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Old 04-10-2016, 01:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Deftones 'Gore'


GORE


Released: April 8th, 2016
Genre: Metal/Progressive/Shoegaze/Rock
Position in Discography: 8th LP
Record Label: Reprise Records

Let's just get right to it!

Koi No Yokan was the Deftones most cohesive and complete release since their 2000 multi-platinum success White Pony. It was consistent, however was not predictable. It had a sort of lush atmosphere to it, but it had plenty of bite too. I spent the better part of four years wondering how or when the band would follow up with another album. With how busy frontman Chino Moreno had been for those four years I was almost convinced that I wouldn't get to immerse myself in another Deftones record till early 2017. Like many however, my concerns would prove unwarranted when the band began work on what would eventually be called 'Gore'...

So exactly how does the Deftones sound in 2016? Like the Deftones. But I don't say that because there's nothing new that Gore offers. It's the contrary! For the Deftones I would actually call Gore a new creative peak. While the first song released from Gore, Prayers/Triangles did not entirely grab my attention terribly well, however I was still hearing a revitalized Deftones resonating from my computer speakers. Prayers/Triangles has a pretty guitar that cuts through you during its verses, with Abe Cunninghams drumming remaining that massive force its always been, and frontman Chino Moreno sounding better than he has in years. There's plenty to like with Prayers/Triangles, however the chorus is the only weak point of the song.

Next is the crunchy, visceral Acid Hologram. This track was a very early highlight for me, managing to grab my attention and maintain it the entire duration of the song. There's almost this sinister feel to the song. It's captivating! Very nice track. Chino Moreno is in top form here.

Now we reach one of the many other highlights of the record with Doomed User. Right out of the gate it's a pummeling assault. And what surprised me is the almost thrash like riff Stephen Carpenter lays down throughout the song! Not something heard previously on any other Deftones record and worked very well for this song. Bassist Sergio Vega displays some meaty bass chops here as well. Abe Cunningham is perfection as per usual with tightly honed precision drumming. This track slays!

Geometric Headdress. It's sort of an interesting track, but unfortunately the weakest song on the record. It sort of plays back to the mid 90's when riffs like the one heard here were more common, sort of shimmering and warm. The track works well. However its downside is never really going any place.

Next up is Hearts/Wires. In a lot of ways this song compliments the opener Prayers/Triangles. But what is very engaging about this song is how smart the band went about constructing it. The song almost feels ethereal. When I first heard it, and every time I hear it since that first listen...I am impressed. Deftones is one of those bands from the late 90's that got pigeonholed in with the nu-metal label, understandably so. The problem with it though is how Deftones always displayed a more refined, smarter songwriting. I could tell early on that they wouldn't be one of those bands that made a comfortable home in a dying genre, but instead break down the walls and evolve outside of it. Hearts/Wires does a very good job with brining confirmation to that statement. This song is a gem. It's beautiful, but haunting. An early contender for the best song on the record.

Pittura Infamante...I mean, I don't even know if that stands for anything, didn't even bother looking it up because like the songs title, the song itself is peculiar yet interesting. To say anything about it in comparison to earlier work from the band. I would maybe so it sounds a bit like something you'd hear off of Adrenaline, maybe Around The Fur. It's got a youthful feel to it, it's frantic but energetic. Cool track definitely.

Now we reach Xenon, the shortest track on the album but also one of the highlights, too. It's another one of those songs that show and reaffirm the fact that Deftones aren't one of those bands content with not exploring. Because that hunger to explore and evolve their sound has been a constant the entire record thus far. Xenon is a stellar track.

(L)mirl. It's a difficult song to really explain how it takes hold of you, and it just builds and builds. The song is one of the best the Deftones have written their entire career. It's smart, lush, haunting, captivating, jarring, I have only praise to sing for this song. Honestly it's a song that those reading this review would need to hear to understand what I'm attempting to say about it. Another contender for the best track on Gore.

Oh look, a title track! Gore. This song is a fun one. It's a strong track too. While throughout the record you do not hear Chino go to those same throat tearing screams of later years. This track like a few others on this record does find Chino using his voice to beat you over the head with some guttural screams, which compliment the heavy tone of the song. A song I think will be a fun one to mosh to seeing the band live.

Phantom Bride...my god, this song is so damn fantastic!!! Exceptionally well done indeed. I'd say that this song showcases Chinos strongest vocal delivery on the entire album. He sounds very confident on this song, and you even hear him using his voice in ways not previously heard. There's just so much vibrancy in his voice on this song, and along with all the other beautiful and smart things going on in this song, such as the guest guitar solo from Jerry Cantrell, just tie this song together so well and is the best song on the record by a mile. Impressive.

Finally we reach the album closer with Rubicon. While I don't have much to say about this song, I can assure the reader that it is a great finale to the record even if I feel that tracks like (L)mirl or Phantom Bride would have worked better to close the album. Rubicon is pulsating track that sticks with you the duration of almost a track run time of five minutes.

To close out this review. I will simply say that if the Deftones have never been a band that has grabbed you before in any big way, or held your interest. Gore may be the first record the band has put out that will win your affection for the band. It's an extremely well put together album with plenty of tricks that don't happen twice nor wear out their welcome.


GORE gets a 9.2 of 10. EXCEPTIONAL!
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