Sun, April 10, 2016
The new Deftones album "Gore" dropped last Friday. Here are my thoughts on the latest release!
So, initially, I wasn't exactly thrilled when I first heard lead single "Prayers/Triangles". I was expecting a heavier single. I am firmly a part of the camp that thinks Stephen Carpenters guitar parts should be loud and crunching for at least 60% of the time. However, the more that I listened to the song, the more it grew on me. It offers a decent snapshot in what the entire album has to offer.
During the recording process, rumors swirled that Stephen Carpenter felt the exact same way that I did. He wasn't happy with the material that was being written for the new album, and the rumor mill began spitting out the idea that he was thinking of leaving the band. Now, be real. Stephen Carpenter is not leaving Deftones anytime soon and that's the last I'm going to say about that particular subject in this review. However, I can see where he was coming from to a certain extent.
"Gore" marries the two things that make Deftones one of the top bands in the industry right now. Those two things are the ethereal, dream-like and emotional quality of the presentation of Chino Moreno's vocals, and the mind-bending metal riffing that Carpenter is famous for. "Prayers/Triangles" does a welcoming job as an opener showing that these two warring forces that shoul oppose one another can be fitted together to make a sound that is both pleasant and uncomfortable, both driving and lulling and both combative and reactive.
The hardest song sonically, by far, is "Doomed User". It's got the hook that I was looking for when I first listened to "Prayers/Triangles". In my opinion, this is some of the best Carpenter has played in his career. The listener can almost feel the tension between the two leaders of the band on this track. The energy is at all times threatening to break and spill over and spiral out to chaos. yet, it never does. It blends perfectly drawing you into the songs that follow.
Especially, the very next track "Geometric Headdress". This song is in currently contending for my favorite song on this entire record. We have the classic distorted Chino agressive vocals on this particular track and it works greatly to contrast the swirling and churning vocal presentaion found during the main verse of the tune. The discordant notes that Carpenter churns out to match the swirl are a simple yet perfect accentuation to keep the listener feeling like they can't get too comfortable and lulled by Chino.
One can definitely hear the influence Chino is brining to the table after having experimented with electronic side projects such as Palms and Crosses. As a huge fan of Crosses, I think this is a good thing. Deftones have always been a band that has had a "thick" sound. Layers on top of layers and this is no different. One of the first things that drew me to this band is that they can be "heavy" without being HEAVY. A great example of this can be found on the track "Hearts/Wires". This is second single material if I ever saw it. With a great, catchy riff from Carpenter, Chino does what Chino does and draws us into a song specifically set on the subject of heartbreak, whether romantic or not.
Finally, the song on the album that has captured my heart and is currently placed as my favorite track on the album "(L) MIRL". I love the recorded underwater feeling that the effects on this tune have. It's one of the darkest songs on the records. Clearly about the loss of a loved one whether through a breakup or death, Chino has had enough of the pain and contemplates taking his own life. This is PURE Deftones from the ground up. The churning bass line, the accentuated guitar, the hook that Chino delivers blend to draw you straight into a chorus that is impossible to get out of your head once you've heard it. This is definitely going to be a fan favorite and a live favorite. If nothing else, pick the album up for this song alone.
There you have it. My thoughts on "Gore". I've loved everything this band has ever done and this is no different. Get out there and pick this one up. You can't go wrong with a masterpiece like this album!