Review Summary: Expectations don't always go to Hell. "Human" isn't terrible, but its not great either
As soon as Three Days Grace fans heard the news that Adam was leaving, there was a huge backlash which ended with many fans turning their backs on the band, declaring that "they aren't Three Days Grace anymore" or "Adam WAS the band". Then it was announced that My Darkest Days frontman Matt Walst would be replacing Adam. Of course, the fans who had already turned their backs then began complaining, citing that "No one can replace Adam!" and that "Matt is awful". Matt Walst at the time did seem to be a strange choice, even if he was the brother of the bands bass player Brad Walst. His vocal work on My Darkest Days was nothing compared to the charisma and sincerity of Adams vocals that had come before. The band then announced a new album, "Human" which was to feature Matt as lead vocalist. The fans of course complained again, posting their "like if you miss Adam" comments. Some fans of course decided to give Matt a chance, and was this the right thing to do? Yes and no.
Matt does an okay job on Human, his voice is gritty and brash, and he has a decent vocal range. However, he lacks the passion that Adam had, and some songs sound as though he honestly didn't care when recording them, and just wanted to go home. That being said, most of the songs on the album are catchy enough to mask this, with the exception of a few ("So What" -- quite ironic really). His vocals truly shine on tracks such as "I Am Machine", "The Real You" and "Painkiller", and these songs are the ones that seem to be considered the diamonds amongst stones. Lyrically, Matt falls short. All of the songs lyrics are painfully generic, almost to a Nickleback level. Songs such as "So What" and "Landmine" contain some of the worst Matt had to offer, "so what if I'm crazier than crazy..." "I'm living like a landmine / Waiting to explode! / I'm ticking like a time-bomb / Ready to go!". Human seems to be one big Rock cliche when it comes to lyrics, all that was missing was another "Someone Who Cares" and the album would be considered the Rock n' Roll cliche Bible. That being said, songs like "I Am Machine" and "Painkiller" are done with passion, and it is clear in Matts voice. On these tracks, there is power and purpose behind Matts vocals. The anger and passion in his voice come through, converted into deep growling verses and bellowing choruses. They're nothing special when it comes to their lyrical content, but they are a lot less cookie-cutter alt. rock lyrics.
Musically, "Human" has little that is new to offer. It's 3 chord rock once more but closer to Pop-punk than Alternative Rock this time. Some songs sound like rip-offs of previous Three Days Grace tracks, "Fallen Angel" is an obvious re-hash of "Never Too Late", only lacking passionate lyrics, and "Painkiller", whilst definitely a highlight of the album, is incredibly similar to "Pain". Three Days Grace have abandoned the the dual guitar formula, and instead use 1 guitar. This isn't incredibly obvious, but when comparing it with albums such as "One-X", this album is a lot less heavy in places. Drum work on the album is okay, but it is blatantly obvious that they are there purely to keep the beat going. Most songs sport the same basic drum pattern, none break the mould in this area. Arguably, the greatest song musically on the album is "The Real You". The piano intro is quite beautiful, with an almost haunting echo, each key resonates off the last, sounding as thought it is being played down large empty corridors. But for the most part, "Human" is nothing new musically. Each song sounds similar to any other Three Days Grace song, or any other alt. rock song for that matter.
When it all comes down to it, "Human" is a Three Days Grace album. It's harmless alt. rock that will no doubt be massively overplayed on rock radio stations for years to come. Matt does a decent job replacing Adam, but doesn't reach the mark, and never will, but to be fair, fans would have been unhappy with whomever they chose. They could have picked far far far worse. This album could have been far worse, its not a fantastic masterpiece, nor is it an abysmal excuse for a piece of music. That's really all there is to say, Human isn't awful, nor is it fantastic. It's just 'good'. Quite a let down after Transit Of Venus, quite a let down overall. But its still rather fun to listen to. Worthy of a 3.0