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Deftones Turn Up Emotion, Turn Down Metal on New Album

The American metallers stay twisted and aggro minus the chunky riffs on ‘Gore’

Anurag Tagat Apr 06, 2016
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(From left) Sergio Vega (bass), Abe Cunningham (drums), Chino Moreno (vocals), Frank Delgado (keyboards), Stephen Carpenter (lead guitar). Photo by Frank Maddock.

(From left) Sergio Vega (bass), Abe Cunningham (drums), Chino Moreno (vocals), Frank Delgado (keyboards), Stephen Carpenter (lead guitar). Photo by Frank Maddock.

 

[easyreview cat1title = “Gore” cat1rating = “3.5” cat1detail = “Reprise”]

 

When we say Gore could as well be Deftones’ least metal album, we’re not saying it’s missing frontman Chino Moreno’s tortured screams or eight-string riffs from guitarist Stephen Carpenter ”“ they’re all very much present. But what’s making its presence felt is the American alt metal band’s ability to stay ever evolving into newer spaces, while retaining their decades-old signature sound.

1. Deftones gore-cover-art-extralarge_1455050742551Their lead single “Prayers/Triangles” showcases that classic side to them, Carpenter bringing out the big riffs for the chorus. But songs like “Acid Hologram,” “Doomed User” and “Geometric Headdress” are noisier and fuzzier than anything compared to the groove-heavy riffs on their previous two efforts, Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan. Moreno sings his melancholic best on “Hearts/Wires,” opening with “Nothing can save me/It’s what I believe,” in what is about as mellow as they get. The 11-track album is still a bit of a trek to get through, but there’s the odd-timed eccentricity of “Xenon.” The title track offers a bit of frenetic drumming from Abe Cunningham and Moreno shredding his vocal chords as it comes to a doomy ending.

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Gore closes just as strong as it opens, with Alice In Chains axeman Jerry Cantrell adding the lead over a devastating closing riff on “Phantom Bride.” This is Deftones at their emotionally-charged best.

Key tracks: “Prayers/Triangles,” “Hearts/Wires,” “Phantom Bride.”

 

Listen to ‘Hearts/Wires’ here.

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