Release Date: August 27, 2002
Reviewed by Vin Cherubino

The name of this band perfectly fits the mood of this CD. 30 Seconds to Mars puts you in a postmodern technological trance-like space atmosphere through the use of solid lyrical work, guitar finesse, and pulsing beats through the beauty of electronics. You would also never realize that the lead singer is also an actor, notably from the TV show “My So Called Life”. Usually whenever an actor dips his/her hand into the musical honey pot, the outcome is far more discomforting then watching a Carrot Top commercial. Jared Leto overcomes this stereotype through his ability to draw you into the music with perfect pitch, prominent emotion, and a natural lyrical capability. The music is easily described as a variation of Orgy with a suggestive Tool influence. Songs like “Oblivion”, “Capricorn”, “Fallen”, and “Buddha for Mary” really show the best of what this band can do within their music. The songs are story driven, expressive, and fuel filled to open your mind.

As close as the CD is to being a noteworthy competitor for the top of the charts, it doesn’t keep interest all the way through. Although it is much better to listen through this then a CD of rehashed pop garbage, the later part of the album becomes too slow and psychedelic for someone looking for a continuous rock experience. Those who like Pink Floyd will unquestionably dig it, as will it enhance the mood for a bunch of people deciding on a little 4:20 action. Aside from being a great CD to smoke up to, 30STM is easily one of the better and most original releases of the summer, if not the year.

Immortal/Virgin Records should be proud of this often delayed release, as it really shows that there are some original acts still out there. If this CD doesn’t gain any sort of commercial success, I would be shocked and very disappointed.

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