Human, the fifth full-length album by Three Days Grace, projects an aura of high-energy emotion that consistently invigorates and connects to the listener. While many songs create the same, hard-hitting rock sounds through pounding guitar chords and vocals, the group still manages to incorporate variety with a few slower-tempo tracks and some melodic guitar work from Barry Stock. All the songs are nonetheless tied together by common themes: mental anguish, questioning the meaning of existence, sickness, and betrayal, to name a few.
The opening track, “Human Race,” lulls listeners in with a gentle beginning that quickly explodes into fast, blistering guitar work and vocals, which introduce the theme of a frustrated effort to understand the nature and condition of human existence and attain a sense of belonging. This raw emotion, angst and vulnerability continues throughout the album, particularly in “Landmine” and “So What,” where Matt Walst’s vocals evoke a sense of nihilistic despair and recklessness. The lyrics of each song are brave and impactful, unabashedly addressing both social issues and individual tribulations.
The album closes with a singular track, “The Real You.” For the first time, the keyboard snatches the spotlight as Neil Sanderson creates a gentle, eery riff with a pseudo-classical air. When the guitar and vocals join the scene, they do so in unison with Sanderson’s already-established piano melody. It’s an unexpected conclusion to such a metallic album, but it continues the emotional flavors present throughout the whole work.
In totality, the album is representative of the work that Three Days Grace has done in the past. The group has repeatedly produced energizing work that is both powerful and vulnerable. One of their goals in creating this album was to use music as a way to connect with fellow human beings, and Human certainly accomplishes this end. Just about everyone can relate to one emotion, if not multiple, expressed on this album, from feeling numb to life’s hardships, to the sense of losing control. If establishing a psychological connection with listeners was the intention, Three Days Grace has definitely achieved their goal.