Fri, December 30, 2016
Top 9 of 2016: #6 Deftones-Gore
HERE IT IS! The best albums released in the year 2016. I feel like we should lay down some ground rules before we get started. First and foremost, this is my OPINION. Therefore, I could be right or I could be wrong but based on my taste this is the list I put together. If you feel like I made a miscalculation, please feel free to comment with your argument. I love debating music and would love to do it with you. Also, these albums fall somewhere in the rock genre. That's what I do. Thirdly, please when you're telling me what you think in the comments, keep it PC.
I have a love/hate relationship with the Deftones. As in, most of the time I absolutely love them. They are one of my favorite bands of all time. They taught me that a band doesn’t need speed, or force, or relentless aggression to BE ABSOLUTELY BONE-CRUSHINGLY HEAVY. However, recently I’ve come to this conclusion that I hate the fact that I don’t see the Deftones continuing for much longer. At this point you must be asking yourself “Why?” so let me explain.
The Deftones as a band are incredible. However, the music arranged, for the most part, by two individuals. Those two are Stephen Carpenter, the lead guitarist and Chino Moreno, the bands legendary front-man. These two are some of my favorite musicians on the planet. I think Stephen Carpenters guitar work is masterful. When he cuts lose and decides to crunch, he is one of the heaviest metal guitar players doing today. Chino, of course, has a voice that is impossible to pigeon-hole into one genre. I love everything he’s done. From every Deftones record, to his variety of electronic side projects, to the guest vocals he did on Lamb of God’s recent full-length (The song “Embers” for those that don’t know).
Unfortunately, the studio fights between these two titans is well documented. Chino wants the Deftones to take on more of the electronic, atmospheric feel of some of his side projects like Crosses or Team Sleep. Carpenter on the other hand thinks that Deftones should never lose the crunch that propelled them to the forefront of alternative metal in the first place.
This is what I think will ultimately end this band. These two need to settle their differences and get back to writing great music.
Fortunately, that exact tension and push and pull lead to one of the best releases of 2016.
Let’s take a look at the songs.
I’m starting off kind of off-beat and obscure when it comes to this record. This is the third track on the album and the point where things get HEAVY. This has easily one of the best Stephen Carpenter records I’ve heard. It even features Chino doing some screaming, harsh vocals and I think he’s got one of the best screeches in the business. This song pummels the listener into submission and doesn’t let up from start to finish. When it comes to lyrics, Chino has the ability to make his lyrics so ambiguous they almost fit any situation. That’s a master lyricist. The listener gets to express their own story through the lyrics.
Man, I wish this would have been a single. I think other than “Phantom Bride”, this song has the greatest radio potential. Chino has always been great at writing break-up songs but this kicks it up a notch. From the first lyric, “I don’t miss you. I don’t care where you are now. You’re a ghost to me. Left with my taste in your mouth.” you know that you are in for a heartbreaking tune. I love Stephen’s distortion. Bringing back the “underwater” style that made “Cherry Waves” such a great tune you are lost in the riffs and the space that the song takes until the chorus breaks through. What a chorus though. Classic Deftones right here. This song reminded me why I love this band so much.
Now, Deftones have quite the arsenal in Chino Moreno and Stephen Carpenter as I’ve been stating throughout this review. What could possibly add a layer that was missing? Well, Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell of course. Jerry lends his incredible passionate leads to this particular tune about confronting someone who lets fear run their life. This song could also be looked at as being a confrontation between someone and their loved one who is addicted to drugs. If I was to put myself in Mr. Cantrell’s shoes, I might feel that this is what I would have said to Layne Staley before he gave up his life to heroin addiction. However, that’s just my take. This song has the best lyrics on the album in my opinion and is a classic example of the fusion of both sounds the Deftones try to aim for succeeding in making a truly impactful and powerful rock song.
THERE YOU HAVE IT! #7 DEFTONES-GORE!
Miss #7 Metallica-Hardwired...To Self-Destruct!? Find it here!
Miss #8 Amon Amarth-Jomsviking? Find it here!
Miss #9 A Day To Remember-Bad Vibrations? Find it here!