Review Date: May 18th, 2016
I started to listen to Deftones when I was a teenager and from the first moment they stood out from the crowded scene of Nu Metal. I used to discern almost unjustly among all the bands that were out at that time but this one had something different and I guess it’s not just my opinion because it can’t be by mere chance they are still making records and actually selling them.
Their first three albums were kept in the same line, they are somewhat similar but you can tell they were becoming more successful because each one had more production into the recordings but again staying very true to their then style. After that they have been on a curvy road, hitting some good spots here and there but I couldn’t say they made a great album again, sure they had some excellent singles but nothing extraordinary. This is something natural though, it is extremely hard to find a band and say they made 5 or 6 excellent albums in a row. Life happens and it affects all, they had to deal with Chi’s death, a divorce, drug addictions, time and whatnot.
Now they have Gore, a very professional album, you can tell they are not trying funny stuff anymore, just good old heavy music. They are now older, more experienced musicians so things sound a little different, in a good way. I’d say they are a bad who matured well.
With “Prayers / Triangles” as the first track, you jump right into the pit kicking and throwing punches into the air. Then “Acid Hologram” takes things very low, on what seems a hallucinating experience. I heard Chino Moreno on an interview explaining there was a natural order for this tracks but those first two don’t make it the best experience. “Doomed User” is back again loaded with speed, with melodic bridges were vocals are taken to the extreme ends in Moreno’s range. “Geometric Headdress” makes a seamless transition as this and the previous song were part of the same.
“Hearts/Wires” is my favorite track of the album, from the first notes in the intro you can tell it’s a depressive song, very depressive. This only builds up when lyrics open with Nothing can save me now, Is what I believe. So it’s one thing to listen to a teenage band, angry and singing about their problems, but when you spend a couple decades into the subject you realize they are very strong feelings and it’s easy to transpose the lyrics to many life situations of a middle age person. What makes me like this is song is the fact that it reaches the dark end of feelings but in the end there is hope:
This razor wire
Mine ’til the end
Collect the wire
And dine on your heart
Mine ’til the end
Another song that caught my attention was “Phantom Bride” which talks about choosing the easy way or hiding away from life. It can even be about addictions that won’t let you fully live.
Waste your life… always
Attached to this poison… always
You will drain all of you
“Rubicon” ends the album with some highly appreciated heavy riffs.
I had the opportunity to see Deftones live almost sixteen years ago, sixteen! Such a long time but what matters the most is that it’s comforting to see them still kicking so strong. Time is merciless but it can also be an illusion, we can endeavor though life and brace ourselves to withstand the tides like it’s just a bit of dust in the autumn winds or we can drown blindly. I know that last part isn’t what you are expecting to read in a review but I left it in because this album is invigorating and full of energy. It makes you reflect about the dark feelings that linger in the soul but in a way that you want to crush them and power through.
This record will stay in my collection forever. Years will pass and I will come back and give it another go. However, I won’t be able to give it a high score, considering their skills and previous records I think their music could be more universal and reach a much wider audience, finding a niche is a very respectable strategy but I believe they are capable of much more without really sacrificing their proven honesty.
Overall rating 7.5 out of 10.