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Deftones – Gore

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    It’s been well-documented how tumultuous the nearly 30 year career of Sacramento rock band Deftones has been. From the tragic loss of original bassist Chi Cheng, to the in-fighting, to the passive approach the band took to recording their mid-2000’s records – it’s somewhat remarkable that Deftones didn’t break up years ago. Instead, the band has unleashed Gore, their most fascinating release since 2001’s breakthrough White Pony.

    Experimenting and progressing is a means of survival in the major label rock world — it’s the only way one does not fall victim to the ever-changing trends and expectations. This urgency is immediately heard on opening track “Prayers/Triangles.” The astral verses accompanied by Chino Moreno’s dreamy vocals give way to Stephen Carpenter’s bruising guitar work on the chorus, as if those riffs are what caused the flock of flamingos that grace Gore’s cover to flee. And while “Prayers/Triangles” works as a killer intro to Gore, it may also be the safest track on the album. This is a thrilling thing to realize as the listener begins to dig deep into the following ten tracks.

    It’s no secret that Moreno and Carpenter routinely butt heads in the studio – the former wanting to include more experimental tones while the latter fighting to go even heavier. Carpenter even raised eyebrows earlier this year when he mentioned that the album “wasn’t the style or the sound” he was hoping for and he feels like he and the band are going in opposite directions. And you can see why Carpenter feels like that when you hear a Palms-esque track like “Heart/Wires” or the haunting drone of “(L)MIRL.” In rare cases, this has led to disaster. (We’d all like to forget about Saturday Night Wrist.) However, there are times where their creative differences have resulted in the band’s most remarkable songs. It’s no different on Gore. Take for example “Doomed User,” Moreno paints luscious soundscapes with his voice, going from weary to pissed in an instant, while Carpenter channels 80’s thrash (paced by Sergio Vega’s grooving bass line), and the result deploys tones that’ll leave craters in the earth.

    Usually impasse between two strong-willed individuals can derail records, but the conflicting ideologies help develop Gore into the most captivating, genre-bending release from the band’s three decades together. “Acid Hologram” is a highlight among many, drenched in a fuzzy shoegaze reverb amongst Frank Delgado’s hazy electronic manipulation and Carpenter’s crunching riffs. The stampeding “Geometric Headdress” shows off Abe Cunningham’s (criminally underrated) drumming skills that most machines couldn’t replicate, and the distorted “Xenon” blends the past and future of rock with Delgado’s masterful aid.

    Gore is definitely the “least heavy” of Deftones’ catalog. And it’s clear why Carpenter had concerns, but that doesn’t mean the album never gets wild – it’s just more nuanced than ever before. Carpenter and the band pick their precise spots perfectly. The title track will ignite a fire in old farts like me to jump back into the pit, as Moreno channels his iconic howl throughout. And album closer “Rubicon” is an avalanche of crushing chords, pierced by Delgado’s high-pitch key strokes. But it’s the middle track of Gore’s fantastic closing trio that’ll drop jaws. “Phantom Bride” feels like an ecstasy-induced journey swelling through shimmering soundscapes and a killer riff from Alice in Chains’ guitarist Jerry Cantrell. But like with any bender, the following hangover is never friendly and the closing moments of “Bride” is exactly that, as Carpenter’s deafening breakdown overtakes the track’s prior sheen.

    There are plenty of reasons why Deftones have been dubbed the metal versions of Morrissey and Radiohead – with their heady, atmospheric musicianship and obtuse lyricism – and plenty of Gore is full of that still. But instead of resting on their laurels like many bands in their position would, the Bay Area quintet create like they’re still fighting for a spot atop the metal food chain.

  2. bones


    Love this review, love this album.
    Nice work, Drew.
  3. peoplearepoison

    It’s a perfect day for letting go... Supporter

    Yeah great review. "Phantom Bride" is my JAM. I can't think of a better 1,2,3 on an album than the last 3 songs on this record in a while.
  4. Full Effect Ed

    ...In F*cking Full Effect Prestigious

    Solid review, one minor detail - White Pony came out in 2000, not 2001
    carlosonthedrums likes this.
  5. JM95


    Speak for yourself;-)

    Great review though.
  6. Steve_JustAGuy


    I think I fall on the side of wanting them to be heavier, but it's not a major concern. Been hard to put this one down because there's so much more to explore when listening to it.
  7. kidwithhelmet


    Great review, great record. I can't put this down.
  8. kyleadams

    formerly thisisalchemy Prestigious

    Awesome review. I wish it could change my opinion on the album though. The drum mix ruins the whole album for me :(
  9. carlosonthedrums

    Cooler than a polar bear's toenails Prestigious

    "...Abe Cunningham’s (criminally underrated) drumming skills"

    YES, Drew. Yes. Terrific review all around.
  10. goation


    I've listened to this record so many times since it's come out. Every day there is a new track or element that stands out to me. I think a lot of people take this band and their consistent excellence for granted. This is the perfect album to make people pay attention to them again.
    Iago, carlosonthedrums and JM95 like this.
  11. GEM37

    She haunts the roads

    Great review. Except for the Saturday Night Wrist slam. Was and still remains my favorite Deftones album (possibly my ATF.)

    Personally, the self-titled is the only one I've been truly disappointed by, despite a couple killer tracks.
  12. Really really good review. I really like this album a lot and I'm not the biggest Deftones fan. I love this sound and style
  13. thanks guys
  14. LightWithoutHeat

    If I could just forget it

    Band is from Sacramento, no?
  15. Ska Senanake


    Great review Drew, very well written. I will say though that I think Saturday Night Wrist is a stellar release and has some of their best songs on it (Hole in the Earth, Beware, Cherry Waves, Kimdracula), but I guess to each his own. I would probably not enjoy SNW as much if they didn't get back on track to their original sound with Diamond Eyes, but since they DID, SNW seems that much stronger.
  16. Ska Senanake


    When Girls Telephone Boys :ok:
    GooberSandwich likes this.
  17. Trying to get in the habit of reading more reviews around here. Relatively new to the Deftones, looking forward to checking this out. Love this line, "and the result deploys tones that’ll leave craters in the earth." Great review!

    Edit: Oh and these dudes have been around for 3 decades...woah.
  18. GEM37

    She haunts the roads

  19. SweetThye


    Cool to see another Kinda Funny best friend on this site. Highly recommend diving into the Deftones discography. I prefer their later stuff, but you MUST listen to White Pony. It's essential.
  20. SweetThye


    This album rules. Fuck the haters.
  21. Ska Senanake


    Well duh, Hexagram probably has the best chino screeches on it out of all their songs
  22. GEM37

    She haunts the roads

    Haha, I know right?! Those cracks in his voice, mmmmmm.... :hearteyes:

    I think that's why "Hexagram" and "When Girls" are so good. They literally sound like a man losing his mind.

    I don't mind some of the other songs on self-titled ("Bloody Cape", "Anniversary"), I personally never got what the big deal with "Minerva" was. But there are several cuts that are just soul-crushingly boring, like "Deathblow" and "Battle-Axe" and "Moana." And I just think "Lucky You" is plain bad.
  23. Woo! That's rad! Best Friends pop up in the coolest places.

    Deftones are playing here in August, so I hope to catch up a bit by then. Almost bought White Pony at the record store this past weekend on a whim. I'll check it for sure.
  24. SweetThye


    I put off listening to that record for so long, but it's one of their best for sure.
  25. SoundInTheSignals

    @Bake_Wear /

    Great to hear a band turn out one of their best albums this late into their career.