It feels like only yesterday that Three Days Grace stormed a sold-out Electric Ballroom with the return of the decade. The arrival of new frontman Matt Walst was welcomed with open arms, and it really felt like the Canadian four-piece were fresher than ever, and on the verge of something huge. The time has come for their highly anticipated fifth studio album Human, and its not what you might have expected. A lot has happened in the three years since Transit of Venus, and it shows.
The album opens with ‘Human Race’; a disappointingly simple lyrical adventure. Its encompassed by a wall of synth and not a whole load of chunky rock goodness. It feels euphoric, and although there’s enough autotune to last you a lifetime, its admittedly addictive to its very core.
In reality though, its a weak introduction when compared to previously released bangers ‘I Am Machine’ and ‘Painkiller’. They’re riff heavy and radio friendly to the max. Sadly, its clear why these two were released before the rest. They showed real promise and an abundance of Chester Bennington-like qualities in Walst’s vocals.That’s just the problem though.
Throughout Human, it seems Walst is trying too hard to be something that he’s not. Instead of using this as a chance to recharge and reinvigorate Three Days Grace, the total opposite has been achieved. The grit and bite in his live presence, doesn’t pack the punch on recording. Credit where its due, taking pole position from songwriter to singer is no easy feat.
Have no fear though, as its not all bad news. ‘Landmine’ is a groovy post-grunge piece, kickstarted by the usual lyrics of reprimand, and when partnered with ‘Tell Me Why’; you’re in for a headbang-a-thon. Hang on a second though.
There is a consistent theme throughout Human that its just recycled Three Days Grace. Whilst you wouldn’t change a classic burger, adding a different topping or an extra slice of cheese never hurt anyone.
Okay, so its not a terrible album. Good though? Yes. Great? Not so much. You’re left with an album that is a mainstream masterpiece, but coming from a band that are rooted in so much punchy rock excellence, you’re left with a bitter taste in the mouth. Its not the album to inspire a generation. Instead, its an album to inspire them to do better next time.