-vistas of noise, gone are the whispered lyrics on most of the songs (but there are a couple he keeps the whisper for), and gone are tons of guitar effects. What remains, however, is the band. For those that are new to 30 Seconds To Mars, welcome to the universe. The band has changed direction, and kept a few of the old favourites, such as Jared's yell, and the kick-ass guitar playing, and added in new parts. Sure, it might not be massive shredding, or highly complicated solos, but the songs don't need them. Take, for example, Was It A Dream. Jared admitted he wrote this whilst in South Africa, and it sounds otherworldly. It starts off with the sound of a storm, and then an awesome drum beat (like Fallen, for those who have the first album), and the guitars and bass kick in. Simple riff, but awesomely effective. And that's just one song. Now times that by 13, as there are 13 songs on here, and you have an indication of how good this album is.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, 30 Seconds To Mars are on unusual footing with this album. Jared screechs, he yells randomly, he sings normally, he whispers, he howls, he holds notes. Before, compared to the first album, he's taken on a few new things, but kept the majority of the lyrics. The lyrics fit well with the music, The Story being a good example, as it's a quiet, reflective (kinda emo) song, and he sings the verses quietly, compared to other songs, and uses an echo effect in the chorus, which adds to it. The lyrics fit the songs well, with the exception of one of the bonus tracks, Battle Of One, which I feel could have gone on a bit longer, lyric-wise. The first track's lyrics, Attack, fit the music really well, as do most of the songs, with the exception of R-Evolve, which could have been quieter, I thought, to fit the mood of the song. But overall, the lyrics fit well.
Overall Impression — 8
Compared to the first album, some would say it's weaker. I choose to say that it is just as good, just a different style, which may take getting used to if you've listened to the self-titled album constantly. But it is definitely worth getting. Fave songs: pretty much the entire album except for the two below. Worst songs: A Beautiful Lie, Hunter.