Chevelle
Vena Sera


3.5
great

Review

by Bwgrotha1s USER (26 Reviews)
May 24th, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chevelle undergoes several upgrades to their sound on this 2007 outing.

Chevelle have made a number of improvements on Vena Sera. For starters, vocalist Pete Loeffler has conjured up a new source of rage from the incident that occurred prior to this record’s release, involving the firing of bassist and brother Joe Loeffler.

That rage has given Pete a new bank of inspiration from which he makes withdrawals lyrically on the record. He is now much less cryptic with his word-choice and more fluent with verses. The chorus on “Straight Jacket Fashion” is not only easy to sing along with but deeply critical of the song’s target, “Cause quietly, you're overrated anyhow, And currently, you've spread yourself so thin!” Loeffler sings. Compared to the zombifying rants he was shouting on This Type of Thinking… this is pure top-notch poetry. His sudden jump in lyrical quality further solidifies the importance of his role in the band (as if he wasn’t crucial enough already).

The next notable upgrade the band has undergone is the entry of new bassist Dean Bernardini, who is clearly more of a presence than ex-member Joe Loeffler, as shown on songs like “The Fad,” and “I Get It,” where he is the driving force behind the melody. Elsewhere on the record, Bernardini makes a lot of otherwise-decent songs like “Brainiac,” great by being very active throughout compared to his bandmates.

The most important change to Chevelle’s scheme however, is that they most certainly “have their groove back,” for lack of a better phrase. Songs are catchy again, and multiple grooves are fitting better together, especially in “Humanoid,” and “Midnight to Midnight.” They haven’t completely returned to the template used on Wonder What’s Next but who says they have to? They’re headed back in that direction, but have decided to sacrifice abundant hooks for more developed songwriting. They don’t exactly master this approach on Vena Sera but it certainly proves an efficient starting place considering the epics that followed this record (Sci-fi Crimes, La Gargola).

The only thing holding them back here is the faint but existent tendencies that Chevelle’s songs still live by in most aspects. These tendencies I’m referring to, are Chevelle’s apparent focus on a late teen-aged audience. There is always a need for a stronger sense of maturity at some point in a band’s career, and it’s about time Chevelle got the ball rolling with it. Pete Loeffler has improved majorly lyrically, but on the opener “Antisaint,” and closer “Saturdays,” he is as choppy and obscure as he was throughout This Type of Thinking.. They’ve also come to show a better sense of crafting solid alternative metal, but they still haven’t established any robust memorability or distinguishable traits on some songs, and that needs to change. Otherwise, Vena Sera does Chevelle’s reputation nothing but good, being an obvious step in their path to greatness.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Friday13th
May 24th 2014


2646 Comments


Always thought "I Get It" was a great single with an interesting take on the whole "angsty rock"
stereotype

Digging: Triana - El Patio

EvoHavok
May 24th 2014


1475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, but I don't consider Chevelle nu-metal. Certain angsty lyrics don't make everything nu-metal.

Digging: Bloodbath - Grand Morbid Funeral

Toondude10
May 24th 2014


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They’ve also come to show a better sense of crafting solid nu-metal


What the fuck have you been smoking? Chevelle isn't nu-metal.

Good review though.

Digging: Lost Ubikyst in Apeiron - Abstruse Imbeciles Nailed On Slavery

PistolPete
May 24th 2014


3639 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is fun, there's a new Chevelle review each day for me to read =]

Obviously I think you underrate this band, but my fanboy opinion means nadda

Digging: Skyharbor - Guiding Lights

Toondude10
May 24th 2014


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol, this is my favorite Chevelle album, but even I wouldn't give this a 5.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
May 24th 2014


8019 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bernardini learned how to play bass basically for this album. Just because they put him high in the mix doesn't mean he is a presence or even good

Bwgrotha1s
May 24th 2014


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha maybe I do underrate them, but a lot of people seem to think i'm overly generous toward Sci-fi Crimes and Hats off, two albums I think are among their best that many vena sera and this type of thinking.. fans would disagree with. Love Chevelle though.

Also curse, I hear what you're saying, but how is being put higher in the mix not being a presence? They almost never did any mixing that put Joe on the frontline, and as soon as Bernardini entered the field, suddenly they have more emphasis on bass? Never commented on his quality as a bassist either. All I can say, is that there is nothing like Bernardini's work prior to Vena Sera.

Bwgrotha1s
May 24th 2014


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and nu-metal is a broad term.

Toondude10
May 24th 2014


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, not really. In fact it's more specific than what your implying. It's classified as heavy metal or grunge sub-genre combined with elements of hip-hop and hardcore. It's not like every alt metal band is nu-metal. It doesn't work like that.

Bwgrotha1s
May 24th 2014


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

right. Well I revised it in the review, I guess nu-metal is a little more leaning toward Mudvayne and Disturbed.

Toondude10
May 24th 2014


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I would use the whole word "alternative" to make it sound more professional

And again, don't repeat the summary in the review itself. It's not really necessary to do so.

Bwgrotha1s
May 24th 2014


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't do it this time?

Toondude10
May 24th 2014


4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oops, must have meant the other review that you did. My bad.

Bwgrotha1s
May 24th 2014


53 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess I used a similar phrasing.

MuhNamesTyler
May 24th 2014


4376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, pos



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