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Released: Jul 2009
Genre: Punk Rock / Alternative Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
"Billy Talent III" marks the debut of a more saturated sound for Billy Talent. While it may dissapoint a few fans, the majority should be pretty happy with the band's third album.
Billy Talent III
Kwyjibo2006, on july 16, 2009 7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sound: Three years after their enormously successful sophomore album and almost constant touring in Europe and North America, Canadian punk-rockers Billy Talent are back with their third album: "Billy Talent III". The band tapped producer Brendan O'Brian (this year's producer for Killswitch Engage's second self-titled album and Mastodon's "Crack the Skye") to help the band with their highly anticipated third album. As for the album's quality, it is amazing, with every band member clearly audible throughout the album. As for the band's style, it is just about the same as it always has been, with the only difference being slightly more radio-friendly songs and, of course, Ian D'Sa laying down some pretty solid solos on this album. While some fans may be dissapointed with the band's new radio sound, "Billy Talent III" is still a great rock album.
Right from the first track, entitled "Devil On My Shoulder", Billy Talent prove that their sound hasn't changed. This mid-tempo song is definately a track highlight, with a great bassline by Jon Gallant and an excellent guitar solo by Ian D'Sa.
The song is followed by the lead single of the album, "Rusted From The Rain", the first real slow song on the album. This is not to say it is a ballad: The song still features plenty of distortion during it's brilliant chorus and features yet another great solo by Ian.
"Saint Veronika" begins with a simple one note bass riff by Jon Gallant before being joined by Ian on guitar. The song is quite good before hitting the bridge, which is quite simply the most headbashing riff the band has ever written. Though the members to shine on this track are lead vocalist Ben Kowalewicz, who shows off his scream for the first time on the album, and bassist Jon Gallant, with his amazing bass playing during the bridge and breakdown.
This is followed by "Tears Into Wine", another album highlight with excellent lyrics by Ben and an amazing guitar solo/bridge section, though it could probably be longer.
"White Sparrows" begins with clean guitar and is one of the softest songs on the album. While is does feature a decent set of lyrics, this song is (not to say it is a bad song) a weak point of the album.
"Pocketful of Dreams" is one of the gems of the album, with it's lyrics critiquing celebrities. The lyrics fit surprisingly well with the music in this track, with its catchy chorus and great backing vocals by Ian and Jon.
This is followed by another gem, entitled "The Dead Can't Testify", which may have one of the simplest yet catchiest main riffs the band has ever written. While the lyrics aren't exactly relatible, anyone who has ever heard of a Salem Witch Hunt should be quite pleased. Another great track, sung quite well, with another solid guitar solo by Ian.
"Diamond On A Landmine" is another solid song about love lost. It features another stellar vocal performance by Ben and great guitar work by Ian, particularly during the bridge section.
Most fans of the band have already heard the punk anthem "Turn Your Back", which is another great track with great musicianship by each member of the band. The only difference between the album version and the version and the version released as a single is that Ian has taken over the vocal duties held by Anti-Flag'sJustin San and Chris #2. Definately the most punkrock driven song on the album.
"Sudden Movements" is easily the most grooving song on the album. Ben really shines on this track, with great vocals which he sings beautifully. Ian provides another solid solo, and lyrically it is one of the best songs on the album.
One thing one can't say about Billy Talent is that they have a slow album closer. They keep their rock albums rocking over at least 45 minutes with every release, and "Definition of Destiny" is no exception. It may have some clean guitar, but it sounds eery on this closing track. Each band member gets to shine on this track, making it a great album closer on this great rock record. // 8
Lyrics: One cannot deny that Ben Kowalewicz is an amazing singer; one with great range and one of the harshest screams in rock today. His singing is just as great as ever on this record, though it does feature considerably less screaming than past efforts (though this is due to the more radio-friendly approach the band took on this album). Ian D'Sa and Jon Gallant once again provide stellar backing vocals, entering at the perfect time, particularly on "Pocketful of Dreams" and the opening track "Devil On My Shoulder".
The only criticism about the band's lyrics is that they are much less relatible on this album compared to past albums. Certainly there are tracks people can relate to, like "Rusted From The Rain" which is about marital breakdown, but while the lyrics are still quite good, listeners will find it pretty difficult to relate to the songs this time around. // 8
Overall Impression: "Billy Talent III" marks the debut of a more saturated sound for Billy Talent. While it may dissapoint a few fans, the majority should be pretty happy with the band's third album. It will also gain the band a great deal of new fans.
One thing the band has done with this album which will especially please the diehard fans of the band is create a "Guitar Villain" edition, which features a second disc of the entire album mixed without the guitar tracks, as well as tabs for each of the songs. This is quite the experience, and will be a hell of a lot of fun for guitar playing fans of the band.
"Billy Talent III"'s finest addition is the guitar solos scattered throughout the album by Ian D'Sa. And while the songs feature less screaming than the band's last two album's, Ben's singing is still at the top of it's game. What Billy Talent have done with "Billy Talent III" is create exactly what they set out to do with every album. Critiize it all you want, but at the end of the day, it's exactly what it's supposed to be: A great rock album. // 8
Billy Talent III
Rockinguitar, on november 05, 2009 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Three albums after Billy Talent "I" (Not counting when they were Pezz) Billy Talent drops Billy Talent"III". Almost transparent are the wild, punk, teenage thrashing that made them famous in "I" and a polished, tight sound has replaced. And don't worry: I AIN'T NECESSARILY A BAD THING. Ben Kowalewicz's lyrics are well thought out, and fantastically delivered, though lacking the classic screams from "I," even less than "II."Ian D'Sa's guitar has been shined to finish, with sparking riffs, tight solos, and fast chords. Jonathan Gallant shows off his bass skills with deep bass lines that even twin with Ian's quick riffs, when they aren't glowing on their own. Like always, Aaron Solowoniuk's drumming accents almost everything played, all the while easily keeping his beat from being forgotten.
They've even adapted more styles, such as the Celtic rhythm that fills Turn Your Back, the clean proggressive rock riff in White Sparrows, and the Bass-Only breakdown in Devil On My Shoulder. Fans of Billy Talent from "Watoosh!" and "I" may be a little disappointed with the even darker, cleaner, and slightly slower "III," but it won't enough to make them hate it. // 9
Lyrics: Billy Talent's unique lyrical sense strikes again, taking themes you've heard time and time again and making you re-think them again. The lyrics are even more metaphorical in places, even in the titles, Diamond On A Landmine for instance, just radiates images of "Look, Love, Want, But Just Try To Touch." The music written for the album is so heartfelt, you almost don't need lyrics to understand, but they lie distinctly in the music like they always belonged there.
As I said, the wild screams such as from This Is How It Goes (I), are mostly missing, that doesn't mean BT isn't as angry as they used to be: The amazement of Ian and Jon's cutting harmonies behind Ben's raw vocal ablities will fill most of that hole in with that same "Just kicked a trach can" feeling. // 8
Overall Impression: 01. Devil On My Shoulder: Ian's rolling riffs in this song harnizing with Jon's competeing basslines, make this another great opener, almost promising a great album to follower. Ben's vocals deliver sad and sarcastic lyrics perfectly. Ian keeps the pace with a thick solo that changes into a smooth solo which prepares us for the drop into Jon's bassline solo. This is one of my favorites, keeping the 4-time tradition of favorite opening songs by BT. And for a side of BT we've never really seen before: 10/10
02. Rusted From The Rain: A sharp, yet ambient guitar, reminiscent of Try Honesty, and Ben's tired voice brings in a song that trudges like a tinman needing oil. Ian's solo is quick, but somewhat repetitive, and after the brilliance of Jon's bass work in Devil On My Shoulder, his bassline seems somwhat boring. Even though this song reminds us of a CERTAIN MOVIE, it's use of similes and metaphores makes it a favorite. Too bad it feels so slow after track #1: 8/10
03. Saint Veronika: I love songs that begin, and you're not quite sure where they're going, but a different direction than you thought! The song is fast, but sad, since it's theme is suicide, but Jon's bass makes for a furiously fast heartbeat which underlies Ian's confused riffs and Aaron's angry drums. For the bridge, Ian drops into a compressed, fuzzed riff, the likes of which hasn't been heard since Devil In A Midnight Mass. Ben soon after matches his speed with the same riff, and Aaron brings back the anger driven drums. Oh yeah, the last prechorus brings back the four glowing notes reminiscent of Burn The Evidence. One of my favorites gets: 9/10
04. Tears Into Wine: The beginning reminds me very much The Ex, but the lyrical topic is more like dealing with loneliness, OR, more like, not caring about about your loneliness and (maybe) drowning it in drinking. The music will definitely be familiar territory for BT fans, and one of Ian's signature solos makes this newest single a favorite: 9/10
05. White Sparrows: A beautifully sad song, accented by Ian's riffs, White Sparrows is one of the few songs on "III" that features classic screams. Ben's sorrowful vocals, Jon's running basslines, Ian's crying riffs, and Aaron's slightly pounding drums, all contribute to a central theme. A favorite that's hard for me to listen to: 10/10
06. Pocketful Of Dreams: A song with lyrics that continually made me laugh out loud, Pocketful Of Dreams drips with a cold sarcasm that stabs at the rich at every turn. The guitar harmonizes with the vocals most of the time, but Ian drops a quick solo in the middle. The song is okay, but it's the lyrics that make it more than a 7: 8.5/10
07. The Dead Can't Testify: A quiet, reversed guitar intro revs up an intro with a hip-hop bounce, which Ian accents with screaming harmonics. Speaking of which, this is another song that features Ben's signature screaming. The song is even accented with a Grecian style instrument, which fit perfectly under Jon's walking bassline and Ian's thick solo. Aaron's drumming once again accents everything played, even Ben's singing. Heh, I'll let you decide for yourself what the song's about; For a fantastic song, awesome metaphorical lyrics, and an equally awesome outro, a perfect: 10/10
08. Diamond On A Landmine: This song is very pop-rock in it's sound, even the vocals, though harmonized perfectly, just don't fit too well. The lyrics are very straight-forward, except for a few places. Here would been a good place to add similes and metaphores to cover for the dip in sound. Ian's long missed triads are back for the verse, but Jon's basslines have gone flat again. Even's Aaron's drumming fades into the background, though well placed at points. Still a good song, but missing the previous momentum to make an 8: 7/10
09. Turn Your Back: If that last 4:31 made you forget why you got this album, the next 3:22 of CLASSIC Billy Talent will kick your mind back into gear!! With Aaron's aforementioned Celtic Hard-Rock rhythm, Jon's kicking basslines, and Ian's well placed chords and lightning triads, this song is the perfect place for Ben's straight-forward lyrics the topic of which is definitely reminiscent of Red Flag. An awesome turnaround from a low point earns the song a: 9.5/10
10. Sudden Movements: Is one of slowest songs on "III", but kept short, so it feels even faster than Diamond On A Landmine With a bright musical interlude instead of a bridge, Ian's screaming harmonics again, and Ben's mysterious lyrics make this song a good listen. Jon's simple basslines are perfect for this song, it gives you something to instantly refer back to if you somehow get lost in this song. If Diamond On A Landmine got a 7, this song definitely deserves an: 8/10
11. Definition Of Destiny: Billy Talent loves to leave you with at least one fist pump before they leave, Burn The Evidence For Instance, and it's no difference here. The chorus is super catchy, and Jon's twinning riff with Ian makes you want to rewind at least once. Aaron drums are so furious, they make you feeling like running somewhere. Looking at the lyrics themselves could remind you of something Rise Against might sing, but Ben's flawless deliverance and the rest of Billy Talent's signature style makes this song an almost perfect ending to the album: 9/10
As with most band, Billy Talent has evolved as they become more recognizable. They've straightened their clothes, grown up a little, and stopped dented the neighbors' car with a baseball bat. But songs like Devil On My Shoulder,Saint Veronika,The Dead Can't Testify, and Turn Your Back, show that just because they've gotten older, doesn't mean they won't smash a taillight for the fun of it. Long time fans (like myself) could, and probably will, be a little disappointed by Billy Talent's new sound in "III," but with a Deluxe edition that includes four demos, guitar tabs for the whole album, and the awesome "Guitar Villian" tracks (a version of the album with the guitar tracks removed so the fans can play), no one can say that Billy Talent wasn't thinking of their fans. I say: Even if you don't like it as much, add it to your collection and give Billy Talent time to settle into their new limelight. // 9
Billy Talent III
mattant250, on july 22, 2009 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Well, this album was different, certainly. My first thoughts were that the band as a whole had matured, which I think is true, but also, they seem to have become much more 'radio friendly'. However, the fundamentals remain. Ben still creates magnificent lyrics, and performs them brilliantly, Ian still has magnificent riffs, which can keep you transfixed for hours, and Aaron and Jon still keep the band together with their constant rhythm and timing. In fact, in many aspects the band as a whole has improved by a lot. Solos are now a regular and successful occurrence in BT songs now, Jon's basslines have a more prominent part to play, and Aaron's drumming is now a lot more imaginative. So, although this may not be BT's best ever album, there is still plenty of reason to go out and buy this album and enjoy it. // 8
Lyrics: As I said earlier, Ben has succeeded once again in delivering and performing absolutely stunning lyrics and his lyrics are still very unique. Many of the songs do seem to focus on love or relationships, much more so than previous albums, for example, Saint Veronika, White Sparrows and Diamond On A Landmine. However, BT haven't gone soft on us. The lyrics are still as angry and powerful as This Is How It Goes and Worker Bees, and the lyrics are certainly no weakness on this album. One of the most noticeable absences on this album is the lack of screaming, which many BT fans had grown accustomed to. This seems to feature much less frequently, and this is a definite weakness to the album. Despite this gap, though, the vocals are as strong as ever, and Ian supports Ben as well as ever, again adding another dimension to the songs. // 9
Overall Impression: 01.Devil On My Shoulder: as we have come to expect over the past 3 albums, the band always choose the perfect track to open the album. After a perfect opening, we enter straight into the verse, before a brilliant pre-chorus leads into the chorus, in which Ben and Ian harmonise. This is definitely a song to look out for, and Jon's bass is a very high point of the song. 9/10
02.Rusted From The Rain: the first, and thus far, only single. When I first heard this song, I wasn't convinced, it seemed too much like a whiny ballad to me, but it has grown on me, and is definitely a good follow on to [B]Devil On My Shoulder[/B]. 8/10
03.Saint Veronika: this song tackles the topic of suicide, and it is certainly a very heartfelt song, which made it initially a song to avoid, but again it has grown on me. The guitar riff makes me think of an irregular pulse, as if to portray feeling of uncertainty or nerves, which I find a great feature to the song. 9/10
04.Tears Into Wine: I think this will definitely be a single, purely because every part of it is much like the older Billy Talent. The verse begins with a muted guitar, with excellent harmony from Ian, before going into the pre-chorus, which slows it down perfectly before the chorus. The solo in this song is great and is really catchy. 10/10
05.White Sparrows: another one of my favourites. This is a very emotional, heartfelt song, and I get the impression that each member of the band has given their all for this song. The chorus is particularly powerful because of Ian's scream-like vocals. 10/10
06.Pocketful Of Dreams: this is a good song, more sing-along than the first 5 songs, but that isn't a bad thing. The guitar work is very catchy and at times make the song feel very abrupt. 8/10
07.The Dead Can't Testify: my favourite song of the album. The simple, but effective intro leads nicely into the verse which has a great drum beat behind it. Then, as we near the chorus, we slowly build up in both volume and speed, and we finally reach the chorus, which comes much later into the song, it is very worth the wait. This is followed by a solo, which I consider to be the best of the album. 10/10
08.Diamond On A Landmine: this song is good, but definitely not a favourite of mine. This seems like the ultimate attempt to become 'radio-friendly', and it could have gone either way. Unfortunately, for me, it was not a particularly impressive song. Having said that, the chorus is very good, but the rest of the song is too empty for me. 8/10
09.Turn Your Back: I love this song, because it acts very much as Beach Balls did in between Watoosh!, by Pezz, and BT's first album - it is a transition from the dark, obscure depths of the punk world, into an attempt to be noticed, and become 'radio-friendly'. This contains elements of early, and modern Billy Talent, and fits together very well. 10/10
10.Sudden Movements: despite it's heaviness and volume, this song is the slowest song on the album, and it is very noticeable. However, it is not too long, just the right length in fact, and makes it a very good song. 8/10
11.Definition Of Destiny: as we have come to expect killer opening tracks from BT albums, we expect a very strong closing song. Billy Talent do not seem to want to bow out quietly, like some bands, and this makes their albums brilliant. It is consistent throughout. This album makes no exception. This song is one of the best songs, and definitely one of the most energetic songs on the album. Ian and Ben work very together in this song, and will Jon and Aaron's rhythm behind them, this song cannot fail to impress. 9/10
A slightly different Billy Talent in this album, as they try to move to a more recognised role in the limelight. This could be seen as quite a weak album by some fans, but I believe they have proved they still have the ability to produce a quality album, and although this isn't as good as the previous two albums, this is still a very good album, and should not be seen as a failure. // 8
Billy Talent III
slashhudson977, on july 31, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Three years on since Billy Talent II the highly anticipated third album is released. The Canadian-Based rock band's 'more of the same' attitude pays off as the album rounds off a fantastic trilogy of records.
Like I say the sound is very similar however songs such as 'Rusted From The Rain' and 'White Sparrows' are set at a slower tempo than usual however overdrive is still on the guitars and Ben's vocals tear through the entire album as expected. // 8
Lyrics: Ben's lyrics and vocals are equal to if not better than the previous Billy Talent and Pezz records. 'Saint Veronika' (from what I can gather) is about a friend who attempted suicide. The lyrics get you thinking and get you listening. 'White Sparrows' speaks of a lost loved one using brilliant extended metaphors through the chorus. 'Tears to Wine' explains a mans fight with alcoholism wonderfully portrayed through the lyrics.
As for the vocals themselves it is vintage 'Billy Talent' if you are a fan of there vocal sound this album will be no disappointment. // 9
Overall Impression: A big improvement is the introductions. Despite classics such as 'Pins and Needles' and 'Fallen Leaves' the introductions on 'Billy Talent III' really are on the next level, 'Tears to Wine' and 'White Sparrows' both throw you straight in at the deep end by setting the mood of the song fantastically. Guitar solos are top notch and the bassline never faulters to lock in with the drums as the songs' spinal chord. If this album was stolen it would soon be rebought. This is 'Talent's best album to date and I highly recommend it. // 9
Billy Talent III
Quidra, on september 25, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Billy Talent is back with their anticipated follow up to their successful sophomore album. Billy Talent IIIis different from their previous releases, but in my opinion it's a perfect step forward.
The overall style of the band stays pretty much the same, but the band has gone for a more mature sound. The emphasis is more on melody and music rather than pure energy and screaming. While some fans might not like the new mature style, I really feel it's perfect in every way. When I started listening to music seriously back in 2003, one of the first bands I started to love was Billy Talent. Since then my musical taste has grown and matured with them. Right now I feel that the band is on the same page as me and I feel strangely connected to them.
What I really like in the new album is that almost all songs include awesome guitar solos by Ian Dsa. I think his potential is finally met 100%. The rhythm is provided top notch by bassist Jon with great and important bass lines. Drummer Aaron never fails with his imaginative drumming style. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics as always are very unique and truthful. Most of The Lyrics are based around relationships Saint Veronika, White Sparrowsand Diamond on a Landmine. There also are some songs that have a philosophical truth to them Definition of Destiny and Pocketful of Dreams. Vocals in the album are as good as they can get. Benjamin still sings as good as angels and Ian supports him with some dynamic harmonys. // 10
Overall Impression: The first time I listened the album to the end I was completely stunned. It was a summer day and I didn't have much elso to do so I listened to it again and again and again. I have been listening to the album everyday for 3 months now and it still feels as refreshing and perfect as it did back then.
This is music at it's best and one of my all time favourite albums. // 10
Billy Talent III
unregistered, on april 01, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound is still the same unique punk rock of Billy Talent yet more mature and polished and also drained what little raw intensity they had but still overall it is a good album, better than II but not s good as I. Great overdriven guitars, pulsating basslnes, pounding drums and clean, polished vocals, great combo! // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this are a lot more apocalyptic and darker than other albums, especially Saint Veronika. I must say WELL DONE BEN! You can tell a great effort was put in to ensure they weren't sounding too simple. You can hear also a use of metaphors. Ben sings in first person sometimes which may show the songs may be based on personal issues. Sometimes you may have to search too deep into the lyrics, still brilliant though. The album is also full of black humour. // 9
Overall Impression: I cannot compare the album to any other band! Billy Talent are unique, it's the reason they are where they are today! Best songs on the CD have to be Devil On My Shoulder, Tears Into Wine (the most impressive), Dead Can't Testify and Turn Your Back.
01. Devil On My Shoulder: 9/10, great song with great riffs.
02. Rusted From The Rain: 8/10, powerful bass driven intro, massive chorus.
03. Saint Veronika: 7/10, it's a good song, although it's one of the weakest.
04. Tears Into Wine: 10/10, my God! The best song on the CD by far! It is amazing, great guitar work in the intro and the chorus is brilliant!
05. White Sparrows: 9/10, great guitar playing on the soft verses, the chorus is a masterpiece! The bridge has a great riff!
06. Pocketful of Dreams: Great song, catchy as hell, stabs at the rich all the time!
07. Dead Can't Testify: 10/10, best song bar Tears Into Wine. Great opening riff and the chorus is to die for!
08. Diamond on a Landmine: 6/10, weakest song on the CD.
09. Turn Your Back: 10/10, a great punk driven song, great chorus.
10. Sudden Movements: 7/10: brilliant intro, although at times it gets dull.
11. Definition of Destiny: 9/10: brilliant intro, great fast song!
I would buy this if it were stolen, etc. Without a doubt! // 9
Billy Talent III
walkingwithjack, on april 05, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: After the Underground punk sound of the original Billy Talent album and the much more varied and soft release of Billy Talent II, we are handed a surreal mixture of the two. This faced pasted, emotional hard rock album has a lot of guts. Their's a lot of time and work put into this set of songs, The guitar riffs are impressive and well written (Devil on My Shoulder, Sudden Movements)Ian D'sa has made an extensive amount of great solos for this album (Rusted From the Rain, Saint Veronika) The Drums by Aaron Solonuwick are absoulutely amazing, they're at their best in 'Saint Veronika' however 'Rusted from the Rain' teaches us that something doesn't have to be complicated to be good. The bass is even more present in this album than the previous two (which strikes me as awesome, being a bassist) they even incorporated a bass solo into the first track of the album (Devil on my Shoulder), The whole album has a strong and classic feel to it, which separates it apart from its counterparts. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are written well and with detail, whereas sometimes the lyrics can give the obvious topic away ( Saint Veronika, White Sparrows ) the lyrics are obscure or well written enough to keep it not too obvious to a casual lister. The best song for lyrics is a cross between 'Pocketful of Dreams', 'Rusted From the Rain' and 'Devil on my Shoulder'. The lyrics are in-your-face yet beautiful, incorporating imagery with intellect. // 9
Overall Impression: This is certainly an extremely good album, it's better than their first one but still lacks the charm of their second. The songs are a lot more depressing than the others with topics like Divorce, Death of a loved one, War and Suicide, but they are still extremely entertaining and great to listen to. The whole album has a powerful sound and really gets into your head after a few listens. My personal favourites are 'Rusted from the Rain' and 'Saint Veronika'. // 10
Billy Talent III
unregistered, on june 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I can't say this album does not show some real emotion. It does the music fits and creates everything. The sound is very memorable and adds so much to what Ben is singing. They're still going strong it seems and are very compatiable. I still prefer the anger in the first album, this one is more sad, in my opinion. It was sounds more edited or that more effects where used. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics are as in deep as Billy Talent is and have always been. They never shy away from writing amazing lyrics, even through their second album is not as good with the lyrics as this one or the first one are. The singing has went to know screaming, but it really doesn't take much away from the emotions being portrayed they have just matured from their younger days. // 9
Overall Impression: This is defiantly an even more matured album then their orginal and their second. Despite that it still delievered to new and old fans alike. It really shows how things have changed and how they've grown to make it work. I am proud to know these guys are Canadian and that they are contuing to make great music. // 8