This Is War review by 30 Seconds To Mars

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Dec 7, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (192 votes)
30 Seconds To Mars: This Is War

Sound — 8
This album was rather intriguing in terms of sound. A lot of experimentation, especially with electronic sounds. At times, songs had a Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2-esque sound to it. Delays, reverbs, synth, "notes being expensive" as The Edge would say, and etc. The Summit (the choir of fans in some of the songs) was an interesting addition, both in a good and bad way. Sometimes it made a song sounded cliche, sometimes it was good addition to a song which added emphasis to a certain part of the song. Overall, I suppose Jared Leto (lead singer of 30STM) loved the idea of having fans being part of the album, literally. "Hurricane" had potential to "blend" well but Kanye's "contribution" to the song was rather disastrous. The song was a ballad and Kanye West tried to make it upbeat. Result, a song which could have been beautiful. To conclude, it may not be as heavy or as guitar-driven as the previous albums. But who says it's wrong with trying and fooling around with new sounds? It's music. It's art.

Lyrics — 8
Most of the songs had an overall theme intertwining them together in the album, mostly emphasis on monotheism, war, self-discovery and the occasional life-related issues. But that of course, is if the lyrics are literally understood and interpreted. Knowing 30STM as a band which takes into account fantasies and out-of-this-world ideas, the lyrics could be interpreted in another way. "Kings & Queens" to some "professional" reviewers as an apocalyptic song which is rather hilarious to me, as I do not see how it could be related to any form of disaster whatsoever, aside from "the age of man is over". The overall sound of the song itself was "hopeful", with a sense of self-discovery, "Provehito in Altum" as their motto goes. But that's just my opinion. At times, I felt that there was overemphasis by the repetition of lyrics. Jared Leto's vocal capabilities have always impressed me and it still does not fail to impress me in this album. Powerful would be the only word I can think of to describe his vocals.

Overall Impression — 8
The album is different from the other two albums, not as heavy as the first, not as dramatic as the second, but also not in between the two as well. It's unique, it's progressive, it's a step forward. I enjoyed this album as a whole, one piece, rather than dissecting it to get favourite and hated songs. 30 Seconds To Mars is the new face of real, modern rock, in my opinion, in comparison to how pop is starting to be more "rock" and dragging down a lot of bands into the pop rock genre. Hopefully, 30 Seconds To Mars will continue to progress forward like they have in this album.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Regression wrote: I really hope they don't use that choir sound as much as people say.
    Oh believe me, they do.
    hairy-southpaw wrote: If you're gonna write a review, don't have a ****ing biased opinion You couldn't possibly be biased, not with a name like A.Beautiful.Lie. Garbage band that puts out mediocre unoriginal material, but that seems to be par for the course nowadays. You want to listen to something good? Go listen to Cynic. They blow the balls off of 30 Seconds to Mars.
    Unoriginal? Go listen to their first album or songs like "Battle Of One". Don't bother trying to compare Cynic to 30stm, they're completely different styles. You wouldn't compare Duke Ellington to Beethoven would you? I'm yet to listen to this album, but I didn't like Kings & Queens much. I really hope they don't use that choir sound as much as people say.
    When will people ever stop bitching about what is good and what isnt??? Listen... Bands are entitled to make their own music, afterall, that is why they even do it. People can like it, or dislike it as much as they want, but people like me actually come here to get an honest oppinion about the sound, the themes and songs on the album, so everybody, from now on, please leave your shit dumb comments like "this album sucks" or something like that to youself, I dont care. I honestly dont care about your oppinions, but a professional one. Bands should ALWAYS make the music they want to, and feel it right to them, ad if they dont then they are selling out, yes, but that is clearly not the case with this album.
    @A.Beautiful.Lie The album sucks and is emo. Come stab my eye out, oh're 15 and can't drive yet (looked at your profile w/ your birthday) lol. Sorry, had to say it. Seriously, his voice on this album couldn't be any more emo if he tried. He doesn't do any of the lower end signing he's great at like on the first album, it's not an opinion, it's a fact (that he doesn't). It's all high whines like you're listening to AFI...well not that high but still... Most songs also have the same setup as another user wrote and again almost every song has the freaking choir which makes it sound like the others. This is a problem with a lot of fans of bands, too biased to say when a band has released a crap album compared to what they are capable of.
    30stm have done it again...I love this album. I like the way they have envolved their fans, nice touch. Jared and the boys should be proud with what they have produced...Thumbs up from me. I've also read the other reviews and can only say each and everyone to their own opinion. That's what makes us all individuals. Either way, I love this album.