Chevelle – The North Corridor: In The Absence of Tool The Band Have Created a Masterful Replacement [Review]

by | Jul 12, 2016

Chicago hard rockers Chevelle have released their eighth studio effort titled ‘The North Corridor’ on July 8, 2016. Pete Loeffler  (Vocals/Guitar), Sam Loeffler (Drums) and Dean Bernardini (Bass) have unleashed what is without a shadow of a doubt their heaviest and most masterful effort yet under the guidance of producer Joe Barresi (Tool, Parkway Drive).

I feel as though Chevelle, over their lengthy existence, have constantly had to prove the naysayers wrong. Not only are they NOT just another one of those nu-metal hard rock acts that would eventually fade away, but they also just so happen to be damn good at what they do. I’ve always found a similar sound in Chevelle’s music to that of Tool in that it’s very gloomy, thought-provoking and the music builds and builds until it explodes in ferocious breakdowns. Pete Loeffler’s vocals are strong and he does a tremendous job balancing the screams and singing, especially here on ‘The North Corridor’ — and there are far more heavy moments on this record than any of their previous efforts.


It’s hard to get a Tool album out there for the masses, so in the absence of Tool, Chevelle have created a masterful replacement. That being said, I actually like ‘The North Corridor’ more than the last Tool effort. I need to stop comparing Chevelle to Tool now because that’s not fair to these guys — this music is truly unique and special and maybe that’s why I keep making the comparison. The new record, which I consider the band’s greatest work to date, just has this nasty evil vibe throughout too which I love…

From the vinyl album art of the goat, to the lyrics in ‘Last Days’ which speak of a witch, I’m sensing far too many references to this year’s dark art-house horror film – ‘The Witch’. It can’t be a coincidence – the goat is doing that crazy ass Black Phillip thing – the lyrics – all of it add up as being inspired by that glorious movie. If it truly is a coincidence on the band’s part, well, that’s even more shocking to be honest. Dark spirits were at play on that one.


There is not one weak track to be found. Front to back (and the last track is eight minutes long mind-you but still kicks ass to the bitter end) – The North Corridor is a searing hard rock affair that is heavier than most of the metal records I’ve been playing in 2016. I haven’t gotten this kind of a vibe while listening to an album since the good ol’ days when I’d picd up the new System of a Down CD from the store and start blasting it in my car on the way home. ‘The North Corridor’ had that same effect on me and I love that I can still get that feeling listening to music in my 30’s that I did in my teens.

Rating: [star rating=”5″]