This is War is a Concept Album by American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars.
After a lawsuit for not living up to their record contract, 30 Seconds to Mars had to create a new album entirely unauthorized. It was them against the world, and marketing was difficult. This album proved to be the most difficult challenge the band ever faced. The story behind this album can be seen in the documentary film Artifact.
What came was a Progressive Rock opus filled with crowd anthem after crowd anthem and general positive reception all around. If it was indeed war, the band triumphed.
The eponymous Title Track was featured during the ending credits of Dragon Age: Origins, released even before the album itself.
- "Night of the Hunter"
- "Kings and Queens"
- "This is War"
- "100 Suns"
- "Closer to the Edge"
- "A Call to Arms (Vox Populi)
- "Search and Destroy"
- "Stranger in a Strange Land"
- Jared Leto: vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizers
- Shannon Leto: drums, percussion, guitar
- Tomo Miličević: lead guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizers, violin, programming, percussion
Troper in a Strange Land
- Badass Boast: We were the KINGS and QUEENS of promise!
- Big "NO!": Several are shouted during "Closer to the Edge"
- Careful with That Axe: "Night of the Hunter" and "Closer to the Edge" have their moments.
- Crowd Song: "Closer to the Edge", "A Call to Arms" and "This is War"
- Concept Album: Most of it seems to be anti-war, anti-fascist, and general themes of independence and perseverance in the face of hardship.
- Darker and Edgier: To most of Mars' works prior. A few songs are upbeat, but many are murky and dark.
- "Stranger in a Strange Land" is this to the entire album, with a moody synth, a Precision F-Strike (the only one on an otherwise squeaky clean album), and graphic mentions of death and apocalypse.
- Epic Rocking: "Hurricane" and "Stranger in a Strange Land" clock in at six minutes apiece.
- Fading into the Next Song: "Escape" to "Night of the Hunter". Not quite Siamese Twin Songs, but they do go together better than most other songs on the album.
- Genre Mashup: neo-prog-emo-techno-metal-electronic. There are many styles within single songs.
- Gratuitous French: Beginning of "Night of the Hunter"
- Incredibly Long Note: Near the end of "Kings and Queens", Leto turns the word "queens" into an epic 10-second yell at the top of his lungs, and it is absolutely bone-chilling.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: "L490"
- One-Word Title: "Escape", "Hurricane", and "Alibi"
- Precision F-Strike: "Stranger in a Strange Land"
- Progressive Rock: Many of these songs are long and loud. Allmusic even called this album Neo-Prog.
- Protest Song: "This is War" and "Hurricane" address war.
- Record Producer: Mostly self-produced with help from Flood. As chronicled in the documentary.
- Shout-Out: "Stranger In A Strange Land" is a reference to Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.
- Special Guest: Kanye West was originally going to sing on "Hurricane", but the recording couldn't be used due to legal issues surrounding the rights of each record company.
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "100 Suns", an acoustic ballad among heavy protest anthems.
- Take That!: The entire album is one at the record industry as a whole.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Touched upon in "Alibi" and, as noted above, "Stranger in a Strange Land", the former being a lot more hopeful about the situation than the latter.
- Title Drop: Besides the obvious title track, also turns up in "Escape".
- Title Track: "This Is War".
- War Is Glorious or War Is Hell: Most of the songs could go either way. "This is War" seems to be more the former, but upon closer lyrical inspection, "Hurricane" is definitely the latter.