This Is War review by 30 Seconds To Mars

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  • Released: Dec 7, 2009
  • Sound: 5
  • Lyrics: 6
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reviewer's score: 5 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.9 (193 votes)
30 Seconds To Mars: This Is War
0

Sound — 5
First time I ever heard the name 30 Seconds to Mars was through the radio. I remember it very clearly, as it was the first time I came in contact with the rock. It was three days before my 12th birthday, and The Kill was pumping through the speakers in the car. A Beautiful Lie also came to be my first rock-album. Four years later I buy This Is War, 30 Seconds to Mars's third album since their debut 2002. Their style has changed alot since then, when they from heavy industrial-rock went over to a more emo-rockish sound in A Beautiful Lie (2005). Now it's hard to classify them. Not only does it feel like they have completely abandoned the industrial sound (there were still elements of industrial rock in A Beautiful Lie), but also have they added a "holy" feel to the music. Frontman Jared Leto have said in an interview that the trio's new album is about faith, war and hot discussion topics in our everyday life. Cannot do anything but agree with him. This Is War, the title track and also the track which differs the most from the others, is without a doubt, the track that mostly resembles their previous dark, picturing songs which describes a battlefield and the thoughts surrounding it. Much like previous title-track, A Beautiful Lie, it goes from a calm, poetic verse to an explosive chorus. The most unique song is Hurricane, in which we can hear Kanye West bust rhymes and beat hearts in the pre-chorus and bridge. I personally find it hilarious and quite catchy, but I cannot help finding it horribly embarrassing aswell. 30 Seconds To Mars has drifted into what many would call pop since their debut, and if they continue to experiment, we may expect Jared singing to a houseremix of Circus in two or three years.

Lyrics — 6
Now I'm not a person who just disregard the lyrics in music, but if the music is well-performed and the melody and singing is perfectly matched, I usually lose myself and start headbanging. This Is War did neither. The lyrics were boring and unappealing, though interesting in a rhythmic perspective, and sometimes it felt like they had been sampling text from previous songs from the same album. No matter how deep the lyrics were meant to be, they did not appeal, and if they do not appeal, the message won't go through, and the message is probably some sort of "peace and love" thing. However, make the lyrical part work, the change of style was needed, as the "holiness" of This Is War's melodies was a perfect match with Jared Leto's writings. Jared has improved his singing since A Beautiful Lie, and also proven even he can sing smoothly if he tries. An example of this is Closer To The Edge where he has completely removed the whispering sound he got when he went down into the lower part of his voice like in The Kill. Jared has also polished his screaming since A Beautiful Lie, as they sound alot smoother in the songs where he actually screams than in i.e. Attack or The Fantasy.

Overall Impression — 4
30 Seconds To Mars has gone downhill ever since their self-titled debut 2002, and This Is War is probably something many fans would call "the St. Anger of 30STM". It was not much I expected after hearing the interviews of Jared explaining the concept of This Is War, but yet I was still disappointed. This Is War outshines Kings & Queens badly, even though Kings & Queens became the first single from the album and more radio-friendly. Hurricane is also one of the more notable tracks, but not necessarily because it's good. But rather because of the sudden rapping. Another notable track would be Closer To The Edge, where the fan-based choir sings almost all the time. I'm sure the fans who participated enjoyed it (and I bet Jared did too) but as for me, I did not enjoy it very much, but it was definitely one of the better songs on this album, which says alot about the album. UG asks what I would do if the album was stolen/lost. Well, no burglar would consider This Is War valueable (or good enough) to steal. Nor would I lose something that's currently gathering dust on my shelf.

26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TOOLeffingTOOL
    I've been reading the same complaints about different music for years it seems like. When Slipknot released Vol. 3 everyone called them sellouts. When Metallica released Load/Reload/St. Anger, they were dismissed by their fans. Now, 30STM releases an album that is unlike anything released in the last 10 years and because it is radio-friendly, they are being cast as sellouts. If you want Iowa go listen to Iowa. If you want Kill 'Em All, you can pick it up at BestBuy. If you want A Beautiful Lie, stop complaining and go listen to it. That is all.
    ironpage
    I believe that this CD is a masterpiece. That they change their style does not mean they are sell-outs, its just that they have a more open mind than your normal pop/rock band. I really like the three albums and hope that they continue to expand as artists.
    Vinushka
    Guitar-Mania wrote: When will people ever stop bitching about what is good and what isnt???
    When opinions no longer exist.
    eeriefrog
    A call to arms Want to be god and devil like me? The song isn't called "A call to arms" It's Vox Populi
    KcBrown
    I certainly do miss their old sound (both of them) but this is a grower. My personal favorites are Vox Populi, Stranger in a Strange Land, This is War, Alibi, and L490 (puts me to sleep at night). Oh, and im not gay, emo, or a chick and actually love heavy metal and hard rock.
    RylanThePotato
    this was definitely an album I was greatly looking forward to. I loved the heavy, industrial sound from the first album, and the emotionally stirring lyrics of the second, so I was hoping for an equally provocative record. I was greatly disappointed.
    vicky_gi
    The last album by the misunderstood rock band is by far their best work .Lyrics that take you to a never ending journey of soul searching,music tha awakens you and provokes your hidden passions ,giving you the appetite for more and more.it;s truly an album i still can't stop listening to ,with edgy rock tunes (like " night of the hunter " or "closer to the edge" ), heart felt -but not teenage lollipop- ballads (like my favourite "alibi' ) and more to shake you and make you agree with me that 30 seconds to mars are what the future will bring..
    vicky_gi
    he last album by the misunderstood rock band is by far their best work .Lyrics that take you to a never ending journey of soul searching,music tha awakens you and provokes your hidden passions ,giving you the appetite for more and more.it;s truly an album i still can't stop listening to ,with edgy rock tunes (like " night of the hunter " or "closer to the edge" ), heart felt -but not teenage lollipop- ballads (like my favourite "alibi' ) and more to shake you and make you agree with me that 30 seconds to mars are what the future will bring..
    reaper_x
    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.
    "Go listen to Cynic. They blow the balls off of 30 Seconds to Mars." People are here to read about 30STM, not about Cynic. If you like Cynic, then by all means, share that you like them. But don't do it on a 30STM review where nobody could really care about another band you have a fetish for. Cynic and 30STM cannot be compared to eachother. Cynic sound like something you'd listen to while you're tripping out on LSD. 30STM are a mainstream rock band. Your Cynic won't ever be as popular as 30STM. And they will never sell as much merch and tickets as 30STM. Go have a cry.
    claire123
    Reading through these posts made me really want to say something; I don't want to offend anyone, and I'm just going to say what i think. Bands change styles. It happens. Sometimes people don't like it, but it's necessary for the development of music. I mean; think about how you walked and talked as a baby, now imagine having to stay exactly that way throughout your life. It wouldn't be right. With reguards to 30STM, I can honestly say I've never hated a single song. And I believe that each album is great because they are so different from the others. 'This Is War' is particularly special to me; it's the one I can relate to a lot. I loved it, and I hope 30STM will keep moving and developing how they have. They've not let me down once, and I'm very proud of them.
    reaper_x
    sguitar wrote: ...they've created a new music-style . I can't think of any other band who makes music like that. 10/10 for originality alone... epic album.
    Angels & Airwaves? I love this album. It's so atmospheric and epic. And the choruses are giant, love it.
    sguitar
    ...they've created a new music-style . I can't think of any other band who makes music like that. 10/10 for originality alone... epic album.
    pansy1121
    The band is EXTREMELY dynamic, and this album just shows off that aspect. Every band is entitled to make music that they enjoy playing so don't label them twats or pricks or anything like that simply because you don't enjoy the music yourself. This band is so extremely far from emo, you clearly haven't got a clue. Jared's voice is absolutely mindblowing - don;t say its edited and all that shit, I klnow it is, but I've seen em live and it truly is. Tomo's guitar playing is pretty damn good, and Shannon is a phenomenal drummer. I'm open to saying YES I'm a tad biased, I do like the band and their music, but that can't effect my personal opinion of the band. This is War, compared to the other albums, was a bit of a sell out to their original style, yes, but is the music on it TRULY that bad on its own? A Beautiful Lie will always be their best album by far, and I can only hope they release more like it. Talented band, enjoyable music.
    sguitar
    pansy1121 wrote: The band is EXTREMELY dynamic, and this album just shows off that aspect. Every band is entitled to make music that they enjoy playing so don't label them twats or pricks or anything like that simply because you don't enjoy the music yourself. This band is so extremely far from emo, you clearly haven't got a clue. Jared's voice is absolutely mindblowing - don;t say its edited and all that shit, I klnow it is, but I've seen em live and it truly is. Tomo's guitar playing is pretty damn good, and Shannon is a phenomenal drummer. I'm open to saying YES I'm a tad biased, I do like the band and their music, but that can't effect my personal opinion of the band. This is War, compared to the other albums, was a bit of a sell out to their original style, yes, but is the music on it TRULY that bad on its own? A Beautiful Lie will always be their best album by far, and I can only hope they release more like it. Talented band, enjoyable music.
    +1 I thinks it's good if bands start expermenting with new styles and sounds... You just can't compare this album with their first or second. They are all great in their own way(XD it's like comparing Metallica and Eminem. Eminem sucks because it aint metal and Metallica sucks because it aint rap... you either like it or not.
    shreddage1471
    i actually really like all of their albums, this one is quite different but i think it just shows how dynamic the band is, some very talented musicians =]
    gintareforever9
    Pretty good album. Not their best (first one was) but I don't think this is sell out. Sure the songs are about the same thing but then again the first albums songs were based around the same concept (just better hidden, pay attention) The first 5 songs are like ABL mixed a little with the 1st album then it goes wierd with hurricane(and for all the people complaning that kanye is in it, are you sure its the album version you're listening to since he is definetly in the single version{not as good}) Search and Destroys intro really scared me a little but stranger in a strange land really caught me with its intro. awesome synth work in a lot of songs. kind of overplayed the summits(the fans in the background) but is good in songs like kings and queens, 100 suns, and the title track. closer to the edge is my favorite of the album and also another thing to relate this th the first album, the last track. The first album had the haunting Sun Tzu-quoting The Struggle(hidden track in year zero) which was done by shannon and this is war has L490, a simplistic yet catchy instrumental written by shannon. To sum up: great album not sell outs (for now) may be saying same thing but is like 1st album now you may complain
    Pycco-TypbIcTo
    It's an allright album - less emo in terms of music: at least half of songs is written in major keys. A descent evolution into more anthemic and optimistic sound - you like their early work, rewind "The kill" and enjoy!
    Fuel Collector
    such a crap album. hurricane is the only decent track. and wtf is up with having children singing in the background on almost every song? hopefully the next album will be as good as the previous 2
    John Jackson
    When women and emos start liking bands they become dead to me..they will never do better than the first album
    mallen i am
    acade365 wrote: Rather than starting things off with a big, catchy song worth of Top 40, the band opts for a dramatic, haunting, and quiet interlude Escape". You know, you can't start something with an interlude. If it't in the beggining of the album it's called prelude.
    I was under the impression that it's an Enterlude if it's at the start of an album?
    A.Beautiful.Lie
    no. he's not emo. he might sing emotionally, but that should be expected from all artists, because it shows how they feel about music. and just because he wears black, and puts eyeliner on doesn't mean that he's emo either.
    Shengoden
    Forgive me while I'm being angry and very upset: What... the... FUCK?! Kanye ****ing West?! What the hell were they smoking? This man is everything 30STM isn't. Now I doubt wether I'm even going to buy this album. It's the same with the Linkin Park album Minutes to Midnight - A piece of junk and a waste of my money. What happened to rock music being about standing up for who your are?! Okay, I'm done.
    Fatally Jon
    I was very disappointed with this album. I loved their first two albums a lot, and had such high hopes. But every song is about the same thing (everybody rallying for some unknown reason) and the lyrics go back and forth between being way too generic and being way too metaphorical. The only thing the album consistently does is try way too hard. I can understand writing a handful of epic anthem-like songs, but the entire album is that exact same type of song. And honestly, by the sixth track I was tired of Jared Leto wanting me to band together with him and his other fans to fight some generic, undefined war on nothing.