Note: Before any of you go all psycho on me because I gave this album a 5, please listen to my reasons.
Chevelle started out as an indie rock band, which a different bassist at the time. Eventually, possibly due to label conflicts, they shifted their musical direction. Wonder What's Next was the first album to really to portray them as an alternative metal band. Wonder What's Next proved to be a huge success, garnering critical acclaim and even going platinum. This album proved that Chevelle was one of the leaders of the pack, if of course, the pack was a genre, and more specifically, alt-metal.
One of the best parts of this album is the originality. Chevelle is a fairly unique band, as far as the definition goes. Gradually, they've lost originality, but Wonder What's Next is their best album to date. The song structures are all great, and is always a great listen.
Pete Loeffler is one of my favorite melodic vocalists. He's often accused of being a Maynard James Keenan ripoff, but in a sense, which alt-metal singer isn't? Pete's vocal style can range from some nice tuneful, melodic, and clean singing, then to a fierce, aggressive scream. And what adds on to make it even better is how long he can keep screaming. Songs like "Don't Fake It", "Grab Thy Hand", and even "The Red" for a matter, all demonstrate just how well he can sing, scream, and even mix them together.
The guitar is one of the best parts. Though this album has a pretty apparent lack of guitar solos, or at least, recognizable ones, this album still contains some pretty tight guitarwork. "Forfeit" is a perfect example, in which Pete scratches the string with his pick, while distorting the guitar to give a unique sound. The guitar is part of what makes this album very heavy. This album is just full of pulsing powerchords, and it's not always a good thing, but in this case, it is.
The bass is also pretty nice. With trios, it's hard not to let your bass have a large role. Especially since Pete enjoys putting his hands on the mic when he sings. Joe plays some pretty neat bass riffs in this album, such as in "The Red", and "An Evening with El Diablo". The drumming is pretty normal, it doesn't stick out too much though.
This album basically builds in the wake of Tool, with bridges just leading right into a powerful, soaring chorus. Of course, it'll still be hard to often match the catchiness of the singles, but this album is still a masterpiece. Songs like "Wonder What's Next" are definately examples of prog influence, featuring some art rock-influenced guitar riffs as well. Chevelle definately has great potential, and will most likely dominate the alternative metal scene.
Send the Pain Below
Don't Fake This
Grab Thy Hand