Deftones
Gore


4.0
excellent

Review

by TalonsOfFire STAFF
April 8th, 2016 | 3621 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Finding balance

Deftones have had a trialed and storied history. Remaining relevant and even flourishing following the nu-metal craze they were born into was an achievement in and of itself. The tragic death of bass player Chi Cheng led to even more changes for Deftones, along with balancing family lives and opposing musical ideals within the band itself. This dichotomy of clashing sonic variances was, and is, the source of their continued success. It dosed the band with a powerful, crushing metal sound blissfully infused with experimental rock, dream pop, and shoegazing influences. This stylistic change was crucial to the greatness of albums like White Pony and Saturday Night Wrist.

All seemed well and good for a while regarding this follow-up to the incredible Koi No Yokan from 2012. However, rumors began circulating of guitarist Stephen Carpenter’s overall dissatisfaction with the musical direction on Gore, and possible future departure. As the release date of Gore came closer and closer, it became clear that this worrying gossip was exaggerated, most likely put out there to generate hype. It’s clear that Deftones are still thriving, with this latest release embodying the dreamy, textured qualities of Koi No Yokan with the aggression of Deftones in the best of ways.

The instrumental performances heard in Gore are among the finest aspects of the record. Every band member shines on Gore, with vocalist Chino Moreno’s contributions and Stephen Carpenter’s guitars being the highlights. The sheer variety of the guitars exhibits how well Deftones marry together so many contrasting elements. Dreamy, shoegazing textures fuse together with crushing heaviness in much the same way as their most recent releases. Tracks like “Hearts/Wires” and “Pittura Infamante” will transition from beautifully melodic guitars to heavy riffing with the grace and subtlety that few bands like the Deftones can achieve. The technical guitar riffing in “Pittura Infamante” is a welcome surprise, as is the variety of what the guitar is actually playing throughout the song, without even any soft sections to rely on. While instrumental technicality was never a main reason for their success, it is nevertheless a welcome display of each band member’s talents when they do shine on Gore. Abe Cunningham frequently makes use of all facets of his drum kit, impressing especially on “Xenon” and the crushing title track.

One noticeable quality of Gore is how seamlessly the different facets of Deftones blends together. Lead single and album opener “Prayers/Triangles” is mainly melodic and soaring, with the following tracks embodying a more aggressive edge. While solid, the album's strongest moments come later, during the unpredictable middle run of songs. Most of these blend both heaviness and haunting atmospheres together, much like what was heard in Koi No Yokan. “Hearts/Wires” and “(L)mirl” are each impressive displays of gradually swelling dynamics throughout, building the intensity brilliantly to the heavier, dramatic endings. “Phantom Bride” uses a similar structure, with the progressive rock influences and contribution by Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains making it the album highlight. “Xenon” and “Geometric Headdress” are comfortably familiar for fans in how they juxtapose dissonant guitars in the verses with atmospheric, beautiful choruses.

Deftones have been slowly shifting away from their heavier roots over the past decade, and Gore proves to be their mellowest and most varied release to date. Some strange production choices and a few safe songwriting decisions may bring down the experience for some, but Gore is Deftones further pushing their sound in a more melodic and rewarding direction. The heavy guitars, pounding drums, and Chino’s impressive screams are still there, of course. Most of the album’s heavier moments are reserved for the beginning, while moodier tracks that appear later like “(L)mirl” and “Rubicon” are still heavy, but mainly melodic, with hardly any aggressive qualities. Overall, this is a testament to the band’s brilliant movement from their immature past to a brighter future with a more complex sound that began with White Pony. Gore is Deftones taking chances and experimenting wildly, further cementing the group as among the best metal bands still making music.



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user ratings (1282)
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3.5
great
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2016


15732 Comments


chingy moreno and the deaftones

Digging: Angrywank - Frylock's Revenge

MyNameIsPencil
April 8th 2016


4949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I like the parts where chiggy makes teh loud sunds



good review though

Digging: City of Caterpillar - City of Caterpillar

onionbubs
April 8th 2016


6968 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"I like the parts where chiggy makes teh loud sounds" [2]



To me, it sounds like the production/band's overall intimacy of Diamond Eyes-KNY infused with the massiveness of s/t and the melodies of SNW.



so yeah, records pretty sweet.

Digging: Kevin Devine - Bubblegum

BHAR
April 8th 2016


231 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Chicko Moreno

EvoHavok
April 8th 2016


7295 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great read, Talons! Agreed on many aspects.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
April 8th 2016


18898 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yep great review as always. Phantom Bride is beautiful.

JigglyPDiddy
April 8th 2016


3234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, Talons. It's become one of my favorites in their discog, even more after buying it and listening to it again.

Digging: Ondatropica - Ondatropica

PistolPete
April 8th 2016


4506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not sure what I think about this yet. It doesn't have that token standout I look for in a Deftones album (ie. Rocket Skates, Rosemary, Be Quiet and Drive, etc.) and because it's missing it, I feel like I'm forcing myself to listen to it which doesn't feel right for some reason.



In short, I'm confused. Tbh though I found KNY kinda average compared to most here, I only gave it a 3.5.

PistolPete
April 8th 2016


4506 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah if I had to pick one Acid Hologram would be my first thought, but even it's not on the same level as the ones I listed.

JigglyPDiddy
April 8th 2016


3234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The title track's my favorite. Pittura Infamante is probably my second favorite.

Scoot
April 8th 2016


18777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

another fine album



not as good as the last two though

RivalSkoomaDealer
April 8th 2016


1603 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

L(Mirl) is jaw dropping.

Digging: Glassjaw - Material Control

Tunaboy45
April 8th 2016


15627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So fucking stoked to hear this, great review man.

WilhelmBlack
April 8th 2016


600 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I love this album and I enjoy it. It is a grower to be honest.

jtswope
April 8th 2016


5677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Definitely their softest album to date.

BigPleb
April 8th 2016


51566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's varied as hell and that's both a pro and a con in itself.

Toondude10
April 8th 2016


11693 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

band can do no wrong

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

Hopelust
April 8th 2016


2756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Went to the fucking record store today to pick this up and they told me it's late getting in. Unbelievable.

jtswope
April 8th 2016


5677 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I actually didn't find it that varied on first listen.

BigPleb
April 8th 2016


51566 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It blends a lot of elements together, I certainly found quite a bit of variety.



Still dunno what to think haha, can't sum up my feeling whatsoever.



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