Deftones – Gore (Reprise, 2016)
As the sole nu metal band to actually grow up, Deftones have outdone themselves time and time again. Whether incorporating lush shoegaze elements or further refining their crunchy down-tuned riffs, the band comfortably exists in a vacuum between rock and metal. Gore, the band’s eighth studio album, does little to dispel this notion. Though it borrows more liberally from Saturday Night Wrist’s glimmering shoegaze, namely on its excellent opener “Prayers/Triangles,” Gore unfortunately falls victim to a dearth of inspiration where verses are concerned. Many of its songs lurch towards enormous choruses without earning much momentum—“Xenon” and “Doomed User” feel especially slight. To make matters worse, Gore continues the unfortunate compression of its predecessors, its mix more claustrophobic than ever. If anything, Gore represents a solid if unspectacular footnote in Deftones’ consistently surprising career.
Trial Track: “Prayers/Triangles”