The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

La Gárgola: Chevelle album review

La Gárgola: Chevelle album review

Chevelle is an American rock band from Illinois that plays alternative metal and post-grunge hard rock.  The band currently consists of Pete Loeffler (vocals and guitar), Sam Loeffler (drums) and Dean Bernardini (bass).  La Gárgola is the band’s seventh studio album, and it was released on April 1.

The album opens with “Ouija Board,” which starts out with eerie percussive instruments giving a haunting effect, sounding as if it belongs in “The Shining.”  Without haste, the blaring metal guitars enter with screaming vocals.  The pace never slows throughout the song, the guitars are as loud as possible and the drums powerful.  The heavy lines turn into a dissonant melodic line at the bridge with a vocal harmony.  The vocals have a harsh sound to them – Chevelle is definitely not Barry Manilow.

“An Island” starts with the flutter of what sounded like a DJ scratching a disk until the guitars and drums enter.  The drums have a delicate rhythm of opening and closing the hi-hat every other beat, which adds texture to the overly fuzzed guitars.  Again, the vocals are more a screaming style than a peaceful melody.  The bridge turns into a heavy metal song with the driving, powerful guitars.

“Take Out the Gunman,” the album’s only single, starts with an intricate guitar rhythm.  The vocals come in lightly then kick up a notch when the drums and overly distorted guitars come in.  The song features a cowbell, but my only problem is that it needs more cowbell.  The song progresses into a rockin’ guitar riff with loud screaming vocals that will guarantee a head bang and foot stomp.

“Jawbreaker” starts with a fast guitar riff and solid, powerful drums.  During the verse, the guitars cut out and a distorted bass takes over, which is rare in today’s music.  The drummer plays an intricate hi-hat pattern with the bass while the singer belts a melody all to his own.  The end features the guitars only playing single power chords, relaxing the tension; in this case, less is more.

“Hunter Eats Hunter” starts with a melodic guitar line and drum line.  The verses feature the guitar and vocals playing/singing the same melody line.  Aside from the verse riffs, this song has the least amount of “stuff” going on; it doesn’t feel as busy as the earlier songs.  At the bridge, most of the instruments cut out except for guitar, which continues to play the same riff.  The bass plays a dissonant progression, which adds depth and tension to the mix.

“One Ocean” starts with a clean guitar and violin along with a melodic drum pattern.  The verse features the kick and snare drums, a bass line, a few guitar arpeggios and a soft, emotional vocal line.  The softest song on the album gives the right amount of balance between rock and ballad and gives a break to rest your neck from all of the head banging.  The vocals are very airy and breathy, giving the effect of being quite emotional about what he’s singing about.

“Choking Game” opens with sound effects and a loud, high-pitched guitar.  The drummer uses a double bass drum to push the song while the bass lays down the rhythm under the distorted guitars.  The song kicks up a notch at the bridge when the guitars begin playing a heavy metal, fuzzy riff that leads back into a hard, yet melodic chorus.

“The Dammed” starts with the note-less fuzz/static of a distorted guitar until a hard rock rhythm enters.  This song is slower than the rest, but still heavy.  The bass is once again distorted.  How awesome is that!?  If only there was more cowbell.  The song has a high-pitched guitar melody line after the chorus, which gives depth to the overall mix.  The guitars do more than just play rhythm.

“Under the Knife” continues the heavy metal feel, much like the rest of the album.

“Twinge” starts with a clean guitar with heavy reverb to give an eerie effect.  The simple and elegant drums provide space in the song, which the vocals are airy again.  The song in general has an eerie feel and is not overly complicated like the previous tracks.  The lyrics repeat throughout the song, which gives… can you guess?… an eerie feel.  And if you thought it couldn’t be any more eerie, the last line to finish the album is a whisper.

La Gárgola has received generally good reviews.  Evigshed Magazine, a music review website, gave the album 5/5 stars, and both Loudwire and Allmusic gave it 4/5 stars.

The album as a whole has a raw feel to it; it’s not overly digitalized or overly mixed and mastered.  It’s packed full of rough, harsh emotions that break out through the screaming vocals and blaring guitars.  They managed to experiment with new sounds while also sticking to their roots.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Greyhound Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
La Gárgola: Chevelle album review