Album Review: Three Days Grace, Outsider

By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy

I got into Three Days Grace when I heard “Animal I Have Become” for the very first time.  The masters of the post-grunge and alternative metal scene won audiences over with their melodic riffs and virtuous singing. Back in 2013, a year after the release of Transit to Venus, frontman/rhythm guitarist Adam Gontier left the group to embark on a solo career. He was replaced by Matt Walst, who is also brother to bassist Brad. In 2015, they put out Human, which received a mixed reception from critics and fans. I can imagine it is tough for a new singer to come into a well-established band; just ask Sammy Hagar. Well, it is now 2018, and Three Days Grace looks to the future with their newest album, Outsider. This was gonna be the album that can make or break Matt.

The album starts off with a sonic boom with “Right Left Wrong.” There is passion and anguish in Matt’s singing style. I feel that the My Darkest Days singer is finding his footing and making Three Days Grace his band now. He is very powerful, showing great resilience to his craft. Guitarist Barry Stock gets down to business by delivering some meaty riffs and hooks. The lead single, “The Mountain,” impacts the band’s sound. They all come together and pen a song that talks about facing life’s difficulties head on. It is no wonder why this song has reached the top of the rock charts, giving the band its 13th #1 hit. Drummer Neil Sanderson is as steady as ever on the kit, bringing a metallic punch to the record. Brad roars on the bass guitar. He is booming with those melodic beats.

According to Brad, the album as a whole is a “journey to find your place.” I completely agree with his statement. When I hear the ballad “Nothing to Lose But You,” there is sorrow and thankfulness about having a loved one who looks out for their better half’s well-being. With songs like “I Am an Outsider,” “Villain I’m Not,” “Love Me or Leave Me,” and “Chasing the First Time,” Three Days Grace have distributed tunes that is relatable for every listener. One of the best the songs they put together was “Me Against You,” which I feel is an anthem against the corrupt system we all live in. Stock keeps things simple with a few powerful chord progressions. The only that seems to missing is a guitar solo, which I believe would have made it more prevailing impact. The album ends with the ominous “The Abyss,” a tune about battling the demons we all have..

All in all, I feel Outsider is a major improvement for Three Days Grace. Though Humans had its fine moments every now and then, I saw this record as being tighter. When all the pain is spilled out, there is rejoicing in knowing that we all go through pain together. The Walst brothers, Stock, and Sanderson are back on top. I wish Stock went back to doing some solos like he did on One-X, but he still grinds out crunchy licks. Make no mistake about it; Three Days Grace is now Matt Walst’s band. To Three Days Grace, I salute you. Horns up!!! 8.8/10

1. Right Left Wrong
2. The Mountain
3. I am an Outsider
4. Infra-Red
5. Nothing to Lose But You
6. Me Against You
7. Love Me or Leave Me
8. Strange Days
9. Villain I’m Not
10. Chasing the First Time
11. The New Real
12. The Abyss

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