Brilliant, once again.
It’s often said that there are only two things in life which are certain - death and taxes. Well we’d like to seriously put forward a motion to revise that statement to include ‘brilliant Deftones albums’ as a life certainty as well. We’re now eight albums deep in to the complex yet exceptional Deftones career, and there is just absolutely no stopping them. Every album released has been completely different to what they’ve done before, all whilst having that distinct Deftones sound running through its core. Diamond Eyes marked the start of a new era for this band, one which has allowed them to maintain being one of the most consistent bands in all of music. Since the incredible double whammy of Diamond Eyes and Koi No Yokan, which were released just two years apart, this has easily been one of the most anticipated albums in recent history. They’ve kept us waiting, delays in production meant a planned 2015 release ended up stretching in to a new year instead, but all good things come to those who wait - and this is damn good.
The album itself is less in your face than its immediate two predecessors - Frank Delgado absolutely comes in to the fore throughout as the atmospherics are pumped up to eleven, especially on tracks like Acid Hologram and Hearts/Wires. Whilst the album perhaps lacks the kind of punch delivered in the vein of Swerve City or Rocket Skates, it doesn’t really go amiss when you become engrossed in the phenomenal depth contained within each track. You might not necessarily be blown away on first listen; it’s through repeat listens you really begin to appreciate and find the beautiful little nuances buried within each track.
All this talk of depth and atmosphere has you worried we’re lacking riffs here right? Well put Doomed User, Phantom Bride or Rubicon on and you’ll have those fears brutalised out of you. Seriously though, Stephen Carpenter’s guitar work on here is absolutely astonishing. He goes from crushing, neck busting, riffs to perfect melodies to suit the genius of Chino Moreno. Going back to Phantom Bride as well, with this we’ve genuinely got one of the best Deftones tracks ever produced. Drafting in Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell to lay down some beautifully elegant guitar work alongside Carpenter smashing out one of the heaviest moments in Deftones history, it all crafts together to compliment the hauntingly addictive vocals and encapsulate the brilliance contained within the Deftones evolution in just under five minutes.
So how do we even begin to wrap this one up? As you can probably tell, Gore is certainly one of our favourite albums of the year so far, and it’s going to be difficult for anyone to even come close to topping it. Deftone’s ability to deliver this high a level of calibre with every single release is truly a feat to behold.