| September 23, 2009 | Comments (1,756)

By Kristian Partington

Life Starts Now…

Few titles, be they for a novel, a movie, or a compilation of music, carry such heavy weight of optimism as what these three simple words convey. They are at once a statement of resolve, expectation and atonement for a past that may have left the painful scars of growth upon those we love the most.

For a band that has built a ravenous base of fans stretching across the continent with songs of hatred, pain and regret, Three Days Grace appears to have found a new appreciation for the beauty that lies in every corner of the life they have before them.

Last week, as I sat in a non-descript rehearsal space listening to the power of the new songs that make up part of the band’s third album – the pulsating homage to optimism, Life Starts Now – I considered the past that has shaped the way this band makes music. More importantly, I thought about how the new album pays respect to the past in more ways than one but saves all of its reverence for the only thing we all can grasp for certain: the present moment.

I’ve spent countless hours with the humble members of this Canadian hard rock sensation throughout the many years of our friendship. As a friend growing up in the same small town I’ve had a shared perspective on the challenges they’ve faced as individuals and as a band. Before Three Days Grace was an entity, it was simply a talented group of friends with passion, the typical angst of youth and a need for an outlet to harness it all.

After years of stoking the fires of stardom in the world of music, they landed a major record deal and in 2003, the song I Hate Everything About You introduced this band to the world. They really had nothing more to hate than everybody else but with music as an outlet, they’d found a way to release what anger they had. It immediately spoke to a lot of people and the band toured with the relentless hunger necessary to allow true talent to grow.

Their second album built upon the viral success of the first and was fed by the truth of front man Adam Gontier’s battle with the love and hate of addiction. Just as the first record used hard guitars and crushing vocals to speak to those who felt pain or hatred, the second mapped out the bleakness of a life lived in dark shadows where one is beholden to a force seemingly impossible to control.

Life Starts Now is a sign of true progression. Though it took a while for the new compilation to find it way to the fans who’ve craved it, it carries a sense of urgency. It’s embedded with hopeful breaths of emotion and it does so upon a base of musical maturity.

“We always wrote about real stuff but with this one we all had in common the questioning of life itself,” drummer Neil Sanderson told me while we boiled away in his hot tub before their North American CD release last week at the Sony BMG Sound Stage in Toronto. “Each of us had very sobering experiences over the last little while, kind of realizing the volatility of life and we drew from that.” The fact is, each band member has spent the past year and a half in the face of serious illnesses within close family or friends, and these challenges are presented in the new music.

Before, their craft was an outlet for the angst of youth but it has now evolved into a stamp they place upon the very essence of the life before us all. The lyrics are hopeful, as the last lines of the title track state:

“All this pain…Take this life and make it yours…All this hate…Take your heart and let it love again…You will survive this somehow”

The music itself is more intricate than ever before and all members agree that what they love most is the fact that this album is raw. It was written with the live show in mind and each member is playing with a renewed sense of why they love what they do.

Life Starts Now could be a challenge to any of us who find that our days are spent simply treading water – a catalyst to make the most out of our every minute. At the same time, it could be a warning. There is a conflict that can breed when our idea of a good time gets clouded through the chaos of life and we make the wrong choices. Three Days Grace has had a first hand taste and they’ve walked away stronger.

Regardless of the choices they’ve made, they’ve all now had to face the fragility of life directly in the face. The result is a gift to those who love crisp, honest hard rock music and with tours scheduled for the foreseeable future, the entire package, from angst and hate to life-affirming optimism will be packing venues throughout North America.

Three Days Grace is:
Adam Gontier (Vocals, Guitar)
Brad Walst (Bass)
Neil Sanderson (Drums)
Barry Stock (Guitar)

In order to promote the new album, the band decided to play a few select dates in small venues to a few lucky contest winners.

Check out the photos from the very first private concert in Toronto on September 17, 2009

Buy Life Start Now on iTunes

Follow Three Days Grace on these communities:

Official Website

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Category: Reviews