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Deftones – Gore (review)

Posted June 1, 2016 by JJ Ulizio in CD Reviews

Deftones – Gore

By JJ Ulizio

On 04/08/2016 Sacramento, California based alt-metal pioneers Deftones released their 8th full length studio album, and follow up to 2012’s Koi No Yokan, entitled simply Gore. This album has been noted with writing tensions between vocalist Chino Moreno, and lead guitarist Stephen Carpenter.   Rolling Stone described it as Chino was “playing Morrissey to the guitarists of Meshuggah.” I wouldn’t quite go that far with it but you can hear the tensions and differences in the writing style through the progression of the album. To me the album almost sounds as if its arguing with itself on whether it wants to be more of an ambient sounding rock record with spacy guitars and haunting vocal melodies or the alt-metal that helped make the Deftones the household name they have become since their inception in the 1990’s. If that was a real fight then they decided to call it a draw because there are plenty of both elements on this album.

The album starts off with its lead single, “Prayers/Triangles.” Which takes you down the path of a standard Deftones radio hit with guitar feedback, ambient guitars, and Chino wailing over the chorus.  The album quickly sets a trend similar to floating on the ocean, bringing you up and down.  Songs like “Acid Hologram”, “Doomed User”, and the album’s title track “Gore” all give you the hard edged driving guitar riffs and rattling bass lines that keep them playing metal festivals. While tracks like “Hearts Wires”, “(L)mirl”, and “Xenon” seem to focus more on the ambient spacey guitar riffs, and Chino Moreno crooning through is signature haunting melodies.

My favorite track on the album, “Phantom Bride”, showcases the more melodic side of the band, which features Alice in Chains main man and lead guitarist Jerry Cantrell. The song starts with a subdued palm muted guitar riff. The song takes its time building up steam. It mainly focuses on the melody while that same riff keeps the rhythms of the song together, and  an ambient type guitar slowly picks in the background adding an atmosphere similar to the spacey sounds that one would hear on a Pink Floyd album, except with Chino singing. A guitar solo more than midway through the song adds Mr. Cantrell’s touch to the song.  It has a bluesy sounding style that leads back out into the chorus before building things up to the thick chunky metal riff.  Then fading away to just cymbal hits that bring you directly into the album closeout with the musically choppy “Rubicon”

Is this a bad Deftones album? No. Is it their best? No. I don’t think it’s as good as its predecessor Koi No Yokan or albums like Diamond Eyes, White Pony, Around the Fur. I definitely think people who are already Deftones fans will more than likely enjoy it. I don’t think that it will be a good album to bring in new fans. Regardless of all that, it will be in my regular rotation for a while yet. So if you are a fan, check it out. If you’re not already a fan of the Deftones then ask your resident fan, everybody has one, what a good album to start with is.


About the Author

JJ Ulizio
JJ Ulizio

JJ has been a contributing writer and huge asset to Empire and Empire Extreme since the very begining. He is always digging for new bands and has a true heart and desire to see the bands grow and succeed.


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