VOTE: Breaking Benjamin vs. Tool vs. Three Days Grace
May 8, 2020
The final first-round matchup of our tournament to determine which band dominated the 2000s is a triple threat!
Here at The Independent, we’ve organized a tournament to determine which band ruled the 2000s. otherwise recognized as the MySpace Era. Boosted by a generation that gravitated toward rock and its various subgenres, the mid-2000s were defined by both the emergence of punk, pop punk and emo and the refinement of traditional hard rock and heavy metal.
While rock and its subgenres no longer monopolize the airwaves, the bands that propelled the genre to the tops of charts possess a resiliency that keeps them near and dear to the hearts of listeners. This first round matchup is between Tool, Breaking Benjamin and Three Days Grace
Tool only released two albums during the 2000s, though each rippled throughout the progressive rock community.
The Los Angeles art rockers kicked off the decade with Lateralus, which climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 during its debut week. The album’s lead single “Schism” earned Tool their second Grammy Award, which was accompanied by a controversial-yet-comical acceptance speech that saw vocalist Maynard James Keenan credit Satan and bassist Justin Chancellor thank his father for impregnating his mother.
The band released its fourth studio album, 10,000 Days, in 2006. The album quickly claimed the top spot on the Billboard Top 200 before earning platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on the strength of 564,000 copies sold worldwide within its first week.
The effort earned Tool a multitude of awards, including Grammy Awards for Best Recording Package and Best Rock Performance (“Vicarious”). “The Pot” earned the album a third Grammy nomination in 2008 for Best Hard Rock Performance, though the number lost to Mars Volta’s “Wax Simulacra.”
Breaking Benjamin remains one of rock’s most grossly underrated acts despite enjoying remarkable commercial success throughout their two-decade tenure.
Though the Wilkes-Barre hard rockers debuted in 2002 with Saturate, Breaking Benjamin didn’t earn mainstream notoriety until 2004’s We Are Not Alone. The band’s sophomore effort, We Are Not Alone featured an increasingly refined sound, peaking at No. 20 on the Billboard 200 as two singles–”So Cold” and “Sooner or Later”–climbed to No. 2 on the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks.
In 2006, Breaking Benjamin perfected their craft with the release of Phobia. Featuring “The Diary of Jane,” Phobia reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200 before earning certified platinum status from the RIAA.
The decade concluded with Dear Agony which, to this day, stands as Breaking Benjamin’s most consistent album to date. Dear Agony peaked in the top-five on six separate charts while ascending to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Hard Rock Albums and Top Rock Albums charts. The album’s second track, “I Will Not Bow,” is currently the band’s second-most streamed song across digital platforms, surpassing 123 million streams on Spotify.
Three Days Grace
Seventeen years later and Three Days Grace’s eponymous album remains one of the greatest debut efforts of all time. On the strength of former vocalist Adam Gontier’s pained vocals, Three Days Grace featured three singles that reached the top-two on various charts, including two No. 1 singles on the Canadian Rock Charts (“I Hate Everything About You,” “Just Like You”). Meanwhile, “Home” peaked at No. 2 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts.
In 2006, the Ontario hard rockers compounded upon their momentum with One-X, the first studio album to feature lead guitarist Barry Stock. The album’s lead single “Animal I Have Become” collected a Media Base Award after becoming the most played rock song on Canadian radio. Along with “Never Too Late,” “Animal I Have Become” also went double-platinum in Canada while “Time of Dying” was certified gold by the RIAA.
2009’s Life Starts Now may have earned the most notoriety among Three Days Grace albums as “The Good Life” charted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock, Rock and Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles charts. The track also featured on ESPN’s Winter X Games XIV, the 2010 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and the 2010 NFL Draft before the RIAA declared it certified platinum.
Collectively, the album reached No. 2 on four separate charts, with “World So Cold” and “Break” reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart.
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