Album review: Deftones’ ‘Gore’

Jason Bracelin

Four stars

Deftones Gore

Tension is as natural a trait of the Deftones as the color of their eyes. It takes both internal and external forms: The latter manifests in the push and pull between the group’s metallic backbone and the layers of fog-dense atmosphere and shadowy melodies stacked atop; the former announces itself in the sometimes fractious relationships between members over creative evolution, with guitarist Stephen Carpenter especially vocal about his initial displeasure over the direction of Gore, the Deftones’ superb eighth record. Carpenter’s cement truck riffing is front and center on “Doomed User” and the title track, where frontman Chino Moreno sings of bloodstained beaches, a fitting visual metaphor for a band that frequently splashes beauty with malevolence. Mostly, though, Carpenter’s playing here supplies texture and depth, while Moreno comes with some of the most stirring vocals of his career on moody, majestic highlights like “Pittura Infamante” and “Phantom Bride.” “You don’t want to feel anything new,” Moreno sings on “Bride” as Carpenter counters by crafting just that, begrudgingly or not.

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