Album Review: Deftones – Gore

#aotd is Gore by Deftones. This album features the atmospheric Alternative Rock/Metal sound Deftones have established over their seven previous albums with a noticeably more bright and fuzzy production style. For a band that is now eight albums deep into their career, Deftones have somehow managed to keep each new project sounding fresh and distinct from the last. So while ‘Gore’ is irrefutably a Deftones album, and a flawed one at that, it brings with it a fresh style and mood that is a testament to the band’s constant progressive and forward-thinking style. Yes, it blends those usual themes of sex and violence lyrically, but the sound itself has never been so sun-kissed. The flamingos on the album’s cover tell you all you need to know about Deftones’ stylistic shift, with a focus on creating soaring soundscapes. The way Stephen Carpenter’s shimmering guitars fly over the rest of the instrumentation on tracks like “(L)MIRL” sounds somewhat Deafheaven inspired. Then the ‘Diamond Eyes’ leaning track “Doomed User” has one of the most straight up Punk riffs the band has ever created on the verses which dissipates wonderfully into the expansive chorus. Chino Moreno is still one of the best frontmen in the world and his mountainous croons on tracks like “Geometric Headress” recall his work with Palms in the best way. The strange fact that the rest of the band seem to lack Chino’s drive is the critical flaw of ‘Gore’. Whether it’s the fairly middle of the road songwriting or the hazier production sound, the instrumental performances on here don’t meet the admittedly high standard the band have set with previous albums. When the album is at its atmospheric best it’s hard to flaw it though, from the gorgeous leads and vocals over the euphoric “Phantom Bride”, to the ominous build-up and perfect chorus of “Hearts/Wires”. Even with some uncharacteristically disconnected instrumental performances, ‘Gore’ proves to be yet another fitting entry into the Deftones catalogue which will likely be looked back on more fondly than it’s received thanks to its odd sunbathed textures and excellent atmosphere.

Rating: 3.9/5

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