Chevelle have created a mature album that is a wonderful addition to their repertoire, their 7th to be exact. And they show no signs of slowing down.
La Gárgola is an overall strong album with some interesting pieces breaking up the signature rock that has become Chevelle’s staple sound.
They also make use of some interesting experimental sounds yet somehow pull it all together to created a solid album with both powerful and melodic parts that leaves you satisfied.
“Ouija Board” is a good introduction song. It prepares you for what to expect on the rest of the album.
“An island” gets you feeling the flow and “Take out the Gunman” reminds you of the roots that Chevelle came from.
I should say at this point that the sound of the guitars is not always pleasing and can sound like the mic used to record the amps is peaking slightly. This could have been done intentionally and you may like this fuzzy industrial sound but I am not a huge fan of it.
I also feel the vocals have slightly too much compression on them but only in the first half of the album. These are just the opinions of one man listening through two different sets of studio speakers so take it with a pinch of salt.
“Jawbreaker” is a really cool rocking tune that will have you moving to the up-beat, they combine some really cool guitar and vocal effects with a simple bouncing guitar rhythm with an epic finish that makes you feel like you are at the live show.
“Hunter Eats Hunter” is my favorite song on the album, It is dark, moody, has a slow start and heavy finish and sounds like it comes straight from their 2004 album “This type of thinking”. It is a musically brilliant song, very well written. It tells a story and makes you feel something, that is always a sign of good music.
Something that I enjoy about this album is halfway through they switch gears and carry over the emotions from “Hunter Eats Hunter” into a beautiful ballad and some melodic songs.
“One Ocean” is the most lovely sounding song on the album, beautiful guitar pieces and Pete’s vocals really come into their own here.
We all know that Pete is not the most powerful or talented singer in the business. However, he has come along way and this song is a testament to what they have achieved as a band over the years.
Pete carries this energy well and “Choking Game” brings back some energy in the form of aggressive rock. No noise here just a good beat with good singing and good rhythm. It gets intense and has some fantastic builds and peaks that for the first time in the album almost force you to sing along.
On “The Dammed” and “Under the Knife” the guitar tone changes again and I really like this tone. It is warm and thick. Pete clearly has many influences for his guitar sound.
I like the versatility they are showing and it makes for a really good musical experience except for the lack of consistency which could have been fixed with a few more songs.
The two songs are not incredibly special but they sound good. They keep the album moving on to the ending that is “Twinge”.
The song starts with a detuned sounding guitar playing some minor chords. You can feel the mood of the song as the bass and drums drop in. The story starts with pete’s vocals complementing the guitar and adding a haunting sense to the music which carries through the entire song eventually ending as it began, with silence.
This song will make you sad and you should be sad because the album is over and it was only 10 songs long!
Chevelle has created a good product here but not their best. There are many different styles and more importantly emotions captured in this music and any Chevelle fan or rock fan in general should have this album somewhere in their playlist, especially for when they have a pretty girl over.
That being said, some less noise, less monotony and more consistency would have been a wonderful touch as well as three to four more songs.
1. Ouija Board
2. An Island
3. Take Out the Gunman
5. Hunter Eats Hunter
6. One Ocean
7. Choking Game
8. The Damned
9. Under the Knife