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Album Review: Chevelle – La Gárgola

2 min read

Alt-metal rock outfit Chevelle pull a few surprises with their latest album, La Gárgola which is released this month. Heavy guitar riffs and the vocal styling of Pete Loeffler come together for the production of another release and despite the trial of some new arrangements, for the most part they’re sticking to the formula that has been successful for the band on previous releases.

Chevelle La GargolaChevelle, a three-piece rock outfit comprised of brothers, Pete (Vocals, Guitar), Sam (Percussion) and Joe Loeffler (Bass and backing vocals), burst onto the scene in 2000. After Joe left the band in 2005 he was replaced with Dean Bernardini, Pete and Sam’s brother-in-law and long time friend. The band gained major exposure through popular tracks such as The Red which featured in regular rotation on MTV. The lead vocals of Pete Loeffler are very James-Maynard-Keenan-esque across all releases, so comparisons with hard-rock masters Tool come often.

La Gárgola packs a sound punch without going too far into metal territory. It remains very much a rock record despite the heavy guitar influences and vocals that would suit a metal release. The album’s vocals are polished and best demonstrated on the lead track Take out the Gunman. Most of the album’s other tracks have a similar well-mixed sound, the guitars and percussion never feel unevenly matched with the vocals and vice versa.

Most of the tracks seem to follow a similar vibe trying to capture an edgy sound while remaining broadcast friendly. Hunter Aats Hunter and Jawbreaker try hard to provide some deep commentary but ultimately the messages feel forced and won’t really forge connections with a new audience. One Ocean strays the furthest from La Gárgola’s other sounds, providing a decisively less metal track that feels out of place but at the same time a little refreshing.

With all this being said, Chevelle is providing a service for enthusiasts of their older work. A formulaic similarity to earlier material is reason enough to stick around for La Gárgola. But for those without experience with Chevelle, invest in another rock outfit.