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.