Three Days Grace tow the line between pop-influenced radio rock and metal-influenced alternative rock, notorious for releasing platinum-selling albums that bristle with brooding lyricism and heavy, guitar-laden composition. They rose to notoriety after their 2003 self-titled debut spawned three hit singles, particularly their breakout smash “I Hate Everything About You.” Discordant guitars, grungy, hardcore-laced vocals, and a cutting hook cemented Three Days Grace as a household name, embraced by angst-ridden teens and feared by overly-protective parents across the nation. They followed up their self-titled debut with their 2006 sophomore effort One-X, an equal, if not superior commercial success. “Animal I Have Become,” “Pain,” and “Never Too Late” expanded their fan base and strengthened their radio influence, proving that Three Days Grace were just as capable of a mainstream-rock staple as Linkin Park and Evanescence. Chock up one more commercially successful album – their 2009 release Life Starts Now – and the alt-metal outfit are back with their fourth studio release, titled Transit Of Venus. Keeping consistent with their past releases, Transit Of Venus is a twisted collection of tracks, growling like an animal as it slithers through the dark undergrowth of electric distortion and heart-stopping percussion. The album is riddled with gems, but a few tracks stand out in particular. Each track’s gritty yet polished melodic clout brings it above the thriving fray of scalding metal guitars and guttural roars into the pool of potential soon-to-be-hits.
“The High Road” opens with atmospheric waves of instrumentation, as vocalist Adam Gontier slices right into the crunchy guitars and scuttering synthesizers with his earnest vocal-work. He cuts into his lover with his aching tone and lyricism, “there’s times I stayed alive for you, there’s times I would have died for you, there’s times it didn’t matter at all.” His voice hits the perfect line between barbaric, post hardcore screaming and emo-style, heart wrenching singsong shrieks, culminating in a tuneful yell. “The High Road” plays out as Gontier’s plea for his lover to stay, as Gontier desperately yearns, “I’ll do whatever it takes to be the mistake you can’t live without.”
While “The High Road” flaunts a bit of a dirty, electro-rock feel, “Misery Loves My Company” stays true to the band’s signature sound. Animalist guitars bite and tear underneath Gontier’s vocals, each line burning with sarcasm. The track presents a fantastic refrain, building off of the theme that Gontier is in a committed relationship with the overwhelming misery he constantly finds present in his life. “I am not alone, cause misery loves my company.” Three Days Grace show that, though grunge-rock no longer has as much of a pull on the radio, they still know how to create infectious, headbanging anthems of pain and torment.
“Operate” showcases attention-grabbing verse melodies and simple, pop-influenced rock orchestration. Gontier stuffs the entirety of the track with hook after hook, elevating the track to radio-ready status with its catchiness alone. Drugs, sexual deviance, and forlorn lust congregate into one muddy lyric theme, giving the song a twisted and sexy feel. The apex of the song occurs in the bridge, when Gontier coons with his rough vibrato, buffed by a smooth background harmony, “It used to be you brought out the best in me. Now it seems, you bring out the beast in me.”
Those are only a few of the album’s standout tracks, so make sure to check out the rest of Transit Of Venus. Purchase the album on Amazon or iTunes, and sink into the epic and sorrow-laden musical masterpiece that is Transit Of Venus.