After being in the business for over a decade, Canadian rockers Three Days Grace certainly created a name for themselves and maintained a loyal fan base. With the unexpected departure of frontman Adam Gontier, it was looking a little grim for the band’s future. However, ex-My Darkest Days lead singer Matt Walst swooped in to save the day to replace Gontier, and their strong first released multiple storylined single “Painkiller” proved that a band can still thrive even when their longtime vocalist leaves.
Human deals with a good amount of thought-provoking themes through its tracks and keeps to the musicality that the original lineup created their successful career on. Beginning with “Human Race,” lines like “I don’t belong here/ not in this atmosphere” can easily relate to those who feel a little bit lost in life due to being told that something has to be a certain way and they’re doing it different (college, relationships, work). Second released single “I Am Machine” is written as if he were a robot and how we as actual humans take the life that we have for granted at times by wishing that we could not feel so much. They even use a “Car Crash” scene as a metaphor for sitting and watching someone clearly do things to ruin their life but wanting so badly to help them, which is apparent in verses such as “you’re like a car crash/ and i can’t look away.”
A majority of the tracks are reminiscent to past albums like One-X and Life Starts Now. “Nothing’s Fair In Love And War” has a clear breakup track vibe while “One Too Many” and “The End Is Not The Answer” are solemn-yet-powerful in instrumentation. The faster paced “Landmine” incorporates the heavy guitars and attention-commanding drums of previous works while gritty dive bar anthem “So What” shows off the persona that new frontman Matt Walst embodied when he was in My Darkest Days without going too far away from what his new band does musically.
Some of the highlights from Human come in the form of tracks that have dark lullaby qualities with uplifting, reassuring lyrics that prove that you are never the only one struggling, no matter how alone you feel. The heavily piano-ed “Fallen Angel” reminds the listener that someone who “was there beside you when you went to hell and back again” will stick around no matter how hard you try to push them away, while “Tell Me Why” is relatable to anyone who feels like they just can’t catch a break in the life department. Ending track “The Real You” plays into that notion that artists will never give up on the fans that stick with them and that fans will turn to them in times of need. The Linkin Park “Breaking The Habit”-esque song uses gloomy pianos with distorted guitars paired with lines like “I will never give up on you/ I see the real you/ even if you don’t/ I do” to leave fans with a weight lifted off their shoulders that they CAN get through any obstacle that life throws at them.
It’s always worrisome when a singer gets replaced because the band that you’ve come to know and love could easily do a complete musical 180. Luckily, Three Days Grace didn’t stray too far from their original style and Walst did his absolute best to channel Gontier without being a complete replica of him. Human was a bold and surprisingly successful endeavor for the band and marks the start of a new era for Three Days Grace.