Can you f**king believe that it’s been over 20 years since the Sacramento natives, Deftones, signed with Maverick Records and began to carve a distinctive path down the yellow brick road of rock and roll with the release of their heavyweight debut studio album, ‘Adrenaline’, which sold over one million copies, rocked the alternative music scene like a sailboat on stormy waters and energetically set the tone for a wild ride ahead.
The ferocious gang dealt with an unexpected severe blow back in 2008 when a car crash left the band’s bassist, Chi Cheng, vegetating in a coma for three years which unfortunately eventually led to a saddened rock world with Chi’s passing at the age of 42 after this heart stopped. As the nu-metal band that carries the crown for continually musically progressing with each record for over two decades, the gang gathered Quicksand bassist, Sergio Vega, to replace Chi as Deftones bassist, in which Sergio has since aided in the recording of the 2010 studio album release, ‘Diamond Eyes’, and 2012’s, ‘Koi No Yokan’. The bloody yet perpetually captivating tension that surges throughout the ever-evolving soundscapes composed by Deftones are indeed in full swing throughout the veterans recently released eighth studio album, ‘Gore’.
The poetically crushing lyricism floating over ambient melodies stray away from the classic Deftones days, yet exhibit a level of subliminal aggression that is crafted with ease and spoken with a touch of delicate ambiguity. The album kicks off with the soft, emotional dynamite of Chino’s vocals and a change of pace which serves as the aural equivalent of a beautifully haunting walk in dark, stormy woods within the opener, “Prayers/Triangles”, that is well-versed in ambiguous narrations and wholly refreshing atmospherics that lead me to believe that I am accepting an invitation to a divinely woven musical experiment leading to an entrancing explosion of repressed energy over “Acid Hologram”.
The ethereal mood begins to rip to shreds over lightning fast guitar shreds, Chino’s signatures growls which have become embedded into our DNA and an seemingly unsettling pace over the third track, “Doomed User”. The fourth track, “Geometric Headdress” amps up the level of distortion and sexual tension with exotic lyrics that draw you in and wrap you in their prism walls. Deftones digs deep down into your veins and dine on your heart throughout the fifth track, “Heart/Wires”, which hits the nail on the head when it comes to poetically rich melancholic vibes that serve as make-out music and brutally raw tyrants crafted with grace.
The album’s back half opens with intriguing bass work over the seventh track, “Xenon”, that awakens the desire in our veins to keep riding the musical wave served by the veteran act effortlessly staying afloat and remaining relevant in the world of rock and roll. My body is here but I am mentally adrift in a new realm as I soar into the eighth track, “(L)mirl” which sends listeners deep into calming, atmospheric waves through lush soundscapes. The notable evolution of Deftones is a culmination of a broad range of influence and gut-wrenching passion. The remarkable cohesion of menacing subsonic growls, melodic spaciness and charming textures deliver seductive, musical pleasure throughout ‘Gore’ and serve as magical bliss that catches the ears of both new listeners and long-time diehard fans. Check out any and every Deftones album that you can get your hands on.