Review Summary: Billy Talents 3rd offering is nothing on the other 2. Slow, heavy mediocrity laced with moments of brilliance - average.
Most bands 3rd albums are the ones that they struggle on. They start saying things like "Our fans will be shocked when they hear this" and "We went in a lot of different directions... there a lot more piano." Talk like this tells the album will be terrible and loyal fans will run screaming from it. In recent years bands like MCR and Aiden have done this.
Billy Talent III certainly isn't a complete disaster of experimentation but is very different from its predecessors. Things have gotten very murky in the Billy Talent camp...
First off the whole album is at a slower tempo - gone have the almost manic speeds of songs like 'The Ex'. They've been replaced by plodding, heavy and, quite frankly, slightly boring ones, like 1st single 'Rusted From The Rain'. The riffs are heavier and darker, giving the album an almost morbid feel.
Opener 'Devil On My Shoulder' hints at this change but still sounds like textbook 'Talent. There are moments of genius as well - 'Tears Into Wine' and 'Pocketful of Dreams' are the stand out tracks of the album, while 'The Dead Can't Testify' and 'Turn Your Back' wait to be discovered.
Both 'Tears Into Wine' and 'Pocketful Of Dreams' have amazing, sing-a-long choruses that are bound to become live favourites but the real reason that they stand out like a guy dressed as a banana at a funeral is the fact that they have a quicker beat and seem to be so much more alive than anything else on the track list.
'Turn Your Back' is more direct than 'Worker Bee's' and would have been a great way to end the album as 'Sudden Movements' is the ultimate misnomer as no kind of movement, let alone sudden ones, in it and 'Definition of Destiny' is completely unremarkable and forgetable.
'The Dead Can't Testify' is an outsider anthem in the form of a witch-hunt with a driving riff that tops it off perfectly. Billy Talent have alsways been famous for their original lyrics and narration points but unfortunately this is one of few examples on the new record.
'Saint Veronika' and 'White Sparrows' seem painfully cliched despite being fairly good songs and listening to them sums up what you think as you listen to the album. Yeah, it's Billy Talent... but where's the originality, the quirkiness and whatever it was that made Billy Talent so special.