When taking on a Chevelle record, you better know you're heading into the territory of nothing but jams. Their eight record The North Corridor is full of those big riffs, but does find its ways to make it sound repetitive, much like some criticisms of their previous albums have claimed. There hasn't been any curve in sound, if that's what you're looking for.
This album has a very safe alternative metal sound to it. The riffs are big and in your face, if not repetitive, and the spidery vocals and big choruses make up each track. Opening track 'Door To Door Cannibals' starts off with promise, but ends up just being boring, and by the final chorus has you waiting for the end to come. The Tool-esque melodies (the song's vocals has be thinking of 'Ticks & Leeches') give this track some endearing qualities to metal fans, and the big alt. metal chorus is also a treat. If you want a great chorus though, 'Enemies' is your song: its chorus is absolutely massive, though the verses are a bit stale.
The problem with this record is that yes, the riffs are big and metal, but they all kind of sound the same. 'Joyride (Omen)' has that big, upfront metal sound with the distorted bass but just fails to do anything else with its sound besides sound really standard. This album feels like it's full of attempts at something interesting, but none of these attempts got anywhere. 'Punchline' is full of references to jokes, which is lyrically amusing, but has no real place in the album. There's a lot of lyrics that just seem off in the record; 'Young Wicked' comes to mind - it feels almost like it was going for an 'Another Brick In The Wall' vibe - but in oddity it makes up for an engaging instrumental and progression. 'Shot From A Cannon' clocks in at a huge 8 minutes, but there's really no purpose for it to be that long. It's length can be thanked for a long, stale instrumental jam section complete with an uninteresting lead guitar and all. A very incompetent ending to an album that feels much the same. 'Rivers' also has that big instrumental ending, but in grandness it lacks substance to make it actually good.
Chevelle brought jams, sure. These jams get stale after hearing them consecutively on the album, sadly. There's little engagement on The North Corridor. Fans who were disappointed by their last effort La Gargola won't be impressed much by this release, either. It's stale and uninspired. Not much else to it.
Favorite Tracks: Enemies, Young Wicked
Least Favorite Tracks: Shot From A Cannon, Punchline
Rating: 56 / 100