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Album Review: Gore by Deftones

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Released April 8th, 2016, Gore is Deftones’ eighth studio album. Formed in 1988 in Sacremento, California, Deftones currently consists of Chino Moreno on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Stephen Carpenter on lead guitar, Sergio Vega on bass, Abe Cunningham on percussion, and Frank Delgado on keyboards and turntables. Past members include Dominic Garcia, Chi Cheng, and John Taylor.

What I can say for Gore is that it’s a very consistent album. Nowadays, a lot of bands and solo artists try to make their music as dynamic and different as possible. Deftones knows their sound, they know what works for them. Not a single track sounded out of place on this album.

That being said, I didn’t really like this album. The music just isn’t my style. Some people enjoy alternative rock music that errs on the side of screamo, but I am not one of those people. I’m the one sticking my head out the window, shaking my fist and yelling at you to “turn that unholy noise down before I call the police!”

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Well, probably not. But, I won’t be happy hearing it.

The first track “Prayers/Triangles” did a pretty good job establishing the the album. The verses were eerily keyboard heavy, while the chorus had a more hard rock feel to it. Most of the songs either follow this formula or are completely hard rock with a bit of keyboard thrown in where you’d least expect it.

Example: “Acid Hologram” was a pretty straight-up rock track. I sat in front of my computer, heavily side-eyeing Spotify with every guitar riff. Suddenly, there were only five seconds left, every one filled with “what-the-fuck”-inducing warp noises that segued beautifully into the opening lines of “Doomed User.” I will admit, it was a very cool, seamless effect.

My favorite thing about the album has to be the track names. “Geometric Headdress,” “Xenon,” and “Pittura Infamante” are my personal Top 3. Fun fact: “pittura infamante” is Italian for “infamous painting,” a very fitting name for a song with so much religious undertone.

“Hearts/Wires” was a nice refresher after the first four heavier tracks. In comparison, “Hearts/Wires” is nearly coffeehouse rock. Nearly.

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I was a fan of the beginning of “(L)MIRL.” Up until the 50 second mark, it felt kind of like a Phil Collins song, which is much more my speed. After that though, they lost me. It’s really not bad music; it just doesn’t resonate with me.

Ah, the title track. “Gore” was everything it should’ve been, both as a title track and a song named “Gore.” The lyrics were – well, gorey- and the band showcased its strongest points all in one song. I was impressed by the dynamics of the track. Not enough to make me like it, but impressed nonetheless.

I really, really, really wanted to like the song “Phantom Bride,” only because the name just sounds wonderful. Honestly, it wasn’t the worst song on the album; it probably came the closest to music I actually listen to. This song felt…focused. The other tracks had a tendency to spiral out of control, but “Phantom Bride” had a clear, focused energy about it that I wish would have made it into some other tracks.

Fun fact number two: “Phantom Bride” flows right into “Rubicon” with a series of cymbal taps in the last few seconds. Connecting songs like that is a really cool effect, one that I think shows a connection to the music and a love of the craft.

If you want to check out Deftones’ album Gore (don’t worry, I won’t judge), you can check them out on Spotify, or check out the music video for “Prayers/Triangles” below: