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30 Seconds to Mars :: This is War

30 Seconds to Mars recently released their third album, This is War, and it is quite the departure from their first album. Brand New Day was raw and angry, with amazing guitar sounds, great composition, and a real sense of urgency in the writing. The album was really exciting to listen to, and the live performances were great. I saw them at Avalon in NYC a few years ago, and it’s still one of my all time favorite shows.

This is War is mild and boring in comparison. The effects driven distorted guitars characteristic to Brand New Day is missing. They seem to have been replaced with over-produced electronics. Jared Leto has less than half the intensity than he did in Brand New Day, and the lyrics have lost their edge. The focus on deeply layered choruses of what sounds like children singing lacks impact. The collaboration with Kanye and his 808 didn’t really go anywhere, and just seemed to pull the band further from their roots. It’s sad to hear a band that had such a great band with a unique sound has gone so far off track.

Published Dec 21, 2009

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