Sound — 7
Chevelle is back minus one loeffler brother with Vena Sera. It has been said that most of the songs are based on previous recording the band has made in the past, but really what does that matter. The sound on Chevelle's new album Vena Sera is well, what you'd expect from Chevelle. However there are some noticable differences. First off it seems a bit mellower than previous Chevelle albums on the vocal side of things. Pete tends to do a lot less screaming on this album (save for a few moments). I really like his screaming so this is a huge downer for me. The vocals are fairly clean and soft throughout. The entire CD tends to follow a made for radio kinda feel. Nothing really unexpected happens. The guitar work is classic Chevelle. Fairly heavy throughout with plenty of pick scrapes and palm muted riffs. The guitar work seems to have a bit more depth this time around. There are no fancy guitar solos still but I honestly don't think they would work with Chevelle's musical style. I've always had a certain fondness for Petes guitar playing. On the bass side of thing you once again have classic chevelle. However that's not entirely good for the bass. They did remove Joe Loeffler their previous bassist with Dean Bernardini but it makes little difference as Pete writes the bass guitar aswell (However I'm not 100% sure of that on Vena Sera) Either way bass tends to follow the guitar most of the time doing nothing realy exciting. Even then I really like the bassline during the verse on I Get It, it just has a certain groove to it. Overall the bass never does anything to stand out and that needs to change. Sam Loeffler does a good job on the drumming. Sure it's nothing astounding but he keeps the rhythm.
Lyrics — 7
Pete has amazing vocal skills. One of the best vocalists of our time in my opinion, when he hits a good high note it gives me chills, Pete's Vocals fit surprisingly well with the heavy instrumentals. Even when they are playing low and heavy his clean well sung vocals never seem out of place. It all comes together very well. There is very little Screaming on this album when compared the the others which I find takes away some of that true Chevelle feel. I've found that the lyrics on Vena Sera havn't had as big an impact on me as This type of Thinking or Wonder what's Next. I do really like the lyrics in some songs, namely Straight Jacket Fashion and Paint the Seconds. However Most of the lyrics tend to stick to a traditional formula. However lyrics aren't exactly what I listen to Chevelle for, they get the job done though.
Overall Impression — 7
If I where to compare Vena Sera to Chevelles other albums I'd say it ranks above Point #1 yet below This Thinking and Wonder what's Next. The album seems somewhat repetetive when compared to them, and a lot of the songs just don't stand out to me. I do really like Straight Jacket Fashion and The Fad, Easily my 2 favorite songs on the album. The opener Anti-Saint, and the first single Well Enough Alone are up there but not quite as good as the other 2. Overall The album seems a bit repetetive and a lot of the songs are forgettable. Petes wonderful singing skills help make some of the less inspired songs more enjoyable, but they still feel slightly hollow. I think more screaming on par with Chevelles older albums would have helped to spice things up a bit, but alas they didn't think so. The instrumentals seem a tad better with more riffs per song than their other album. Even if only slightly the instrumentals are better. I will say though that even though I seem harsh I do still like the album it's just not quite was I was hoping for. If the CD where stolen I don't think I'd make another purchase of it. After all I already got it ripped to my computer. If it where stolen and my hard drive wiped well, I'd consider it but I really think I'd just buy something else. My advice, go on itunes and get Anti-Saint, Well Enough Alone, Straight Jacket Fashion and The Fad. Leave the rest out.