Thirty Seconds To Mars self titled album, released in 2002, is another concept album focusing on Sci-Fi themes. This album is unique to the band as it’s guitar features the most distortion throughout the bands discography. Capricorn opens with muted notes before exploding into an energetic rhythm. The Mission keeps a steady tom beat throughout, while 93 Million Miles starts with a slow cymbal fill that expands over the course of a minute. The Mission has a driving drum pattern that doesn’t break tempo throughout. Welcome to the Universe remains slow, but heavy, and Edge of the Earth has an upbeat pacing. Echelon and Fallen are two more slower burns on the album, both struggle to find their pace.
This album features some of the more complex chords on albums I’ve reviewed. This is also the most Thirty Seconds to Mars have used barre chords on an album, and distortion on an album. Most songs feature lead guitar, and when lead is used, it’s layered alongside a synthesizer to create a sci-fi tone. Much of the drumming follows the hi-hat, snare, and kick drum patterns. There’s little screaming in this album, mostly mid range singing.
Nothing on this album is too challenging for guitar, as the pace doesn’t pick up too quickly, but I’d say End of the Beginning is the hardest on guitar because of the lead riff throughout the verses. The Mission is hardest for drums as it follows a different drumming pattern than the rest of the album. Year Zero is the hardest for bass, as the chorus riff changes every note.