Deftones – Gore
The Sacramento survivors continue to evolve and compel in their 28th year. What keeps us leaning in is the visceral push and pull between frontman Chino Moreno and guitarist Stephen Carpenter; if Moreno’s stargazing lyricism and ambient adventures on guitar evoke the ‘dream’ then Carpenter’s doomy low-end frequencies certainly pepper it with the ‘metal’. Gore is unquestionably weighted towards the former.
‘The record’s ours to break / the more we build / the crowd goes wild,’ Moreno howls on Rubicon, acutely aware that it’s time to wrestle with the blueprint. What subsequently unfolds is easily their most stylistically varied record since 2006’s Saturday Night Wrist; relentless twists that turn into reasons to press play.
Carpenter’s heavyweight licks are strategically placed, rendering the likes of Phantom Bride a delicate sway with a devastating finish in its dying seconds. His fleeting interplay with Jerry Cantrell's sprawling guest solo reaches past minor curiosity to become an essential encounter on a record with countless unfurling highlights.