Thirty Seconds to Mars release “This is War”

Written by on March 18, 2010 in March 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Thirty Seconds to Mars release “This is War”

on Virgin Records

Los Angeles based Thirty Seconds to Mars has released their newest album titled, “This Is War,” on Virgin Records. “This Is War,” is more than just a reference to the band’s personal battles, a commentary on global crisis and economic turmoil and homage to their now infamous $30,000,000 lawsuit with Virgin Records but also an 18 month creative battle fought ferociously, but privately, inside a studio tucked in the hillside of a Hollywood Hills home.  This album represents an “industrial” revolution with sonic landscapes and pop -sensibilities.  With their cover art of a ferocious tiger representing their tenacity to persevere Thirty Seconds to Mars puts forth a creative effort than builds and grows on you the listener.

“This Is War,” is a major leap for the band, one that cements the trio, (Jared Leto, lead singer, drummer Shannon Leto, and guitarist Tomo Milicevic) as a world class arena-crushing rock band. Thirty Seconds to Mars is triumphant in their ability to build a sonically epic and industrial driven 12 songs.

The lead track “Escape,” and the closing number, “L490,” relies on the droning chants of authentic Tibetan monks. One of the most unique and totally inherent aspects to this album is the successful use more than 100,000 strong legion of infamously dubbed The Echelon —  a singing group in unison throughout the record.  “The Summit” took place at Hollywood’s Avalon Club in April 2009 and was comprised of roughly 1,000 Echelon who traveled from around the world to lend their stomps, shouts, screams, claps and hums to the record.

The success of the initial Summit quickly manifested into eight additional Summit’s held around the globe, resulting in tens of thousands of participants. Embracing the digital culture that has for years buoyed the band’s global success, Thirty Seconds to Mars introduced the “Digital Summit,” in August 2009 and invited anyone with a computer or mobile recording device and an Internet connection to record sounds and vocals and submit them through TwitVid. As a result, entries poured in from the U.S., Australia, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Mexico and, the UK, Canada and Iran, giving Thirty Seconds to Mars’ biggest supporters around the world an opportunity to be a part of the new album. The Echelon can be heard on their first single, “Kings and Queens,” which also features the true sound of a hawk chirping, “100 Suns,” a beautiful acoustic rendition, and “Vox Populi,” with the droning marching industrial beat. The Echelon brings a whole new dynamic to their upbeat and at times pop-driven tunes.

“Night of the Hunter,” features the voice of a French girl narrating the track once again using the ever present industrial sounds to drive the song forward. The lyrics deal with the idea of rising above it all, rising above pettiness.  “Hurricane,” also is in the industrial vane and makes good use of steady sounds of a piano. “Alibi,” is another piano driven tune about strength to get up when you’re down.

The brains behind this album lie in the hands of the most influential producers in the world: Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Smashing Pumpkins) and the great Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel). Flood and Lillywhite gave the band the freedom and confidence to explore different sounds, textures, and ideas. The band set out to make a classic album by pushing themselves to a place they all knew wouldn’t be easy to go to. The duo succeeded in heightening the emotional power of the songs, revealing themes of faith, morality, vindication, freedom and resurrection in recording their most personal and politically charged project to date.