Chevelle
La Gargola


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (83 Reviews)
April 1st, 2014 | 443 replies


Release Date: 04/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Growing a fire.

An artist playing it safe with their sound for too long is never a good thing. Little do these artists know is that making tweaks to their sound may make for their most enjoyable album yet. Though Chevelle isn’t exactly the most mainstream artist out there, they had their fair share of hits in the Billboard Hot 100 like “Send The Pain Below” and “The Red.” Despite being slightly less accessible than their counterparts Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin, the mainstream appeal has always been there. Thankfully, Chevelle made some changes in their sound and this results in a more mature and compelling outing. Make no mistake that sticklers for bands sounding like Tool or Deftones may in fact dismiss this, but it doesn’t change how the band has matured lyrically and most importantly: Musically. It’s safe to say that these changes have been a long time coming.

Perhaps the biggest change that makes this record so great is how everyone gets a chance to shine here. Pete’s vocals are no longer the primary focus and this immediately gets rid of most of the band’s mainstream appeal right off the bat. Though Chevelle has always been based on Pete’s vocals and riffs, more of an emphasis has been placed on the latter. As soon as “Ouija Board” kicks off the listener immediately gets a sense of the heavier, grittier sound La Gargola will showcase. Pete’s guitar work never proves to be overly complex, but they are nonetheless effective on “Ouija Board” and as well as the rest of the album. “Hunter Eats Hunter” also features fantastic catchy guitar riffs that stick in the listener’s head for days.

However, the guitar work is not the only primary focus here. Make no mistake that the drumming and bass finally get a chance to show off effectively. These two being slightly more apparent gives the band a chance to showcase some new sounds in their music. An interesting new take is presented for Sam’s drumming “Take Out The Gunman” and this refreshing change sound be capitalized on more in the future. Also the bass being more apparent makes for a more well-rounded sound. The closer “Twinge” showcases how far the band has come in terms of sound with its muffled yet chilling guitar work, Pete’s mesmerizing whispered performance, great bass riffs and fantastic lyrics. “One Ocean” also possesses these qualities in its soothing Deftones like atmosphere, but the drawback to this song is that it really overstays its welcome unfortunately.

In addition to well-rounded instrumentals, Pete remains as powerful and versatile as ever. A band that focuses on vocals always needs a front man with charisma and luckily this time around he has the rest of his band to fully back him up. Pete’s Maynard James Keenan and Chino Moreno influences are there more than ever this time around, but he still manages to make a voice of his own despite wearing them on his sleeve. His performance in “Under The Knife” solidifies him as one of the best alternative metal vocalists out there and he sure gets the blood pumping in this one. The lyrics throughout the album as just as great as his performance as well and even though they are not incomprehensible by any means, they remain abstract enough to provide some very thought provoking sections like in “Under The Knife” and “Twinge.”

In the album opener, Pete exclaims that “We’re growing a fire” and this fire is growing indeed. These tweaks in their sound are without a doubt a step in the right direction for the band and it makes for a very hopeful future for them. The album may not perfect with “One Ocean’s” overlong nature and the desire for what is heard in “Twinge” to be expanded upon, but La Gargola certainly sees the band excel in every department. The fire is growing, but who knows what could happen if the fire manages to grow out of control? We shall wait and see.



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user ratings (589)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • GrimReaper (3.5)
    Chevelle continues their resurgence back into the hard rock world....

    Bwgrotha1s (4.5)
    On La Gargola, Chevelle are at their most confident and passionate....

    krthll1 (3.5)
    Hard rock's most consistent staple are back with a surprisingly composed, yet heavier albu...

    AaronBatt (4)
    "Are you up for anything?"...

  • Greg Fisher STAFF (4.1)
    Chevelle tweak their sound, and come up with their most engrossing album in years....

    Mike Denison (2)
    This type of thinking (did them in)....

    Deadwing42 (4)
    It's in the BACK of the mind...

    fromtheinside (4)
    Beneath all the loud make-up that’s been applied, a more methodical hand turns La Gargol...

  • Humzaboy (4)
    An amazing progressive album that shows haters how great a rock band Chevelle really is....

    Pistol Pete (4.5)
    "They said this fun is near the end"....

    Alex Carlson (3.5)
    Without a doubt, this is the most un-Chevelle Chevelle album released yet....


Comments:Add a Comment 
emester
April 1st 2014


3551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

bumped to 4.5 I see?

Digging: Krieg - Transient

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dont think i can remember 3 revs of same album on front page since those horrible green day records

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha yea man this is superb. So impressed with it.

Luckily this one actually deserves it imo menawati haha

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16026 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

only heard one of the songs, seemed pretty solid but not really my thing, need to check the whole album tho

Alpocalypse
April 1st 2014


3 Comments


Loved the album review and the album itself. Chevelle never disappoints and they've gone above expectations on this album. Great album from start to finish.

EvoHavok
April 1st 2014


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Many reviews and almost all worth featuring! Nice job! I had to bump my rating too. This album rocks and those not impressed at first should really give it another chance.

Digging: Evergrey - Hymns for the Broken

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! And emphasis on the almost lol

EvoHavok
April 1st 2014


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, you'll find easily which one is the black sheep.

Toondude10
April 1st 2014


4011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Geez another one!

Great review, though I don't really find this as a 4.5 honestly.

Digging: Queens of the Stone Age - Songs for the Deaf

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks bro

Toondude10
April 1st 2014


4011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Does this mean you're gong to review every single Chevelle album after you're finished listening to them?

(I doubt it XD)

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No far from my plan haha

Toondude10
April 1st 2014


4011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And damn, this album is trending HARD. Even knocked out Animals as Leaders off of the top spot.

EvoHavok
April 1st 2014


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yup, I'm surprised by that, especially since most of the site is not really keen on alt rock.

Toondude10
April 1st 2014


4011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh please, wait until the new Tool album comes out. That's probably going to be up there for weeks, maybe even months.

EvoHavok
April 1st 2014


1411 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Of course, but Tool is Tool heh. Also remember how long Koi No Yokan remained in the chart.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


10373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sunbather anyone?

SirDrumsalot
April 1st 2014


1567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dang, finally got around to listening to this today. Had pretty high expectations with all the praise its getting. But I'm left with mixed feelings about this album after first listen.
Overall I agree with most people that this is better than anything they've put out for quite a while. On the other hand it falls into the same pattern as the last few albums for me. Half the album is great, and the other half is pretty boring. I'll have to give it a few more listens...maybe the rating will go up.

Toondude10
April 1st 2014


4011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That one too, geez

PostMesmeric
April 1st 2014


377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agh, Mongi! You and your contributor review knocking me out of the album page's link! Ah, well. You did say you were working on a review! Great work, by the way! XD



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