June 6, 2022 Three Days Grace – Explosions (Album Review)
Three Days Grace are a band that has triumphed, faced uncertainty, and come out the other side winners. As most know, Three Days Grace rose as one of Hard Rock’s elite in the early 2000s thanks to big albums such as their 2003 debut and 2006’s One-X. Continuing with that success into the middle of the century with 2009’s Life Starts Now, all seemed well aboard the band’s ship. Then within a year of 2012’s Transit of Venus, Adam Gontier exited as their leading voice. A tough pill to swallow for long time fans, the band quickly recruited Matt Walst to fill the hole. The brother of founding Bassist Brad Walst, Matt came with a ton of experience of his own, including fronting My Darkest Days.
Well, don’t look now, but that was nearly a decade ago! Now in the post-Adam Gontier era, Three Days Grace has not only sustained themselves, but continued to flourish with two solid albums – 2015’s Human and 2018’s Outsider. Now in 2022 they are back with their seventh overall studio record, Explosions.
Released on May 6th through RCA, Explosions is really as intense as the name applies. Consisting of 12 new songs, it was recorded with most of the members separate. A challenging situation, they managed to pull it all together for a strong showing of songs that reflect sincere feelings of loss, anger, and frustration. We are living in pretty divided times and this is explicitly displayed right from the get-go with the single “So Called Life.” A strong opening, it is heavy, furious, and sets the mood for the rest of the record. From here you the melodic “I Am The Weapon,” the deep, dark “Neurotic” featuring Lukas Rossi, and sorrowful “Lifetime” which teaches us there is still hope for the human spirit to rise above adversity.
The album burns on rather evenly with the strong, energetic side Three Days Grace featured on “Scar Is Born,” while the more mellow and thoughtful side is on display with “Souvenir.” Marching forward in a forceful, merciless fashion there is also “No Tomorrow” before the introspective “Redemption” gives us common ground…because we all wish to right a wrong if we can. And then there are other stand out moments with the catchy “Champion” and the thought-provoking “Chain of Abuse” which relates to feeling less than, but being reminded that we are not. Finally closing it all out is the impressively touching “Someone To Talk To” featuring Apocalyptica instrumentation that adds an extra dynamic, before the title-track swings back and forth between smooth and strong arrangements.
In truth, even after the last note has ceased with Explosions you are left behind sunken in your own thoughts. An intense album you can listen to over and over and still find cathartic release of heartbreak and pain with each spin, Three Days Grace strikes a chord. Still crafting music that you can feel in every fiber of your being, Cryptic Rock gives Explosions 4.5 out of 5 stars.