Thirty Seconds To Mars, This Is War, 2009
Labelled as emo, I prefer to look at this as modern rock with alternative overtones because of the keyboards enriching the arrangements.
Opener Escape creates the mood. Synths build up the tension for an intense delivery from Leto until the French spoken title of second track Night Of The Hunter kickstarts the album. Great percussive drums here, accompanied by guitars and more keyboards. Light and shade galore. Leto proves he can do lots of things and convinces again with his vocal rantings. Next track Kings & Queens starts slow and peaceful, but turns into an infectious song with a lot of melodies people can sing along with. Little hints of Simple Minds and U2 here. Great track live I am sure!
Then the title track weaves its spells. Here the emo tag becomes more obvious. Uptempo, strained vocals and full use of dynamics. But again the melodies save it from becoming energy only.
This is a recommended album that can cross bridges between styles. My only remark is the use of the children choirs. I think they open their mouth a bit to often…