Billy Talent – III








For Fans Of

Green Day – Face to Face – Rise Against


Mid tempo, radio friendly Canadian rock.


73 / 100

At the risk of drawing on an overused cliché, one could mount a case to suggest Canadian alternative rockers Billy Talent are at their musical crossroads. There is no need for alarming concern – however, questions about the bands position in the current rock scene begin to emerge. The aptly or rather conveniently titled ‘III’ is by no means exclusively mediocre but it does not seem to maintain any lasting prowess either. 


Essentially, if we are to distil the argument into a nutshell, the overall impression of this album centres on whether you like Ben Kowalewicz’s vocals or not. If you like, the unique and abstract singing style of Kowalewicz then ‘III’ is probably going to generate an enjoyable listen. Conversely, if not then Billy Talent’s third studio album is going to fall to the bottom of the album pile quite quickly. Rhythmically the album maintains a one-paced, mid-tempo range with a repetitive vocal template, beginning with solid opener ‘Devil on My Shoulder’. 


Billy Talent do demonstrate a good level of musical acuity in certain instances. Tracks such as ‘Tears into Wine’ (one of the albums highlights) blend well solid verses that culminate with a catchy punk rock chorus.  


It is hard to give an accurate account of ‘III’ – is it one-dimensional and consistently average or are we judging the band by harsh standards. Billy Talent have shown they have a strong level of musical proficiency. Perhaps, like berating Gary Ablett for not getting 40 possessions each week we are grading Billy Talent on a stricter criteria purely because we know that they are capable of gifted things. 


‘III’ is an intriguing case study. Essentially, the album poses more questions than it offers answers. We know Billy Talent have musical ability but somehow efforts like this no longer seem sufficient. It’s good but not great. Let’s call it a wash and see what the band has for us in the future.


  1. Devil on My Shoulder
  2. Rusted From the Rain
  3. Saint Veronika
  4. Tears into Wine
  5. White Sparrows
  6. Pocketful of Dreams
  7. The Dead Can’t Testify
  8. Diamond on a Landmine
  9. Turn Your Back
  10. Sudden Movements
  11. Definition of Destiny

3 Responses to “Billy Talent – III”

  1. backsideslappy

    I prefer the Sebadoh album of the same name….but I do like this record for listening to at work – doesn’t get me too amped…

  2. TreCoolness

    i loved this album… Saint Veronika, Turn Your Back and Devil On My Shoulder being the 3 best on the album. Turn Your Back has such a strong message i suggest listening to the lyrics rather than judging him on his style (which is amazing by the way)

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