Human review by Three Days Grace

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  • Released: Mar 31, 2015
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 5.5 (43 votes)
Three Days Grace: Human

Sound — 7
Three Days Grace formed in 1997, originally considered an "alt metal" band, their sound has changed over time, incorporating elements of pop rock and electronica. Their most common criticism throughout their career is that their sound isn't distinctive and doesn't stand out from the pack, and that would remain fair criticism with the release of "Human." Adam Gontier left the band as lead vocalist in 2013 with an undisclosed non-life threatening illness, and has since gone on to attempt to launch a solo career. Bassist, Brad Walst's brother, Matt Walst, filled in on tour and was asked to join the band as Adam's permanent replacement on vocals in 2014. Their album, "Human," will be the band's fifth studio album, and is being released on RCA Records. There are 12 tracks on the album and it clocks in right under 40 minutes. The lead single from the album, "Painkiller," was released in April of 2014, and reached #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts within 2 months. "I Am Machine" was released as the second single later in 2014, and then "Human Race" was released earlier in March 2015. 

The album opens up with the single, "Human Race," which has a lot of electronica/synth in the opening, but this can be a little bit misleading about the album, because the rest of the album doesn't have the electronic elements as predominant as this track. The next track is the lead single, "Painkiller," which is driven by a simple - yet catchy - guitar riff. It definitely contends with what I'm hearing on mainstream rock radio, for what that is worth. "Fallen Angel" starts out with a keyboard intro, and is a very simple track, otherwise, with a very basic guitar part and a very straight 4/4 drum groove. Potentially the track is over-simplified. "Landmine" has a very post-grunge type of riff running through a lot of the track. "Tell Me Why" is one of the heavier tracks on the album, but has a cool intro that is virtually "clean." I would say the intro to this track, when the bass and drums first come in, make this one of my favorite tracks - but I don't like the choruses. "I Am Machine" has a pretty cool name for a song, but musically it doesn't live up to it for me. This is more of a touchy-feely song hidden in the guise of a heavy song. "So What" sounds like something I've heard before, but I can't quite place it. "Car Crash" has a little repeating theme in the song, which is kind of neat, but the lyrical premise is a metaphor that isn't always successful, but they "couldn't stop at the red light... red light." "Nothing's Fair in Love and War" is another really straightforward track, but it has a cool riff, that would probably be categorized as "post-grunge." "One Too Many" is a song about addiction or excess, and would be the best song to me, musically, if the drums got a little more creative. "The End Is Not the Answer" is a fairly simple song, yet again, but it is also a little catchy. The album closes out with the track, "The Real You," which implores "I will never give up on you/ I see the real you/ even if you don't, I do, I do" and makes me wonder what the heck happened to good radio music.

Lyrics — 7
Matt Walst makes a respectable job of replacing Adam Gontier, though he seems to have much more bite on his vocals with My Darkest Days than his work on "Human." There were a few lines that really caught my attention and briefly showed what Matt is capable of, but unfortunately they were very fleeting moments. The good thing about having Matt Walst come in to replace Adam, is that Matt was virtually already a member of the band, being Brad Walst's brother, and having helped with the writing on the debut album. Essentially, Matt's songwriting contributions were already something the band has worked with before.

Overall Impression — 6
I like "Animal I Have Become" and "I Hate Everything About You," but honestly, nothing much else the band has recorded has really grabbed me. I really feel like those two songs were anomalies, and the band just makes same-sounding songs. You can't even rate this album poorly, because it isn't a bad album - it is something worse - it is SO mediocre and "same" that it is insidious and gets on the radio, gets stuck in your head, but doesn't really do or mean anything or have any kind of real musical value to it. This may just be me, but to my ears, this is radio fodder - plain and simple. Subsequent listens don't make it better, it just gets portions of the songs stuck in your head. I think that Matt Walst may very well make a successful replacement on vocals, but I would really like to see the band stretch their legs creatively, and maybe create something that doesn't quite fit into the mold of their previous releases.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I thought that Adam clarified that he left the band because he thought they were selling out. He said his heart wasn't in the last couple of albums and didn't want to continue making music he didn't care about. The rest of the band, however, seems perfectly okay with doing that.
    What bothered me about Adam saying that is he wrote most of if not all of the music/lyrics to 3DG didn't he?
    Meant to up vote. Sorry on my phone. And yes you're right, he did a lot of the lyrics/basic guitar work
    Funny how he didn't like the music he was making and he left. I actually like both of these songs. Yeah they aren't technical or lyrical masterpieces but good "turn your brain off and just listen for a bit" kind of music. Which has always been 3DG.
    "I Am Machine" wasn't that bad, actually. Some of the guitar textures were pretty rad. Still sounds like radio garbage for the most part, but it's nothing I would complain about if I heard it on the radio once in a while.
    I actually liked this album. I see what you mean with all the simple stuff played at the drums and guitar, sure there could be more creative drum riffs, but hey that's 3DG for ya! Their music is simple, but there is something in it that just makes me feel so good, and that's enough for me and will always be! Great album, a bit refreshing with the new vocalist, I look forward to the future of this band!
    First single released in April '14 and the album drops tomorrow? A whole year? Damn
    "I Am Machine" is ten times stronger than anything I thought they'd ever release without Adam Gontier. BUT Painkiller is ****ing terrible. As is Human Race. That's the usual from 3DG, though. Absolutely moving or absolutely forgettable.
    Keep in mind this is first album with new singer after Adam pretty much unexpectedly up and left the group... So next album could be better.
    He was kicked out as he didn't want to become more radio friendly and the others did. They suck without him.
    Yeah and know Hes doing acoustic rock, can't get much more radio friendly than that.
    This album has mediocre written all over, not one single track stood out after my first listen, a thing I couldnt say about previous albums. with that being said, my favorite track is the end is not an answer
    Sounds like something a 13-year-old would find cool. They also LOOK like people that 13-year-olds would find cool/would want to look like.
    It's not really Three Days Grace without Adam. I mean, the new album isn't as bad as I thought it would be but it's difficult to see the difference between one song and another...
    I saw "Painkiller" and got all excited because of the Judas Priest song and all, then I hear that CRAP. Man, I remember when I was 12 and listened to that first Three Days Grace album. It was pretty heavy but I still remember liking Limp Bizkit over it. THAT'S sad.
    So disappointed in this album... Moreover Landmines chorus sounds exactly like Rise Against's The Good Left Undone chorus...
    they shouldve kept gontier, but the band still seems to carry the vibe from transit to venus. catchy, very simple riffs with barely any solos and some synth backing. overall, not a bad album, but they're starting to sound more like the emo-metal bands ive grown to hate. i miss the days when it was all hard, unedited, and pure rock.