The Deftones are an American five piece band from Sacramento who have survived the test of time, once at the origin of the Nu Metal scene the band have steadily refined and evolved their sound over the years and have successfully built a large following of adoring fans, of which I am one. Whats special about them is that they have held onto what made them unique from the beginning, now spanning twenty one years and eight albums, not including a record shelved due to the tragic four year coma and death of bassist Chi Cheng. Deftones would primarily be described as an Alternative Metal band but their indulgent guitar distortions coupled with Chino Moreno's dreamy voice will have you hearing tinges of Post-Metal, Shoegazing and even Dream Pop in its colorful moments.
Their last record "Koi No Yokan" is my personal favorite and set high expectations for "Gore". My initial impression where that Deftones had reached out to a eerier, slightly psychedelic vibe however these ambiguities faded with familiarity. What the band have achieved is what they have always done, entrance us with the power of the low and heavy, rock us with the groove and smother it in tinges of hazy melodic color. This time Carpenter takes his experimentation into artful territories with riffs that push into all sorts of genre definitions. It comes together so effortlessly for the listener, at many moments dissecting the ensemble just furthers the appreciation for the bands vision.
The records production is a marvel of its own, toying with heavy grooves, dense guitar tones, deep six string baselines and on the flip side Chino's soft voice, light reverb acoustics and tingly electronic keys it manages to find power and clarity without any modern over compression nonsense. For this the drums may find themselves a little buried but its all in the balance. There is a lot of varying guitar effects and Chino has a lot of production on his voice, from artful echoing to narrowing ranges around his screams the band utilize the power of a records production to further their vision.
With all the praise I have to give the band their was no breath taking moments for me, nothing that jumped out at me, initially I was hearing echos of old Deftones songs like "Minerva" and "Royal" however the eight string guitar is now just part of the bands arsenal. With each and every listen their was nothing I could complain about. For me "Gore" is a very solid and consistent record that doesn't need anything but itself to me indulge in. It plays through without a dull moment and is continually powerful without any theatrics or over emphasis. A closer listen to Chino's lyrics will reveal its a darker, sombre record but one not over bearing, its executed tastefully to suit any mood your in.
Favorite Songs: Acid Hologram, Doomed User, Gore, Rubicon