Gore is disappointing a lot of Deftones fans. “This isn’t Deftones man,” they say. Devoid of hooks, the album is also failing to penetrate into mainstream music. In spite of this reception, this album balances on a knife’s edge in style, and has very pleasing composition.
In a time when metal is stale, stylized and overproduced, this album maintains a genuine feel and candid musicality. The tone is nicely rough, almost like it’s from the 90s, but it never acts like it’s from the 90s; it sounds like a universal, timeless Deftones – they’re just downtuned and making music.
The album is composed to be listened through in one sitting; it moves from palm-muted grooves to formless choruses to contemplative clean riffs to heroic battle-charges. The composition is united by rhythmic themes of dotted notes (threes) and non-dotted notes (twos) in polyrhythms, 5/4 times, and two-against-three contrasting rhythms to achieve natural and pleasant grooves. It does so without the wanky attitude that killed djent.
I’ve never been a proper Deftones fan; maybe that’s why I’m open to their experimentation within their musical career. Careful fans: if you view your idols as statues, they will become the stale trivialities you rebelled against in your younger years.