A strong force in the face of modern melodic rock. The band was formed and headed by the Leto brothers, of which one is a famous movie star. That's, incidentally, the first and last time I'll mention this fact.

The music features highly processed, heavily distorted, but beautifully melodic guitar riffs - almost as if they were being played on a synthesizer instead of a real guitar. Even though they aren't, there's a lot of synth at work, too. Much of the soundscape is drenched in appropriately alien-sounding electronic effects, and the drum section is often supplemented by programming. The drumming itself, however, is 100% human. And lastly, Jared Leto's multi-layered vocal harmonies complete the enveloping sound.

The music has been described as anything from space-rock, stoner rock, post-rock, and just plain heavy music. The inspirations from Pink Floyd and A Perfect Circle are clearly evident. The songs are often slow-moving, carefully crafted and executed with precision. It is clearly the work of studio geeks - fans of overproduction will be mesmerized by the seemingly countless layers of sound. Jared's voice is often - almost constantly - supported by at least a couple of overdubbed harmonies, and if the heavy guitars aren't dominating the soundscape in an attempt to wall the listener in, the synths are. In short, there's nothing punk about this outfit - sonically, it's all about how much studio wizardry you can comfortably squeeze onto a compact disc.

It just so happens, however, that it's not all technical wizardry. The song writing shows a flair for diversion and space, without necessarily drawing the songs into the lengthy realm of opus. The songs sound grand and epic, in pure stadium rock fashion.

The band released an eponymous debut album in 2002. The track listing is:

  1. Capricorn (A Brand New Name) - also the first single
  2. Edge of the Earth
  3. Fallen
  4. Oblivion
  5. Buddha for Mary
  6. Echelon
  7. Welcome to the Universe
  8. The Mission
  9. End of the Beginning
  10. 93 Million Miles
  11. Year Zero

Jared Leto handles all the guitars, bass and vocal duties, as well as a spot of synth work here and there. His brother, Shannon Leto, plays the drums. The album is produced by veteran producer Bob Ezrin (best known for his work with rock deities Pink Floyd).

It is nothing like Dogstar.

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