Sound — 8
3DG breaks their mold in several ways throughout "Transit". The opener, "Sign Of The Times", takes over a minute to introduce any percussion but makes up for lost time at 1:16 as Gontier belts out "There's chaos on the rise / The sky is raining knives" over a driving drum entrance. Tracks like "Chalk Outline", "The High Road" and "Expectations" experiment with some electronics a la Linkin Park but with a more subtle touch--a first for the band and an overall decent venture. "Time That Remains" is primarily acoustic, an unexpected but pleasant rarity for Gontier and the club. True to form, however, 3DG belts out some crunchy hard-driven anthems in the form of "Operate", "Broken Glass" and "Happiness", the content of which is ironically unpleasant on one level. One thing to note is that similar to all of their previous releases, the songs remain short and wholly lacking in the guitar solo department, with only one track on "Transit" clocking in at barely over four minutes ("Give Me A Reason"). In summation, 3DG has delivered a refreshing post-grunge alt-metal soundscape all too rare in 2012 that satisfyingly pounds on your eardrums.
Lyrics — 8
Gontier's penmanship has matured and evolved yet again in their fourth studio album release. "One-X" remains the most lyrically potent album in the band's repertoire, primarily focused on Gontier's struggle with substance abuse and its ubiquitous collateral damage. "Transit Of Venus" is a much welcomed improvement from the album between the two, however. "Life Starts Now" was unable to string more than a couple soul-stinging tracks together at a time, an issue that Transit addresses immediately. The first three tracks are consistently strong in the lyric department throughout, with standout lines like "I've been cold in the crypt / But not as cold as the words that cross your lips" ("Chalk Outline") and "Well I'm not gonna give it away / Not gonna let it go just to wake up someday, gone" ("The High Road"). The anthems feature 3DG-typical explosive bar room belts like "It used to be, you brought out the best in me / Now it seems, you bring out the beast in me" ("Operate") and "Happiness, straight from the bottle / When real life's too hard to swallow" ("Happiness"). A few of the tracks contain some un-impressionable filler-eqsue content, and the cover of Michael Jackson's "Give In To Me" feels out of place. In a sly Tarantino-worthy twist, the comprehensively dark content gets blasted out of the water by the album closer, "Unbreakable Heart", a redeeming, encouraging ballad worthy of its spot. Gontier's aggressive, soaring vocals remain the strongest consistency in the band's arsenal and continue to impress throughout an ominous, swirling album.
Overall Impression — 9
"Transit Of Venus deserves your iPod's full attention for several listens to appreciate what Three Days Grace have done in their new release. Although they remain out of reach of modern rock godliness, Gontier's abilities and the band's open attitude toward their music help them inch ever closer. "Transit" showcases several steps forward for 3DG and is in the top two of their works for complete album presentation (along with "One-X"). Standout tracks include "Sign Of The Times", "Chalk Outline", "The High Road", "Time That Remains" and "Unbreakable Heart". The first single, "Chalk Outline", has successfully baited the attention of rock lovers everywhere and has reestablished 3DG as a staple example of why rock is still alive, if not altogether well. Expect to see "Happiness" and perhaps "Operate" or "Broken Glass" released as singles in the near future.