Chevelle
La Gargola


4.0
excellent

Review

by AaronBatt USER (50 Reviews)
May 1st, 2014 | 8 replies


Release Date: 04/01/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Are you up for anything?"

La Gargola- {noun} The Gargoyle

Chevelle is a band known for their distinctive take on alternative metal. The Chicago trio is going on seven studio albums now, and their newest offering La Gargola is one of their best. Fans who were not particularly amused by their last two albums, Sci-Fi Crimes and Hats Off To The Bull will find much to rejoice in here. Gone are the more melodic/commercial touches of Sci-Fi Crimes and the political leanings of Hats Off To The Bull. In their place, Chevelle has created a world of horror and haunting images, set to some of their most uncompromising material yet.

Opener "Ouija Board" kicks off this ride through Hell in grand fashion, as we are immediately greeted with the sound of wind chimes that conjure the image of being home all alone on a cold and quiet night. Vocalist/guitarist Pete Loeffler soon disrupts the quiet with a simple but effective first lyric, "Are you up for anything?". The lyric serves both as an introduction to this tale of experimenting with the spiritual medium known an ouija board, and a mission statement for the rest of La Gargola. Expect the unexpected on Chevelle's seventh album, this ride will take several twists and turns along the 10 tracks presented here.

"Ouija Board" musically is an explosive, heart-racing opener that cohesively brings us to a fork in the road, where we are immediately taken on a detour into song #2. "An Island" is a fuzzed-out and bouncy track that sounds like nothing Chevelle has done recently, and serves as a bridge between "Ouija Board" and first single "Take Out The Gunman." Out of all the material on La Gargola, "Take Out The Gunman" sounds the most like something that could've appeared on either Sci-Fi Crimes or Hats Off To The Bull. A simple-but insanely catchy riff and a propulsive chorus will leave this song stuck in your head for awhile, even as Pete Loeffler ratchets up the horror with a tale of gun violence.

"Jawbreaker" is a mid-tempo tune that hearkens back to the Wonder What's Next/ This Type Of Thinking era, with bassist Dean Bernardini driving the track with his growling bass in the verses and Pete accompanying him with a pulsing guitar riff. "Hunter Eats Hunter" leads us astray from the well-travelled road into the forest with a quiet guitar line and Sam Loeffler's slower drum pattern. Pete continues the overall theme of horror with a tale of the hunter being the hunted. "The Damned" slinks along with bass-led verses and a mosh-ready chorus. There is a brilliant part mid-way through where Loeffler's guitar lead sounds muffled and thus lends "The Damned" something extra.

La Gargola is weighed down by a couple of less-than-perfect tracks. "Choking Game" to my ears seems a bit too similar to "Jawbreaker" and thus is relegated to being one of the more average tracks on here. "Under The Knife" also feels slightly below caliber, but it passes the ear test well-enough.

At this time I would like to highlight my two favorite songs on La Gargola, "One Ocean" and "Twinge." I love these two songs because they both pay homage to a favorite band of mine, Deftones. "One Ocean" could not be a more perfect name for this song, as everything fits together perfectly, starting with Pete's lyrics/vocals. Pete Loeffler's pro-environment lyrics are eloquent, and his vocals carry this song. Pete's voice rises and falls throughout the song, just like waves/tides of an ocean and his guitar line floats along on a subdued rhythm from Bernardini & Sam Loeffler. "Twinge" is another quiet tune, carried by a metronomic drum beat from Sam and Pete's subdued vocals. The guitar comes and go like brief stabs of pain (the definition of twinge). The entire track is hypnotic and soothing as hell.

All three member of Chevelle are at the height of their powers here. Pete Loeffler carries much of La Gargola with his vocals. Many tracks feature a hushed/whispered vocal melody that is unique among most hard rock groups and once again brings a Deftones comparison to mind (Chino Moreno specifically). The guitar riffs are heavier than ever and also more dynamic. I can not say enough about Sam Loeffler and Dean Bernardini as a rhythm section. Whereas most hard rock sections are only there to serve as timekeepers for the guitarist(s) and vocalist, Sam and Dean blend in perfectly with whatever Pete is doing and enhance the material. From the subdued performances on "One Ocean" & "Twinge" to the funky backbone of "An Island" and the thrash-inspired beating on "Ouija Board", Sam Loeffler and Dean Bernardini hold their weight with Sam's brother Pete and rise La Gargola from the ranks of just another hard rock album.

Before I go, praise must be thrown to producer Joe Barresi, who once again proves why he is one of the best in the business at his profession. Each instrument is placed perfectly into the mix and can clearly be heard. The dynamics of the sound on La Gargola are awesome.

Chevelle had some proving to do to some fans who were turned off by Sci-Fi Crimes & Hats Off To The Bull, and on La Gargola, they have certainly done just that. While Chevelle sacrificed their trademark melodies somewhat, the songs on La Gargola are also the strongest material that this Chicago trio has presented to the public in years. It will be interesting to see where they go from here, but one thing is for certain. La Gargola is not just one of the best rock albums so far in 2014, it is one of the best albums Chevelle has ever recorded.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Toondude10
May 1st 2014


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good lord another one! :P

A few things:

You go rather general when talking about the album itself but descriptive when talking about the songs. I'd make a separate paragraph just for the songs and one for the actual album rather than mixing the two together.

Talk more about the negatives, because that little paragraph you had for that practically says nothing other than the fact you don't like those songs in particular.

Italicize the albums


Before I go, praise must be thrown to producer Joe Barresi, who once again proves why he is one of the best in the business at his profession. Each instrument is placed perfectly into the mix and can clearly be heard. The dynamics of the sound on La Gargola are awesome.


Get rid of the "before I go" part and mix that in with a paragraph that talks about the album itself.

Just a few pointers there, but it's an alright review.

Digging: Periphery - Periphery II: This Time It's Personal

paradox1216
May 1st 2014


521 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this has WAY too many reviews. regardless, it's a good album, and this is a good review

Toondude10
May 1st 2014


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude, look how many pages of reviews Linkin Park's Living Things has. XD

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


11779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It has two pages that's not that much

Digging: Rishloo - Living as Ghosts with Buildings as Teeth

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


11779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also:

At this time I would like to highlight my two favorite songs on La Gargola

This is unnecessary because this is your review. You don't have to tell us what you are going to say next first hand, just do it naturally with flow.

Talking about Ouija Board in two paragraphs is pretty sloppy considering how you go to into detail about a number of tracks in the paragraph after. Just stick to talking about Ouija Board in the first paragraph you mention it.

Also the two tiny paragraph you add in about the songs you dislike and the producer really break up the flow of your review. I'd add that stuff in somewhere else if I were you.

Not a bad review, but it needs a bit of work.

PorcelainRain
May 1st 2014


537 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This doesn't have that many reviews at all smh noobs

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
May 1st 2014


3358 Comments


this needs more reviews

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

Toondude10
May 2nd 2014


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nah, it has enough. Pretty much everyone has made their point.



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