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30 Seconds to Mars releases new album This is War

Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars finally releases its third album This Is War today. This band features Leto on lead vocals, rhythm guitarist and as a songwriter. The album dropped today and is currently #3 on iTunes and #1 in Alternative. This is the band's first album in almost four years. Their last release was in 2005 with A Beautiful Lie which thrust them into the mainstream and in 2006 were honored by the MTV2 Award. However, their road to putting out this third record was tainted with a lawsuit from Virgin records in 2008, claiming the band "repudiated" its 1999 contract. With this, the release date has been pushed back twice and so now it has finally been released.

This is War Cover art
Virgin Records

For fans of the band, it has been worth the wait. The new record has a very different sound and character from the last one. As the title suggests, there is an underlying war cadence in the tempo of most of the tracks. However, Leto's vocals achieve a tenderness that shows real growth as a musician. The band also expertly utilized a background chorus which gave an anthemic character to the songs, especially in "This is War", "Vox Populi" and "Closer to the Edge." The record also has plenty of pounding drums and guitars that weave through most of the songs which make it a pleasure to listen to. Also, the cover art with the tiger mirrors the theme of the songs on the record concerning battle and virility. The lyrics bring very strong images to mind throughout most of the record. Another bright spot on the album was the piano-driven ballad "Alibi" where Leto gives amazingly earnest vocals. But the album is very cohesive in its sound from beginning to end and takes the listener on a journey. Unfortunately, there may not be any rock hits on this effort from the band but the music is artistic and interesting.

Key Tracks: Vox Populi, This is War