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Deftones - Gore album review

Album Review

Deftones commune with the ghosts of their past through their new album Gore

Such is the insanely high quality of their recorded output over the last two decades, the question, as you go into the release of a new Deftones album, isn’t wondering whether it will be good or not, but what kind of fantastical sonic mêlée will you be greeted with this time.

Gore is no exception to this rule. It is, as usual, a piece of work that coaxes influence from all manner of genres, that seamlessly melds fragility and brutality into one cohesive organism, exposes itself and seduces the listener more and more with each repeated listen and is so utterly recognisable as the work of its creators that it couldn’t be anyone else. From Chino Moreno’s haunting whisper-to-scream vocals, Abe Cunningham’s punishing yet swinging rhythmic attack and Frank Delgado’s liquid electronic complementary flourishes, every member is on top form. Standard Deftones, then.

But if you think that this makes Gore formulaic or an example of a band slipping into their comfort zone, then think again; Deftones’ yin and yang of shimmering, uplifting melody and simian, primal roaring always throws up many a surprise. Here the Pink Floyd-style, space rock noodling that leads into Hearts/Wires is a creative detour unlike anything the band have ever attempted, until (L)MIRL pulls a similar trick only three tracks later, only this time nodding to the karmic alternative rock of early Jane’s Addiction. It’s a pace that’s visited often, and if you were to compare Gore with an album from Deftones’ back catalogue it would be Saturday Night Wrist, the one considered to be the weakest link in their armoury.

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