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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2014
I purchased La Gargola last night, and have been listening to it steadily ever since, as I really wanted it to sit with me for awhile before I reviewed it. I actually would rate the album up to 4 and 1/2 stars (unfortunately, Amazon does not allow this). La Gargola is a mixture of many different elements, and in my opinion offers quite a bit that needs to be digested over a period of time, but it is a very good, if not excellent Chevelle album in my opinion. Just so others can see my vantage point, my two favorite Chevelle albums are Vena Sera and Hats Off to The Bull. Although La Gargola is not as anthemic/soaring as those albums, it is very unique, and very good in other ways, so I would rank La Gargola as one of their better albums hands down, and what I consider to be their most experimental to date.

There is a lot to take in with this, and a lot of different musical elements, so I will see if I can break it down a bit. However, the one thing that I wish there a bit more of on this album are the soaring anthemic vocals and hooks that I love about Chevelle. La Gargola does have its anthemic/soaring moments in the traditional Chevelle vein, but in my opinion is much heavier and a bit thrashier than past offerings. However, I have to say that La gargola is really unique and definitely pretty grooving in the Chevelle way (you can equal parts head bang and dance to the songs, the songs just groove like that), that we have come to know and love.

While there are undoubtedly influences of many different kinds of music genres in Chevelle's sound, I vigorously differ with any one who takes the position that Chevelle rips off any band. I find their music to be decidedly their own and consistently some of the best and most unique rock and roll out there, and I believe la Gargola, after many listens to be their most unique offering to date.

Ok, now to the actual songs.

Ouija Board- Excellent opening track- Very hard and grooving with some unique elements. I would rate this song an 8 to 8.5. I wouldn't say that the chorus is one of Chevelle's most melodic, but the song altogether is really very good. If my ears are not betraying me, there seems to be almost a little bit of a System of a Down vibe to this song. A near classic.

The ISland- One of my personal favorites. Hard and grooving with some epic riffing. I was grooving hard to this one. I think this one is likely to become a Chevelle classic. I would rate it a 9.5-10.

Take out the Gunman- I am sure most of you heard this. Definitely a grooving hard rocker in the traditional Chevelle sense. An easy 8.5 to 9 rating.

Jawbreaker- Another hard rocker. Some pretty good vocals. This one is also likely to become a classic or near classic for Chevelle in my opinion. i can just see a lot of Chevelle fans liking this one a lot. This is a pretty unique song, and i think it merits an easy 8.5 to 9 rating.

Hunter Eats Hunter- Not one of my personal favorites, but if I am looking at it objectively, it is a very good song. Hard groover, with some good vocals. Not as catchy or grooving as I'd normally like, but there is definitely a grooving element to it, and the quality of the musicianship on the song is apparent. I would rate this a 7-8, but I could easily see if other fans rated it higher.

One Ocean- Slower song, with unique elements. I think this song will be an instant Chevelle classic for those fans who appreciate more than just the harder songs. Excellent vocal work and the chorus is outstanding. I rate this a 9-10

Choking game- pretty hard rocker, and a grooving Chevelle anthem in my opinion. I think a near to actual classic. I would rate this 9-10. One of my album favorites. Great vocal work and musicianship.

The Damned- It's got some unique elements, and it's a pretty good hard rocker, but this track did not stand out for me in comparison to the others. I would rate this about a 6 or 7.

Under the Knife- A little better than The Damned but ultimately, it did not offer enough for me keep coming coming back to it. Although I would imagine this song will play very good live. Some heavy riffing and a fairly memorable chorus with some rugged vocals. I would rate this a 7 maybe 7.5.

Twinge- Another slow burner, that takes its time to build, but is an excellent track. I could see this one becoming a classic. Very unique and complex song structuring makes this a very good, if not excellent song. 9-10 rating.

So all in all I tried to get this review right, based on multiple listens. In short, I woud say the vocal work is very varied, and very good, with a little less emphasis on being soaring and more emphasis on emotion. The musicianship and talent in putting this album together is readily apparent. I would say go out and purchase this album, because there are not a lot of great rock bands out there, and Chevelle is at the top of the list, and most certainly deserves fan support to be able to continue to provide us with great music. More importantly, the album is worthy of purchase and provides some great music. Thanks for reading, and I welcome any comments. I hope you all enjoy La Gargola.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2014
At this point, I've decided not to expect anything in terms of a new Tool record when I've got Chevelle around to consistently put out quality tunes, and here they go again. These guys are the most under-rated in the genre, and each time they release something new, I feel like it deserves so much more praise and attention. La Gargola sounds like a blend of Tool, Deftones, and Bush; along with Chevelle's own signature sound, of course. And for any who started to wonder after Hats Off to the Bull about them going soft, are in for a surprise.

Breakdown of tracks:

Ouija Board: Pete starts out "Are you up for anything?" to start off the record, and this track sets the tone. Heavy, groovy, blistering track that is full of snarl. Melodic verses, fairly short and repetitive chorus, and chest-thumping outro. 9/10

An Island: GROOVES! Another head-bobber. Pete continues with the snarl here. You'll notice that this song is not traditional; a pattern of some of their newer material. Crooning verses, not much in the way of the chorus, as the driving guitar riff just trucks along through. Crank this track at the gym, it's the standout track. 9.5/10

Take Out the Gunman: Their best lead-off single since "Vitamin R," with the lyrical theme of school shootings. This is probably the catchiest chorus on the album, though you'll notice the familiar choruses of past Chevelle records are gone in La Gargola. The drums really stand out in this one. 8.5/10

Jawbreaker: Cool riff to start. Badass song name. Oh no, why is he saying it over and over like that? Ah, it's bathed in sarcasm. The first few times I listened to it, the repetitive "Jawbreaker" really irked me and ruined the song. I've gotten used to it now, and don't mind it so much. The bridge reminds me a lot of Bush. Overall, not a bad song-the name of it had me expecting something more epic, however. 6.5/10

Hunter Eats Hunter: Another driving, groovy riff. Pete does a great job on the vocals in this one, another good mix of angst. I believe this one was meant to be called "Gargoyle" at first, which I think would've been better. It's about on-par with Gunman for me, single-worthy 8.5/10

One Ocean: It's alright. I've never expected much from their slower songs, but I do like when they sometimes ramp up at the end and bring in distortion. That doesn't happen here. I understand they need to mix in a couple of lighter tracks. 5.5/10

Choking Game: This one is a grower. It's definitely repetitive, so at first I wasn't too impressed by it. The riff mid-way through grabs your attention and really turns the song around into the 2nd half, and then an even heavier riff comes in for the outro. 7.5/10

The Damned: Zombie-themed track with a catchy, rhythmic guitar riff. This one has an eerie feel to it. The bridge brings in a chant of "HEY!" with clapping, which I'm surprisingly okay with. Interested to see if they play this one live. Solid track. 8/10

Under the Knife: Around the Fur-era, Deftones-inspired intro riff. This may be their heaviest song, and the bridge is incredible with Pete growling "it's in the back of the mind" through gritted teeth. Just awesome. 8.5/10

Twinge: More Deftones-esque, but at the other end of the spectrum, with this track being of the slower variety. Much better than "One Ocean" in that regard. Pretty good closer. 6/10

Overall, this is Chevelle's heaviest album, and sees them going into a bit of a different direction. I wasn't sure how to feel about it on the first listen; I may have even been a little disappointed. This is one that takes a few listens to really sink in, and now I love it.
I'm still not sure how I would match it up against past records yet. Forget about sing-a-long choruses, that's probably the most noticeable change that happened when songs like "Face to the Floor" and "Fizgig" came about. It's a very groove-oriented album, and the guitar-play is very much on display here. Pete is on-point there, however, I feel the lyrics took a bit of a step-back for this album. Repetition is a common theme with a number of the tracks on La Gargola. The slower tracks are a bit of a chore for me to listen to at this point, and don't match up to those of past records (though better than One Lonely Visitor IMO). There aren't any bonus tracks, which was a let-down. Maybe one day we'll get a re-worked version of "Moda," or some b-sides/acoustics. Although the tracks are longer here, it feels like it could use another track or 2 to flesh it out. That's really just me wanting more Chevelle!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
After listening to this album four times, I can already tell it is going to be one of my favorites. It seems a bit heavier (overall) than the last album "Hats off to the Bull", but still provides the same driving, real rock music that this world so desperately needs. At least eight of the songs will become mainstays in my "workout" playlist.

It's good that there is still a band that sticks to the music that they love to make, instead of trying to make music that they hope everyone else in the world will love.

And, if you have never seen this band live, do yourself a favor...
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
Chevelle has done it again. With this album they definitely go back to their Vena Sera, and Point #1 days. Harder sounding then they're last 2 albums, Pete goes aggressive on the lyrics, and the instrumentals don't hold back at all. Out of the 10 songs there's 2 softer songs that have amazing lyrics, the other 8 though are relentless. This is easily one of my favorite albums from Chevelle. Plain and simple...THIS IS CHEVELLE!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
I have loved this band from the beginning. Yes it is more of the same, but personally that is what I want. All bands now a days try to reinvent themselves, but these guys stick to playing their great style of music. More bands should use this formula. Most of the time bands try new things and end up ruining themselves. Like the old saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it". KEEP MAKING THE SAME MUSIC CHEVELLE YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
I've been listening to Chevelle ever since Point #1. My friends got me into them, and I've been listening ever since. My favorite album prior to this release was This Type of Thinking (Could Do Us In). Vena Sera and Wonder What's Next were close seconds. Hats Off to The Bull was good, but not heavy enough for my taste, and I really didn't care for Sci-Fi Crimes at all.

La Gargola is right up there with This Type of Thinking, if not better. The album has all around great production. I love some of the different sounds they incorporated on this album. A lot of reviews I've read so far keep mentioning that it's just "more of the same" and I disagree with that. The album has the same Chevelle feel, but they definitely incorporated some new sounds on the album that give it a different tone. This is evident from the opening tracks, Ouija Board and An Island, all the way to the last couple of tracks The Damned and Under the Knife.

I'm glad to see Chevelle get back to some heavier music since their two "softer" releases of Hats Off To The Bull and Sci-Fi Crimes. In my opinion, this is their best album yet.

My favorite track (this week) is Hunter Eats Hunter.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2014
I've been a fan of Chevelle from the time I heard their Wonder What's Next album. Then I heard This Type Of Thinking & it was on repeat for IDK how long. That is one album that I never really tire of listening to. So, for me, This Type Of Thinking is hands down the best Chevelle album & after hearing La Gargola a few times I know the Chevelle I like is probably gone for good.
I just keep buying their albums hoping for something close to TTOT. Don't get me wrong, they need not recapture the excat sound of TTOT to get me on board but I feel that they need more going on instrumentally. The music in La Gargola isn't terrible it's just blandness repeated over & over. It's not a bad album but i expect a little more from them instrumentally than La Gargola. Sci-Fi Crimes had some good tracks, Vena Sera & Hats Off To the Bull had a couple nice ones. It's like they're trying to balance between hard rock & Metal. I say just go full blown metal & get some stuff going instrumentally. I don't mind the hard rock but add more music layers or something. Make it more interesting.
There's a reason why This Type of Thinking is my go to Chevelle album after all these years. I guess I want the heaviest, most instrumental Chevelle I can get & La Gargola just doesn't do it for me. It has a bit of heft with the guitar riffs & I love Pete's vocals but not much going on with the rest of the music or lyrics to keep me interested. Noises early in tracks are fine but doesn't make up for flat out music writing.
Again, Pete's vocals are great in this album but there's a glaring need for more layers or something else musically going on music to match.

*Final Verdict*
Worth a listen or two but not much else
Some decent tracks that really have no legs
Instrumentally & lyrically a bit bland
3 Stars (It's Okay)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2014
I am a long time fan, and eagerly await all Chevelle releases. As usual I have been waiting for this album to drop. As soon as I put it in I overwhelmed with exitement. This album starts out heavy and in your face. It pretty much stays that way the whole album. I just feel like none of the songs stick. Nothing gets stuck in my head like The Red, Vitamin R, or Well Enough Alone. Do not get me wrong, this is another amazing album by Chevelle, it just doesn't have the effect I was hoping. I recommend it to any Chevelle fan, or anyone looking to listen to something new. It is well produced and has very good sound quality. I will continue to listen, who knows maybe it will grow on me. But for now it is a 4, purely because Chevelle has such an amazing track record, and I feel like they have done better.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
I will say i've been a Chevelle fan for a while. I pre ordered the album and have been listening for almost a week now and i gotta say i'm slightly disappointed. Something is different and missing from this cd that the others have. Don't get me wrong its a great cd and its way better than most artists out there. The songs are long, but the tracklist is a bit shy, no where can you find bonus tracks to this cd..also disappointing. I'd say this is the most un-chevelle like album they released. Not trying to bash this album as i find it great but I am looking forward to the next album hopefully being better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
Chevelle does it again. Great music, some what harder edged then their last effort, the excellent Hats Off To The Bull. Very solid from top to bottom. This one is in line for Album of The Year. If you like their previous efforts, then buy this one.
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